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Ceiling Cat is a photoshop meme based on a photograph of a cat peeking through a hole in the ceiling of a room. Its online popularity eventually led to several derivative characters, including his nemesis Basement Cat and Basement Horse.
While the original photographer of the image is still unknown, several people have claimed to know its origin. Encyclopedia Dramatica states that the cat belongs to Wikipedia user Samguana but this claim has not been confirmed. In May 2012, Something Awful poster Quarex claimed that they were friends with the cat’s owner, posting a similar photo of the cat from a different angle. The user also said the cat in the photo passed away in 2010.
The photo that would go on to become the image macro has been online since as early as June 1st, 2003 when it was submitted to FunnyJunk. The photo was titled “Stalker Kitty” and did not receive any comments for four years.
It was not paired with the phrase “Ceiling cat is watching you masturbate” until 2006 at the earliest. The captioned image first spread via YTMND, with the earliest site created on February 8th, 2006. Several other sites were created that year, but there have been fewer instances of Ceiling Cat appearing on YTMND for each subsequent year. Two days after the initial YTMND was created, CeilingCat.com was created. Ceiling-cat.com was created November 22nd, 2006, solely hosting the captioned image.
The photo evolved in to a popular Photoshop meme. Many variants of this image appeared on 4chan’s /b/, or random board, using the “cat in a hole” exploitable in a number of ways, including appearing as a god. Ceiling Cat was added to Urban Dictionary on June 1st, 2006. This definition included the fact that the cat was a deity, alluding to the Catnarok mythology.
On January 24th, 2007, the original macro was posted on I Can Has Cheezburger. Kongregate posted a Flash game called Ceiling Cat Invaders, a knockoff of Space Invaders, on July 13th, 2007. On March 13th, 2009, design blog Tubbypaws shared a DIY papercraft Ceiling Cat. I Can Has Cheezburger posted a profile of Ceiling Cat on February 3rd, 2011, highlighting some of the more popular image macro derivatives.
Myths Surrounding Ceiling Cat
Building upon this theme of Ceiling Cat as God, the Ceiling Cat meme spawned a few different pseudo-religious mythologies. In Catnarok, Ceiling Cat is going to be the cat that announces the coming of the fight between Longcat and Tacgnol. collected together as “Catnarok.” In March 2009, the Daily Kos posted an image series explaining this mythology behind Ceiling Cat.
The LOLCat Bible has determined that Ceiling Cat is the LOLCat equivalent of God, with Basement Cat representing the devil. This mythology has no correlation with Catnarok, as it is supposed to be a near-direct translation of the bible in to LOLSpeak.
“Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem. Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.”
On September 22nd, 2010, Redditor avapoet posted a thread to the Today I Learned subreddit pointing out a section of the original photo where a skirting board is visible, proving that the cat is really inside of a hole in a wall and not actually a ceiling.
Search for ceiling cat began in February 2006, the same month the first YTMND sites were created. Search peaked in April 2008. Similar with other cats from its time, search has been on the decline.