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Chemistry Cat (sometimes known as Science Cat) is an advice animal image macro series which consists of a scientific pun and a picture of a cat with a bow-tie and glasses sitting in front of a board. These puns are usually based on the names of chemical elements from the periodic table or various laws of science and physics.
The name “Chemistry Cat” has been previously given to LOLcat images, but the macro series only emerged in late July 2011. While the source of the image remains in veil, it is likely a stock photograph, possibly of Russian origin.
A significant portion of the puns are actually derived from chemistry jokes that have been in circulation for awhile, particularly in the context of K-12 education on chemistry and the periodic table. The earliest known instance of “Chemistry Cat” series can be found in a Reddit thread posted on April 19th, 2011, of an image originating from the ICanHasCheezburger blog:
The macro series didn’t take off until the third week of July 2011, when image templates began to appear on image generator sites like MemeBase, MemeGenerator, QuickMeme and Troll Meme Generator. Moreover, the series has been covered by various internet culture-related blogs such as Huffington Post, The Daily What, BoingBoing and FARK, among others.
Google Insights reveals that search queries for “Chemistry Cat” took off on July 25th, 2011: