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I Should Buy a Boat Cat, also known as “Sophisticated Cat” and “Fancy Cat,” is an image macro series featuring a photograph of a cat wearing a suit while seated at a table reading a newspaper. The captions typically describe various epiphanies and desires, often using the snowclone template “I should buy a X.”
The singer-songwriter Bjork released a music video directed by Spike Jonze for her song “Triumph of the Heart” in January of 2005, in which she leaves her anthropomorphic cat husband for a night out in the city. In the video, the cat is is seen seated at a table drinking coffee and reading a newspaper while dressed in a blue shirt (shown at 3:56 below).
On February 2nd, 2012, Redditor DrTango submitted a post titled “I’ll just leave this here" to the /r/funny subreddit, featuring a screen capture of the cat with the caption “I should buy a boat” (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received over 12,350 up votes and 165 comments.
On February 3rd, the Internet humor site 9gag reposted the DrTango’s image macro, receiving over 40,400 up votes and 4,200 Facebook shares within the next nine months. On February 9th, the image was reblogged on the Internet humor site College Humor. On August 31st, the image was mentioned in an episode of the video game YouTube show Game Grumps. On September 10th, Redditor RoTTaax submitted a post titled “How I feel when I post a long comment that gets 3 upvotes” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, featuring an image macro with the caption “I should write a book” (shown below). Within one month, the post received over 9,900 up votes and 45 comments.
On November 6th, Redditor bathroomstalin submitted an image macro titled “We’ve all thought about it” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which featured the cat image with the caption "I should buy a “horse mask.” The same day, Redditor TwoSwords submitted a post titled “Well, he went out and did it,” which featured a photoshopped version of the image with a horse head mask superimposed over the cat’s head (shown below). Within 24 hours, each post reached the front page receiving thousands of up votes.
As of November 6th, 2012, a Quickmeme page for “Fancy Cat” has received over 75 submissions and a page for “Sophisticated Cat” as accumulated over 630 submissions. On Tumblr, other photographs of inquisitive-looking subjects have been captioned with the phrase “I should buy a boat.”
On January 24th, 2013, Redditor al19 submitted a picture of a cat and a duck strolling alongside each other to the /r/aww subreddit. While the image had been previously submitted many times since as early as in January 2012, Redditor al19’s post was met by several references to Sophisticated Cat consulting Actual Advice Mallard for financial advices.
That same day, Redditor ZeeHanzenShwanz submitted an image macro illustrating a dialogue between the cat and the duck about “catching the red dot” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit (shown below, left). As with other emerging advice animal series, a Quickmeme entry for “Boat Advice” was launched shortly thereafter.
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