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Hehe Cat refers to a series of reaction images and image macros based on a video of a kitten staring at the camera with its mouth slightly ajar. The cat went viral on 9GAG in late July 2021 with a reaction image captioned "Hehe," with the "Not Hehe" reaction image and other macros spreading in the following months.
On July 13th, 2019, Instagram page happycatclub reposted a video of a kitten looking at the camera with its mouth slightly open (video and GIF shown below, left and right). The video was originally posted by user @喵，奶爸 to Weibo or another Chinese social media platform. The post received over 893,000 views and 128,800 likes in two years, with July 14th reposts by Instagram pages catloversclub and kittyworld.co gaining an additional 1 million and 283,000 views and 177,100 and 32,000 likes.
In the following years, the video was reposted by various Instagram and Facebook pages. On December 5th, 2019, an unknown Redditor posted the video to the /r/Eyebleach subreddit where it gained over 1,100 upvotes. The source Imgur post received over 572,000 views in two years.
On July 4th, 2021, Instagram page brokencattos reposted an edited frame from the video in which the kitten was given a smile (author unknown, shown below, left). The post received over 30,900 likes in two months. On July 12th, Facebook page Blessed Images reposted the photo, with the post gaining over 6,200 reactions and 1,900 shares in two months.
On July 11th, Twitter user @Hi_Fi_Goon reposted the earliest found derivative edit of the image, with the cat given a skeptical expression (shown below, center). On July 16th or before that, an image macro combining the original edit with the caption "hehe" started being used as a reaction on 9GAG. On that day, a user made the earliest discovered post of the macro (shown below, right).
In late July and August 2021, the reaction image gained viral popularity on 9GAG with users using the image to react to various posts. Starting in late August, derivative versions of the reaction image started appearing, most notably a version captioned "not hehe" (shown below, left, additional examples center and right).
On August 3rd, Tumblr user jokeboy posted an edit in which the cat was given an evil grin (shown below, left). The post received over 34,400 likes and reblogs in one month. The image was popularized outside of 9GAG after September 5th when Twitter users @northstardoll and @vsshole posted two complementary Normalize X memes with @vvshole's meme based on the edit (shown below, center and right).
In September 2021, image macros based on images of the cat were posted on Facebook, iFunny, Twitter and other social media platforms.
 Instagram – happycatclub
 Instagram – catloversclub
 Instagram – kittyworld.co
 Facebook – 📽 from @喵，奶爸（苗伟） 😍😍😍😍😍 ~ double tap ❤❤ #sweetcatclub
 Facebook – 📽 from @喵，奶爸（苗伟）| DY 😍😍😍😍😍 ~ double tap ❤❤ #catloversclub
 Reddit – cuteness overload
 Imgur – cuteness overload
 Instagram – brokencattos
 Facebook – Blessed Images
 Twitter – @Hi_Fi_Goon
 9GAG – Ane pny situs hokep, udah dpt duit banyak dr stu, rencana mau bagi bagi duit di lampu merah, bakal viral ga ya kn lumayan buat konten yutub
 9GAG – kucingmengantuk
 9GAG – Hehe cat selection list. Please add more in comments.
 Twitter – @northstardoll
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