87. Disaffected Kitten
Why It Matters: Because the world is a sad and troubling and often extremely disappointing place and we may as well learn that as early as possible in life.
“It was in his nature to do it. The doctor says there are such boys springing up amongst us—boys of a sort unknown in the last generation—the outcome of new views of life. They seem to see all its terrors before they are old enough to have staying power to resist them. He says it is the beginning of the coming universal wish not to live.”
- Thomas Hardy, basically talking about this kitten, in Jude the Obscure
84. The Couch Potato
Why It Matters: Because, yes, sure, it is a sly modern wink to the themes of passivity and enervation in Sargent’s famous “Repose” painting, but mainly because a world in which people take the time to make tiny couches for their cats is a world that is clearly going places.
59. The Window Dressing
Why It Matters: Because of that R.E.M. song:
Yeah all those stars drip down like butter
And promises are sweet
We hold out our pans with our hands to catch them
We eat them up, drink them up, up, up, up
Heyyyyyyyyyyy, let me in
Heyyyyyyyyyyy, let me in
33. The Passenger
Why It Matters: Because, as the great American poet Iggy Pop says of this picture:
We’ll be the passenger
We’ll ride through the city tonight
We’ll see the city’s ripped backsides
We’ll see the bright and hollow sky
We’ll see the stars that shine so bright
Stars made for us tonight
Which is both profound and true, even though the ride is going to be a fairly short one with a potentially disastrous ending.
19. The Cha-Cha
Why It Matters: Because if someone had told you before you saw this picture that the daintiest two-step you ever did see would be not by a princess at a high-society ball, but by a lowly farm cat outside a barn, you’d never have believed them. But now you will tell the world.
10. The Lamp Shade
Why It Matters: Because of Psalm 119 in the Cat Bible, which says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And even though there be a cat in that lamp, I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.”
9. The Kitten Pushing an Even Smaller Kitten in a Tiny Shopping Cart
Why It Matters: Because — and bear with me here — we are all but tiny kittens in the tiny shopping cart that is our path to righteousness, and the larger kitten that is Perseverance … oh, forget it. It’s because of how insanely adorable these cats are, OK?
7. The General
Why It Matters: Because it is written that in the time of our direst need, when the world truly yearns for a leader to guide us out of the darkness, we will find not the leader we want, nor even the leader we expect, but a cat wearing a diaper on his head like a helmet and that will be basically fine.
3. The Sudden Realization
Why It Matters: Cat scholars dispute whether this is a beautiful reference to the moment when Pericles, Prince of Tyre, realized that he would set sail one more time to find his lost daughter Marina, or a stark depiction of the joyless acquisitiveness that besets the modern Cats of Wall Street, but most cat academics agree that this little guy is as cute as a button.
2. The Existential Birthday
Why It Matters: “Quid est enim tempus?” asks Augustine of Hippo. “Quis hoc facile breuiterque explicauerit?” “What is time? And who can explain it?” What most people don’t realize is that Augustine actually asked this at his birthday party and pretty much bummed everyone out.