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The 100 Most Important Cat Pictures Of All Time

OK, this is it. This is the one. We can all finally shut down the internet and go home after this.

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99. The Fashion Icon


Why It Matters: Most people think that high fashion is pretty subjective, but most people have not seen this cat and her perfect, beautiful, infinitely elegant synthesis of form and function.

97. The Cat Who Caught Her Owner in the Act of Stealing Her Ice Cream

Why It Matters: Because we must always stand up in the face of injustice, and because it is rare to see a picture of a cat who is very clearly saying, "Oh no you didn't!"

95. The Upside-Down Faucet Drinker


Why It Matters: Because have you ever stopped to consider that it's actually you who is looking at the world upside-down, and this cat is just having a perfectly normal drink of water?

94. The Bodyguard


Why It Matters: Because in about 10 seconds the cat on the couch is going to say "It's not my blood! It's not me! Wait! He's my bodyguard! Get some help! Stay with me! Frank! Stay with me!" and we're all going to cry our goddamn eyes out.

92. The Cat Who Loved Too Much


Why It Matters: Because of the complex relationship between this cat's actions and his facial expression. "To love at all is to be vulnerable," says C.S. Lewis; so it follows that to love too much is to be positively paranoid.

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.

83. Big Me, Little Me


Why It Matters: Because Wordsworth tells us that "the child is father of the man," and if Wordsworth had met these cats, he would probably also at least mention how freaking cute their noses are.

80. The Cool Customer


Why It Matters: Because every grown-up who ever told you that "being cool means being yourself" is wrong. Being cool means wearing dark sunglasses and just straight up falling asleep somewhere you probably shouldn't.

79. The Tiny Taco Rejecter

Why It Matters: Because life is as much about what we stand against as what we stand for. And if we cannot stand up against the tiny tacos that displease us, what will we fall for next?

74. The Most Delicious Burger


Why It Matters: Because, as Oscar Wilde is known to have said, "Between cats and burgers there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship."

72. The Box of Delights

Why It Matters: Because of the surprisingly earnest assurance this pair has that being in a filing crate together is the most natural and unremarkable thing they could possibly be doing.

71. The Shadow Fighter

Why It Matters: A lot of cat philosophers have speculated that the world we experience is little more than shadows cast by the light of an unimaginably brighter reality, but up until this kitten, no one had ever really bothered to test the theory.

68. The Loaf of Bread


Why It Matters: Because, while the Bible is fairly clear that we shall not live on bread alone, there's nowhere in there that says we can't occasionally sit around pretending to be a fresh-baked loaf if it suits us.

63. The Simple Pleasure

Why It Matters: Because, to paraphrase Yeats, "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply a vacuum cleaner on our heads. We are happy when we have a vacuum cleaner on our heads."

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

57. The Dance

Why It Matters: "At the still point of the turning world ... there the dance is." So Eliot tells us, and though he never told us that this is what it would look like, this is essentially how we imagined it.

38. The Morning Routine


Why It Matters: Primarily because a man wears a suit, and not the other way around, which is a way of saying that we should never let our jobs define us, or, as this cat puts it: "I prefer, infinitely, to be naked."

34. The Spy


Why It Matters: Because if you look very closely at this picture, you will realize that it is not, as it first seems, a boring picture of a paper bag with a hole in it, but in fact a picture of an incredibly well-disguised cat.

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.

27. The Protective Boyfriend

Why It Matters: Because, while most people tire very quickly of a "tough guy" act, no one will ever get tired of that furry little face, or the fact that a cat has a girlfriend in the first place.

20. The Apotheosis


Why It Matters: Not, as you might think, because the tabby is literally ascending into heaven, but because of the fact that the event has only inspired an at best tepid curiosity in his disciple.

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.

17. The Shepherd


Why It Matters: Because of the famous passage in Isaiah that I am fairly sure says something like, "The kitten also shall dwell with the lambe, and that is literally all you need to know about anything."

14. Standing Cat


Why It Matters: Because of this cat's famous utterance, which some cat historians think was the catalyst for the Cat Reformation: "Here I stand. I can do no other. Also, there is a squirrel."

11. Happy Birthday Dennis

Why It Matters: Because any of us would agree that no humiliation is too great, no misery too unendurable if it means that our efforts will make Dennis's birthday even one iota happier.

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

Richard Austin / Rex / Rex USA

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?