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The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2012

Warning: Some of these cats will break your heart.

30. "I'm Having a Bad Time" Cat

Never more than in 2012 have we been reminded of the fragility of our perch upon the railings of life, and there is something beautiful and apt and true about the fact that it was a fat, ornery cat in a pink dress who first taught us this lesson.

29. Shishi-Maru

It is said of Shishi-Maru that such was his charm that strangers would often approach him in the street and ask what they might do to become a disciple. His response was ever the same: "You see me now but through a filter of Instagram. To truly see me as I am, you must first look inside yourself."

28. Stalker Cat

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Before you pass judgment, let me ask you this: Are we not, in our own way, all stalker cats, creepily watching the universe sleep as we wait for it to feed us the breakfasts of our souls?

27. Push-Up Coach Cat

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"Persevere!" says Push-Up Coach Cat. "Also, may I lick your hair?"

26. "Stop Looking at My Girlfriend" Cat

If we had spent more time in 2012 looking at the violence and the strife that is tearing this world apart and less time looking at this cat's girlfriend, thinks this cat, we would all be a damn sight better off.

25. Lamp Cat

"When the night is long and the way is dark, Lamp Cat will have to suffice as far as illumination because we're pretty sure she broke the lightbulb."

—Folk proverb about this cat

24. Yawning Asshole Cat

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The next time fate casually knocks your things off the dresser of your life, think of Yawning Asshole Cat and remember that fate, too, literally does not give a single fuck about your things or your life.

23. Glasses Removal Cat

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"For now you see through your glasses darkly; but then face-to-face. Now you know in part; no seriously, pay attention to me. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Pay attention to me. Hey."

—This cat

22. Restraining Cat

"When wicked intemperance calls you to excess, listen for the quiet mewing of your inner restraining cat."


21. Admiral Jenkins

"My box is not large," says Admiral Jenkins. "But I am admiral of it. I do not mean this metaphorically."

20. Hedgehog Mom Cat

"When life hands you a bushel of hedgehog babies, you make the best of it," says Hedgehog Mom Cat. "Even if it is rather prickly."

19. Hank

Hank the cat ran for Senate in Virginia and took third place, which is both a powerful shattering blow against the fur ceiling that has been holding us all back for so long and a slightly worrying statement about the general quality of senatorial candidates these days.

18. Venus, The Chimera Cat

Venus, The Chimera Cat purred her wonderful, beautiful way right into our hearts this year, which is a particularly impressive feat for someone who is half evil.

17. Cat Pushing A Small Cart

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The clocks have all stopped; the curtains have closed; the last star has winked out of existence; and a cat pushes a small cart across the empty stage, upon which a dying universe has strutted and fretted to the end.

—Pretentious poem

16. The Cat Who Is Planning Something Evil

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"And lo, the cat did look about herself rather shiftily, and verily was evil brought into the world and hidden, forthwith, under the bed."


15. Weather-Interrupting Cat

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As the devastating effects of climate change become ever more apparent, it is imperative that someone do something about the weather. This cat is that someone, but her something is probably not that something, if you see what I mean.

14. Mail Cat

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this cat from stealing your mail and hiding it somewhere.

13. Chris Hansen Cat

Chris Hansen Cat burst into our lives in March of this year, and the whole world anxiously had a seat over there.

12. The Kittens Watching Tennis

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Tennis is a complicated, deeply nuanced game, but these unbelievably precocious young feline fans of the sport have somehow captured its entire essence.

11. The Cat Who Is Best Friends With A Grandma

Miyoko Ihara/Rex/Rex USA

Cats and grandmas are naturally friends in the wild because they are both wonderful and they both like taking naps.

Miyoko Ihara/Rex/Rex USA
Miyoko Ihara/Rex/Rex USA
Miyoko Ihara/Rex/Rex USA

10. The Cat Who Sits Like A Human

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Pretty much anyone can spend a lazy day sitting around and watching the world go by, but it takes a true pioneer to really innovate in the field. Put more stupidly, this cat is the Einstein to the essentially Newtonian sitting around that you were doing before he came along.

9. The Cat to Whom a Drunk Man Sang "Kiss From a Rose"

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"When the drunk man that is existence sings 'Kiss From a Rose' to the cat that is essence, being itself is born, violently, out of nothingness."

—Jean Paul Sartre

8. Shopping Cart Cat

Richard Austin/Rex/Rex USA

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a cat pushing a kitten in a tiny shopping cart shall lead them all."

—Biblical prophesy about this cat

7. Spider-Man Fridge Cat

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Spider-Man Fridge Cat laughs in the face of your antiquated notions about "gravity" and "Euclidean space." "Pshaw!" says Spider-Man Fridge Cat, when you try to pollute her mind with mystical garbage about the fundamental laws of the universe.

6. I Should Buy a Boat Cat

Whether or not a cat should buy a boat is between that cat and that cat's accountant, but it does certainly seem like this particular cat ought to purchase some kind of a seafaring leisure vehicle.

5. Alarm Clock Cat

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"All ideologies constitute a subject, and the act of 'hailing' or 'interpolating' an individual as a subject can best be reified by incessantly dinging that thing on the back of their door."

—Post-structuralist Marxist theory about this video

4. Colonel Meow

This was the year that we realized, to our immense surprise, that the colonel of our hearts was an angry-looking fuzzface named Colonel Meow. We had not previously realized that our hearts followed a conventional military leadership structure.

3. Henri, The Existentialist Cat

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In a cosmic sense, what does it even really mean to be ranked the third most-important cat of the year?

2. Lil Bub

2012 was one of the best years for cats since the legendary cat vintage of 2009, and Bub was at the center of it all. Bub pushed Cat Culture further than we ever dreamed it could go this year, and we all humbly salute her, with our tongues hanging respectfully (if somewhat gormlessly) from our mouths.

1. Grumpy Cat

Never before has peevishness and irascibility been so cool as it is now, and we have one legendary animal to thank for that. In a glorious 12 months of short-tempered crotchetiness that harkens back to the storied prickliness of 1765, Grumpy Cat was the undisputed Curmudgeon of the Year, and we wouldn't have her any other way.