30. Cat In A Sock Sweater
A lone voice of brave opposition against the angry masses who cry heresy against the idea that socks are for anything but feet, and sweaters for anyone but people. "I defy you and your black-and-white world," says Cat In A Sock Sweater, "and yes, I am quite warm, thank you very much."
29. Cat Caught Between Worlds
"This life is a bridge between two worlds: Pass over it but do not build your house upon it," goes the ancient proverb that this cat has obviously not read.
If, as you walk along the road that is called Experience, you come upon the piglet that is called Serendipity, do not turn away but do as this cat does and nuzzle with it and gently lick its hairy chin.
27. "Doesn't Really Fit" Cat
"If we cannot shape the world ourselves, we must shape ourselves to fit the world or we'll never get any damn peace."
– This cat
26. Bath Bomb Glitter Cat
Would 2016 have been any better if each of us had taken a break from fighting with each other and rolled around in a Glitter Bath Bomb or two? Scholars will doubtless debate this forever, but at least someone tried.
25. Iconic-Movie-Scene-Reenactment Cat
Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the best moral system? Why do some cats brilliantly reenact iconic scenes from movies while other cats just sit around judging you and occasionally knocking your phone off your night stand? These are questions we may never have a satisfying answer to.
24. Cherry-Appreciation Cat
If you have someone in your life who looks at you the way this cat looks at that cherry, you should feel incredibly lucky but also just ever-so-slightly afraid for your life.
23. Cat Who Got His Paws Stuck
"Never be so focused on your destination that you do not stop to scratch the scratching posts or climb upon the beds you meet along the way, but also never try to do both at once because that can be unpleasant and embarrassing."
– Oddly specific aphorism
22. Self-Kneading Cat
It has not been an easy year. Let us endeavor in 2017 to be kind to ourselves, to give ourselves space to breathe, and to find time, every so often, to sit, naked, on a windowsill and massage our own bellies until we fall asleep.
21. Street-Performance-Appreciation Kittens
It has been said that music is the language of the soul. It has not been said that it sounds even sweeter if you have cat treats shoved up your jeans, but it's certainly a concept worth exploring.
20. Cat Who Can't Hold Back The Tears
Is he crying for the mistakes we made in 2016, or for the mistakes he knows we're doomed to repeat in 2017? Actually, he's just a nice old man with a bit of a cold, but boy, what an emotional roller coaster.
18. Princess Bath Kitten
We must bear up against the sponges of indignity. We must hold fast against the toothbrushes of regret. And to be merely resigned to do so is not enough. Nay, we must do so with our furry heads held high and proudly adorned with the prettiest and pinkest shower caps that we can find.
17. "Praise Be" Cat
As the New Year approaches, do not lose your wonder, but be like this cat and praise the glory of nature and the majesty of creation with every breath and every step. If your arms stay raised for more than four hours, consult a physician.
16. The Mysterious Lady
Tennyson tells the tale of a mysterious lady, cursed to watch the world from a distance, to sit by her window as life passes her by, heartbreakingly beautiful in her sadness. Could this be such a lady? Or is she just a very silly girl who's seen a squirrel?
15. Cat Fort Cat (aka, Jenkins)
Ah, to change places, even for a second, with the man who is lucky — and wise — enough to see in his heart and build with his hands a fortress that is worthy of one such as Jenkins.
14. Copy Cat
"One of the surest of tests is the way in which a cat borrows. Immature cats imitate; mature cats steal; bad cats deface what they take, and good cats make it into something better, or at least something different."
—The Old Possum himself
13. The Lovers
"And when thou art weary, I’ll find thee a spread,
Of ramen, and dumplings, to pillow thy head;
There, beauteous Emma, we’ll sit in a lap,
While my story of love I enraptur’d recap."
— Keats, more or less
12. Hey Ya Cat
Hey Ya Cat did literally everything right in 2016, and she did it completely naked except for a bow tie. Precisely what the poet André 3000 intended when he said "My baby don't mess around."
11. Tiny Pancakes Kitten
"As the deer longs for the waterbrooks, so the tiny kitten longs for the tiny pancakes." Ill-advisedly just plunging ahead with the Biblical allusions, here's hoping that God asks her boyfriend to feed you if she goes out of town next year.
10. Glorious-Achievement Cat
After an abysmal year, we have no choice but to firmly plant all four of our feet, one at a time, upon the envelope that is 2017 and stand up to whatever assails us. This cat has shown us the way.
9. The Cat Who Took A Man To Prom
A truly joyous picture, but also an opportunity for us to reflect upon plight of literally millions of cats who didn't get a date to prom this year.
8. Comfort Cat
When the fireworks of life interrupt your repose with their rude and frightening song, take comfort with the cat that is Smug Self-Righteousness and, if you’re feeling up to it, write a sternly worded letter about it to the local newspaper.
7. The Cat Who May Or May Not Have Knocked Over The Onions
Look, we all got our onions knocked over this year. Literally and metaphorically. No one is denying that. But who the hell is responsible for it, is the question? Who can we blame for this? I, for one, blame the corrosive effects of loud music and Millennials, generally. But maybe it was just the cat.
6. Taste Of His Own Medicine Cat
If you seek inner peace, do not look for the fire or the earthquake, but listen for the still, small voice, the gentle whisper, the meow in the darkness. Then find whoever’s making all that racket and teach them a lesson they won’t forget.
5. The Kittens Who Surprised The Teacher
Either the cat who knocked over the onions earlier has begun, insistently, to dice them nearby, or some kind of salty mix of water, mucus, and oil is oozing from the lacrimal glands in the upper regions of my eyes. Whichever it is, I badly need to work on my descriptions of crying.
4. Unemployment Cat
A story in two acts. A gripping tale of injustice, betrayal, and the healing breath of hope. An emotional journey that you will never forget.
3. Monkey Cat
In these terribly trying times it can be instructive and improving to remember that we are, after all, descended from screeching, banana-stealing monkeys, and to reflect, both bitterly and ruefully, upon how much better things might have been were we descended from gentle, banana-loving cats dressed as monkeys instead.
2. Brigit, The Underwear Thief
Which of us hasn’t, in the darkest recesses of our hearts, harbored an insatiable desire to steal all of our neighbors’ underthings from the washing line and hoard them in our homes? Or is that not as common a thing as I think it is?
1. Two Cats Fighting Politely Over Milk
And finally, the two most important cats of 2016 are a reminder to all of us that if someone takes your milk, the only appropriate response is to firmly — but politely — take it back.