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Page type: Meme
Era: Internet centralization
Categories: Mainstream memes ; Classic memes ; Meme templates ; Gallery
First appearance: 2004
Peak popularity: 2008

Longcat is looooong

The original Longcat picture

In 2004, a user of japanese imageboard 2chan shared a picture of their female cat, Shiroi (japanese for "white"). They are pictured holding Shiroi right below its head, showing the length of its stretched body.

Shiroi quickly became a local meme on 2chan, gaining the nickname "nobiiru" (japanese for "stretch" / "extend")[1].

A year later, a concept appeared on the english speaking imageboard 4chan: caturday, a weekly event on saturdays in which users would flood the website with content related to cats. Caturdays often included pictures of Shiroi, which were often accompanied by the phrase "Long cat is long".

By 2006, Shiroi had grown bigger than caturdays. Its picture spread throughout the Internet, becoming a meme of its own under the name "Longcat", and a beloved mascot to a lot of people.

Along with Longcat turning into a meme, phrases similar to "Longcat is looooong" became a meme of their own. For example, if someone shared a video of a train going fast, someone else would probably eventually react to that video with the comment "fast train is faaaaast".

The original Tacgnol picture

Tacgnol si gnoooool

In march 2007, during caturday, an anonymous person shared a picture of themselves holding a rather long black cat.

Many people instantly knew they had a new meme on their hands. After coming up with various naming ideas for this new long cat, such as "Blongcat", "Blackcat", or "Catlong", it was eventually agreed that its name would be "Tacgnol" (which is Longcat spelled backwards)[2].

A lot of lore was written around Longcat and Tacgnol, suggesting among other things that they were the yin and yang of the Internet.

Some saw Tacgnol's mere existence as blasphemy, Longcat being their one and only mascot. A "meme war" followed between the exclusive followers of Longcat, and those who had enough room in their heart for both Longcat and Tacgnol. In the process, people came up with the concept of Catnarök : an epic battle between Longcat and Tacgnol, which would decide the fate of humanity as a whole, and maybe accidentally destroy the planet in the process[3].

Shortcat is shrt

Shortcat is shrt

Longcat and Tacgnol also have opposite versions, known respectively as Shortcat and Tactrohs (Shortcat written backwards). They are edited pictures of both cats, making them look comically short.

For some strange reason, it is accepted that Shortcat and Tactrohs are not variations of Longcat and Tacgnol, but rather their cousins. There is no established rivalry between Shortcat and Tactrohs, and thus no mini-Catnarök to be feared.

The opposite of the phrase "Longcat is looooong" exists for Shortcat: "Shortcat is shrt".



If you want to create your own media involving Longcat, you can use the following image template:



Long artwork

Drawn collaboratively by multiple anonymous 4chan users, the looooong artwork below is a perfect representation of the meme culture of its era: a pinch of creativity, a decent dose of fun, and a sad amount of shamelessly racist caricatures, sexist representations, slurs, and other issues.

It is shared on this page as an excellent representation of how Internet culture looked like back in the first decade of 2000s, a reminder that the Internet was definitely not a better place for everyone back in the day, no matter how nostalgic one can be about its early days.

The following memes (and more) can be seen in this artwork, from top to bottom:
- Pool's closed
- Shoop da whoop
- Oh shi-
- Sage
- Za warudo
- LOL Jesus
- Do a barrel roll


Sources & Links

[1] Longcat's obituary by Mashable, sad news, but comes with the relief that Shiroi lived quite old for a cat, and hopefully had a good life.

[2] Longcat lives by TNW (whelp).

[3] 10 things you didn't know about Longcat by Kittentoob.

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