Saturday, August 16, 2014

The first LOL cat, the origin of Caturday, and other Saturday Links

I was recently reading an article on a relevant topic, namely Why Does the Internet Love Cats?. The article’s LOLcat timeline made me interested in the history of LOLcats – by definition “cute cat pictures with witty captions“. Know your meme dates the earliest known LOLcat to the 1870s, when photographer Harry Pointer photographed cats posed in different situations, adding humorous text.

But you know, I think the LOLcat thing can be traced back much further in time. Already in the middle ages, people understood the delight of combining cats and bad spelling.

The medieval LOLcat is a pewter badge, picturing a cat with a mouse, standing on a scroll with the caption: VISI MUS (here is the mouse), which, true to LOLcat tradition is a misspelled version of the french ‘voici mus’. Other versions exclaim the same in medieval lolspeak as VISI MU, VISIS MIN and voisiu.ipab. I’m sure the medieval peeps were like LOL upon seeing that.

The picture above shows the medieval LOLcat as a replica by Billy and Charlie. The original badges belong to the Medieval collection of the Salisbury Museum and are described in detail in Salisbury Museum Medieval Catalogue: Part 2, Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges by Brian Spencer.

The origin of Caturday:

 Lost Cat:

Robin Williams Honored On Broadway With Show-Stopping Tribute By Cast Of 'Aladdin':

Art of China:

Renior - first Digital Catalogue:

Images from the Folger Collection now available on line:

No comments: