Cats That Look Like Hitler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Cats That Look Like Hitler is a satirical website featuring photographs of cats that bear an alleged resemblance to Adolf Hitler.[1] Most of the cats have a large black splotch underneath their nose, much like the dictator's stumpy toothbrush moustache. The site was founded by Koos Plegt and Paul Neve in 2006,[2] and became widely known after being featured on several television programmes across Europe[2][3][4] and Australia.[5] The site is now only run by Neve. As of February 2013, the site contained photographs of over 8,000 cats, submitted by owners with digital cameras and internet access and then approved by Neve as content.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

The site was also spotlighted by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report on 26 July 2010 and in a report by CNN's Jeanne Moos on 27 July 2010.[7]

The site was commonly referenced in the now defunct Australian gaming magazine Total Gamer and has become well known in New Zealand since it was mentioned on the Edge Nightshow by Brad Wattson that his cat 'Piggles' was the No. 1 "kitler" (Kitty/Hitler) in the world. The site was also mentioned fleetingly in The Social Network.

Public response[edit]

A variety of testimonial has been posted on the official site. Much of the testimonial is positive (one user heralds the space as "A Post-Structuralist Analysis of the Socio-Semiotics of Fuhrer/Feline Inter-Contextuality",[8] but a section entitled "We Hate Kitlers" proves that many members of society have had a hard time stomaching the idea of comparing kittens to a dictator. Comments on the site are riddled with grammatical errors but cite issues such as the fact "no cat deserves any connection with Hitler" and the more extensive "How can you possibly endorse or support fascist racism? Don't you know your history? It's people like you who oppressed and killed my people. Do you think (you're) that much better than us? (You're trying to make Hitler and Natzism look cute - by (associating) small, adorable cats with their hatred. It's NOT cute, not NOT funny, and i am offended." [8]

Cats That Look Like Hitler is one of many memes which has offended the public and put a serious historical tragedy in comedic light. Journalist and writer Jon Bershad has noted the eye-opening power of off-color internet sensations such as Cats That Look Like Hitler, claiming that we "can't ignore" these responses to tragedy. The humor in the website can help people to "get over tragedy" and then "put (the situation) behind them so they can learn from it and move on." [9]

Historical relevance[edit]

Cats have been compared to Hitler in other contexts, the most popular and noteworthy being Art Spiegelman's Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust. This was the first time cats were depicted as members of the Nazi Party, more notably as Hitler. This might have ultimately served as inspiration for the site, noted by the Minnesotan Star Tribune. The cat-to-Hitler and mouse-to-Jewish-victim kinship is further explained in sequel MetaMaus. According to Desmond Morris, a zoologist, Maus has "set cats' reputation's back a thousand years." While Maus avoids a "cute" interpretation of the Holocaust (Spiegelman refers to this as "Haulokitsch"), Cats That Look Like Hitler seems to embrace this method of historical interpretation. [10]

Related content[edit]

Cats, like those on the Cats That Look Like Hitler website, seem to have an overwhelming presence on the internet, in memes (see LOLcats) as well as various YouTube videos and related sites such as Stuff On My Cat. Much attention has been lavished on Cats That Look Like Hitler, some for being "cute" and some, as mentioned above, for being "offensive." Nevertheless, Cats That Look Like Hitler contributes to a wide assortment of cat themed websites and content. Writer for The Times, Ben Machell, has interviewed the owners of sensational cats such as those on the site and has come up with various possible explanations for the creation and popularity of cats on the internet, including the Cats That Look Like Hitler. Machell mentions the cat's mysterious nature and personality as a perfect target for projecting personality and emotion on, and recalls the worship of cats evident in historical records since the ancient Egyptians.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Finkelstein, Daniel (2007-02-26). "Cats that look like Hitler". The Times. Retrieved 2008-08-06. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Mikita Brottman (2007-02-07). "Mein Kat". PopMatters. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Ross (2006). The Jonathan Ross Show (TV-series). UK: BBC. 
  4. ^ Graham Norton (2008). The Graham Norton Show (TV-series). UK: BBC. 
  5. ^ Dan Walmsley (2006). The Breakfast Show Live: A History of the Web (TV-series). Australia: Dan Walmsley. 
  6. ^ Neve, Paul. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Cats That Look Like Hitler. Accessed February 8, 2013. http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigany.pl?faq.html.
  7. ^ Moos, Jeanne (2010-07-28). "Cats that look like Hitler". CNN. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  8. ^ a b Various. “We Hate Kitlers.” Cats That Look Like Hitler. Accessed February 8, 2013. http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigany.pl?hate.html.
  9. ^ “Shocking Wikileaks Video Jokes Prove Internet Memes Not All Unicorns and Rick Astley.” Accessed January 28, 2013. http://www.geekosystem.com/wikileaks-video-jokes/.
  10. ^ “NONFICTION REVIEW: ‘MetaMaus’.” Accessed January 28, 2013. http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/books/134119393.html.
  11. ^ Machell, Ben. “What Is It About Cats?” thetimes.co.uk, October 6, 2012. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/magazine/article3555112.ece.

External links[edit]