The famous "Grumpy Cat" sitting on a pillow.

Cats on the Net

A 21st-century phenomenon is the proliferation of cat photos and videos on the internet. What began as a craze for posting clips of bizarre and amusing cats has, for a few, turned into big business, especially in the United States.

Certain videos went viral, and cats with particularly striking features—as well as one with a talent for “playing” a keyboard—became overnight celebrities. They gained a following of devoted fans and, in some cases, a million-dollar earning power thanks to lucrative advertising deals, TV shows, and personal appearances.

Also immensely popular on the internet are the simple animated films in the series Simon’s Cat (shown from 2008 on). These small comedy sketches record the trials of a put-upon owner and his attention seeking pet cat.