How Smudge took over the internet

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With the rising meme culture within the internet society, one meme that remains in my fresh memory is the “woman yelling at cat” meme. I like to remember it as the salad cat meme. One reason that it has stuck with me was the fact that my own cat makes this face quite often. After doing a bit of research, I found that the temperamental cat’s real name is Smudge, and now has 1.2 million followers on Instagram. Smudge now sells merchandise with that meme face on mugs, sweaters, and other cute items. The whole culture around making profit off of a meme still is new to me, but I found that several other memes have made significant profit off of the viral and famous quality of memes. 

Smudge is a unique household cat, one that loves and needs to be a part of the dinner table to join his owners for dinner. The famous photograph that was shot was taken when Smudge stole another guest’s dinner seat, and found vegetables sitting in front of him to his distaste. This iconic picture with his disgusted facial expression has become a part of the viral meme, accompanied by the other half of the meme. 

This other half is occupied by a screenshot from the show “real housewives” of a lady on the show yelling at another person off screen. The meme was organized by someone on twitter, which then got retweeted with varying captions that allowed for the meme to become famous. The lady from the show commented through twitter saying that she is now happily married with her husband, and gave consent to the dramatic image in the meme. The culture surrounding the origin of memes is so interesting to me, especially when they get started. It seems that memes can be created by anyone, at any time, at any place of choosing. However, for it to become a sensation, it heavily depends on the reposting and mass sharing through internet users. In this sense, if it reaches a common foundation of approval by others, it becomes exponentially blown up. It is amusing that a cute little cat and one screenshot of national television could bring together communities through the internet. 

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