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Lolcats as Memorials

The internet has become home to a number of memorial websites for pets.  The Rainbow Bridge was one of the earliest, although several currently exist.  Lolcats are generally light-hearted, but some users on the news forum have begun to use lolcats as a way to memorialize deceased cats as well.

Fark is not a website specifically focused on lolcats, although a weekly lolcat thread is posted the main page every Saturday (Caturday).  While most of the lolcats posted on Fark’s Caturday thread are not memorials, often one user will post an uncaptioned image of a cat that is injured, sick, or has passed on.  Other users will then re-post the image with sentimental captions, occasionally referencing the Rainbow Bridge.  At first, some users contested the memorial macros because they are incongruous with the silly nature of Caturday or lolcats in general.  However, many others users supported memorial macros. The practice began organically, but as the Caturday thread grew in popularity, a ‘rules and guidelines’ post was developed to go at the beginning of each Caturday thread, encouraging users to post about sick or deceased cats.

Memorial lolcats function on Fark as a means of sharing support for group members, as well as immortalizing deceased pets.  Fark is unique in that the Caturday thread largely consists of captioned images of the artist’s own cat, or un-captioned images (called ‘blanks’) of pets for others to use.  Some Fark users are highly invested in the Caturday thread, namely Lajimi and Sister Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection, who frequently post high quality images that were clearly expertly captured.  The personal connection between each individual user and the lolcats they post is usually much clearer on Fark than on other forums.

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