Cat bearding (verb): To compose a photo in which the head of a cat is positioned in front of a person's nose and mouth so that the image resembles a human with a luxuriant beard.
Totally random and weird, right?
And yet, six years after the Lolcat craze (you remember the grammatically challenged cat captions), it seems the Internet is ready for another feline meme phenomenon.
For further information on memes covered in The Globe and Mail, read here.
Back to cat beards. In the past week, this obscure genre of self-portraiture has become a widely shared sensation that has even been noticed by a Belgian news site (if only they had been translated to barbes des chats).
The cat beard catalyst was a Tumblr page called Captainawesomesauce. Since featuring five funny images six days ago, the post has been shared more than 89,000 times.
When done correctly (the secret is in the tilt of the cat's head), photos can end up looking like hipsters with Santa beards.
Part of their appeal is the very incongruity of flesh and feline fur – plus the make-believe moment of having a competition-worthy beard. And then, of course, people just seem to love doing stupid things with cats. Certainly, it's further proof that people don't require much to be entertained.
So do we think this is a momentary blip in the grand scheme of memes, or do Cat Beards have nine lives? Certainly, it's easier to execute than cat sushi.