Smudge, the cat from the iconic Woman Yelling at Cat /Table Cat meme, is now nine years old and has enjoyed eight years of living with his owner.
His birthday and adoption anniversary were announced on his official Instagram profile, @smudge_lord. In a short video, he is shown enjoying some feline-friendly cake, wearing a party hat, and giving the camera his best gremlin-cat stare.
Origins of Smudge
Smudge the Cat was adopted by Miranda Stillabower, who lives in Ontario, Canada. In an interview with Know Your Meme, she describes his adoption story.
She says that she was working at a cat rescue and already had two adult cats. She wanted to adopt a kitten, but when she went to pick one up, to her surprise, she found an adult cat instead! She kept him anyway and bonded with him quickly.
Stillabower describes Smudge as “not a normal cat,” saying that he likes to drink water straight from the tap and sometimes jumps in the bathtub to get a drink. His favorite toy is a ball of tinfoil, and he likes to play fetch. Strangely, he also enjoys people tugging lightly on his tail.
The Making of a Star
Smudge became internet famous when Stillabower posted a picture of him on Tumblr on June 19th, 2018.
In the picture, Smudge sits at a table in front of a plate of vegetables with a disgusted look on his face. The caption says, “He no like vegetals.”
Stillabower explained the origin of the picture to Know Your Meme, saying that Smudge already had a regular seat at the dinner table. “In the picture, we had finished eating dinner and he jumped up to where someone had previously been sitting. I was scratching his head and he was making that strange face, which is why we were taking pictures of him.”
Stillabower thought it was funny and posted it, captioning it in the style of other cat memes that were popular at the time.
She had no idea it would become so popular itself. “I was mainly posting for myself, and I didn’t have many followers other than friends and family. I forgot the picture was there actually and at some point, it became viral on Tumblr for a short period.”
In May 2019, Smudge’s popular image was paired with another meme image from the reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which pictures a woman crying and arguing while another woman tries to comfort her.
This image pairing came to be known as the Woman Yelling at Cat meme. It was extremely successful, and it spread Smudge’s fame more widely across the internet.
Stillabower was surprised but excited. “When I originally saw the Woman Yelling at Cat meme, I was like, ‘Okay, this is gonna be a lot bigger than I had originally thought.'”
On May 27th, 2019, after the image gained thousands of likes and shares across other social media platforms, Stillabower revealed Smudge’s identity and started his own Instagram profile. To this day, fans can go there to get a glimpse at a day in the life of their favorite meme cat.
On his Instagram profile, Smudge’s description says that he is, “The coolest meme cat in the business / Hating vegetals since day one / Never a poser, always a gremlin.”
Years after his original success, he continues to delight over a million followers with cute photos, fun merch, and funny content. He makes gremlin faces, sneers at vegetables, and is an inspiration to cat and meme lovers everywhere.
Stillabower says that she has used Smudge’s popularity to help Furry Tales Cat Rescue. This rescue saves old cats and cats that are going to be euthanized, keeping them safe and cared for until they are adopted or pass away.
“All my cats have been rescues or came from a rescue,” Stillabower says, “so we just wanted to make sure to give back to the rescues for doing the work that they do.” What a great cause for such a great cat like Smudge to support!
As Smudge lives on in his fame, Stillabower wants fans to know him as a gremlin cat with a sassy personality and a soft side.
She says that if Smudge could talk, he would say thank you to his fans and supporters, “especially for all the virtual ‘taters’ they’ve sent to him. I’m sure he wishes they were real taters, but he appreciates all the support that he’s gotten from everyone so far.”
Happy Birthday, Smudge! We wish you the best of success moving forward, and all the virtual taters you could want.