With an entry in the Urban dictionary since 2006 and as the star of a series of much-shared cat memes that first appeared on the imageboard 2chan some time back in 2004 or 2005, Longcat has been in the public consciousness for as long as both Facebook and Twitter have existed. Images carrying the legend ‘Longcat is long’ have been shared and enjoyed worldwide for over a decade and a half.
With her long body - 65cm in total (or 900m according to meme folklore) - Longcat or Nobiku (or real name Shiroi, meaning white) won the early internet’s hearts, so it is with sadness that we learnt the news from her owner that Longcat had ‘crossed the rainbow bridge’ after dying of natural causes after a short spell in hospital.
訃報飼い主のみーこさんより、のび子さんが先ほど虹の橋を渡ったそうです。ご冥福をお祈りします。2005年頃から猫画像の加工がブームとなるなかで、のびーるたんの愛称で親しまれ圧倒的な存在でした。地球に生まれて長生きしてくれてありがとう、のびーるたん🌈※以下拾い物画像より pic.twitter.com/c7aOlgSLyiSeptember 20, 2020
[Translation: “It seems that Nobiko crossed the Rainbow Bridge earlier than Ms. Miko, the owner of the newsletter. I pray for your soul. Thank you for being born on Earth and living a long time, Nobirutan”]
News of the death has spawned a whole slew of condolences across social media for the loss of such a famous cat, but at 18 years old Longcat had at least lived up to her name by being long-lived too, and she can truly claim the title of one of the earliest internet icons.
The memes generated by Longcat included being as tall as skyscrapers, taking on Godzilla, stretching into space, even being big enough to be seen outside our galaxy, among many others. Not to mention Longcat’s long feared battle with her nemesis Tacgnol, which net folklore asserted would trigger the much-feared Catnarok.
We too share the condolences with the internet at Nobiko joining other departed internet cat stars like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub, but we take comfort that what with Longcat’s death bringing the meme back into the limelight, Longcat’s legend will still be around for a long stretch yet.
Jamie Middleton is a freelance editor and writer who has been editing and creating content for magazines and websites for over 20 years. As well as writing about the pets he loves, he has helped create websites about tech and innovation like TechRadar.com, Innovate UK and TechSPARK, written programmes for music festivals, books on inventions and architecture, TV listings magazines, and edited publications about cars such as Lexus, Toyota and Jaguar. In his spare time he writes fiction books and poetry - or at least he does when he is permitted to by his cat Pirate, who enjoys the warmth of laptops too much to allow being creative to get in the way.