18. Rupert the Maine coon cat weighed 20 pounds when this photo made a splash online in June. But Rupert was just 2 years old then, and he'll likely pack on another 11 pounds before he's all grown up.
17. This poor cat might have had the biggest oops moment of 2012. Or maybe just the biggest head? The soup-can cat became famous in September after being rescued by Reddit users.
16. Hmmm. Seems like this was the year for cats with their heads stuck in food containers. This cat entertained us all via YouTube in April. The Doritos bag is weird on its own, but how did the cat get on a light pole?
15. The cat (man) we'll miss: Dennis Avner, the Nevada man who underwent numerous procedures to transform himself into a cat, died in an apparent suicide in November.
14. 39-pound Meow scored headlines in April for being so heavy he was said to be equivalent to a 600-pound human. Insensitive newscasters compared Meow to Puss in Boots, the fictional (and overweight) cat in 'Shrek Forever After.'
13. This year's most ambitious cat? It's gotta be Hank the Cat, who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia. He took third, behind actual human beings. Bet he looks darn good in a tie.
12. ‘Kitty Knight’ and ‘Kitty of Steel’ were dressed up by their owner as superheroes, but they attracted attention not for their feats of strength but instead for showing utter disdain on camera that their owner had squeezed them into their costumes.
11. And now for a cat with a real superpower -- not just the costume. Reddit fell in love with this invisible cat, but his superpower only works on the black bathmat.
10. Venus, a 3-year-old tortoiseshell cat, captured our attention with her two-toned face. One theory: She has two types of DNA from fused embryos.
9. The cheats-death award goes to Bekkum, a cat that survived getting hit by a Subaru in New Zealand. As if that wasn't enough, Bekkum then spent 20 minutes plastered to the front of the car.
8. Oskar the blind kitten just might have won the Internet this year. He was lauded as having the "best cat video" at the Friskies' cat video awards this fall.
7. An Animal Planet video of long-haired Persian cat Reginald became a viral sensation this year, partly because of his mournful face. Get a bath, get famous. All in a day's work for Reginald.
6. Anakin was born without rear legs or a pelvis. But he overcame all odds and was able to get himself around by positioning his front legs at an angle towards the middle of his body and balancing his backend in the air with the use of his tail when need-be. We name him the bravest cat of 2012.
5. Don't cross Colonel Meow. Seriously -- just don't. This Facebook star has no tolerance for insubordination.
4. Remember Shishi-Maru? This Scottish fold cat with giant eyes and oddly human mannerisms has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram.
3. Henri, the existentialist cat, won the Internet over in 2012 with his videotaped laments about life, liberty and trips to the vet. He received the coveted “Best Internet cat video” award in late August.
2. Orville was immortalized by owner Bart Jansen, who stuffed him after he died and turned him into a radio-controlled helicopter, provoking outrage among cat lovers worldwide.
1. How can something so grumpy make you feel so happy? Go figure. Sour-looking Tardar Sauce became Internet famous for his grumpy mug via Reddit and Tumblr this year.
Sure, it's sort of useful for instantly transmitting global news and completing important business transactions, but the Internet is truly about cats. They're the Internet's most enduring draw and always will be. Long after One Direction puts out its 50th year reunion album and Obama is known mostly as the dignified face on the $1,500 bill, there will still be images of cats napping in bedroom slippers. Their appeal is universal, and while we’re sure puppies and baby pandas will always have their place, cats dominate internet consciousness. As we barrel towards 2013, here’s a gallery of the most influential cats of 2012.
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