Scrolling through Twitter is like wading through a steaming pool of hot trash. But among the depressing stories, exhausting criticism, and increasingly aggressive interactions between people who don’t agree, you may stumble across a bright light of wholesomeness: Bongo Cat.
Bongo Cat is an adorable drawing of a cat-like figure with pointed ears, a pleasant smile, and little pink paws that pat on whatever instrument its creators add. The little cat, which seems to embody all that is good in the world, brings joy to the internet with its endless knowledge of songs.
Although the meme has been around throughout the summer, it’s been rapidly gaining popularity over the last week.
The meme started with a doodle by @StrayRogue, who said they “post from time to time, just for myself and my followers.”
In the GIF, a little creature — which StrayRogue clarified is a “cat-like blob” and “not actually a cat” — pats its little paws on a table as if it’s waiting for a meal or tapping out a jaunty tune.
This is what Bongo Cat’s full body looks like, according to StrayRogue.
Fellow artist @DitzyFlama added a cheery song and a set of bongos for the little cat-blob to drum on.
Since May, @DitzyFlama has inspired other artists to post their versions of the cat-blob.
Meme account @pormethamemez edited a version in mid-May of the cat shredding an electric guitar.
The meme blew up when @ItsAbouTimeJoey posted an edit of the cat dancing to Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September.”
DitzyFlama even made a tribute to Stefán Karl Stefánsson, who played Robbie Rotten on Lazy Town and was mourned by the internet earlier this year after he passed away.
The cat-like blob’s creator was surprised that their absentminded doodle became so widely shared.
“I never expected it to take off this far,” StrayRogue said over Twitter DM. “It does make me happy seeing all the alternate versions that people come up with.”
They noted that it’s probably so well loved because it reminds people of the classic keyboard cat meme, adding that because it’s such a simple format, it’s flexible enough to be “rehashed in many different forms.”
“Overall though, I’m just happy it turned out to be something people like,” StrayRogue said.
So if you need a break from the rest of the internet, watch a few Bongo Cat videos. Your brain will thank you.