Slavs can yell at sneering cats, too An international meme goes to Russia and Ukraine
Some memes last a day. Others live on for years, forever finding new quirks and variations to keep them floating across the interwebs. The Woman Yelling at a Cat meme, derived from a frame in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, falls into the latter category. In fact, Meduza’s readers Russian-speaking named this blond human-feline pair the best meme of 2019. It’s no wonder that the image’s recent ventures into high art have brought Russian and Ukrainian visual traditions right along with them.
This rendition of the lady and the cat is done in the style of a Russian lubok print, a genre that typically conveyed popular stories in its heyday and can be considered a predecessor of the comic strip. This modern-day ‘lubok’ reads, “Here stand two maidens shrieking at a cat while he looks at them unsuspecting and unknowing,” though it rhymes in the pointedly old-fashioned original Russian.
Yet another version of the meme spreading on the RuNet uses a frame from the Russian-Ukrainian slapstick show Calambur (Pun), also known as Fool’s Village. The show ended in 2001 after a five-year run. You can probably imagine what that was like.
The Soviet animated film series Prostokvashino also got its share of fun.
Meanwhile, in Pichincha, Ecuador, a bar and restaurant called Tres Pintas advertised a “Slavic Promo” featuring pelmeni, vareniki, and vodka using a version of the meme with two women in traditional Ukrainian dress. It swaps out Smudge the Cat’s salad for a steaming bowl of borsch.