Russian Lolcats

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Lolcats is stupid. There, I said it. People who attribute grammatically incorrect statements to unsuspecting housecats are the same people who speak to children in baby voices and pat pregnant women's bellies without asking permission. Besides, even if your cat could speak, and it happened to ask for a cheeseburger, why would it spell "cheez" with a "Z?" Why? It's one thing to pretend that your cat can talk, but it's another thing to pretend that it has a debilitating speech impediment. (See TIME's Pictures of the Week.)

But you know what is funny? Pretending your pet lives in Communist Russia. Hilarious (unless you once lived in Communist Russia). You could take a picture of your cat eating cat food and pretend it was dinnertime at the gulag. Or if you have an unusually small kitten, you could joke about robbing it of its childhood and training it as an Olympic gymnast. But where would one find a website dedicated to such a strange, esoteric joke? If only one existed...

Enter — the website for people who like to pretend that their pets suffer injustice and oppression under the Eastern Bloc. If you like jokes about cats selling other cats as Russian brides to wealthy American businessmen or kittens who expose traitors within the Russian military, then you might go nuts over Rolcats.

(Also, what's wrong with you?)

Rolcats takes photos from a Russian Lolcats website called and claims to translate the Cyrillic captions into English. However, the translations don't match the actual Russian text. A joke about a cat inspecting for contraband items, for instance, actually says something about a making sure that the purchased items match the receipt. And those two fighting kittens? The Russian joke does not insult one of its former republics. English version: "You punch like a Georgian!"

Some people may find Rolcats offensive. (Sorry, Georgia!) Some people may find it stupid. Others may argue that pretending that your cat is trying to smuggle microfiche to Moscow is even more pathetic than pretending that it wants to eat a cheeseburger. Those people are probably spies.

Read TIME's 2007 article on the Lolcat phenomenon