If you’ve spent any time on YouTube recently, you’ve surely run into the unmistakable internet personality “Beluga.” This YouTube channel is headed by a profile picture of the 2018 meme “polite cat,” a cat with a strange smile plastered on its face.
It’s an undeniably cute image, and you’ve likely seen it even if you don’t know who Beluga is. For cat lovers, the sight of a smiling cat is enough to make a heart flutter, so what kind of cat breed is Beluga? And how exactly has this cat shot to internet fame?
What Cat Breed is Beluga?
Beluga cat appears to be a domestic short-haired cat. He is not a special breed of cat with a smiling face, just a normal white kitty with tabby patterning.
Who is Beluga Cat?
The Beluga cat has seemingly appeared out of nowhere and is now a prominent image in internet culture. When we speak of “Beluga cat,” we’re referring to the “Beluga” YouTube channel that features a picture of an adorable cat adorned with a human-like smile.
The Beluga YouTube channel has become the fastest-growing channel in all of YouTube’s history, gaining 7 million+ subscribers in only a few short months—a feat no other YouTuber has achieved. The channel itself revolved around the discord (a chat server) adventures of the character Beluga, Beluga Jnr, and their friends. The channel also features a range of other random gaming videos unrelated to Beluga.
The entire channel is rather random, and although the videos are amusing, it seems to have perplexed other YouTubers in how it gathered so many subscribers. Overall, the channel has created a buzz on the internet for its strange content and incredible cult status.
It gathered a range of viewers, from innocent fans to those trying to break down the trajectory of the channel and how the owner has achieved such a feat. But this YouTuber is no stranger to hosting channels. Before the success of Beluga, he already had a million subscribers to his other channel, “Explore Lucid Dreaming.”
Polite Cat Meme
The profile picture of Beluga is that of a cat with a human-like smile. While this cat is now mostly known for its ties to this famous channel, it actually emerged in internet culture years before. The first posting of this image was in 2018, and it was quickly used to create memes. It was then dubbed the “polite cat” for the sweet smile the cat donned.
The meme was used for lots of wholesome and relatable jokes across the internet and fizzled out naturally, as most memes do. Its resurgence has come with using the picture on the Beluga YouTube.
Who Owns Beluga Cat?
Like most cult internet memes, tracking down the original picture and poster can be extremely difficult. Fortunately, the original poster and owner of “polite cat” continues to post pictures of his cat (whose name is Ollie) and his other cat (named Yin Yin) on his Instagram and Twitter.
But these accounts have significantly fewer followers than the millions that follow the online adventures of Beluga across multiple platforms. The Beluga channel has also gone as far as to use the image of Ollie the cat to create a highly successful range of merchandise!
While we could not find any information about these two internet creators working together, or any issues with legality, it seems strange for this channel to be profiting largely from the use of another’s image.
Perhaps we will learn more about how this pans out in the following months, considering Belugas’ fame has just started to come to the surface. Many followers of “Ollie the polite cat” are commenting on his posts, informing the creator that another is using the images to make a profit, but they have yet to receive a reply.
Is Beluga Cat Real?
Internet drama aside, ultimately, we cat lovers just want to know what breed Beluga/polite cat/Ollie is. If there’s a cat breed out there that smiles like this, we gotta know! You may have been surprised to hear that he is just a simple domestic shorthair breed. So why does he have such a cute smile? Lots of others across internet platforms are asking this same question, some wondering if he has something wrong with him to look this way.
Unfortunately, the answer is rather disappointing. The smile isn’t real; rather, it is a photoshopped or filtered image.
On first look at the cat owners’ Instagram, the photos seem real. There are hundreds of low-quality photos of this cat at home with a goofy smile. But if we scroll back to the first posts, we find several unaltered photographs of Ollie, the polite cat looking just like a normal cat.
Clearly, the owner recognized how popular and loved the first image of his smiling cat was and carried on the filtering to create a bunch of adorable photos.
I know, we’re disappointed too! Who wouldn’t want a cat that smiles? Instead, we’ll have to enjoy the stoic faces of our serious cats and remember their way of sharing their love, not in facial expressions but their companionship and affection.
Featured Image Credit: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay