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How a bunch of cat GIFs won the Grammys

Technically Incorrect: You might have been entranced by the performers, but none were as moving and persuasive as the cats in a new antismoking ad.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Fighting against smoking.

Truth/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The Grammy Awards on Monday night had its highs and lows.

At the bottom of the lows, for me at least, was the notion that David Bowie would be remembered by a twee medley from the latter-day Madonna, Lady Gaga.

At the top of the highs, though, were the cat GIFs.

You missed them? They were all put together in a very clever little ad for Truth, the antismoking organization. The ad aired during the Grammys, which was broadcast by CBS. (Editors' note: CNET is owned by CBS.)

You might imagine that cat GIFs have been so overdone that surely no one can be entertained by them anymore.

The evidence suggests otherwise. The evidence of this ad suggests that they can be put together to make the highly emotive argument that cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their owner smokes.

Humans tend to be less moved by the death of other humans and rather more moved by the death of pets.

Here, then, is a plea for this to be the generation that ends smoking to save cats, and therefore preserves and lengthens the annals of cat GIFs and videos.

Of course, the Truthers needed a hashtag to make the message even more dramatic. It's #Catmageddon and it's already filled with remarkable reactions to the ad.

What, indeed, would happen to the Internet if there were suddenly no more cat GIFs and videos? Where would we seek solace, entertainment and balance?

It's not as if the social or political spheres have much to offer.

Truth knows how to set up its enemies very well. It tweeted: "Congrats Big Tobacco you just made enemies with every cat lady in America."

Cat ladies are not to be messed with. There can only be one winner.