Cat Memes Take Over The #BrusselsLockdown Hashtag (For a Great Reason)

CUcyEyOWcAAjPxnIf there is one thing the internet does with excellence and grace, it is cat memes, cat videos, cat gifs, cat vines, and the classic cat photo. But why are cats taking over the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag?

Since Saturday, Nov. 21, Brussels has been in a state of lockdown, virtually shutting down the entire European city in the fear of another attack like the one that occurred November 13 in Paris. The city is also using the lockdown to conduct raids and to apprehend Salah Abdeslam, believed to be the ringleader of the Paris attacks. As of time published, Brussels law enforcement have apprehended five more people today, Monday, November 23, in addition to the 16 people detained during Sunday’s 20 house-to-house raids in Brussels and Liege. Reportedly, Abdeslam is not of those people.

The lockdown includes the closing of monuments, tourist destinations, shops and shopping malls, the cancellation of football games and concerts, and the shutting of music venues, museums, and galleries. Citizens have been urged to remain inside and safe, and the threat level has been risen to Four, the highest it can be.

So what does all of this have to do with cats? Amid all of this fear and chaos, there was an inevitable social media response, causing the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown to trend. The hashtag collected photos of the extent of the lockdown, showing theatres, buildings, and shops closed down. It was an inside look at the infrastructure of the city, and of the efforts of law enforcement to protect it. Seen by the wrong people, these photos could potentially pose a threat.

Law enforcement asked for “online silence” as they conducted raids and put security measures in place. As a response, the internet happily switched to posting all kinds of pictures of cats, some in military gear, some some riding unicorns, some driving cars, and still others channeling their inner Darth Vader. The decision to post cat pictures seems to have spawned from a pun on the French word for four (the current threat level), “quatre,” which is pronounced “cat.”

Cats it is, then! Here are some of the best cat pictures in the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag, and may all in that city stay safe (and tweeting).


Well done, Brussels. Well done.

About The Author
Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.