Cat Gets Stung in the Nose by Bee, Becomes Japanese Internet Sensation

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A cat got into a scuffle with a bee and ended up getting stung in the nose — and now both the unfortunate cat and its swollen sniffer are big in Japan.

The photo of the sad cat and its oversize novelty clown nose appears to have originated in November on Reddit’s photos forum, r/pics, apparently taken by the cat’s owner. The original poster commented that the cat was okay, and assured everyone it had been taken to the vet.

Bee-sting cat proved popular on U.S.-based Reddit, but it was even more popular in Japan. Illustrator Masashi Kuroda tweeted the cat the next day, along with photos of a few other feline bee-sting victims. His post was an instant hit.

Kuroda got 17,000 retweets, and bee-sting cat was reportedly trending on Twitter in Japan.

Japanese news sites started to pick up the story, too, explaining that part of the cat’s appeal is how nonchalant it seems about its conspicuously bulging nose. The photo also ended up on 2chan, the Japanese image board that inspired an infamous American spinoff, 4chan. Anonymous users there compared the poor kitty to Japanese cartoon icon Doraemon.

Hard to argue with that.