We have available evidence that cat photo memes are as old as photography itself. Before that, they had to be drawn or painted. Cats of Yore posted a thread of fine art in which a cat is in the corner doing what cats do- taking a bit of food for themselves. This makes the entire painting more relatable. It only makes sense that if an artist were to leave food out for hours at a time to model for a painting, eventually a cat would be drawn to the smell and help himself. The temptation is just too great. The result is a slice of life, whether you live in the 17th century or the 21st.
Yes, not all the original paintings are still lifes, and some of them are cropped details. But this is an important detail! In the replies, people posted images of their own cats stealing food, and they offer the occasional fine art contribution.
im in ur base killin ur d00dz— 'As You Know' Bob (@asyouknowBob) September 14, 2022