The Brief: Crying cat giving a thumbs up memes represent situations in which someone is extremely sad, but wants to signal that everything is ok.
Crying cat giving a thumbs up memes depict someone trying to signify positivity or stability when they are actually quite sad. More broadly, they can be used to represent situations that are bittersweet.
According to Know Your Meme, this photoshopped version of a popular crying cat meme first appeared on the subreddit r/sadcats in June 2019 in a post by user IAMAdumbgirl. From there, the meme spread to Twitter and Reddit where it was particularly popular on r/dankmemes in July 2020.
These memes are popular reaction images for scenarios when someone is hurt but trying to put on a brave face. They’re also reminiscent of a TikTok where a cat cries while continuing to eat a Hot Cheeto.