'Meow-Quadruplets': Glitch-in-the-Matrix Identical Cats Stun the Internet

The internet has long held a theory that the world we live in is a simulation. A staple of science fiction, the theory was detailed in a 2003 paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom and was the central premise of the 1999 movie The Matrix.

While scientists in 2017 debunked the simulation theory, the amusing idea of a "glitch in the Matrix" continues to intrigue people around the world.

One Redditor's simulation-theory moment has amused the internet this week when they shared a picture of four identical cats from their neighborhood.

Shared on Thursday on Reddit, Teniele from Perth, Australia—who uses the Reddit handle ArtfulPandora—posted the picture of three cats with the caption: "For weeks [I] kept seeing what I thought was the same white cat everyday, but like a 'glitch in the Matrix' it was impossibly everywhere. I thought maybe it was two cats just never spied at the same time. Then that seemed impossible. Then today my questions were answered…"

The post on the popular Reddit forum r/Cats has delighted internet users, gaining over 52,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments.

"This is one of the best cat posts I've seen in a while. Thanks for the laughs," said one Redditor. Another wrote: "Mind games, presented by the white cat crew."

Teniele told Newsweek: "I had been seeing what I thought was the same white cat almost every morning when I'd arrive at work for my new job. I began to suspect it was at least two cats because I'd see it cross the road and then a moment later the exact same thing would happen. Then it got a bit stranger when I'd see the cat go over the street and go again and then Id get out of my car and see it sitting there on the sidewalk next to me.

"Yesterday, when I happened to see what I thought was the two them down on the lawn I went to take a photo and as I did the one in the foreground just happened to walk past. I burst out laughing and couldn't believe I'd captured it. It wasn't until I looked at the photo I noticed that there is actually four."

"Mystery solved!" wrote one Redditor, while other users were also shocked to learn that there were, in fact, four cats in the image. With one white cat in the foreground, the background features three identical cats bunched closely together—easily mistaken for two cats.

In fact, all four of these cats are pretty special thanks to their distinctive white appearance. White colored cats are actually quite uncommon and very unique. There are two main genes that can cause cats to have a white coat—the DW or dominant white gene and the W or white spotting gene which actually masks the real color of the coat creating a white appearance. These genes are also known to cause hearing impairments in many cats, meaning white kittens are more likely to suffer some hearing loss or deafness.

Another Reddit user delighted over the image, writing: "This gave me a good hearty chuckle. Excellent post (and beautiful cats!). Also, finding the fourth cat was like playing Where's Waldo."

Another user wrote: "When meow-quadruplets decide to mess with your sanity."

"I did not expect it to get the attention it did," said Teniele. "But I'm glad that it gave some people a laugh and enjoyed people sharing similar experiences."

Matrix cats pic
Pictures of the identical white cats in the same place. The hilarious "glitch-in-the-Matrix" moment has delighted the internet. ArtfulPandora/Reddit

Update 03/18/22 at 07:10 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include images and comment from the original poster.