Picture of a Raccoon Holding a Cat

Description: Viral image
Circulating since: Jan. 2011 (this version)
Status: Fake (details below)

Text example:
Email contributed by Kathie J., Feb. 2, 2011:

FW: Did you lose a cat?
This is probably the most amazing picture of 2011!

Analysis: The Internet love-love-loves its cute animal photos, and this viral image of a raccoon cradling a kitten in its arms packs a double wallop of adorable.

If you guessed it was Photoshopped, you're correct.

Versions of the image have been circulating online since 2007, or thereabouts — sometimes with cat, sometimes not, sometimes with fire extinguisher, sometimes not.

The earliest version I've found with the cat — because, apparently, a photo of a raccoon begging on its hind legs in a doorway isn't cute enough by itself — was posted in January 2011.

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