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#RaiseTheCat: A Sixers Victory Celebration Taking Over the Internet

Let me see those cats.

via @GipperGrove

I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I’m always using the website and firing off thousands of tweets about Dario Saric, but it can frequently be a cesspool. Sometimes, however, it can be unparalleled source in making my day and no weird trend illustrates that more than #RaiseTheCat. What you, a normal person, must be wondering is, “What hell is #RaiseTheCat?”

Dennis “Gipper” Grove started #RaiseTheCat back in November in a plea to get the attention of Ben Simmons, who had been posting pictures on his Instagram and Snapchat of his new cat crawling on top of his shoulders and head. “The history of Sixers Twitter definitely influenced my decision to do this,” Grove said. “Lickface, Godner and all of these trends made me want to get involved. Ben had a cool cat, I have a large cat so I tried to imitate his social media posts.”

Here is the big bang of #RaiseTheCat, a tweet in which Grove says the idea first came to him to raise his extremely large cat:

Then came the actual first raising of the cat after the Sixers’ overtime win against the Pacers back on November 11:

What Grove started as a joke amongst his buddies on Twitter quickly turned into a rallying celebration amidst the Sixers’ current hot streak, as more and more Philadelphia area people joined in and raised their cats.

Philly Mag scribe Dan McQuade got in on the action:

Former CSN Philly Sixers guy and Philly ex-pat John Gonzalez decided to #RaiseTheCat as well:

Sixers fan Drew Davis even brought some emotional weight to the #RaiseTheCat phenomenon as he held the ashes of his deceased pet up proudly:

Just as soon as it seemed to take Philly by storm, #RaiseTheCat went mainstream, even getting a feature on last night’s SportsCenter:

What’s next for Gipper Grove? Ellen? SNL? He certainly didn’t envision this taking off on the path he did, but with the help of Liberty Ballers’ own Max Rappaport and Crossing Broad’s Jim Adair and their OptionaliTEES work, Grove is hoping #RaiseTheCat could help some other cats in the Philly area in need.

All proceeds from sales of the shirt will go to a animal shelter and charity of Grove’s choice. He says he’s already contacted the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to try to arrange something.

Grove should be happy for any benefit he could bring to those animals in need, but he definitely shouldn’t take Simmons himself finally acknowledging #RaiseTheCat for granted:

So as the Sixers continue this string of success in 2017, grab a feline friend and hold him or her up high. I can only imagine the parade of stray cats that will run rampant down Broad Street one day after an inevitable Sixers victory parade in the next half-decade.

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