Even cat people would have to admit that 2017 was ruled by dogs on the internet. Cats, long the underdog in the dog-cat relationship in the wild, had flourished in the early, wily days of the internet, becoming something of an emblem of digital culture. The internet, the thinking went, is extremely welcoming to cat people, inviting them to mingle without leaving the comfort of their blanket-draped lairs. Never mind whether or not cats were actually more popular online—Google Trend data would imply that dogs have always been, pound for pound, more popular—the point is that cats long represented the spirit of the internet, at least at its best.

But last year was a resurgent one for dogs. The burlier and more obedient species became the pet celebre of the internet, thanks in large part to the WeRateDogs Twitter account, which served as the most visible expression of a renewed interest in doggos and puppers. The platonic ideal of a cat on the internet is implacable, retaining its inherent aloofness and grumpiness despite any indignity, but the internet celebrates the inverse of dogs—their inherent effervescence and unwavering fealty. All dogs became “boys,” and all the boys were good.

Fun as this was, it all still settled among party lines—cat people versus dog people. This was a divisive, binary way of loving animals in a divisive, binary year. Even if all the boys were good, they were only good for people who liked dogs in the first place. In a year during which we scrupulously analyzed and looked to puncture our filter bubbles, we rarely stopped to consider whether or not we existed within a self-reinforcing ecosystem of pet love, too.

Well, no longer. 2018 will not be about cats, nor dogs, neither good boys nor bad ones. 2018 is all about round boys. Here is a round boy:

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And yet here is a round boy:

They are defined not by their species, nor by some abstract spiritual quality, but by that ineffable mystery that determines roundness. Like the true nature of pi, it remains at once enigmatic and immediately, visually determinable. Boys are either round, or not round. Here is a round one:

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Here is another example of a round boy:

Round boys can come in many different sizes:

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Round boys can come in many different textures:

And yet they are still round, and worthy of adoration. Do you know any round boys? Celebrate them not for any of their more divisive, species-specific qualities, but rather their mere roundness itself. The round_boys Twitter account has been around for just over a month, but already it has defined itself as a place of uniquely non-partisan roundness. It is a pet account to follow in multiple senses of the word.

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