Kittybread has been a fixture on MTG Salvation since the beginning and on MTGNews before that. The kittybread was introduced by sneakyhomunculus on MTGNews when he used a kittybread image as an avatar. He somehow stumbled on the image on E-thug. The avatar would prove to be very popular throughout the years and was voted Best Avatar 2004 on MTGNews just before the big exodus to MTG Salvation. There a kittybread image was added to the smileys list and the hype continued with various members using kittybread avatars and signatures.
The kittybread or catloaf was originally created by author Hirose Takuro for a Japanese children's book. The kittybread or "nekopan" (Japanese: 猫パン) is a character that resembles a cross of a loaf of bread (pan) and a cat (neko). Nekopan was created as a variant on a line of -pan characters, the most well-known of which is Kogepan (some like to call him 'burnt-bread boy'), but their are tons of other similar characters: Ichigo Pan, CreamPan, Kirei-Pan, etc. Takuro's books were quite succesful and Nekopan merchandise is being sold in Japan.
The nekopan found its way to the web and is now known to the online community as kittyloaf or kittybread. Animated .gifs like the one used on MTG Salvation as the :kittybread: smiley have been used and popularized on online journals and as avatars on various message boards.