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Move over Kim Kardashian, cats broke the internet a long time ago, and don’t have any intention of stopping! There are more than two million cat videos on YouTube, and they also happen to be the most searched for ‘things’ on the internet. Among the millions of cats that we’ve cooed over, there are some who have earned superstar status and who are making loads of moolah – we’re talking in the ballpark of a couple of million – for their owners. Here’s a look at five cats that have taken the internet by storm.
Claim to fame : An inimitable, hard-to-ignore grumpy face caused by dwarfism and an underbite.
It’s the face that launched over a million ‘likes’ on Facebook. Grumpy Cat – whose real name is Tardar Sauce – has over 30 million views on her official Facebook channel, and is estimated to have made $100 million in a span of just two years after she was discovered! Besides landing endorsements with Nestlé Purina and Friskies, Grumpy has a long list of merchandise named after her, with her owners having trademarked ‘Grumpy Cat’ and her image. Back in 2012, she was named MSNBC’s most influential cat; has appeared in several documentaries and films; and also has a biography to her name titled Grumpy Cat : A Grumpy Book.
Claim to fame : A unique appearance, which has helped raised awareness about rare feline disorders.
Born with a number of genetic mutations, the American celebrity kitty created a huge buzz online with her short legs, extra digits, a permanently hanging tongue, and no teeth. An osteoporosis sufferer, she waddles rather than walks. Lil Bub’s Facebook page has more than two million ‘likes’, and her owner sells a variety of merchandise named after her and featuring her image, including mugs, tote bags and toys. Her owner has been active in lending the famous kitty’s name for charitable causes, such as meet-and-greets at animal shelters, posing for PETA campaigns, and raising money for the Tree House Humane Society. Lil Bub has appeared on Good Morning America, The View and The Today Show.
Claim to fame : A quirky personality
A male Scottish fold from Japan, Maru has a whopping 289 million views on his YouTube channel and an impressive 500,000 subscribers. Chubby and lazy, Maru is the kind of cat you never get tired of watching. Despite his size, he sometimes displays the grace of a ballerina and the flexibility of an acrobat, squeezing into boxes and containers lying around his owner’s home. He is also human-like in some ways, lounging around like a slothful teen, sprinting around the house like a kid with a sugar rush, or ignoring his cat friend Hana, like (ahem!) some of the catty (no pun intended) people we know!
Claim to fame : A blind cat who loves to hike
Honey Bee’s heart-warming story has resonated with cat lovers and any one with a shred of kindness. Rescued in Fiji by an animal shelter and adopted by Seattle natives, the blind feline’s online popularity has risen steadily, with over 500,000 video views since September 2014 and a Facebook page with fast-accumulating ‘likes’. Despite her blindness, Honey Bee loves the outdoors, particularly the trails outside Seattle which she explores with her owners. The well-behaved cat rides on her owner’s back when she is tired, and squirms a little when she wants to go down again.
Venus, the Two-Faced Cat
Claim to fame : A fascinating black-and-ginger appearance
So surprised were internet users with this feline’s striking appearance that they started casting doubts about a possible Photoshop ‘inspiration’ by her owner. But Venus is 100% legit, a product of two types of DNA resulting from a fusing of two embryos in the womb. It is responsible for her unique body and face, half of which is black and half ginger united right in the middle like a deliberate work of art. And yes, Venus has one green eye and one blue eye. Since her discovery, the tabby has netted over 900,000 ‘likes’ on her Facebook page.