Every once in a while an animal so amazing, so unbelievable, so heartwarming shows up on social media somewhere that the entire internet stands up and takes notice. In 2007 a prairie dog that wasn't messing around gained infamy on Youtube under the misnomer of “Dramatic Chipmunk” with his piercing gaze. In 2010 a Shiba Inu named Kabosu with a Mona Lisa style bemused expression became a darling of memesters gaining the moniker “Doge” on websites like 4chan and imgr. In 2012 a cat named Tartar Sauce, also known as Grumpy Cat, stole the show on Twitter and Facebook with his surly expression and glib aphoristic taglines.
Not all famous animals are famous for good reasons though. In 2016 a small boy fell into the enclosure of a silverback gorilla named Harambe which caused the zookepers to make the difficult decision to put Harambe down in order to save the child. The story was reported on by most major media outlets creating heated controversy and lead to Harambe's immortalization in countless internet tributes, memorials, and memes.
In August of 2019 we were introduced to the latest internet animal celebrity: BeeJay the big boi cat a.k.a “CHONKY Cat”:
Beejay is a 2 year old American Shorthair who's most notable quality is that he ways an incredible twenty-six pounds! That is more than some bobcats. This beefy kitty was first brought to public attention in a twitter post on August 22nd 2019 from Morris Animal Rescue in Philadelphia, PA that read:
“OMG, big boi Mr. B is a CHONK. He’s a chonk of a chonk. He redefines the term. Can you guess how much he weighs? More importantly, can you give him a home? Adopt this jumbo-sized package of fluff & love: https://www.morrisanimalrefuge.org/adopt/beejay . Please RT to help this sad-eyed guy find happiness!”
This tweet has gone viral receiving to date this tweet over fourteen thousand retweets and over fifty thousand likes. He drew the attention of a number of news outlets including the New York Post, USA Today, FOX news, and NBC News; and of course a number memes which have already found their way to merchandise that can be found on Amazon.
It seems that this Chonky kitty has tugged on the collective heart strings of the internet and become famous but, this story is not all kitty exploitation; it has a happy ending. Over one thousand emails came pouring in to Morris Animal Rescue requesting to adopt Beejay, so many in fact that their website temporarily went down. After sifting through all the applicants, it was reported by The Inquirer that Morris Animal Rescue announced Beejay will soon have a forever home. Part of me hopes he'll get put on a proper diet so he lose that extra weight and live a long happy life, but another part of me will miss the memes. Either way its nice to hear an animal story in the news with a happy ending.