Ed the cat finds instant fame online
Ottawa teen's TikTok video of pet goes viral
Ed the cat has officially gone viral, but don't call the vet.
The Ottawa feline is simply the latest personality to find instant fame in the unpredictable, often inscrutable world of internet superstardom.
Ed — named after British pop star Ed Sheeran, another famous ginger — found his 15 minutes thanks to his owner, 17-year-old Jade Taylor-Ryan, and the wildly popular social media app TikTok, where users share short music videos they've edited themselves.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, Taylor-Ryan, who's about to enter Grade 12 at John McCrae Secondary School in Barrhaven, posted a 13-second video of the four-year-old orange tabby clapping, waving, wheeling and generally being cute to the tune of Mr. Sandman, the 1954 hit by The Chordettes.
"I was just like scrolling through the TikTok feed, and I saw another user make a video with the Mr. Sandman song and the nine-person filter that I used ... and the idea just kind of came into my head and I was like, 'Oh, maybe I should try this with my cat,'" Taylor-Ryan said.
By Tuesday afternoon, nearly 10 million people had viewed the video, and Taylor-Ryan, who said she's only been using the app since July, suddenly gained about 50,000 new followers.
"I didn't think it would go this viral or anything, I just made it because I thought it was a good idea," said Taylor-Ryan, who plays competitive soccer and hangs out with her friends when she's not making viral videos.
'It's going to be weird'
And Ed's not the only one who's become internet-famous, she said.
"I've had a bunch of people in the younger grades DM me on Instagram. They're like, 'Oh, I didn't know you went to my school, I can't wait to see you in the halls and stuff.' So I don't know, I feel like it's going to be weird."
Weird or not, Taylor-Ryan said she's got "a couple ideas" for her next video, and yes, it will almost certainly involve her cat.
"He's very chill.... If you pick him up, he doesn't really care. I know that some of my friends' cats, if you pick them up they'll try to scratch you and stuff, but Ed just like relaxes and sits there," Taylor-Ryan said.
"I feel like if he was a human version of himself, he would kind of just, not ignore it, but like, brush it off and just act as if nothing's happening, really."