This is the current Nepo Kitty A-list. What is a ‘nepo kitty’ or ‘nepo cat’? It comes from the term ‘nepo baby’ which according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to nepotism by parents towards their baby to the point where the child becomes famous perhaps even more famous than their famous parents. That’s my interpretation in this instance and it applies to pets in the modern world of social media.
And I’m grateful to The Times today for an article about the rise of nepo pets. Yes, there are nepo cats and nepo dogs and I hope other nepo pets of different species.
Here’s a list at 2023:
Taylor Swift: I have got to start with Taylor Swift because she is all over the news and social media. She is nearly a dollar billionaire. She dominates social media and her nepo cats dominate social media as well! Meredith Grey, one of her Scottish Folds was perhaps the most famous until Benjamin Button, a Ragdoll cat, became equally famous when he was photographed on the shoulders of Taylor Swift in the Time magazine’s Person of the Year feature with a wonderful photograph, a testament to the placidity and affability of the Ragdoll cat.
They say that Olivia Benson another one of Taylor Swift’s famous nepo cats is worth $97 million because of her work in music videos and advertising. Let’s say all three of her cats are equally famous and all are quite definitely the top nepo cats.
Claudia Schiffer and Chip: Claudia Schiffer is the latest celebrity to be featured as a parent of a nepo kitty. She is being upstaged by her Scottish Fold. Yes, sadly, I’ve got to say, another Scottish Fold has become a celebrity. Chip is a grey tabby Scottish fold and he was featured with Schiffer on The Jonathan Ross Show. All eyes were on Chip who plays a role in the forthcoming film Argylle.
Claudia Schiffer tells us in the interview what happened: “We had another cat on the film. He’s not a very good actor. He was terrible. He was also very expensive. So, my husband, Matthew Vaughn, the director, asked if he could have my cat. I said, ‘Why not, he could be a nepo cat’ and here we are”.
A spin-off is due and Chip will be featured again. He has the attitude for it and he can be grumpy. Chip has 8,000 followers on his Instagram account were his bio reads: “author, model, entrepreneur, influence, nepo kitty”.
It’s the rise of the nepo cats and it shouldn’t surprise anybody. Perhaps it’s just another phase in social media kitty celebrity beginning with the huge popularity of funny cat pics and funny cat videos that dominated the Internet about 10 years ago.
And don’t forget Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats which still features very large in the theatrical scene.
Winston Churchill: The Times mentions Winston Churchill’s ginger tabby cat Jock. Churchill loved his cat and when his Kent estate Chartwell was turned into a National Trust property in 1966, the family insisted that a marmalade cat (a ginger tabby) was always present at the property and the latest is Jock VII.
Karl Lagerfeld: let’s not forget Karl Lagerfeld’s wonderful cat Choupette (Ragdoll cat) who was featured very heavily in news media outlets on his passing because he bequeathed to this beauty $1.5 million for her upkeep (or was it $150 million? 🙂 ). She has her own fortune. She is an heiress.
Beryl Reid: Reid was a well-known actress now passed who bequeathed £1 million to her cat when she died in 1996.
Oprah Winfrey: it is said that she has set aside $30 million for her dogs on her passing.
Anne Hathaway: her cat starred in The Princess Diaries
We have to mention some dogs to be fair.
Anna de Armas’s dog featured alongside the actress and Blonde.
Justin Theroux’s pitbull was in Lady and the Tramp.
Bradley Cooper’s labradoodle appeared in A Star Is Born.
Megan Three Stallion’s French Bulldog Foe has 531,000 fans on Instagram and features on his Snapchat series call Off the Leash.
Quick comment: it’s probably fair to say that the Scottish Fold and the Ragdoll are the two most likely breeds to become nepo kitties. I say it’s sad that the Scottish Fold is so popular with high-profile people because this is an unhealthy breed and sadly it should not be promoted by celebrities because all Scottish Fold’s suffer from cartilage problems due to the condition osteochondrodysplasia. For homozygous cats to this genetic mutation the condition is very serious indeed but to heterozygous cats they still carry the condition.
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