Like most things on the internet, the legend of OwlKitty (owl-kitty.com) was born of sheer boredom.
A few years ago, Portland-based video editor Tibo Charroppin was working from home when, on a whim, he decided to make a video splicing his cat, Lizzy, into a scene from Jurassic Park—instead of being hunted by a velociraptor, the Murphy kids suddenly found themselves menaced by a fluffy black tabby.
It went viral overnight. Charroppin’s partner, Olivia Boone, made an Instagram page, and OwlKitty was born. Since then, Lizzy has appeared in the trailer for Jaws, as Baby Yoda and as the balrog from Lord of the Rings, earning a million followers across her platforms.
Judging by her ultra-popular YouTube channel, you’d think she’s sponsored by Friskies and going to influencer conventions. But OwlKitty has never left the house. Boone and Charroppin have been approached by brands, but they don’t want to do anything that would make Lizzy uncomfortable.
“That’s what helps earn trust in the following,” says Boone. “We stuck to everything we said she’d do. She doesn’t leave the house. We get invitations to bring her to cat conventions and we’re like, ‘No, that’s the opposite of what cats enjoy.’”