Things have been quite sad in the internet of world cats as it mourns the recent death of one of its musical celebrities.
Bento, who is famously known as YouTube’s Keyboard Cat, passed away on March 9. His owner, Charlie Schmidt, said the cause of death was cancer. Across the web, celebrities are giving tributes in Bento’s memory, from Jimmy Kimmel to Grumpy Cat.
We here at SoPurrfect are also offering our condolences. It is thanks to the influence of Keyboard Cat and other internet feline sensations that we get to spread the love and joy of being a cat owner.
It should be known that Bento was actually the successor of Fatso, the legendary and original Keyboard Cat. The first viral video was from a very old clip that Schmidt had back in 1984 and only uploaded it during the earliest days of YouTube around 2009. Fatso had long died in 1987 and he adopted Bento because he resembled her so much.
Because of the original clip’s popularity, however, Bento quickly managed to carry Fatso’s torch and became an online music sensation in his own right. Even today, his videos garner thousands of views while remixes of the Keyboard Cat tune are used in meme videos and quirky electronic ensembles all over the internet.
He’s also gone on to star in a commercial, released a line of merchandise (including toys) and even had a comedic run for 2012 Presidential Elections. Lastly, Schmidt and Bento both served as strong adoption advocates and joined the voices of others calling to have more cats adopted from shelters.
As we commemorate the life of this YouTube icon, let us also take a moment to be amazed at how phenomenal cats have been for the internet. Bento and others like him have warmed our hearts and inspired many owners to create loads of entertaining content with their feline friends.
In fact, if you have a mind to give your cat his or her own shot at online fame, here’s a couple of very quick tips.
#1. Create a separate social media account for your cat.
If there is one thing that all of the web’s famous cats have in common is that they have their own social media accounts separate from their owners. Not only does this establish a sort of personal brand for your cat, it is also a good way to keep people from assuming your cat hasn’t taken over your own online identity!
#2. Network with other cat owners online.
Don’t hesitate to join other cat lovers in online groups. Not only are they a great resource for tips and tricks, you can share ideas on what type engaging content you can create. They are also a good place to find fellow content collaborators. Bento’s owner has done similar things and networked with other owners via cat conventions.
Without a doubt, Bento will be sorely missed but his memory will live on as cats continue to dominate the internet with their cuteness and their charms. Let us all keep doing our best to give them the love and praise they deserve as our companions and nurture the next generation of furry, viral sensations.