It happened like this: Our very own web developer at MyNorth.com, Michael Thompson, has been bragging about his smart cat, Willie, since he adopted the kitty from a shelter a couple years ago. Yay, yay, we would say, wanna’ see the home movies of our kids? And then last week, while Michael was getting into the shower he noticed Willie starting to play with the toilet paper. That’s nothing you say, all cats do that. Willie, however, unrolls the TP, then ROLLS IT BACK UP AGAIN. Michael grabbed his phone and pushed video. True to form, Willie unrolled the entire roll, then rolled it back again—all with Michael’s camera running.
Michael titled the video: Willie is Better Than Your Cat and posted it on YouTube and Facebook. His friends liked it, a lot, and started sharing it. So Michael posted it on Reddit. That’s when things went wild. By Thursday morning Willie is Better Than Your Cat had been seen by 4,000 people. By Thursday afternoon Willie had gone viral. 7,000 hits, then 10,000. At the MyNorth.com/Traverse Magazine offices, where we were on crunch time getting out the May issue, it was all we could do to talk about anything else. The coolest thing: Michael, our office web guru-genius-Yoda was as amazed as anyone about his feline phenom.
By Friday morning a cat playing with the TP in a bathroom in Traverse City, Michigan, had made 25,000 people smile—and forget about earthquakes, megalomaniac leaders, airline disasters … [As of Saturday morning, the count was up to almost 400,000 views and climbing].
And Michael was beginning to regret talking to Willie in baby talk on the video …
And then came a call and a contract from a video licensing company, next an interview with the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail in which Michael, who is referred to as Mr. Thompson, is quoted as saying: “The internet is a valuable tool for humanity and has completely changed communication. But it’s really all about the cats. And has been for a long, long time.”
Enough backstory, we know that what you really want to do is watch Willie—to see if he really is better than your cat. After you’ve watched the video, check out the link to the Daily Mail story.
And now for our really, really, big show: