A tiny kitten named Potato has hit the big time, with a viral video resulting in millions of views, featured articles in such global publications as The London Daily Mail, a guest appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, and — most importantly for this once stray pet — a home that he will share with his brother, Gravy.
Potato entered Seattle Humane’s care in early September, after a Federal Way resident discovered a stray mother cat, Lusy, and her five kittens. Three of the five neonatal kittens passed away before Lusy, Potato, and Gravy were brought to Seattle Humane’s Pet Resource Center. A foster parent, Brittany Robinson, who also works for the shelter as a development coordinator, took home the small cat family and began providing the care necessary to prepare them for adoption.
In mid-October, Robinson was playing with Potato and recording their interaction on her phone when the tiny kitten began kicking his hind legs like a bunny. This video made its way on to Seattle Humane’s official social media pages, and within an hour, the posts had reached almost half a million individuals.
“People have an insatiable appetite for this spud,” said Bekah Sandy, PR Specialist at Seattle Humane. “He’s become a real celeb-purr-ty.”
Part of Potato’s appeal seems to be his small stature. The kitten — who has not yet reached 2 pounds at the age of 10 weeks — is suspected to have congenital dwarfism, which would be confirmed with a blood test at a later date, as well through continued monitoring.
The shelter has fielded an endless stream of phone calls from people nationwide interested in adopting Potato. (Neither Potato nor Gravy are available, as both have pending adoptions with the same individual and will go to a home together. Their mother, Lusy, has already been adopted.)
“If you are one of the countless would-be Potato parents who are in the depths of despair that this kitten couldn’t be yours, we have great mews!,” Sandy said. “It just so happens we have lots of animals still in need of a home! If you feel a Potato-shaped hole in your heart, we think that means you now know you have the time, resources, space, and desire for a pet, and we can help you with that. If adoption isn’t right for you, consider fostering. Our special spud is proof of what we’ve already known all along — fostering takes you places. Granted, it doesn’t always take you to Hollywood, but this whole experience shows it isn’t out of the question.”
The Kelly Clarkson Show contacted Seattle Humane after seeing the viral video and invited Potato, his foster mom, and another Seattle Humane staff member, to appear on the show, alongside such other stars as musician/actor Nick Jonas and actrees/comedienne Arden Myrin from the shows Insatiable and Shameless.
Potato fans can watch the kitten’s appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show when it airs on KOMO-TV (Channel 4) at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14.
About half of all of Seattle Humane’s animals spend time in foster care, with more than 4,000 animals benefitting from the foster program each year.
“Fostering saves lives twice over,” Sandy said. “Not only are you saving the life of the animal who is physically in your home, but you are also saving the life of the pet who can now take up the space made available by your foster not needing that slot. It’s hard to underscore exactly how vital our fosters are to our mission of saving lives and completeing families.”
Potato’s original viral video can be viewed here.
Those interested in becoming a volunteer at Seattle Humane can visit the “Get Involved” tab on the shelter’s website.