Photographs courtesy of Pookie Methachittiphan
With slightly-crossed child blues, stubby legs, and pinkish-black jellybeans, Nala has pawed her approach into the hearts of 4.3 million folks — incomes the Guinness World Report for the Most Fashionable Cat on Instagram.
The ten-year-old, Siamese-tabby combine was additionally named TikToker of the Yr and nominated for a Folks’s Alternative Award. Nala has constructed a burgeoning enterprise empire that features her personal cat meals model named Love Nala. She additionally has her personal customized merchandise, together with T-shirts, espresso mugs, iPhone circumstances, and DIY cardboard cat homes.
Nala has endorsement offers with Bissell, Friskies, Paw CBD, Hulu, Litter Robotic, and many others. Whereas she makes an estimated $8,683 per sponsored publish, she wasn’t all the time Instafamous.
Nala’s story started at Castaic Animal Shelter in Castaic, California, roughly 40 miles from Los Angeles.
Varisiri “Pookie” Methachittiphan, a Grasp of Enterprise Administration scholar, stumbled throughout a five-month-old kitten. “Regardless that I by no means supposed to undertake a cat that day, after I noticed Nala, I couldn’t resist her huge blue eyes,” she says. “As soon as I had Nala in my arms, she appeared up at me and licked my face. I knew it was meant to be.”
When Nala — who’s named after Simba’s finest pal in The Lion King — turned two years outdated, Methachittiphan began her Instagram account. “I wished to share her with household and shut pals in Thailand,” she says. “I hoped to have 500 followers on the time.”
Nala had one of many first cat accounts that posted minimally-edited images with captions of issues her followers imagined she’d say. “Folks stated, ‘Her face appears to be like like a cartoon character. She doesn’t seem like an actual cat,’’ Methachittiphan says.
Every time Nala landed on Instagram’s “Fashionable” web page, now referred to as Discover, her account would achieve 1,000 followers. “I used to be overwhelmed with the response and started to understand she had one thing particular right here.”
Taking part in Cupid
When Nala reached 75,000 followers, Methachittiphan acquired a direct message from Shannon Ellis, who wished to make “cutie pie cupcake” a customized bow tie. When Nala hit one million followers, Ellis reached out once more to congratulate Methachittiphan. They struck a deal to promote her bow ties in Nala’s Shopify retailer.
When Ellis delivered them in individual, the 2 fell in love. “Nala introduced us collectively,” Methachittiphan says. They’ve been married for 5 years and have adopted two children, 5 different cats, and one canine — all of whom are web well-known, together with Stella and Steve, Spencer, and Apollo.
Out of the Limelight
“The adoption papers stated that Nala was very candy and pleasant. She’s very candy. But when I wish to cuddle along with her, I can’t simply hug her. She has to return to me,” Methachittiphan says. For Nala, days are all about sleeping and leaping from field to field. Like several up to date cat, she additionally enjoys enjoying with a cellphone simply as a lot as a teaser wand.
When she’s not snacking on chicken-flavored liquid snacks or in “zen” mode, she principally performs by herself. “Plastic wrap is her jam and bathroom paper rolls are her life,” Methachittiphan says. “When Nala was younger, she used to fetch loads. However with so many cats in our home, she type of would not do it anymore. Generally, she’ll do it when she’s within the lodge.”
White Espresso & Luna Rose
Espresso, a 5-year-old British shorthair, survived kidney lymphoma. “One in every of his kidneys is bigger than the opposite,” his mother says. “When folks go to, Espresso all the time hides. But when we exit to see folks, he’ll allow them to maintain him.” After 25 weeks of chemotherapy, this shy however suave women’ man appears to be like ahead to going to the vet. “We take him to see the physician for a check-up each eight weeks.”
“After we met Luna, she curled up right into a ball and allow us to cradle her for hours,” Methachittiphan says. When the 4-year-old Scottish Fold combine isn’t not carrying round her catnip–stuffed banana toy, she likes to eat. “Luna eats approach an excessive amount of, and her favourite factor to munch on is hen. She goes loopy for it.” She’s additionally additional chatty at meet and greets.
The Queen of Caturday
“Nala may be in the identical area with our different animals, however they’ll’t get near her as a result of she has this huge bubble,” Methachittiphan says. “She’s a queen.”
If Luna is sitting in a field however Nala needs it, she’ll stroll as much as Luna and growl. It sounds shocking as a result of Nala is cute and pleasant in public. “After we do a meet and greet, she likes to scent and groom strangers,” she says. “Nala is aware of she’s well-known. Folks cry once they meet her.”
Paws for a Trigger
Nala has donated 5,000 meals to Kitten Rescue L.A. She’s mailed 55,000 meals to Daisy’s Hope Basis. She’s additionally captivated with reducing overpopulation. Contemplating that greater than 1.4 million cats are euthanized yearly throughout the U.S., the aim is to finish euthanasia as a consequence of lack of sources and overcrowded shelters. Nala additionally helps The Pet Training Venture, Concern Free Pets, Waggle, and The Paw Venture. “Kitties want their claws to reside wholesome, comfortable lives,” Methachittiphan says.
“Nala is all the time going to unfold love and happiness. It doesn’t matter the place you’re from or what you consider in. If you’re on her web page, all that issues is that you simply’re form and supportive in the direction of one another.”