The title "internet sensation" is no longer reserved for humans alone. Celebrity dogs tweet on Twitter, hedgehogs star in Instagram and iguanas have thousands of internet followers. But anyone who is familiar with the history of the world wide web knows that cats have always ruled this kingdom. Now, there's a new contender for the crown—a beautiful Tel Aviv cat named Serge, whose Instagram page just reached 60,000 followers, with his Facebook profile garnering just over 5,000.
In general, for a cat to establish a real status on social media, it should have a little more than an adorable furry face. The driving force after all is the cat's owner. In the case of Eli Kagan, a 36-year-old computer programmer from Tel Aviv, having Serge as a pet introduced him to a whole new world—that of social media.
"The cat introduced me to this world, I didn't know how to use Instagram before Serge," he said.
Serge, one year and four months old, is one of the most popular cats in Israel. Kagan says that the road to fame started with the cat.
"I used to walk down the street with him, go shopping or take him with me to work, and I noticed that people kept asking to take pictures with him. He is a very friendly cat, at work he kept curling up to my colleagues, constantly needing affection. One day, someone suggested opening an Instagram page dedicated to Serge, I didn’t understand what it was, and never thought it would work," Kagan explained.
He was wrong, it did work: within a short period of time, Serge started gaining popularity. At first, Kagan's inexperience played a role, and his posts didn’t attract much attention.
"Slowly but surely I learned how to add hashtags, how to tag the people photographed with Serge, and then I began getting likes not just from Israel, but from around the world," he added.
Soon thereafter, Israeli celebrities joined the hype. Serge's owner says that the long list of celebrities photographed with Serge includes TV presenter Guy Pines, businessman Roni Mana and his wife, model Jenny Chervani, singer Stephane Legar, and model Stav Strashko. The famous cat met these sraeli stars while strolling the streets of Tel Aviv with his owner.
Serge is a long-haired British Blue cat and he instantly draws attention.
"There are a lot of cats on the internet," says Kagan, who already became an expert in the field, "but Serge has two things that make him unique: first, he is a long-haired cat with an adorable face. Generally, cats of this breed tend to have an angry looking face. Second, unlike most cats, he is very friendly, and constantly on the lookout for human affection. "