The Internet loves its cats, especially when they are trying to get in shape.
When “Tiny” the cat was dropped off at the Fredericton SPCA in New Brunswick, Canada in late 2011, he tipped the scales at 30 pounds. With the help of SPCA professionals—and cheers from Facebook well-wishers—he had slimmed down to a cool 19 pounds, 11 ounces by Aug. 21.
Upon Tiny’s arrival, Dr. Nicole Jewitt decided that not only did he need an immediate diet, but also a bit of notoriety. On Jan. 10, 2012, the Tiny’s Weight Loss Challenge page debuted on Facebook.
As the months went by, Tiny documented his weight loss each and every Tuesday (dubbed “Tiny’s Tuesdays”). Tiny refers to his followers, both human and feline, as “fur-iends” and signs each post “Meows, Tiny.” In addition to his weekly updates, he also passed along information on other needy felines suggested to him by his ever-growing fanbase.
“All the girl kitties are purring over u,” wrote Pamela Wile, a professor at Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University, upon reading Tiny’s March 27 update.
By the summer, Tiny outgrew Facebook. On July 29, his Etsy shop, Tiny’s Ties, opened for business. Selling small handcrafted bowties and neckties for cats (all of which are modeled by Tiny himself), the shop saw over 140 sales in less than a month. Money from each sale goes to Tiny`s Weight Loss Challenge for Special Needs Animals at the Fredericton SPCA.
News outlets from CNN and CBC to BuzzFeed and Mashable have picked up on Tiny’s story since January. Currently, his Facebook page has close to 4,000 likes.