There are many, many exceedingly good-looking people on social media, and there are many, many cute cats. But how often do the two go hand-in-paw?
Travis DesLaurier is a model living in Edmonton, Alberta, who has distinguished himself from the hordes of hotties on Instagram with a little help from Jacob—a good-sized, adorable orange tomcat. DesLaurier and his fluffy buddy were already doing pretty well on Instagram, but they gained a lot of attention when Travis posted a quick video of himself working out with Jacob as an extraordinarily compliant exercise partner.
DesLaurier says he initially included Jacob in his Instagram posts “because he’s awesome,” but also because it helped him stand out as a model. “It’s not like I’m the best-looking guy in the world,” he says modestly. “There’s tons of good-looking guys, so I just wanted to do something that made me a little more unique or more fun. I do have a goofy sense of humor.”
As for the infamous video of Jacob’s workout—which was filmed using a tripod and edited together with iMovie—DesLaurier just thought it would be a funny thing to do. “You know, I was talking to Jacob about it, and he was getting a little self-conscious of his fluff, and I said, ‘Hey! Let’s tighten that up! Let’s do some indoor aerobics,’” he says. “I only worked out with him for maybe three minutes, and then cut [the clips] together.”
Besides helping propel him into the social media spotlight, DesLaurier credits Jacob with being a huge source of emotional support. “I was going through a hard time in my life and I was like, ‘I need a fluffy companion to hang out with,’” he says. A cat offered companionship without the enormous time investment of a dog. And as DesLaurier’s first “real” pet as an adult, Jacob holds a special place in the male model’s heart. The two have formed an extra-special bond.
DesLaurier, who will be appearing at next year’s Cat Art Show, is using his increased presence to bring awareness to animal rights, especially the Alberta-based rescue shelter Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS). In addition, Jacob and his cat daddy have started Jacob’s Crate, a monthly subscription service of toys and other goodies for pets. They also have a special 2017 calendar for sale that features Travis and Jacob, as well as a host of rescue kittens and puppies.
Lest you think Jacob is just DesLaurier’s arm candy, we’re here to set the record straight—this cat is on the rise. The up-and-coming feline has his own Instagram account with over 36,000 followers—though he’s still got a way to go before coming close to DesLaurier’s 719,000 fans. So much for being just another good-looking guy, eh?
So how is Jacob handling the limelight? “He’s letting a bit of it get to his head,” says DesLaurier. “He’s getting all of these followers now and people are sending him stuff. Like, just the other day they sent him this $600 robotic litter box.”
And DesLaurier—what does he think about all of this? “I feel like I’m labeled as International Cat Guy,” he laughs. “It could be worse!”
All photos courtesy Travis DesLaurier