Chubby tummies, eye-catching markings, and attention-grabbing characteristics – that’s what you need to become a sensation on the Internet. Whether you’re a Pomeranian that looks like the roundest, softest toy ever or a Domestic Shorthair with a permanently grumpy face, you’re guaranteed to take the Internet by storm.
We’re over the moon whenever we uncover the newest TikTok or Instagram obsession because we’re more than happy to spend hours on end watching cute clips.
We never stop to wonder how the lives of these abandoned pets, furry family members, and pet parents turn upside down when the rest of the world takes notice of them, though.
Consider rescue shelters, for example – social media completely changed the way rescue animals find their forever homes.
Rescue shelters rely on social media to spread the word about abandoned animals looking for fosters and forever homes, trigger people’s responses, and bank on people’s emotions to do what needs to be done.
Rescue shelters are starting to treat social media as an excellent way to promote what they’re doing, earn more money, and get people talking. We’ve seen rescue shelters go as far as to hire social media and PR managers, on-site photographers, and entire crews to ensure they’re getting the exposure they need.
More often than not, rescue shelters are able to rehome abandoned animals within the first few minutes of posting them on TikTok or Instagram (or even Facebook!).
Not to mention the whirlwind of emotions that pet parents go through when what was supposed to be a simple TikTok video showing off how cute their pets are goes viral – or the huge changes that come with that territory.
Now, that’s exactly what happened to a Persian cat named Boy.
When a 50-year-old Indonesian man named Indraini Wahyudin Noor posted about Boy on TikTok, he wanted to show off how cute Boy was. He didn’t think Boy would break the Internet the moment everyone figured out that the Persian kitten resembled none other than the famous masked vigilante, Zorro, played by Antonio Banderas on the silver screen.
Noor was taken aback when he started reading the thousands and thousands of comments about Boy’s permanent mask. He was aware of the mask, of course, because Boy was born with a distinct black patch surrounding both eyes, black ears, and a few other black patches scattered across the white fluff.
Boy was Noor’s favorite pet because he was cute and cuddly, but he never noticed the resemblance between Boy and everyone’s favorite hero created by American writer Johnston McCulley in 1919.
When Noor posted Boy on TikTok, he didn’t think he’d attract the attention that he did. Boy’s videos started getting thousands and thousands of views and comments – with one of the videos getting 8 million views! People were obsessed with Boy, and they urged Noor to change Boy’s name to Zorro.
Everyone wanted to see Boy doing different Zorro-themed things. One of Boy’s most popular videos was of Noor unwrapping a package, listening to one of Zorro’s soundtracks, and showing a little Zorro hat made specifically for Boy. The video ends with Boy wearing the hat, of course.
Zorro, for those of you who don’t know, was a young nobleman by the name of Don Diego de la Vega living in the Spanish colony of California in the early 1800s. Diego’s father gets killed by a Spanish soldier and Diego decides to defend the people against oppression by posing as a naive stable boy for the governor, Don Carlos.
Diego, or Zorro, becomes some sort of a myth – a masked, sword-wielding vigilante defending the poor and standing up for what’s right. Now, Boy might look like Zorro, but he does not appear to have any sword skills. Noor shared that Boy prefers to play, snuggle on the sofa, and sleep next to Noor.
Boy’s a spoiled nine-month-old kitten and he doesn’t want to be like Zorro whatsoever. But, he does like to listen to Zorro’s soundtracks, wear Zorro’s silly hats, and entertain people on the Internet.
Noor argues that Zorro adores attention and seems to be on board with the entire “viral TikTok sensation” thing. Most comments Boy’s been getting are super sweet with people saying things like “He’s the cutest little bandit!” and “His secret identity must be protected at all cost!”
Noor doesn’t care that people think he should’ve named Boy differently – people often comment something along the lines of “How does this cat have a name other than Bandit?!”
Noor wasn’t aware of Boy’s resemblance to Zorro beforehand, but he didn’t pass up on the opportunity to make things better when Boy became a father to a kitten that inherited the intricate markings.
When Noor saw the little kitten wearing the same mask as Boy, he didn’t even have to think about a fitting name – the kitten was known as Bandit from the get-go.
The masked father and son duo, Boy and Bandit (or Zorro and Bandit), continue to make everyone smile on TikTok. The videos of them hanging out, cuddling, and causing trouble get millions and millions of views on a regular and Noor couldn’t be happier that the world appreciated them for who they are.
Noor added that he adores when people comment “I wish Boy and Bandit were mine!” because he thinks that’s the highest compliment. Boy and Bandit are becoming somewhat of a sensation, and we can’t wait to see what’s going to happen when Bandit grows up and starts going on adventures with Boy.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the two are happy and healthy for years and years to come!