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Introducing ChallahCat, Jewish Internet Star

A kosher response to the latest viral cat meme

Stephanie Butnick
December 13, 2013
"Stop trying to make ChallahCat happen."(Photos by the author)
"Stop trying to make ChallahCat happen."(Photos by the author)

When I adopted my cat, Cat Stevens, a few months ago, I knew I wanted to give him the best life I possibly could. And while that has until now meant things like fancy canned food, a jungle gym-like contraption “from the makers of Kitty City,” plus a frightening amount of Internet-acquired feline accoutrements, I knew there was more I could do for him. He was going to be a star. An Internet star.

Today is his—our—lucky day. My colleague Liel Leibovitz stopped me in the office earlier this week with the most important newsroom news of all: the latest viral cat meme, Cat Breading, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You put a piece of bread around your cat’s face, take a picture, post it online, and sit back and let the Internet work its magic.

I needed to bread Cat Stevens, we both realized, but how? How could we propel this kitten to the heights of Internet stardom in a way that felt, well, kosher?

Obviously, we needed to use challah.

It wasn’t easy. Cat Stevens, it turns out, doesn’t appreciate being ensconced in challah (even after I explained it was for journalism, and would it kill him to take an interest in his family heritage for five minutes?) and takes particular issue with the idea of sitting still long enough for portrait photography.

No matter. I would make Cat Stevens into the first-ever ChallahCat no matter how many “Mommmmmmm” looks he gave me.

So, then, it is my most profound pleasure to introduce ChallahCat—bashful and imperfect though he may be—and invite you to submit your own ChallahCats, ChallahDogs, ChallahBirds, and ChallahChildren:

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.