Looking back, 2014 was a spectacular year for pet celebrities. We got to know Grumpy Cat, famous for a peculiar expression caused by feline dwarfism; Marnie the Dog, a senior pup with a tilted head and a tongue constantly sticking out of her mouth; and Lil Bub, who overcame a kittenhood of suffering to become one of the wealthiest (and most generous) cats on the planet.
But as smartphone ownership grows globally—and as Instagram, once the playground of techies and teenagers, continues its march into the mainstream—the list of cute pets with social media accounts will only continue to grow.
So far, this year has been even more of a zoo than the last, with plenty of underdogs (LOL) climbing the ranks of pet celebrity status. Proud Shiba Inus, frolicking rag dolls, and bedraggled drunkard tabbies run rampant about the Web, showcasing their good looks and ludicrous antics. Here are some of 2015’s most promising up-and-comers.
Hinata, Aoi, and Sora
I call these guys the Three Bros. You don’t wanna mess with them. They don’t have time for your b.s. because they’re straight chillin’.
Kooty the Owl Cat
Kooty is less of a cat and more of a Studio Ghibli character. She has gigantic, greenish-yellow eyes that peer suspiciously out from the puff of black fur that is her body. I’m convinced that in her former life, Kooty was a beautiful princess, accustomed to being doted upon and adored.
Ranger and Bandit
These two Australian cattle dogs are always on an adventure. They seem to spend their days cavorting about in the snow, herding squirrels, and carrying big sticks as far as possible before collapsing in an exhausted heap in front of the fire. If your dream life includes a cabin in the woods and days spent snow-shoeing and ice-fishing, Ranger and Bandit are your dudes.
This Shiba Inu’s theme song is the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” She croons it to you in the morning as her black eyes bore into your slumbering face, because she’s ready for you to wake. up. It’s time for BREAKFAST!
Nelson’s the coolest hipster pup in town. With his own sidecar and a best friend named Walter, Nelson the Golden doodle rules the wild western roads of Dallas, Texas.
Shadow and Scuba
Scuba’s intense lazy eye and Shadow’s unapologetic double chin make for the perfect villainous match, though their mutual love for each other makes it obvious that despite their strange looks, these kitties are pure of heart.
Where does one even begin with Duck? With her lush, strawberry-blonde fur and one of the sweetest personalities on the Web, this magnificent creature is destined for stardom. Duck stole my heart; there’s no doubt she’ll steal yours, too.
This pudgy French bulldog is a real prince. He’s well-dressed, well-fed, and well-loved. Unless you’re a mirthless pup-hater, this little guy’s enthusiasm and attitude should make even your worst days a little better.
Cooper’s nothing if not a king. This seal-point Himalayan has a gorgeous coat and a perpetually furrowed brow that contribute to his concerned yet imperious attitude. He’s the kind of cat that would definitely judge you for picking your nose in his company—it’s very disrespectful.
Miru and Garu
Miru and Garu are two good-looking BFFs, scampering about their house and causing trouble wherever they go. Let these cuties inspire you to do something super-sweet for your best friend soon.
I don’t even know where to begin with this pup. She’s sweet, photogenic, and oh-so-huggable—despite her apparent flatulence problem. This girl’s got star appeal, and she’s one to keep an eye on in 2015.
Photos via Instagram | Remix by Jason Reed