The story of this little kitty’s adoption began in Lakewood but spanned the world, virtually speaking, before she found a home just a few miles away, via Reddit.com, a social news aggregator.
It began with Sandra Lawrence. She is a Redditor, as Reddit’s regular contributors and readers identify themselves. Checking the news on Reddit is one of the first things she does every morning.
“I pretty much ask Reddit whenever I have a problem,” said Lawrence. Last month, her problem was an abandoned kitten rejected by a no-kill shelter.
“In this neighborhood, people want kittens for dogfighting bait and snake food, so I took her in, temporarily, but I couldn’t keep her, so I thought I’d ask Reddit,” Lawrence said.
Using her alias Saydrah, Lawrence put up a post on Reddit. It read, in part, “Anyone want a sweet tabby kitty who says, “Om Nom Nom” when she eats?”
That phrase was a bit of calculated catnip for Redditors. “Om Nom Nom” — slang for enthusiastic dining — is a hot Internet meme (a bit of pop culture propagated via e-mail, word of mouth and links) derived from Lolcats, another wildly popular Internet meme featuring digital images of cats, with quirky captions.
Fifty Redditors responded in less than an hour. They included a wag who, referencing “The Incredible Journey,” suggested releasing the kitten into the wild.
There, the Redditor wrote, “It will team up with a wise old golden retriever and a young naive bulldog. Together, they will brave the wilds of the Rockies, fighting for their lives while learning important life lessons for the whole family.”
More than 170 comments, including other offers to take the cat and remarks from people in Europe, went up within the next 12 hours. One of them was from Ben Jones, a Metro State student and devout Redditor. (He also logs onto the site as soon as he gets up.)
Jones, who lives in a studio apartment near downtown Denver, already was thinking about getting a pet. With his compact home and taut schedule — stretched between his job at Telax and his classes at Metro State — he needed a low-maintenance animal.
The “very sweet little brown tabby” described in the Reddit post sounded perfect. The Om Nom Nom part didn’t hurt.
“I claim this kitten,” Jones wrote in the Comments section, about an hour after Lawrence posted her appeal.
The deal was done on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when Lawrence interviewed Jones and checked out his spare apartment. She approved of the nerdy posters on its walls and his stash of programming books.
Jones named the cat “Kaylee.” She likes to nap on his computer chair.
“She found a home on Reddit, and we delivered her on Caterday,” Lawrence said.