A sad cat called Fishtopher went viral for his adorable face. He was adopted 2 days later and is now a TikTok star who helps pets find homes.

Mister Fishtopher the cat
A photo of Fishtopher on the adoption center's website.Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center
  • A photo of a cat named Fishtopher looking sad went viral in November.

  • He was then adopted as a surprise gift for his owner Laura.

  • Fishtopher is now helping other pets find their forever homes with his social-media following.

Like many happy stories on the internet, it started with a viral tweet.

"I swear to god. If one of you doesn't go get Fishtopher ..." digital marketer Molly Clarke tweeted in November with a link to an animal-adoption site featuring a big, brown tabby cat named Fishtopher.

Fishtopher, up for adoption in Blackwood, New Jersey, was described as a quiet and affectionate "couch potato" — a "sweet, easy-going, laid-back boy."

Clarke's tweet was liked 167,000 times and reached just the right audience: two days later, Fishtopher had found his forever home. His new owner, Laura, said on November 26 that their boyfriend had adopted him.

Fishtopher was a stray, the description on the Homeward Bound adoption center website explained, and his sadness may have been a result of "missing his family." He loved to be stroked, it said, and cuddling up in arms "seems to make him feel secure."

"Fishtopher is not a fish out of water, but he is out of sorts at the shelter," it said. "He is very sad and depressed and will only eat when he has company."

Laura shared Fishtopher's whole adoption story on TikTok this week, which was viewed 2.5 million times. He has over 100,000 followers on there, as well as 45,000 followers on Instagram, and 94,000 on Twitter.

Laura told Insider they were looking to adopt a cat or dog, and would always be sending their boyfriend links to homeless animals.

"But Fishtopher's was special," they said. "I didnt realize how popular the post was, I just saw a cute cat who needed a home near us."

Fishtopher's personality turned out to be true to his description on the adoption center's website. Laura said he is "very laid back and calm, and a bit lazy" but chatty when he wants food or treats.

Laura thinks so many people followed Fishtopher's story because of his signature look — "his round head and big cheeks."

"His eyes look almost human, often being very emotive," Laura said. "I also think that his story, from being sad and depressed to now finding his home and his happiness, has given a lot of people optimism."

Fishtopher's story also helped other cats find homes. The same day Fishtopher was adopted, Homeward Bound posted an update on its Facebook page saying seven other cats had been taken home to new families.

Laura has been continuing this legacy, using Fishtopher's platform to post listings to other cats that are up for adoption. They include two feline brothers in Alabama named Sammy and Patrick, and an orange domestic shorthair called Lenny in Wisconsin.

Laura said the account shares information about pets who may have been overlooked, such as disabled animals or those with medical conditions. It's important to share these posts, Laura said, because "there is only one Fishtopher and many other cats looking for homes."

"I hope that people who were interested in Fish adopt another animal that will bring just as much joy in their life," Laura said, using a nickname.

"It feels like the right thing to do. I'm personally not huge on the attention, but if we can do something good from that, I want us to do good."

Mister Fishtopher
Fishtopher before and after finding his forever home.mister.fishtopher/Instagram

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