Cats can be man’s best friend.
It’s about TikTok celebrity Abram Engle, who has gained nearly nine million followers with the help of his beloved cat, Kurt.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Engle, 20, who lives in Nashville, shared how her TikTok account blew up overnight after she posted it with a salvaged orange tire.. (WATCH the video with Engle and Kurt at the top of this article.)
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Engle explained that he and his friends were in a competition in 2019 to see who could be the first to reach 10,000 followers on the then-upcoming app.
“I was always watching dance videos and I was always watching cat videos.
“So I’m going to combine the two and see what happens,” he said.
The beginning of TikTok fame
In December 2019, Engle’s account — at the time 8,000 followers — soared after she posted a video of her cat Kurt dancing to Don Toliver’s “No Idea.”
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“I looked at it and when I woke up I had 20,000 followers. “I had 100,000 that night.”
“I went from 8,000 to 100,000 in one day and I was like, ‘What in the world is going on?’
The video that put them on the trajectory of viral fame currently has 6.3 million likes and 34.5 million views.
Engle’s TikTok account currently has 8.8 million followers and 518 million likes.
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“I kept sharing her videos and people fell in love with her,” she said. “And here we are now.”
To save the wolf
In November 2019, during her senior year of high school, Engle found Kurt, then a stray cat, in Engle’s small town of Purvis, Mississippi.
Even though his mother always said no to bringing cats into their home, Engle met Kurt anyway, he explained.
Since Kurt was only a few weeks old — and “super tiny” and skinny — mom Engle let him “temporarily” look after the little cat.
But as Engle and Kurt’s bond grew, it was clear they were going to be together for the long haul.
“I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve basically watched her grow from a baby kitten … and she trusts me a lot.”
“Ever since then, she’s just trusted me,” Engle said of the now three-year-old cat.
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“And [my mom] in the end, he fell in love with her,” he added.
Little did they know Kurt would pave the way for Engle’s future on social media.
After realizing that he could make money by posting videos, Engle decided to drop out of college and pursue social media full time.–time.
“It created a career path for me,” he said.
“I can always go back to school … so I’m doing whatever I have now [social media] and see where it takes me.”
“What is special about this cat?”
Since her rise to TikTok stardom, Engle said she believes her account has gained traction because she’s been able to keep up with Kurt the cat as her following grows.
People ask what is special about this cat? “I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve basically watched her grow from a baby kitten … and she trusts me a lot.”
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Engle noted that Kurt’s unique personality was also clear and familiar to the audience.
“He does the same behaviors and people catch him,” he said.
“They mostly know him at this point.”
Kurt “knows how to be on camera, so he just appeals to people,” he said.
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In traditional TikTok fashion, Engle’s best performing videos cover popular sounds and trending dances.
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In her most viral video, released on August 5, 2020, she dances along to a slowed-down version of “I Wanna Love You” by Kurt Akon and Snoop Dogg, Engle noted.
The video currently has 25.3 million likes and 203.7 million views.
In another viral video, which currently has 6.2 million likes, Engle wrapped Kurt in a “burrito blanket” — using a red towel as a tomato and a green towel as lettuce.
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“It was either just random videos or trending sounds,” he said.
Engle believes his unique “cat dad” persona resonates with their large fan base.
“I’m definitely a cat person,” she said.
“I think so [the cat dad persona] it’s a little rarer because usually it’s the crazy cat lady… but here I am,” he said.
Plans to help other animals
As an all-around animal lover, Engle revealed plans to expand her brand by dancing exclusively with Kurt.
That would likely include cooperation with local rescue organizations, he said.
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She also encouraged potential pet parents to “take a leap of faith” and consider adopting an animal.
“[Rescue pets] save you too,” he said.
“A bond with a pet is 100% valuable.”