Once upon a time, at a table not far away, a white cat scowled at a salad. Someone took a picture.
The internet decided it was relatable and started making jokes. Now over 1 million followers follow the spoiled feline.
The cat's name is Smudge, and the moment he was captured is his suburban home in Ottawa, June 2018.
I don't know why he was making this face, but it's the best thing he's ever done.– Miranda Stillabower, owner of Smudge
"He dines at our table. He gets very upset if he doesn't have a chair," explained Miranda Stillabower, 24, owner of Smudge.
"Someone got up from dinner and he must have thought, 'Oh, this is my chair,' and he stayed there. My brother's girlfriend took the picture."
& # 39; Super impressed & # 39;
OK, but what's up with this expression? What Stillabower summarizes as "super impressed?"
"I don't know why he was making this face, but it's the best thing he's ever done," she said.
Stillabower found the photo funny, so she posted it on her Tumblr blog, where she stayed for a few months until it somehow took and was shared tens of thousands of times.
More recently, Smudge's image gained a second life when someone, for reasons no one can understand, combined it with the screenshot of a very angry woman from Real Housewives Reality shows.
"I think the original photo is [popular] because he looks so dissatisfied with the salad plate so [the pairing] it sounds like an argumentative setup, which is why it worked so well, "Stillabower said.
"I also want to say that I think Smudge is adorable. I think that's why too."
The other half of the viral meme has confirmed that she's a fan of the jokes, by the way.
Now with over one million followers, smudge_lord has become one of the few true Instagram celebrities in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
An unscientific scan of the platform shows that Prime Minister and Sandra Oh have 3.2 million.
Ottawa Senators have about 285,000, Alanis Morissette has 461,000, and @crusoe_dachshund, probably the capital's most famous Insta-dog, has about 769,000.
So what does Smudge think of his new fame? According to your picture, handsome meh, actually.
"He's just a cat, incredible as it is," Stillabower said. "He has no idea he's famous. He goes about his everyday life and it's normal, so you go online and he's everywhere. That's where he starts to go crazy."
Stillabower said she would like to take Smudge, who is about six or seven years old, to meet her fans, but he has had anxiety issues since before she adopted him five years ago.
She said she is looking for a behavioral therapist who can help Smudge adapt to her new role as an Internet influencer.