Internet famous animals often occupy a unique niche in parasocial interactions.
So it should come as no surprise that when some beloved and popular creatures died this year, many online were heartbroken.
After all, many of those animals became sources of joy and comfort (although most people didn’t know them personally).
Here’s a tribute to some of the famous viral animals we lost in 2022.
Pot Roast was a toothless black and white cat who captured the hearts of the internet with her laid-back personality, disordered eating, and assorted health issues. She rose to fame on the @PotRoastsMom account, where her owner, who publicly identifies herself only as “Pot Roast’s Mom,” introduced her to the world. The account had more than 1.2 million followers.
“When I saw Pot Roast this morning I could feel she was done fighting and even though I wasn’t done fighting for her I let her go,” Pot Roast’s mom wrote after announcing the cat’s death. She added that Pot Roast died in her arms.
In the aftermath of Pot Roast’s death in February, Pot Roast’s mother was harassed and criticized for using jokes and dark humor to cope with the loss of her pet. That led to discussions about how followers on social media create parasocial relationships with the people and animals they see online.
Since Pot Roast’s passing, Pot Roast’s mom has adopted two new cats: Soup and Coupon.
Noodle the pug made his way into the hearts of millions of followers on TikTok after becoming the arbiter of the “bones or not” days.
Most mornings, Noodle’s owner, jonathan graziano, I would pick him up in his comfortable bed. If Noodle remained standing, it was “bone day”, which means everyone should treat themselves. If he slouched in his bed, it was a “boneless” day, which meant everyone had to be a little cautious about the quality of his day.
From 2021 to 2022, Noodle became a prominent TikTok star in her own right, even appearing on NBC. “Today is the show. Graziano wrote a children’s picture book starring Noodle, which was published in June.
Graziano announced that Noodle had died on December 3. She was 14 years old.
Mochi was a bearded dragon who gained popularity during the height of the quarantine in 2020. His popularity skyrocketed after his owner, Mina Alali, shared videos of him wearing funny costumes and cumming when called dog-like.
Alali credits Mochi with helping her grow her account to more than 1.3 million followers.
Mochi was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2022 and died soon after.
“He gave me a reason to smile. A reason to wake up in the morning. I just adored him,” Alali said in a video posted in October looking back on Mochi’s life. “I still cry when I think of him.”
In the video, Alali revealed a tattoo on her ribcage of Mochi’s paw print.
“This pain is definitely going to last for a while,” Alali said. Talking to Mochi, she said, “I wish you were here, but it’s comforting to know that you’re out of pain.”
P-22’s journey through the unforgiving roads of Los Angeles led him to create a home in the hearts of the city and its residents. The lone cougar reigned supreme in Griffith Park for more than a decade, and was said by many to embody the spirit of the city.
The mountain lion was a terror to the Chihuahuas and other small pets of neighboring residents, but Angelenos and city officials stood up for their natural predatory instincts and accepted the reality of living so close to the wild.
Her tragic passing in December, which was described as compassionate euthanasia after years of declining health, was felt across the city and the internet.
In February, content creator Brandon Tylers announced that his hairless guinea pig, Dip, had died. Dip gained popularity on TikTok with his bi-weekly coconut oil baths.
Tylers used a brush to oil Dip while narrating the video and Dip’s dialogue.
In his February announcement, he addressed why Dip hadn’t appeared on his content since roughly mid-January. “Sorry I haven’t told you everything,” Tylers wrote in a comment on a video of Dip’s death. “It’s been almost a month. I miss his voice rn ”.
As of December, it appeared that Tylers’ account was no longer available on TikTok. It was not clear if TikTok or Tylers removed the account.