Internet famous animals often occupy one unique niche in parasocial interactions.
So it should come as no surprise that when some beloved, popular creatures died this year, many online were heartbroken.
After all, many of those animals became a source of joy and comfort (even though 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 heart of the internet with her laid-back personality, messy eating habits, and various health issues. She rose to fame on the @PotRoastsMom account, where her owner, who publicly identifies 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 felt she was done fighting and while I wasn’t done fighting for her I let her go,” Pot Roast’s mother wrote after announcing the cat’s death. She added that Pot Roast died in her arms.
In the wake of Pot Roast’s death in February, Pot Roast’s mother was harassed and criticized for using pranks and dark humor to cope with the loss of her pet. That led to discussions about how to create followers on social media parasocial relationships with the people and animals they see online.
Since Pot Roast passed away, Pot Roast’s mother has adopted two new cats: Soup and Coupon.
Noodle the pug sank into the hearts of millions of followers on TikTok after becoming the arbiter of “bones or no bones” days.
Most mornings, the owner of Noodle, Jonathan Grace, would pick him up in his soft bed. If Noodle stood, it was a “bone day”, meaning everyone should treat themselves. When he was slumped in his bed, it was a boneless day, which meant everyone had to be a little careful about the quality of their day.
From 2021 to 2022, Noodle became a prominent TikTok star in his own right and even appeared on NBC’s “TODAY” show. Graziano wrote one picture book for children starring Noodle, which was published in June.
Graziano announced that Noodle had done so died on December 3. He was 14 years old.
Mochi was a bearded dragon who rose to popularity during the height of quarantine in 2020. His popularity skyrocketed after his owner, Mina Alali, shared videos of him wearing fun costumes and cumming when called like a dog.
Alali credits Mochi for helping her grow her account to over 1.3 million followers.
Mochi was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2022 and died shortly 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, recalling 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 grief will definitely last for a while,” Alali said. She told Mochi, “I wish you were here, but it’s reassuring to know you’re no longer in pain.”
P-22’s journey through the unforgiving highways of Los Angeles led him to make a home in the hearts of both the city and its residents. The lonely mountain lion ruled Griffith Park for more than a decade, and many said he embodied the spirit of the town.
The mountain lion was a terror to the chihuahuas and other small pets of local residents, but Angelenos and city officials defended its natural predatory instincts and accepted the reality of living in such close proximity to untamed nature.
His tragic passing in December, which was described as compassionate euthanasia after years of deteriorating health, was felt in the city and on the internet.
In February, content creator Brandon Tylers announced that his hairless guinea pig, Dip, had passed away. Dip gained popularity on TikTok with her bi-weekly coconut oil baths.
Tylers used a brush to oil Dip as he narrated the video and Dip’s dialogue.
In his February announcement, he explained why Dip had not appeared in his content since mid-January. “Sorry I didn’t tell you everything,” Tylers wrote in a comment on a video discussing Dip’s death. “It’s been almost a month. I do miss her voice.”
As of December, it appeared that Tylers account was no longer available on TikTok. It was unclear whether TikTok or Tylers deleted the account.