There is no shortage of cats on the internet—a vast storehouse of pictures, videos, image macros and animated GIFs of the furry companions. The cutest among them can even gain celebrity status, racking up thousands of followers eager to see more of the world’s grumpiest and dopiest mugs.
One of those meowing celebrities is Boston’s Kyle, an exotic shorthair with a white moustache, an off-kilter ear, twin wild patches of untamable whiskers and an apparent willingness to wear tiny costumes.
But Kyle, who has nearly 70,000 followers on Instagram (via the name mycatkyle) is no ordinary Internet cat. That’s because about seven years ago, the rescue witnessed a murder—a case of domestic violence that ended fatally in Indiana.
“It’s always been this really fascinating fact that we’ve known about him,” said Jen Rice, the cat’s owner, who lives in Jamaica Plain and works for a local university. “When he started gaining more followers on Instagram, people said, ‘Tell me about the murder.’”