Cherry Pop, the Original Cat Meme, Could Soon Come to the Big Screen

Categories: Film and TV
The inimitable Cherry Pop.
Cherry Pop was an icon of her time. She was a vivacious redhead, demure and doted on, the textbook definition of "glamour puss."

Literally. Cherry Pop was a fabulous feline who was once voted the "most pampered cat in the world." And this coming November, she'll be a star once again.

This coming winter, O Cinema co-founder, self-proclaimed cinephile and Cultist contributor Kareem Tabsch plans to release a short documentary about the fancy cat's life and cult popularity, her owners and the gifts they lavished on her, and her meme-ish potential in the pre-Internet age.

The first time Tabsch saw Cherry Pop, she was sitting in a mini Rolls Royce. It was just like the one her owner Huey Vanke owned, but sized just to fit her slight feline frame. She and her matching red car were tucked back in a booth at a Fort Lauderdale cat show, just far enough from curious hands hoping to pet her, but on display for all to admire. Crowds of people had flocked to gawk at her, and Tabsch was entranced by the whole scene.

Tabsch, whose mother was a cat breeder, was a frequent attendee of cat shows as a kid. As he got older, he and his mother got to know the fancy cat's "human owners," Huey and Vi Vanek, socially.

A young Kareem Tabsch poses with two Cherry Pop wannabes.
Beyond her life as a show-stopping Persian, Cherry Pop was also an icon for good. Her owners were generous supporters of the Humane Society. After her death in 1995, the Vaneks, who lived in Fort Lauderdale, donated a "cattery," a place for boarding cats, to the Broward County Humane Society in her honor.

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