In a time when the vast majority of us are still quarantined in our homes, viral videos, hot memes and web celebs have been offering fun distractions and a brief escape from stress – which is basically what they’ve always been doing, but it seems a helluva lot more important now.
If there’s one truism to the internet, it’s that cats still rule – but just like Grumpy Cat, Lil’ Bub and their peers before them, once in a while a feline star briefly rises above the rest. At the moment, that celebrity is Xherdan – a seven-year-old hairless Canadian Sphinx from Rüti, Switzerland, whom many news outlets, forums and social posts have dubbed “The World’s Scariest Cat.”
I’m going on record to say this label is way unfair – I find Xherdan nothing less than adorable – but I can understand why some people would be a little bit disturbed to awaken late at night and see this wrinkled, fanged pink face frowning at them from the dark (unless they happen to own a Sphynx, that is). The breed’s signature wrinkled look also makes it seem like their brains are on the outside of their skulls… which is pretty creepy when you think about it.
Even Xherdan’s official site admits his breed resembles “creatures from another planet that look like mythical beings,” but seems to be trying to shake the “scary” stigma, calling Xherdan “cheerful… but also cheeky,” as well as very playful and affectionate. The site also embraces the Sphinx’s mystical reputation: “I can already hypnotize you with my sky-blue eyes,” the cat’s bio claims. “Some people ask me for an oracle reading.”
Perhaps due his “scary” reputation, Xherdan has also drawn the attention of many cat-loving horror fans – including Darren Lynn Bousman (director of three SAW films, including the Chris Rock-penned Spiral), who is currently one of the cat’s 35,000+ IG followers. Many artists have also posted amazing renderings of the cat, often emphasizing his eerie, judgmental scowl.