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Carrot the cat has won Instagram fame — and a birthday call from Ellen — by letting her 3 favorite kids dress her in costumes and give her 'spa treatments.'

Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

Carrot has always gone the extra mile for her favorite pint-size humans, ages 5, 3 and 1.

The outgoing orange tabby has allowed the Merryn sisters of Elgin, Ill., to push her in a stroller and dress her up in an apron.

In perhaps her most astonishing feat of feline tolerance, she relaxed and purred during a deluxe spa session with Abigail, 5, and Hannah, 3: A pink robe belted stylishly at her midsection, Carrot allowed the girls to tend her paws with cotton balls, brush her head and cover her eyes with a gel mask.

"It's my goal to make people laugh and smile," said Carrot's owner and the girls' mom, Erin Merryn, 35.

"With everything that's going on, the laughter and the joy that the cat is bringing is needed now more than ever."

With Carrot celebrating her first birthday today, we talked to Merryn, best known as the child sex abuse prevention advocate behind 37 statewide Erin's Laws, about her high-profile pet. Carrot has a following of 133,000 on Facebook, and 191,000 on Instagram. She's been featured on "Good Morning America" and "Access Hollywood," and two weeks ago she made a special plea to her high-profile fan Ellen DeGeneres.


For her birthday, Carrot wanted two things, she said in a social media post. The first was catnip -- lots of catnip. The second was a phone call from DeGeneres.

DeGeneres called two hours later, according Merryn.

"I just wanted to be the first one to call and wish Carrot a happy birthday," DeGeneres said.

Carrot, who like many animal influencers has performed a valuable mood-lifting function in recent weeks, will turn 1 in style today. There will be decorations, party hats, even a (cat) cake.


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