If you've scrolled through TikTok as of late, odds are you likely saw the most viral video to grip the app recently: a woman breastfeeding a cat on a plane. The concept itself seems odd enough, but when you really unpack what went down in the video and what it took to bring it to fruition, it becomes apparent that there's a lot more to the latest viral TikTok than meets the eye.
So, what do we know about the TikTok of the woman breastfeeding a cat on a plane, and how did it come to be? Keep reading for a complete breakdown of all of the facts as they currently stand.
What exactly went down in the TikTok of a woman breastfeeding a cat on a plane?
The concept may seem straight out of a comedy movie, but that's exactly the type of stuff that goes ridiculously viral on TikTok, right? In the video, which has amassed tens of millions of views across various social media platforms, a man can be seen complaining to a flight attendant that the woman seated by him has been attempting to pass off a cat as a baby and breastfeeding it on the flight.
The woman is completely dismissive of the claims despite her accuser's persistence, which devolves into a lengthy argument over if she should remove the blanket and prove if she has a cat or a baby. Eventually, the woman removes the blanket and reveals a feline hidden underneath, much to the "I told you so" of the initial accuser. The woman continues to defend her actions, however, telling passengers and crew that it's not a cat, it's a lynx, noting further that it is a service animal.
After a few seconds, the woman turns around even further and it is revealed that the lynx isn't even a real living animal. Instead, the woman had been cradling a stuffed feline under the blanket the entire time, much to the shock of everyone involved.
That might seem like a roller coaster of a chain of events, and it's because it certainly was. However, it was also far from an unplanned video.
The video of a woman breastfeeding a cat on a plane was apparently staged by a former Ringling Brothers circus clown.
The viral video was designed to be exactly that, and thanks to the genius of former Ringling Brothers clown and current content creator The Gooch, it became the latest and greatest TikTok sensation. According to Rolling Stone, the entire video was staged and the series of events was specially chosen to evoke reactions from millions of viewers.
The original video was shared by The Gooch's Facebook page on Dec. 16, 2021, alongside the disclaimer "for entertainment purposes only," solidifying the notion that the video was completely staged. It garnered over 3 million views on that platform alone.
As for the woman from the video, it appears to be artist, songwriter, and content creator Taylor Watson. Neither Taylor nor The Gooch has confirmed her role in the project, but Taylor posted another video on Dec. 12, 2021, on the same "airplane," wearing the same outfit, and having an entirely different staged altercation with the same actor from the cat video. Taking that into account, it's safe to assume that she is the woman starring in the cat video as well.
The TikTok version of the video was shared by someone named Alessia Vaesen.
Now that we've connected the dots between the odd video, The Gooch, and Taylor, the only part that remains unexplained is why the video went viral on TikTok on the account @alessiavaesenn instead of The Gooch's own social media.
Reporter Ryan Broderick broke the situation down on Twitter. He wrote, "A Belgian dog groomer took this from a Facebook page for a Vegas-based influencer named The Gooch, who works with the toilet food women." (Yes, apparently "toilet food" videos are a thing, although it's unclear if any the same actresses were involved in the cat-plane video.)
Ryan continued in this tweet: "The dog groomer uploaded it to her personal TikTok. It then hit TikTok's FYP. Then it was uploaded to Twitter where it went viral again."
Was Alessia's posting of the video a thoughtful choice by The Gooch to hopefully allow the video to go viral more organically? Maybe. Either way, the video is a success, creating the newest head-scratching trending clip that you're likely to share with everyone you know.