Taylor Swift acquired another luxurious cat following the loss of her previous one, expressing, “I’m a huge cat enthusiast; I adore having them around me. I couldn’t care less about the criticism from haters. Cats bring me joy, and that’s what matters.”

Taylor Swift and her Cat
 

The Secret Diary of Taylor Swift’s Cat, aged 10¾.

 

Taylor Swift and her Cat

Other partners have come and gone but I’ve been at the singer’s side for a decade, as her favourite furry friend – and this is our story.

The truth is I’ve never been able to stand her. That faux-sweetness. The permanent victim status. The confected gratitude as she tours the world and goes to bed in a pit of money. People think she’s humble, but she’s never met a mirror she didn’t like.

A renowned monogamist? Yeah, and I’m a Bichon Frisé… She has men come and go all through the day, satisfying her every craven desire. She is a monster, a hack, a trashy little fame whore. And it’s about time we all woke up to it.

Who is ‘she’, you ask, the cat’s grandmother? No, my grandmother was a saint. I refer, of course, to Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s blue-eyed Birman, often touted as one of the ‘richest cats in the world’. (The most well-PR’d cat in the world, more to the point.)

 

Taylor Swift and her Cat

 

In rankings of famous cats, I’m forever number two, despite my fortune being a reported $97 million (eclipsing her estimated $13 million). But at least my conscience is clear. Tell me, who was the last person to see Lagerfeld alive? And who ended up left with a meaty portion of his fortune in the will? I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I’m just asking questions, that’s all.

For those unaware, I have been the primary cat companion of the global superstar Taylor Alison Swift for 10 years this summer.

In June 2014, when I was just a kitten, Lady Swift posted a photograph on Instagram of me, gazing back at her from her lap. ‘Meet Olivia Benson,’ she wrote, and, not for the first time, I broke the internet.

 

Taylor Swift's Cat

‘OMG what kind of cat is that?! I want one!’ fans would scream. The official answer is that I am a Scottish Fold, a valuable and distinctive breed of domestic cat due to our ‘folded’ ears, caused by a dominant gene mutation associated with osteochondrodysplasia. The unofficial answer is that I’m one of a kind, so back off and good luck, sister.

The name Olivia Benson was given to me in honour of the lead character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show Lady Swift is a great fan of. Is it funny that everyone calls her Tay Tay, which sounds more like a cat than a grown woman, but my name sounds more like a grown woman than a cat? I don’t think that’s funny.

Whether I’ve since outgrown that character and become the more famous Olivia Benson is not for me to say, but I’ll just point out that anyone who denies it isn’t a serious person. I met the other ‘Olivia’ once. She’s smaller than she looks on TV.

(It would be remiss of me not to mention that Lady Swift also has two other cats, a second and lesser Scottish Fold called Meredith Grey and a Ragdoll named Benjamin Button. They are fine, I suppose. We are all named after fictional characters. Do not ask why; it is not my department.)

As is well known, Lady Swift does not allow access to her inner sanctum just willy-nilly, and she has signed off on every word printed here. When I asked if it would be possible to pen a few sentences for this newspaper to mark our 10th anniversary, she snapped shut her copy of The Spectator and said, ‘Are you kidding me? I love The Telegraph. I write to Richard Madeley about my dilemmas all the time.

‘PlusWord is my only real vice, other than sullen British men. I’ve been hoping they’ll ask me to do My Saturday for years, but I’m still waiting. In truth I’m worried mine is too similar to Gregg Wallace’s…’

She went on for a while. Long story short: it was a yes. And I am grateful, because nobody ever asks how I am. So now the world’s most famous pet with a living owner is finally unleashed, for one day only. (That’s a metaphor; I would never tolerate a leash.)

First, though, there were obviously a few things I was asked not to speak about, and I will respect Lady Swift’s privacy as much as she would like. I won’t, for instance, tell you that Joe Alwyn was my favourite of the boyfriends. Or that she voted for Trump in 2016, Biden in 2020 and will vote Trump again this year, because she believes it’s just easier to alternate.

Or that she has actually never been on Instagram, but gets an intern called Janine to write all her posts. Or that her longest celebrity relationship was in fact a nine-year unpublicised on/off romance with the British comedian Rory McGrath.

No, I will not tell you those things. But what I will tell you about is how blessed I’ve been to have lived with Lady Swift for all these happy years. Several memories stand out. Early on in our time together, for instance, she appeared on The Graham Norton Show and showed a photograph of me to the audience. John Cleese, sitting next to her, called me ‘the weirdest cat I’ve ever seen in my life’.

He got a big laugh, but when they go low, we go high. Or at least, Lady Swift does. She demurred. I, on the other hand, feel compelled to mention that out of Mr Cleese and myself, one of us is worth nearly $100 million and lives in pure luxury, the other is shilling for GB News to cover his alimony losses. Oh, you thought only dogs could be bitches?

It didn’t take long for Lady Swift to realise my commercial appeal and artistic talent. We appeared in a Diet Coke advert together once. The conceit was that with every sip Lady Swift took, more and more kittens appeared. I didn’t do a huge amount of work, but that’s because I was upset that we were not being paid the same. I was naive, and learned a valuable lesson that day. As I now tell any new kittens just starting out, you have to know your worth.

Lady Swift and I are now paid identical sums, only hers is always cash, while mine includes occasional balls of wool and tinned tuna. When I won ‘Favourite Pet’ at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards last year, I negotiated better terms again. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

We’ve been seen in public on occasion. Once, Lady Swift was photographed carrying me in the street. She later explained online that I don’t like cat carriers, so I must be transported this way. This is partially true. You may know that biblical poem, ‘Footprints in the Sand’, in which the speaker is reflecting on their life’s journey walking side-by-side on a beach with God, only to notice that when they needed Him most, there was just one set of footprints. The narrator is like, ‘Hey God, what’s up with that?’ And God is like, ‘When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’

Well that’s essentially what happens with Lady Swift. When I need her most, she carries me. And if she tries to put me in a cat carrier, I claw her eyes out. It’s simple.

The music videos I’ve appeared in have been a real highlight, especially for my fans. I did Blank Space, Me! and Karma, as well as appearing in the documentary Miss Americana. Whenever Lady Swift needs a little boost, whenever her popularity is waning and Beyoncé has the upper hand, she tends to reach for a touch of the Livvy-B magic, as I call it but nobody else does, and only a little sprinkle does the job. I do not play live with her on tour; they cannot afford my rider or grooming budget.

But there have been low points, too. People are not always kind. They dismiss my entire existence as being pointless, saying I’m rich and famous for no reason other than who I’m related to, and that I should get a life. To which I say: you’re one to talk, you’re halfway through a ghost-written article imagining the life of a celebrity cat.

It’s true I have not liked all the boyfriends, or even bothered to learn all their names – though I do like that I am worth twice as much as Lady Swift’s latest plaything, Travis Kelce.

I also didn’t enjoy it when Ed Sheeran bought his own Scottish Fold, an absolute letch called Calippo, and a surge in popularity led to the British Veterinary Association calling for a ban on breeding Scottish Folds. I asked Lady Swift to pay for the BVA’s headquarters to be firebombed in response. She claimed not to understand me. I told her I am Scottish, not Martian.

Then there was the movie Cats. Oh lord, Cats. She told me about it and I thought it was a joke. I said, ‘With the greatest respect, my lady, are you outside of your mind? They’re having to CGI Jason Derulo’s penis out of a scene involving Dame Judi Dench and James Corden. How can you think this is a good thing?’

But again she didn’t listen. I actually knew the cat Mr Mistoffelees was based on. It wasn’t ‘magical powers’ that made him dance constantly, I can tell you…

Generally, though, I look back on the past decade with Lady Swift and think, ‘Only 10 years? It feels more like half a century.’ Then people remind me that 10 human years equate to 56 cat years and I relax a little, especially because that means Choupette is nearly 70 and thus approaching death.

Lady Swift has had many Eras since we first met. She has reinvented herself and grown as a person, as a star, but through it all she has remained a Cat Lady. And for that I’m grateful. Now, I will close on a poem about cats, written by Emily Dickinson, who it turns out is a distant yet predictable relation of Lady Swift herself.

‘She sights a Bird – she chuckles – /She flattens – then she crawls – /She runs without the look of feet – /Her eyes increase to Balls…’

I’m sorry, I have to cut that off. I think I heard a bell somewhere in the other room. Here’s to another 10 years.

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