It nestles around her neck like a stole: Benjamin Button, Taylor Swift’s cat, made it onto the cover of “Time” magazine. The cover wasn’t aimed at him, but at his owner, who was named the most influential person of the year. But the way the cat rested on Swift’s shoulders and tangled his white fur into her mane of curls caught everyone’s attention. Benjamin Button stares from the cover with ice-blue eyes – and almost stole the show from the US singer.

But what else could you expect from an animal whose owner seems to succeed in everything? “She was like the weather, she was everywhere,” Time editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs said of Swift’s choice. And in fact, it’s been hard to get past her lately. Even if you weren’t interested in Swift, you suddenly knew everything about her new love, Kansas City Chiefs football star Travis Kelce. It was learned that her fans triggered a “Swift Quake,” a magnitude 2.3 earthquake, at a concert in Seattle, as well as that she broke the billion dollar mark with her “Eras” concert tour and, according to Bloomberg Economics, her US alone Gigs increased gross domestic product by $4.3 billion. Record after record, that’s Taylor Swift.

It has long been known among Swifties, the singer’s fans, that the US musician is a big cat fan and keeps three pets. She lives with them and travels around the world with them. During their tour, they flew in a private jet, each carrying their own personalized bag. “I love them, I’m obsessed with them,” Swift likes to say in interviews. This was also evident in the “Time” photo shoot. According to her Instagram profile, when the magazine asked to photograph her as Person of the Year, she only asked one condition: “Can I bring my cat?”

The special request was probably fine with the photographer duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. There are many photos of Swift, but only a few with her pets. Your inspiration for the shoot? The illustrated book “Cat People” by photographer Bill Hayward from the 70s. The cover features a girl with curly hair with a cat lounging on her shoulders. Swift is said to have been immediately enthusiastic. Together they copied the look. The singer was dressed in a black bodysuit by Alaïa and let her hair hang curly without the typical straight bangs. The cat placed on her shoulders looked less like an accessory and more like Swift’s loyal friend. “It shows very well the relationship that people have with their cats,” says van Lamsweerde.

Before Travis Kelce got together with the singer, Benjamin Button was the only man in Swift’s house. But the pop star has to share his attention with two other cats. Similar to the tomcat, they also have names that are reminiscent of famous film characters. That’s the name of a cat like Meredith Grey, a character from the medical series “Grey’s Anatomy”. Another goes by the name Olivia Benson, an adaptation of “Law

It is not surprising that there is another famous kitty on the list: Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, comes in sixth place in the ranking. During his lifetime, the fashion designer, who died in 2019, showed how to turn a pet into a pop star. The Birman cat always accompanied him and he even had its name protected. From then on there was everything with the image of the animal, whether bags, shoes or necklaces. A concept that the enterprising Swift probably copied from Lagerfeld. She has also long since had the names of her cats protected.

How recognizable the animals are was shown in May when the Met Gala in honor of Karl Lagerfeld took place in New York. Many stars appeared in the Choupette look: Jared Leto as a life-size cat with a removable head, the rapper Doja Cat in a skin-tight suit with a fake face that made her look like a kitten.

Perhaps it was then that Lagerfeld’s long-time model muse Claudia Schiffer came up with the idea of ​​making the family cat Chip famous. After all, her husband Matthew Vaughn is a well-known film director. Who would be surprised that the cat not only gets his own fashion book, but also plays a role in Vaughn’s new spy thriller “Argylle”. In it, the Scottish Fold cat accompanies leading actress Bryce Dallas Howard on an adventurous journey around the world.

“On the first day of filming we had an expensive movie cat – and it was a disaster,” Vaughn said in an interview. He went home without further ado and borrowed the cat Chip, who actually belongs to his wife Claudia and their daughter Clementine. The director himself hadn’t cared much about the companion before, but then they shared a trailer for three months. “I fell in love with the animal and we’ve been very close ever since,” said Vaughn.

Nepo cats instead of Nepo kids? It remains to be seen whether, after the huge outcry over celebrity children who land top jobs without much effort, a new discussion about privileged animals will break out. The cats probably don’t care.