Olivia Benson (cat)

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Olivia Benson
Olivia in the music video for Swift's "Me!" (2019)
Other name(s)Dibbles
SpeciesCat
BreedScottish Fold
BornJanuary 23, 2014
OwnerTaylor Swift

Olivia Benson is a Scottish Fold cat owned by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Adopted in June 2014, Olivia has appeared in multiple commercials and music videos and won or been nominated for several awards. Comparethemarket.com ranked Olivia as the world's second-richest cat, with a net worth of $97 million.

Early life[edit]

Olivia Benson was purchased by Swift in June 2014 as a kitten.[1] She has osteochondrodysplasia,[2][3] a painful degenerative joint disease, which affects all Scottish Fold cats.[4] Olivia, like Swift's other cats, is named after a fictional character, taking after Olivia Benson, the main protagonist of American crime drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[1] Olivia is the adoptive younger sister of Meredith Grey, another Scottish Fold named after the Grey's Anatomy character, and the adoptive older sister of Benjamin Button, a Ragdoll named after the titular character of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.[5] Meredith and Olivia's names, Swift told Rolling Stone in September 2014, were themed after "strong, complex, independent women".[6] The adoption announcement prompted Swift's friend and English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran to call her "a sort of middle-aged woman trapped in a 24-year-old’s body".[7] In September 2014, Swift was pictured carrying Olivia around the streets of New York City; Swift noted that this was due to Olivia's inability to cope with being in a cat carrier.[8]

Career[edit]

In October 2014, Keds released an advertising campaign featuring Olivia for their "Sneaky Cat" shoes, which featured Swift's birthday on the back, to promote Swift's album 1989.[9] Later that month, Olivia featured in a Diet Coke commercial in which Swift drank Diet Coke as more and more kittens appeared with every sip.[5]

In November 2014, Olivia appeared in a Swift music video ("Blank Space") for the first time.[10] In 2015, Olivia met American actress Mariska Hargitay, who played the Olivia Benson character in Law & Order.[11] In 2017, Ed Sheeran bought his own Scottish Fold,[12] Calippo,[13] to match Swift's cats.[14] Increased interest in the breed as a result of Swift and Sheeran posting them to their Instagram accounts prompted the British Veterinary Association to call for a ban on the breed and for Veterinary Record to review its use in adverts.[15] Later that year, Olivia appeared in an outtake of an AT&T commercial, and the following year she appeared in a DirecTV commercial in which Swift rode a giant "caticorn" version of Olivia.[note 1][16]

In 2018, Comparethemarket.com announced their Pet Rich List, which valued Olivia at $97,000,000, making her the world's second-richest cat, behind Grumpy Cat.[17] In April 2019, Olivia and Meredith appeared in Swift's "Me!" music video, along with Benjamin,[18] who Swift subsequently adopted.[19] The cats also appeared in Miss Americana, Swift's 2020 autobiographical documentary film.[20][21] In May 2023, a sleeping Olivia featured in the music video for Swift's "Karma".[22]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 2014, Swift appeared on The Graham Norton Show with English comedian John Cleese and cricketer Kevin Pietersen; Cleese called Olivia as "the weirdest cat I've ever seen in my life",[23] prompting a scolding from Norton.[2]
  • In 2015, Swift shared a video online which showed Olivia interacting with American actress Mariska Hargitay, who plays the Law & Order character.[24]
  • Olivia is the logo of Swift's in-house visual production company, Taylor Swift Productions.[25]
  • In a scene in the 2018 superhero film Deadpool 2, the lead character Wade Wilson is seen wearing a t-shirt bearing images of Olivia and Meredith.[26]
  • Olivia influenced some aspects of the spy film Argylle (2024), directed by Matthew Vaugh; one of the film's official posters was inspired by a shot of Olivia in a cat carrier from Miss Americana.[20][21]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year[note 2] Recipient(s) Category Result Ref.
Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2015 Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson Aussie/Kiwi's Favourite Animal Nominated [27]
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards 2016 Olivia Benson UK Favourite Famous Cat Nominated [28]
iHeartRadio Music Awards 2018 Olivia Benson Cutest Musician's Pet Nominated [29]
MTV Millennial Awards Brazil 2018 Olivia Benson Pet of the Year Nominated [30]
2019 Nominated [31]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2023 Olivia Benson Favorite Pet Won [32]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Half cat, half unicorn.
  2. ^ Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Taylor Swift's cat, Meredith, owes her $40 million". Glamour UK. March 16, 2015. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "John Cleese: 'Taylor Swift's cat is the weirdest thing I've ever seen'". Independent.ie. October 12, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  3. ^ Suzuki, H.; Fukaya, S.; Saito, K.; Suzuki, K. (June 2000). "A locus responsible for osteochondrodysplasia (ocd) is located on rat chromosome 11". Mammalian Genome. 11 (6): 464–465. doi:10.1007/s003350010088. ISSN 0938-8990. PMID 10818212. S2CID 37292100. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  4. ^ "Scottish Fold Disease - International Cat Care". Scottish Fold disease – osteochondrodysplasia. International Cat Care. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Taylor Swift's Cats: All About Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button". Peoplemag. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  6. ^ Eells, Josh (September 8, 2014). "Cover Story: The Reinvention of Taylor Swift". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  7. ^ "Ed Sheeran: "Taylor Swift is a middle-aged woman trapped in a 24-year-old's body"". Time. June 20, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "Taylor Swift Explains Why She Carries Cat Olivia Benson Around New York City!". E! Online. September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  9. ^ "Taylor Swift's Cat, Olivia Benson, is a Shoe Model". Vanity Fair. October 2, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  10. ^ "The BEST Moments From Taylor's 'Blank Space' Video". BigTop40. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  11. ^ "Swift's cat Olivia Benson meets her namesake". Digital Spy. June 14, 2015. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "Ed Sheeran Is Taking A Page From Taylor Swift's Cat-Crazy Playbook". MTV. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  13. ^ "Breeders of designer pets such as Ed Sheeran's Scottish fold cat could face prosecution". East Anglian Daily Times. October 23, 2017. Archived from the original on August 24, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  14. ^ "Ed Sheeran: I will always stick up for my friend Taylor Swift". Halesowen News. March 7, 2017. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  15. ^ "Should Scottish fold cats be banned?". BBC News. April 26, 2017. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  16. ^ "Taylor Swift Goes on a 'Caticorn' Adventure Days Before Kicking Off Reputation Stadium Tour". Peoplemag. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  17. ^ "Pet Rich List 2018 reveals the wealthiest pets in the world". Country Living. August 12, 2018. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  18. ^ "TayTay's cats made a guest appearance in the new music video for ME!". Heart. April 26, 2019. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  19. ^ Kiefer, Halle (April 26, 2019). "The True Star of Taylor Swift's 'ME!' Video? Benjamin Button". Vulture. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  20. ^ a b Stern, Marlow (January 16, 2024). "'Argylle' Director Shoots Down Taylor Swift Conspiracy Theory". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  21. ^ a b "No, Taylor Swift Is Not Secretly Behind Upcoming Spy Movie Argylle". Vanity Fair. October 24, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  22. ^ "The hidden meaning behind Taylor Swift's 'Karma' music video". Capital. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  23. ^ "'That's The Weirdest Cat I've Ever Seen In My Life': John Cleese Insults Taylor Swift's Pussy On The Graham Norton Show". HuffPost UK. October 13, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  24. ^ Booth, Jessica (April 21, 2023). "Taylor Swift's Cats: All About Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button". People. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  25. ^ "9 Things You Might Have Missed in Taylor Swift's Netflix Concert Film". E! Online. December 31, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2024.
  26. ^ Gibson, Kelsie (May 22, 2018). "Taylor Swift's Famous Cats Have a "Purrfect" Cameo in Deadpool 2 — Did You Catch It?". Popsugar. Retrieved October 7, 2023.
  27. ^ "2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards". Nickelodeon. Archived from the original on April 11, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  28. ^ "2016 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards". Nickelodeon. Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  29. ^ "Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran Lead iHeartRadio Music Award Nominees". Variety. January 10, 2018. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  30. ^ Estado de Minas (April 2, 2018). "Anitta lidera indicações da primeira edição do MTV Miaw Brasil; confir" (in Portuguese). Uai. Archived from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  31. ^ "Anitta é grande vencedora do prêmio MTV Miaw; saiba quem venceu em cada categoria". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). UOL. July 4, 2019. Archived from the original on July 4, 2019. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  32. ^ Grein, Paul (January 31, 2023). "Taylor Swift Is Top Music Nominee at 2023 Kids' Choice Awards: Here's the Full List of Nods". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2023.