Elahn Zetlin gets a visit from the cat dentist at his Tel Aviv apartment. Elahn Zetlin gets a visit from the cat dentist at his Tel Aviv apartment. Elahn Zetlin, a 40-year-old bachelor, gets a visit from the cat dentist at his Tel Aviv apartment. (Photo: YouTube)

Could the cat dentist be the next Grumpy Cat?

Cookie the rescue cat and her owner stumble into Internet greatness.

There's an Internet Cat Video Festival taking place today in Missoula, Montana.

And why not? A video with a cat in it is likely to get more views than most other videos – combined. Videos featuring piano-playing cats or kittens trying to stay awake routinely rack up millions of views. Grumpy Cat has a movie deal.

Which leads us to the latest contribution to the ever-growing cannon of Internet cat videos. Without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the cat dentist:

This video, posted to YouTube a couple weeks ago, saw an uptick in views when a blogger shared it on Mashable this week. But who's the cat (and the man) behind this latest meme?

That would be Elahn Zetlin, a self-employed Australian who relocated to Tel Aviv a few years ago to open his own production company videotaping weddings, corporate events and documentaries. When we reached him by phone, he was traipsing through the Mitzpe Ramon nature reserve making a promotional tourism video of young professionals from America on a visit to Israel. He had no clue that the cat dentist video had taken off.

"Mashable? Really?" he asked in his Aussie accent, as he walked to a quieter spot to take our call. "Fantastic!"

Zetlin told us he rescued the kitten a few months ago near his apartment in Tel Aviv and named her Cookie. "She was still very shy for a little while, but then came out of her shell," he said. "Next thing you know, she's at my heel everywhere and very playful, a very clever little cat. She has a great personality."

This isn't the only video he's made with his new pet. Another one shows her spoiling the outcome of a "Game of Thrones" episode. "Cookie was a bit of a killjoy," he said.

So who's the high-pitched British female who gives voice to Cookie the cat? "Ha, it's me," Zetlin admitted to us with a laugh, explaining how he personally adds her lines in later using editing software.

"It's been so satisfying to come to a country where I'm my own boss and working on these really interesting projects and meeting some great people, and then making a silly cat video that gets more attention than any of that," says the single 40-year-old.

Not all of Zetlin's quirky videos star him and his beloved cat. In this one below, he noticed a baby looking at him at a cafe in Israel. He grabbed his video camera and started an epic staring contest.

So is Cookie going to be the next Grumpy Cat?

"Maybe," Zetlin said. "I've got a few more ideas based on her personality and her character. One I'll do where she's playing fetch and another one where she tries Vegemite for the first time," he says, referring to the popular snack from his home country of Australia. "Look out for those. They'll be coming next."

While merchandising deals and licensing agreements could help pay the rent, Zetlin says that's not his motivation.

"It's not the reason why I did it. I just like to be creative and do fun things and entertain people. I'm always joking and having a laugh," he said. "Who knows? If anything comes from it financially, I told Cookie she can go and have a spa day."


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Related Topics: Animals