A new biography book, “I am Maru,” is set for release on August 23, 2011. You may be wondering what the big deal is. Well, for starters, Maru is a cat.
The book, published by Harper Collins, has been compiled by his human companion, mugumogu, and provides cute insights into the life of this internet feline celebrity. The original version, written in Japanese, was first published in September 2009. The biography “I am Maru” is bound to become one of the true greats of its genre.
The plot of “I am Maru” sounds like a feline-focused version of MTV Cribs. See where Maru hides. Meet his favorite cupboard. Find out what kind of cereal box he enjoys sticking his head into. Check out his cool kitty toys.
Maru , born May 24, 2007 is a male perk-eared pudgy Scottish Fold cat in Japan who has so become popular on YouTube that he has become an internet meme and celebrity. The YouTube videos show him playing in a childlike fashion with his silly antics, such as playing with its toys, hiding under the sofa, peeking into boxes, jumping into small cardboard boxes and sliding across his owner’s wooden floor.
When Maru first entered his home, he was only four months old, but he weighed over 5 lbs (2.4kg) already. Maru has always been a pudgy cat (now 5.5kg or 12.1lbs). The name “Maru” means “round” in Japanese, but according to Maru’s hooman, Mugumogu did not name him because of his round shape. The name was decided before Maru arrived. It is a short name and easy for the cat to understand.
Maru’s obsession with boxes started when he was a little kitten. He played with boxes and used them as beds. Maru is mischievous and loves to command attention. He will act silly on purpose in order to get people to notice him. Maru loves to play with water. Whenever Mugumogu is washing up in the bathroom, Maru will join in and swat the water with his little paws.
In November 2007, Mugumogu decided to start a blog to chronicle Maru’s life in photos. And starting in July, 2008 Mugumogu began posting videos of Maru on YouTube. The videos became so popular that there was a whirlwind of Maru love sweeping through the Internet.
Maru’s exploits spread across the internet in 2008 on BoingBoing, Neatorama, EW PopWatch and Urlesque.
In 2008 and 2009, Maru won YouTube Japan video awards in the Pet/Animal category.
In 2009, Maru’s videos began to spread to hubs like I Can Has Cheezburger, CuteOverload, and Ebaum’s World. His videos also appeared on Sundance Channel’s SUNfiltered blog and Laughing Squid.
The cat’s popularity has spawned off two books, with the first one published in September 2009 and the second in August 2010. 2010 also saw the release of a compilation DVD of Maru.
Coverage of Maru did not stop in 2010, when his videos were featured on the L.A. Times Unleashed Blog, New York Times Television section, and the Ellen Degeneres show. He was also interviewed by the cat blog LoveMeow.
Maru was voted the Internet’s Favorite Feline in Urlesque’s August 2010 “Catfight,” beating Ceiling Cat in the final round.
As of August 2011, Maru YouTube channel mugumogu have been viewed over 110 million times and with over 151,000 subscribers, it is the 8th most subscribed channel of all time in Japan and the 9th most viewed channel of all time in Japan. Videos featuring Maru have an average of 1,000,000 views each and he is mentioned often in print and televised media discussing Internet celebrities. His owner, who does not show her face on camera or speak in the videos, posts videos under the account name ‘mugumogu’.
Entertainment Weekly mentioned Maru alongside Keyboard Cat and Nora in its “Notable Kitty Videos” article. The New York Times mentioned Maru in an article about cats and dogs in the media and included pictures of the cat. Maru has also been featured on advertisements within Japan, for various products.