Jessica Gerson-Neeves and her wife, Nikii, can’t wait to use their new Vitamix blender to whip up smoothies and soups. In fact, the highly anticipated Black Friday shopping has recently become the focal point of their home cooking in British Columbia, Canada.
There’s just one problem: they can’t unbox it.
“It arrived in the mail on December 16, and I brought it inside and put the box on the kitchen floor for a quick second,” says Gerson-Neeves. “And that was a month ago.”
The cardboard box has become the scene of a week-long turf war between the couple and their three cats, in a saga that has attracted thousands of engaged social media followers.
Gerson-Neeves posted near-daily updates to the cats’ Facebook page (disclaimer: tongue), documenting their hilariously formal changing of custody, ever-changing alliances, and misadventures involving decoy boxes.
The messages read like dispatches from the front lines of a high-stakes battle, documenting the trio’s every move and their humans’ failed attempts to disrupt them.
The youngest troublemaker is Max, a tuxedo cat with the nickname “sentient soccer ball”. Then there’s George, Destroyer of Worlds (“that’s what’s on his tag,” Gerson-Neeves says), also known as the “sentient potato.” Rounding out the group is Lando Calrissian, who moonlights in the posts as a “doubtfully sensitive dust bunny” because, according to Gerson-Neeves, “he has a lot of fluff and very few thoughts.”
The cats page has grown from 64 subscribers to some 25,000 as people around the world find out about the story.
Gerson-Neeves emphasized in a phone interview that the cats aren’t literally holding the Vitamix hostage. They could, of course, be hoisted out of the box at any time. But she says she and his wife are in no rush to end the standoff, as it brings some much-needed levity.
“We could definitely move them. They don’t weigh a ton. It would be really easy to take the one that’s on the box, put it on the floor and open the box,” says Gerson-Neeves. “But why should we end something that makes us laugh so much? Cats are having a great time, and so many other people enjoy it too. I think we all really need something stupid and low .” issues right now.”
A single Facebook post left observers wanting more
It all started, Gerson-Neeves says, when Max jumped on the Vitamix box as soon as she put it down that fateful day in December. Like any dope cat owner, she thought it was adorable and snapped a photo, which she posted to a cat-lover Facebook group.
“I posted it with a tongue-in-cheek caption about how it was breaking news, which it clearly wasn’t, and the next day I think about 10,000 people had interacted with the post. “, she explains.
She jokingly wrote in the original post that she would provide updates if the standoff continued, and the band members held her to that promise, even as the days turned into weeks.
Here’s an excerpt from January 4, or “WEEK 2, DAY 7”:
“As the third – yes, THIRD – week of Appliancegate dawns, we return to the saga to find that the dubiously sentient dust bunny has settled in for the night shift atop the Vitamix. Although no video evidence was captured of the unfortunate incident, his occupation of the annexed territory was immediately preceded by perhaps the most ungraceful descent in the history of felinity (felinity? whatever), which somehow involved on another the sentient soccer ball first hitting headfirst into a wall just before firing a fly-you-fools, briefly hanging off the side of the Vitamix box.”
Gerson-Neeves says she’s been particularly moved by the comments their growing following are leaving on Facebook, which are both hilarious and heartfelt.
These include people with seasonal depression, exhausted health workers and even a woman “who said her husband had been deeply depressed for a long time and it was the first time she had seen him smile. for months,” Gerson-Neeves recalled.
“It’s silly and ridiculous and the stakes are very low and it’s not a real issue and just something people can laugh at,” she adds. “Everything is so overwhelming and so painful right now that people desperately need things they can just laugh about.”
Subscribers — and Vitamix — came up with ideas
Gerson-Neeves says it’s not uncommon for her cats to investigate new items brought inside the house, but they usually lose interest. But for some reason, this box caught their attention.
Over time, commentators have taken it upon themselves to offer owners – perplexed and without a blender – plans of action.
Some have jokingly suggested digging a tunnel under the box to extract the mixer from the bottom, or buying three more mixers so that every invested party can have their own.
While the household certainly didn’t need four Vitamixes, Gerson-Neeves realized he could potentially use four boxes. So she wrote to the company on Facebook, thinking it would make the company’s social media manager laugh.
Vitamix itself responded with action – it sent the couple three empty boxes.
They filled the first box with clothes and blankets and set it up in the kitchen. Gerson-Neeves says there’s a “reasonable chance” that once all the boxes are assembled there will be an opportune window for a mixer rescue.
Gerson-Neeves told cat followers that she and his wife would work on setting up the other two boxes the next day. But she says they were “inundated” with comments imploring them not to cut the story short, and they decided to oblige, at least for now.
As Gerson-Neeves said, it’s hard to spoil the enjoyment of thousands of people in favor of a kitchen appliance.
“I think in the world we live in right now, that kind of humor and whimsy is a lot harder to find than a blender,” she says.
Of course, the stalemate cannot last forever. Butternut squash soup is waiting for you. When that day comes, what will Gerson-Neeves’ first Vitamix creation be?
A margarita, she said. “I think we deserved one.”