Celebrity seeks help after trashing hotel room in catnip-fueled rampage
LOS ANGELES – The pressures of fame appear to have claimed yet another celebrity victim today, as one of the Internet’s most beloved stars checked in for treatment at Hollywood’s exclusive Laurel Canyon Recovery Center.
Buster, the adorable cat who rocketed to nationwide fame in a series of viral YouTube videos, was admitted to the posh rehab facility this morning after a frenzied night at L.A.’s luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where he reportedly destroyed his suite in a catnip-induced search for a package of Friskies Tuna Flakes which he had, in fact, already eaten.
“He’s sorry for the damage he caused and feels pretty ashamed of himself,” said Andrew Carney, Buster’s press agent and manager. Mr. Carney said that Buster’s meltdown came after “a long period of depression” caused by a string of lackluster performances that failed to match the success of his earlier YouTube hits.
The grey-and-white tabby first rocketed to national attention six years ago in the now-legendary two-minute clip “Buster Chases a Laser Pointer,” which racked up 16 million hits on the video streaming site. Almost overnight, Buster went from being an unknown Allentown, Pennsylvania, housecat to being one of the most celebrated comedic talents on the burgeoning Internet cat video scene.
His follow-up, “Buster Chases a Laser Pointer Again,” while not as successful as the first, was popular enough to prompt a move to L.A., where he soon landed an agent and a bit part in a Jennifer Lopez music video.
His bright prospects soon began to dim, however, following the release of his next ambitious effort, an experimental collaboration with controversial Danish director Lars von Trier, entitled “Catatonia.” Juxtaposing Buster’s laser pointer fascination with a seemingly unrelated end-of-the-world scenario, the five-hour film was met with critical disdain and a disastrous box office performance.
“A purr-poseless litter box of meow-ful acting and a fur-flung plot that will leave you clawing your way out of the theater” was how critic Roger Ebert described the film, awarding it “two paws down.”
Buster then attempted to revive his career by returning to the medium which had originally brought him acclaim. But his resulting video, “Buster Hates the F#@king Laser Pointer” – a dark, biting satire that upended the original concept – was yet another misfire with the critics, who termed it “pathetic and unfunny,” “cynically pretentious,” and “an insult to the laser-pointer-chasing-cat-loving fans who made him famous.”
According to Mr. Carney, the final straw for Buster was the cancellation by CBS of his in-development pilot for a television series entitled “CSI: Cat Searching Interminably,” a laser-pointer investigative procedural spinoff based on his videos.
“We’re all hoping and praying for Buster’s swift recovery,” Mr. Carney said. “Right now, we’re just waiting for him to calm down and stop struggling. Apparently he’s suffering delusions of a laser pointer light on the ceiling that is actually just a reflection of sunlight from his metal restraints.”