When Erin and Theresa Rouse took a video of their cousin’s baby and kitten two weeks ago, they had no idea it would go viral. The video, which features a newborn baby and a kitten swaddled and resting peacefully together, has more than 2.5 million views and nearly 47,000 people from all over the world have shared it.
“It was a complete fluke,” says Erin. “We were in Texas and my cousin had given birth to gorgeous baby Lainey three weeks prior so we decided to do a newborn session in Erin’s parent’s dining room.”
The Menomonee Falls-based couple are professional newborn photographers who own and operate a business called Hello Little that’s located in Wauwatosa. However, because they were traveling, they were not prepared for a video and photoshoot, but made do with what they had: smart phones, natural light and incredibly adorable subjects.
The day before the video was taken, Erin’s mom found the tiny kitten abandoned on the side of the road and so she took him home to bottle-feed him. When Erin and Theresa attempted to take photos of Lainey, she was uninterested at the time and so they decided to take a break from photographing the human baby to photographing the feline baby.
“One thing led to another and we posed the kitten with baby Lainey and took a couple of quick videos,” says Theresa. “We never expected anything to come of the videos – we’re not exactly social media mavens so the fact that this has grown this much continues to shock us everyday.”
Both Theresa and Erin were quick to point out that they normally would not suggest posing a newborn with an animal.
“It’s important to note that this kitten was brand new – just a few weeks old – and was very milk drunk and sedate at the time of this session,” says Erin. “We would never recommend that anyone should pose a newborn with a kitten unless you really know animals and newborn photography. It’s such a highly specialized area of photography, and it is so important that these little humans are handled with great care and experienced hands.”
The couple decided to bring the kitten home with them to Wisconsin. They named him “Eleven” because he is their 11th pet together.
“He’s a completely different ball of fur now, having doubled his size, energy and personality,” says Theresa.