The chonkier the cat, the more of it there is to hug and love. Four cats who are some of the cutest megafloofs we’ve ever seen are Sämpy and its furry friends Hiskias Hääppönen, Elmeri, and Nelli, all from Northern Finland.
To bring a smile to your face, brighten up your day, and give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning, we’ve compiled the chonkiest, floofiest, and most wholesome pictures of Sämpy and its pals. If you’re up for it, share this list with anyone whom you think is in need of some catto goodness. Remember to upvote your fave Finnish cat photos and scroll down.
We’d love to hug one of these cats and never let go, what with the weather getting chilly and all. What about you, dear Readers? Would you like to have a chonky cat like in these pictures? Perhaps you already own one, in which case, what can you tell us about their character and how to raise them? Share your thoughts with us in the comments and check out Bored Panda’s previous posts about cats here (Curious Zelda), here (Bocco and Zuu), as well as here (cats bond with humans just like dogs and babies).
In an interview with Bored Panda, Riikka Hedman, the owner of Sämpy and the other cats, gave us insights into these majestic animals, their ‘careers’ in publishing, as well how Sämpy became a beloved icon on the internet. Make sure to scroll down for the full interview!
“Sämpy is a 6-year-old domestic cat and isn’t a special breed, although he looks like a Norwegian Forest cat. Elmeri, the gray cat, is 11 and he is also domestic cat. Hiski, the biggest tabby without white paws, is a half-Norwegian Forest cat and is 2 years old. They all are neutered male cats. On my sites, there are also pictures of a gray-white cat, Nelli, but she passed away earlier this year,” Riikka explained about her cats.
She continued to say that Sämpy adores outdoor activities when the weather isn’t too cold. “He is so happy when he goes with me on a small trip to the old forest near our house. There is a small river there, as well as many other exciting places, and interesting scents. Elmeri and Hiski prefers to stay in the yard, at home, but sometimes they come along for a walk. My cats jump over obstacles I build in the back yard for them, especially in the winter. It is easier to demarcate the jumping area when there is a lot of snow.”
Riikka shared the fact that she won the 2014 Photographer of the Year title in a Finnish photography magazine’s competition. The prize? A ‘super-fast’ camera. Riikka was overjoyed. “I was practicing shooting with my new camera and got a great jump shot of Sämpy. I sent the picture to a local newspaper and it became so popular that a journalist was sent to make an article about the cat. When the article came out I got a lot of wishes that the cat would have his own Facebook page. After Facebook, I created an Instagram account for Sämpy.”
Sämpy’s owner mused that the popularity of the social media accounts is most likely linked to the fact that she usually photographs her cats outdoors, ‘in beautiful surroundings, in funny situations, and without forcing them’ to do anything: “I think that in a good cat picture the cat needs to be natural and do its own cat things.”
There are a total of two books about Sämpy. The first one was published in 2016 and is called ‘Kissan vuosi’ (‘Cat Year’). “Then the publisher contacted me and asked for a photo book about Sämpy and of course I agreed.” The new book came out just last week. Sämpy and Riikka have together also published calendars for three years.
“It's not that easy to pick pictures for a book, but luckily there are professionals at the publishing house. I also wrote some text, but the books are mostly picture books. In the captions, I use the local dialect, which has also been a much lauded. I do not have any specific plans for the future, but proposals are certainly welcome. If anyone wants to make Sämpy a character in an animated movie, a wallpaper, or a key chain, it is all fine, as long the cat doesn't have to leave his home himself. Sämpy hates travelling,” Riikka pointed out.
Sämpy & Co. have captured the hearts of many internet users, most of them in Finland, but plenty of them spread all around the world as well. The cat has over 104,000 followers on Instagram and another 43,000 fans on Facebook. They’re all waiting for the newest photos featuring Sämpy, as well as his friends Hiskias, Elmeri, and Nelli. The latter is didn't play much with the other cats and she also hated the cold weather, which is somewhat ironic because she lived in Northern Finland.
In a previous interview with a Finnish blogger, more was revealed about Sämpy. According to the journalist, Sämpy answered the questions itself. “I live in the north of Oulu, in the village of Kalime,” the cat told the Finnish blogger.
“My favorite hobby is hunting. I hunt mice and moles. I’d also like to catch birds, but they are too fast. I also like meeting with my Secretary of Forest Trips and playing with my cat friend Elmeri," Sämpy the floofy and chonky cat explained. “Every day, I eat dry food and wet food; meat and salmon every now and then. Best of all is butter, that’s my biggest delicacy. Sometimes, I get a small dollop of butter. Aaaaah. And yes, I hear when the butter box is being opened.”
Sämpy continued about his owner (or ‘secretary’ as it refers to her): “The secretary is my servant and maid. All the time she is pointing her camera at me. In the morning, she usually will go somewhere, of course, she makes breakfast for us cats before she leaves.
I like to sleep outside, even in the middle of the grass if the weather is good. Inside, I lay on the sofa and sometimes on top of the refrigerator. Sometimes, I sleep in the sauna, whenever it’s not too hot. In the summer, I’m the boss. I’ll give orders to the other cats and mice of the neighborhood,” Sämpy revealed.