About

Welcome to The ShoKo Blog!

My name is Rob and I’ve been sharing my cats, Shorty and Kodi, on YouTube for nearly 5 years. It’s been a lot of fun documenting these crazy cats and producing fun and informative videos. I’ve been wanting to set up a proper blog for years to bring you more info about ShoKo and to also address issues about cats in general.

Here’s a bit more info on all of us.

Shorty
Kodi
Rob
Bryan

Shorty

Shorty black cat

Shorty’s the black one. She was born September 24, 2010 and Bryan and I adopted her from the Toronto Humane Society two months later on November 24. She was a tiny, sleeping, black ball of fur with giant eyes in a small cage. They had no information about her other than “very playful” which turned out to be a bit of an understatement. We fell in love with her immediately.

She had a cold, though, so I had to give her oral antibiotics every day for a week with a syringe. She was the most adorable little sick, playful kitten ever and I think every time she sneezed an angel laughed. She was well-behaved and loved to play so much that sleeping seemed a noteworthy event.

She had this funny way of moving, kind of like breakdancing but not as graceful. She had short little legs, which partly inspired her name, and a big adorable belly that made it challenging to roll over or right herself if she fell, which was often.

Others thought she was funny too so I uploaded a few videos to YouTube, not knowing a thing about the process of filming your cats. She had some favourable response to her first few videos but nothing huge. Then I produced a video called Cat Yoga that was picked up by a popular yoga blog and was even tweeted out by Nina Dobrev, star of Vampire Diaries. It didn’t go Jimmy Fallon-viral or anything, but it was encouraging enough to keep going, and the rest is YouTube history.

back to top

Kodi

kodi about

March, 2012. Bryan and I had moved from our small apartment with the 70s pink tile bathroom to a sizeable, for Toronto standards anyway, 1-bedroom concrete loft.

Bryan felt Shorty needed a playmate and that she was at the right age to play with another cat but also old enough to take on a mothering role as she had that sweet nature. But she didn’t have any experience interacting with other animals so we wanted to find a kitten.

We visited the Toronto Humane Society several times but we actually found a little guy, at the time named Spy, at Toronto Animal Services. He was there with his mom and 2 siblings. He was extremely playful from the moment we met him, crawling all over us, playing with the string on Bryan’s hoodie. We took him home that day when he was just 10 weeks old.

From his first steps out of the cat carrier, it seemed he felt he owned the place. A little scared of Shorty at first, but feigning fear was more of a game as he had no problem jumping on Sho, me or Bryan, wrapping us all around his little paw with his sweet charm to forgive him any insolence.

We named him Kodi, and ShoKo became an inseparable Matrix-like duo running and jumping off the walls like Neo and Trinity dodging bullets.

One of his most memorable moments is when he returned from getting neutered. The anesthetic hadn’t quite worn off yet and his existential experience with the cat staring back at him in the mirror turned into a popular gif on Reddit.

Both a bit older, he and Shorty sleep a little more often but still get up to their usual wall-jumping high jinks in the haunted hallway. Shorty’s favoured game is running at Kodi, batting his hind legs to get him to chase her, and then hiss maniacally when he catches her as if that’s not what she wanted at all. Kodi’s a great sport, taking it all in stride and doing his best to appease his older sister.

At the end of the day, you’ll still find them cuddled up together on a cat bed in the closet.

back to top

Rob

rob kodi shoko

I’ve always been obsessed with documenting life. Friends and family – and now Shorty and Kodi – just accept that I normally have a camera in my hands.

I’ve also always made videos of trips and occasions into virtual scrapbooks, inspired by the storytelling and memory-invoking medium of multimedia.

The ShoKo Show is a natural extension of that, and it remains among the greatest joys of my life sharing my cats with the world. And winning the 2014 Golden Kitty award for the best cat video at the Internet Cat Video Festival was definitely a highlight!

I’ve always loved animals and begged my parents mercilessly for a dog growing up, but I had terrible allergies to all animals, especially cats. When I was 19 I moved from a small conservative town in ultra-conservative Alberta to the “big city” of Toronto, where I studied fine arts at York University, became a vegetarian, and completed my rebellion with adopting 2 cats. The severity of my allergies had decreased as I got older though I still couldn’t pet my cats without immediately washing my hands after.

I became an ardent supporter of animal rights and I co-hosted Animal Voices, an animal advocacy radio show, on CIUT, 89.5 FM and ciut.fm from 2003-2008. I had the privilege of interviewing and connecting with many authors and activists around the world, including former Flipper trainer Richard O’Barry, vegan baker extraordinaire Chef Chloe Coscarelli, and it was a great highlight to speak with THE Bob Barker on the show who at the time was giving 1 million dollars each to several universities to fund animal law for the progression and defence of animal rights.

I am still involved in animal issues though the potential of burnout has kept me from investigative activism. I do extend my political voice through The ShoKo Show from time to time regarding cat/dog issues like shelter animal adoption, spay and neutering and declawing, and proceeds from ShoKo videos and merchandise support Toronto Humane Society, Farm Sanctuary, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Among my other jobs, I also work as a freelance photographer/videographer and as a fitness trainer instructing private clients and teaching several group classes a week including muscle conditioning, core training, and yoga.

back to top

Bryan
bryan shorty shoko

Bryan is the answer to the common viewer question: who’s the guy with the tattoos? He is my partner and, while many don’t even know about him, longtime viewers know he is no secret. He is also the one responsible for wanting to adopt Shorty in the first place and whose intuitive animal-whisperer nature must be credited for the wonderful cats that Sho and Ko have become.

However, Bryan has very little to do with The ShoKo Show and his tolerance levels are tested constantly by cameras recording around our home and by me saying things like, “Oh, Sho is so cute laying in your arms, don’t move! click click. Ok, don’t move. record. Just a little longer. click click. Ok, good.”

In fact he’s a little less tolerant of the kitties’ misbehaviour in general, especially the rambunctious and vocal Kodi who is definitely my spirit animal.

Like me, he is also a yoga instructor and has quite a following on YouTube, though his day job as an Event Planner keeps him from producing many videos.

Together we are a happy little family, seen often at night watching Netflix with Kodi on the couch’s arm next to me and Shorty next to Bryan, each occasionally taking turns to wander across us to soak up all the petting possible.

Thanks for watching!

Rob Kodi Bryan Shorty

A typical night watching Netflix with Kodi on me and Shorty on Bryan. It’s more like Catflix.


back to top

37 thoughts on “About

    1. I agree Sally. The ShoKo Show is the best out there in my opinion. The love and protection you both show your cats is endearing and productive.
      I especially enjoyed the video of Kodi and how he’s like a dog!
      Please keep making the videos of your most darling children.
      With Respect
      Kate

  1. I love this. So much information. Thanks for that. I love your videos and finally I found you on FB, yeah! And now this also, I couldn’t be more pleased.
    I wish you all a very happy and lovely life.

  2. I’m so glad that I happened upon one of Shorty’s videos a couple of years ago. Shorty and Kodi have made me laugh and brought countless smiles to my face. Your patience and caring is so evident in your videos. I wish you all nothing but continued happiness and success! Keep up the excellent work.

  3. I have been enjoying your cats for a while and am so envious since I no longer have any when I used to have six. They died out over the years and now I only have a dog but miss having cats around. Due to age and circumstances I will not adopt more cats and just get my cat-fix through your videos. I’m so happy you and Bryan have such a good life together and love your cats so much.

  4. pretty family,
    i love all your videos.
    i never see before cats jump on the wall et walk like “crabe”.
    if i don’t write very good, excuse me because i’m french (Ardennes).

  5. You guys are great.I love your films on you tube and now I discovered this blog:). Shorty and Kodi are the most adorable cats I have ever seen. You love them and they love you and it shows. You are a great family. I will be following you both on YouTube and here ( I’m planning to adopt a cat but still need to think it over thoroughly). Best.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Magdalena (I love that name, btw). I’m glad you’re giving adoption a lot of thought because it is a big responsibility, though well worth it 🙂

  6. Hi Rob. Thank you for taking the time to create the ShoKo Show and sharing Shorty and Kodi with us all. My favorite all time video is the Balloon. Classic comedic timing.
    I volunteer in cat rescue in the Seattle area. It is hard but very rewarding work. Thanks for contributing to animal welfare causes.

  7. I have to say, you have a great little family there and you can see the little furry ones are so happy. I love your videos and to be honest I am inspired to post one of my own. I have similar cats to yours, Fruff who is as rambunctious as Kodi with bi color black and white fur, and Muushi who’s a domestic long haired cat with big copper eyes but with a smokey color fur. I would love to share their pictures and videos, I’ll probably do that on YouTube at some point. From your videos I can gauge they have the same characteristics as your adorable duo. As we speak, I’m preparing the two for spaying as they both turned 6 month old today. For now, keep it up with the videos. It’s very entertaining.

  8. absolutely love your videos – especially life hacks for cats and the ones involving the beautiful piano playing! Thank you both for such uplifting films and sharing your beautiful four legged friends with us all! Blessings and gratitude to you all!

  9. I love you guys and your cats…been following you on FB for a long time. The videos are hilarious. Thank you for bringing joy to my life!

  10. Hi, I’m a fan of ShoKo Show since it began. I’m from Romania – the other side of the world from your point of view, but I feel like we’re friends.
    Your writing is even better than your movies, and I thought nothing can beat ShoKo show! Love your blog, I devoured it today, when I discovered it. (better late than never, right?)
    I’m also a mum of a black cat and a Maine Coon, both adopted and I would love to be able to make such delicious films or write about my babies as well as you do.
    I wish the best to all 4 of you, hope your show shall run for many years to come.

  11. Have enjoyed your videos for a long time. Thanks to Bryan for tolerating! I have watched so many more than once because they are so loved and happy and the energy is hard to turn away from! You guys have just “a way” with them that is so fun and beautiful. And thank you for promoting black cat love and rescue!

  12. hi everyone…..
    i’m nonie from netherland. i’m an indonesian, married with a dutch and have problem with adaption in four season country. and i missed my dogs at home. actually those videos of shoko has been inspired me to have pet. when finally we decided to have pets, we agreed to adopt cats. we have 2 european short hair, they are brothers, name jack and daniels. and about 1 year later, we adopt a feral cat from our back yard, we named him : snowy (because he is completely white). and since i’m the big fans of comic tintin, that’s why we named him snowy. we guessed he is a turks van.
    i’m really enjoying our boys (=cats), together with my husband and our two daughters.
    and of course your shoko’s video. keep posting, rob! thank you for all of your beautiful video. big hugs

  13. I love your cats and laugh,cry and smile watching. Wish I could get my cats to play like Shorty and Kodi. I have 8 stray one 2 in front porch, 3 in bank porch and 3 in the house. Keep posting them they are so loved

  14. Thank you so much for this website, and sharing all these videos–Shorty is just the spitting image of my first cat, Orphée (yeah, that’s a male name, but I was young), who ran away two years ago at the venerable age of 17. In spite of all my efforts, she was never found, and I miss her very, very much ever since.When I feel the need to catch a glimpse of her again, I watch videos of Shorty (Orphée never was one to play well with my other cat, but oh well. Kodi is adorable too). It’s a bittersweet moment, but I think it helps me grieving.
    Shorty and Kodi are very sweet and your love for them shines through in all these videos. Thank you so very much!

  15. I needed to be cheered up so I immediately went to your videos. Thank you for putting a smile on my face and warmth in my heart!

  16. I have a black cat that looks just like Shorty. He is/ was just as wild but also very loving. I wish they was able to catch him on camera, you have a wonderful site and cats thanks for sharing them with us.

  17. I just found all this….I love this and you guys are awesome and Kodi and Shorty, I have no words to describe how beautiful and hilarious they both are, among many, many things!!! Lily, one of our kitties was listening to the two of them and at one point was watching…so cute. Thank you so much for bringing this to social media!!! Roree of Maine

Leave a Reply