Jorts the cat rose to fame in December 2021 thanks to Reddit's AITA Community after an anonymous user, going by the name throwawayorangecat (opens in new tab), posted about two office cats they work with: Jorts, an orange tabby male and Jean, a tortoiseshell female.
In the comical post, the office worker described the two workplace cats, painting Jorts as a rather simple fellow who spent most of his time getting cups stuck on his head or trapped in rooms unable to open doors, and Jean as being always on paw to help rescue her dopey friend from his many scrapes.
One human co-worker of the original poster has also been applying butter to Jorts’ coat in order to encourage him to groom himself more efficiently. The human worker commented that, "you can't expect Jean's tortoiseshell smarts from orange cat Jorts,” prompting the OP’s co-worker to accuse them of “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes” about ginger kitties.
The internet of course fell in love with Jorts, and he was quickly set up on Twitter (opens in new tab) with his very own account.
Well, since last year, Jorts the orange cat has become an internet sensation and grown from dopey, somewhat stupid office cat, into a mascot – and spokescat – for fair labor and workplace ethics. Jorts has received praise from Senator Elizabeth Warren, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow and United Farm Workers thanks to his pro-trade union shares.
However this week, he’s faced quite a backlash, prompting internet users to accuse him of “able-ism” thanks to some rather ill-considered remarks on Twitter.
Twitter user @queenveej tweeted about her negative experience with an online grocery delivery service. The delivery person began refunding her for items that they claimed were not in stock, when she knew they were.
“My last time using grocery delivery and I got a man, he started refunding stuff that I knew dang on well the store had,” She posts. “I was so pissed I got in the car and went to the store he was at, bruh was literally standing in one aisle on the phone.”
Jorts replied to @queenveej’s tweet with: “Idea: Go Get your own groceries”.
Idea:Go get your own groceriesOctober 18, 2022
Unsurprisingly the internet wasn’t happy about Jorts’ absent-minded comment and they quickly schooled the feline, explaining that a lot of people who use grocery delivery services aren’t able to call their delivery person out like @queenveej did.
@Noobventor responded with: “I mean, that’s the ideal. But that’s not possible for folks who have COVID or are caring for someone who does. Or are disabled, regardless of COVID. Or caring for a parent with dementia who might wander off if left unattended. Lotsa folks can’t.” To which Jorts added salt to the wound and responded with: “And those folks wouldn’t get in the car and confront a worker being judged by an algorithm for sub minimum wage.”
While Jorts no doubt had good intentions regarding standing up for the delivery person, he completely forgot that some people rely on this service and need to be able to trust the judgement of the person who is picking out their groceries, and not just be refunded for goods that are in stock.
Last time I needed Insta cart, I was stuck home, alone, and in terrible pain from a chronic issue. God bless the guy who helped me. I can’t afford to use it often, bc I believe in tipping well- but it really saved me. I have other disabled friends who need it on the reg.October 18, 2022
Jorts stood by his opinion though, further commenting: “What do you get when you combine withholding a living wage + impractical and algorithm-based metrics for the workers?” Essentially saying that these services should pay their workers better, and perhaps use their own judgement to swap out items, which would result in a better service for all.
What do you get when you combine withholding a living wage + impractical and algorithm-based metrics for the workers? https://t.co/FIgczB3EaFOctober 18, 2022
Jorts continued: “The “app” (employer) should pay a living wage to their workers for the service! They’re charging YOU a fee— they should pay a living wage.”
I live alone and have a back injury, so this grocery delivery by app has been a godsend. I tip a living wage, and on some apps the shopper can see this before starting. Most of my experience has been good, every once in a while there’s just a not so great shopper.October 18, 2022
While many were outraged by Jorts’ initial reaction, plenty of people also agree with Jorts – that it isn’t always the delivery driver’s fault and that most experiences with these services have been great and helpful for those in need.
He followed up with a post of his cute little face and a comment reading: “Discourse is good, just saying you can read all my actual tweets and replies if that helps. I will leave them there.”
He might not always have a great reaction from the whole internet, but Jorts, like any cat, doesn’t care what you think – he’s stubborn and opinionated and always defending the little guy.
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