Natasha Ryce can't remember the last time she laughed as hard as she did when a squad of stunned, supercharged cats bounced around the inside of her car.
The mother of five was visiting her parents on their 40-acre farm in Hemingway, South Carolina, on Sunday when her youngest daughter, Jess, captured the hysterical #popcorncat moment that's now blowing up the internet.
"My daughter went to the car to get her saddle out to ride one of the horses and I guess I had left the window down," the 51-year-old told BuzzFeed News. "We had popcorn, Bugles, and ranch dressing in there and I guess [the cats] smelled it all."
In the video, which now has more than 8 million views on TikTok, a gang of about six cats is going absolutely batshit crazy inside Natasha's black Pontiac Bonneville. They're bouncing off the windshield, scrambling up the leather seats, doing flips against the glass, launching themselves off the center console and through the open window as Jess stands outside stunned, cracking up, and recording the entire thing.
"I was sitting by the pond with my parents when Jess came running and said, 'Mom, you have to look at this,'" recalled Natasha. "I have never laughed so hard in my life. It was one of those random, once-in-a-lifetime things."
Walking to her mom's car that afternoon, Jess had been scrolling on her phone when she got to the driveway, looked up, and did a double-take.
"I was like, Is that a cat in the windshield?" the 11th-grader said. "So I started recording and I snuck up and was like, 'Oh god!' when I saw them all in there and they all stood and looked at me when I got to the door and then they started going crazy."
Jess thinks there were about six cats zooming around inside her mom's car, but it's hard to tell because they were literally in hyperdrive. The kitty car invaders live on her grandparents' property and although they're "wild," they're friendly..."if you have food," Jess said.
Along with the 10 or so cats, several dogs (including a massive Great Dane), ducks, horses, and hogs also call the large farm home, providing comfort to Natasha's mom, who has dementia and spends most of her time in a wheelchair.
The mother and daughter had driven from their home near Myrtle Beach to the family homestead to spend time with the 73-year-old, who "hasn't been doing well."
"I tried to show her the video when it first happened but her mind is going so much now," Natasha said. "I am going to try and show it to her again because she loves her cats."
"I want to tell her, Momma, your crazy cats are famous!" she added.
Natasha, who spends most of her time taking care of her own crew of kids and animals, says she is floored that the cat car party video "did what it did" and went so viral.
"It's mind-boggling to me. We are just regular old working-class people just living in the country," she said. "All these people are liking and commenting and I'm like, What in the world is going on? It's crazy. We all post stuff every day of our lives but you don't think it's going to go viral."
In comments across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, viewers have been turning the cacophony of cat chaos into memes, marveling at their ability to fly at warp speeds, as well as their struggles trying to escape, and imagining what's going through their brains the entire time.
"What cats do the second you try to go to sleep," one person said.
"My brain can not comprehend this," said another user.
"They said go to the party they said it won’t get busted also them: create a distraction," another wrote.
"Car salesman *slaps car* 'You can fit like, so many cats in here!'" a viewer joked.
"Cats: AYO WE OUT WE OUT. ABORT MISSION," one user replied.
The best part about the entire video, Jess said, is both her and the cats' pure, instantaneous shock and surprise when suddenly stumbling upon the other party.
"With social media now, everyone is planning things trying to go viral," the high schooler said after her last class on Tuesday. "But it's whenever you catch something happening when it's a surprise and just cracks you up, that's the best."
This weekend, Natasha and Jess will be making the 40-minute drive to her parents' farm, like they have been almost every week for the past year since her mother returned from the hospital.
"Of course," said Natasha, "we're going to leave the windows up now."