Correction: The Hollywood Reporter has significant doubts about the authenticity of the cease-and-desist letter that was initially provided and is retracting the below article. "It's a fake. This letter did not come from us," said Alan Garten, the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization. A full statement is here.
From viral videos to scores of memes, it's no secret cats dominate the internet — but President Donald Trump's legal team apparently wasted no time bearing its claws for a fight with a teenager over one kitten-centric website.
Lucy, the 17-year-old behind kittenfeed.com, tells The Hollywood Reporter she's received a cease and desist letter over the site — which allows users to virtually scratch at four photos of Trump's head using a cat's paws. The website launched in February, and within its first few weeks only had about 1,200 visitors, but it was enough to catch the attention of the White House.
The San Francisco-based teen developed the site for fun while applying for web developer jobs. The original domain name was trumpscratch.com, but she changed it after receiving a March 1 cease and desist letter from The Trump Organization. The letter claims her site infringed on the "internationally known and famous" Trump trademark.
She says she received another letter after the domain name change because her site still linked to an anti-Trump shirt that is available for purchase on Amazon. Lucy removed that link, and hasn't heard anything from the campaign since.
"I really just want people to be aware that this is a president who's clearly more concerned about what people think of him than doing things of substance," says Lucy.
She says she can't believe that Trump takes time to tweet about things like Celebrity Apprentice and has his lawyers focus on harmless internet sites.
"The fact that as president he still has teams going around bothering to shut down silly sites like mine is outrageous," says Lucy. "Literally all my site is, is punching him with kitten paws. A president should not have the time or care to hire people to shut sites like mine down. He should be running the country, not tweeting about TV ratings or anything else like that."
Her site itself now takes an even harsher swipe at the president. Last week she added text that says "Trump seems tough at first, but he gets weaker with every scratch." Lucy also upgraded the batting action so it results in visible scratches.
A Trump spokesman has not responded to multiple requests for comment on this story.