When Angela Rafuse launched My Grandfather’s Cat last May, the northerner could never have predicted that her simple non-profit charity would attract so much attention right away.
“It’s been really, really overwhelming and really wonderful,” says Rafuse, who notes that various local media outlets were all quick to cover the organization to help some pet owners find new homes for their furry friends.
Now, less than eight months into its existence, the Halifax-based charity has reached the pinnacle of international publicity with a profile in one of the world’s best-selling weekly publications: People Magazine.
“I don’t mean to brag, but we were actually a People exclusive; we were right next to Katy Perry,” laughs Rafuse of the Jan. 10 report in the New York-based magazine. “One of their freelance writers (said) she was so inspired by what we were doing that she just reached out and just wanted to talk to us.”
One of the reasons my grandfather’s cat gets so much public attention is that it fulfills an overlooked need in society.
“My grandfather’s cat helps the elderly and terminally ill organize homes for their pets before they move into their nursing home or die,” says Rafuse, who was inspired to create the organization after his own experience.
As the People magazine article notes, Rafuse adopted Mackenzie, his grandfather’s feisty feline, after the eldest died, fearing the cat would otherwise end up in a shelter.
However, after posting a humorous video on social media platform TikTok, Rafuse quickly learned that many other people were facing a similar situation when it came to the elderly or terminally ill patients with no plan for their pets. company.
“Unless children or friends can take the animal, the animal often ends up in a shelter,” notes Rafuse, who came up with the idea of associating pets with a “second home forever.” “.
“I couldn’t believe when I looked at this and had this idea that it didn’t already exist,” Rafuse adds. “And it’s so easy – you just make the right match and you find the right family. They’re there and watching (so) we provide and create that connection.
Clearly a much in demand service, My Grandfather’s Cat quickly grew to become a pan-Canadian charity with 15 dedicated volunteers. Additionally, Rafuse has taken on two additional volunteers per month, but as a small organization she admits she is just trying to avoid being overwhelmed at this point.
“We currently have a roster of around 50 or 60 people waiting to volunteer,” says Rafuse, adding that “volunteers are my favorite thing about the organization.”
Having received international media attention from a successful magazine, Rafuse realizes that his small charity is on the verge of becoming very big. With plans to hopefully expand My Grandfather’s Cat to the United States, Rafuse hopes to meet an even greater need for companion animals and their owners in the near future.
“We show that even a grumpy cat is a good cat that has value and that the lives of all animals have value,” says Rafuse. “It’s important to remember them in all of this and to remember the elderly and the terminally ill and the difficulty they are going through.”
For more information on my grandfather’s cat, visit: www.mygrandfatherscat.ca