My name is Kelly. I’ve grown up with pets all my life, but when I got Ghost, I knew I had to start an Instagram feed for him, and thus the journey began. The page blew up far faster than I expected it to, and the rest is history. But you all know the Instagram side of things. As for me, like I said, I grew up with animals all my life, from dogs to cats to ferrets and dwarf hamsters and rabbits and rescued deer and birds and the list goes on. I’ve been an animal person all my life, needless to say.
The reason I found Ghost was for mental health reasons. I had just spent four months in in-patient care for anorexia, a disease I have struggled with for over 14 years of my life, and my depression was at an all-time high. Ghost got me outside on walks and provided the distraction I needed to get through the darkness. He quite literally saved my life.
Chai on the other hand, was an impulse buy. I have written in an online community for nearly 20 years now, and one of my characters was named Chai, a cream-colored wolf. I wanted a cream bicolor ragdoll and the only place that had one available was near LA where my friend lived. So I visited her and we got Chai. The place she came from was absolutely horrendous. They yelled at me, refused to let me take her to third-party vet, and eventually I just said okay. Let’s go. She ended up having five different diseases, including the calicivirus, giardia, ear infections, and more. You can check out my Yelp review for the full details.
Chai was a godsend, despite the three months of illness and hiding under the bed because she was terrified of me due to all the medications I had to shove in her ears and eyes and mouth. But eventually, she was better. I have never felt a bond with a pet like I did with Chai. She understood my moods when I was down. I loved that cat more than anything else in life. You’ll have to read more about her on her page.
When she died, I decided to clone her. I knew it’d be controversial, but it was the choice I made in my grief and I stand by it. I am currently on a wait list for the process to start, and I will be documenting everything on my blog here.
After Chai died, I started fostering again, and also adopted Remington, formerly known as Scotch, from a veterinary clinic in Montreal, where he’d been rescued off the streets. Spiffy, my other cat, rescued from the Humane Society years ago, had fallen into his own sort of depression after Chai died, and he really needed another friend. I was nervous, as Remington was already estimated to be about 1 or 2, but they ended up getting along swimmingly. Spiffy probably loves him more than he ever got along with Chai.
As I mentioned above, I have volunteered for years with various shelters, but primarily Austin Pets Alive, a local no-kill shelter in Austin. Primarily, my work with them has been fostering neonatal kittens, and it’s been such a rewarding process. I used my Instagram platform to promote them, and after Chai passed, it was the distraction I needed. Other work I’ve done is listed below:
- My GoFundMe for Chai’s cloning process is being matched and donated to Austin Pets Alive
- During GISHWHES 2017, I promoted a dog who has been at Austin Pets Alive for far too long and needs to be adopted
- Through various Influencer sites, I have posted or promoted items on Instagram that help various pet causes
- I have raised and/or donated over $500 for my birthday through Facebook’s birthday application for Austin Pets Alive
- I continued to foster neonatal kittens through Austin Pets Alive
How You Can Help Pets
I have been on the board of several animal welfare organizations for years and created my own nonprofit to help protect exotic and endangered species across the globe. If you are interested in doing more in your community, there are ways you can help, too! It doesn’t mean you have to create a nonprofit or go out of your way.
Not everyone has time to foster neonatal kittens, but look up your closest no-kill shelter. There are plenty of adult cats or dogs that need fosters, too, and their care is often far less time consuming. If you don’t have the room to foster, here are a few other ideas to try out.
- Sign up at your local no-kill shelter to walk dogs
- Donate money to your local no-kill shelter
- Adopt a pet in need at a shelter near you
- Sign up with a local team to help transport pets
- Donate supplies to your local no-kill shelter
At any rate, while Ghost and Chai weren’t rescues (I consider Chai one anyway considering the hellhole she came from), I have been an advocate for animals in need for years and entirely believe in adoption and supporting your local shelters. If you ever need help figuring out how to help, feel free to contact me any time!