Homeward bound: Non-profit provides a safe space for seniors to find a second home for beloved pets
HALIFAX -- Angela Rafuse believes every cat deserves a chance at finding their second forever home.
That’s why the 26-year-old founded the not-for-profit organization, My Grandfather’s Cat last month.
The passion project aims to help seniors rehome their beloved pets.
“I am a big believer that if you have the ability to do something and it can make someone’s life better, then you should do it,” Rafuse explains.
Rafuse was inspired to create the organization after adopting her grandparents’ 15-year-old cat, Mackenzie, last year.
Her grandmother passed away in September 2019, and her grandfather passed away in December of the same year.
She says family members were hesitant to take the feline because she was known to be a little grumpy and mean.
But that didn’t bother Rafuse.
She quickly stepped in and embraced the cat’s personality by taking her to places like Peggy's Cove, or on a canoe adventure.
“People just always joked that she should go viral,” Rafuse says. “These funny, growling videos. So, I started sharing them on TikTok, and eventually, people started following and liking and sharing stories of how they adopted their grandparent's cat, or that they wish they would have.”
The organization launched just three weeks ago, and so far, Rafuse has heard from people around the world.
“People with terminal illnesses have pets that they want with them until their last day,” Rafuse explains.
“Then, they want to make sure that they have the right home, so we actually have two people we’re working with now that we’re arranging homes.”
Rafuse’s mother, Vivian, says she is so proud of her daughter’s hard work and dedication.
“So to know that someone’s going to love those pets after they’re gone, or they move into a home, where they’re not able to take the pet with them, it’s comforting for them and the families as well, because not everyone can take their animals,” she says.
Rafuse says the need is great, and she’s just doing what she can to help out.
“Honestly, heartbreaking stories, that they say, can you please come to the U.S., we need you in Arizona, we need you in Texas, in Tennessee, and just knowing the need is there, and people are responding to it, it blows my mind,” Rafuse says.
It's a passion project dedicated to her grandparents, that’s helping other seniors and their four-legged friends.