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TikTok helped this Nova Scotia woman rehome 100 cats


When Angela Rafuse joined TikTok, she never imagined where the social media platform would take her. 

“It’s truly amazing how quickly it has taken off,” said Rafuse.

Rafuse is the founder of My Grandfather’s Cat, a non-profit organization that helps seniors and those who are terminally ill find a new family for their beloved pets.

She was inspired to create the organization after adopting her grandparents 14-year-old cat, Mackenzie, after their passing in 2019.

“At the time, there wasn’t any other option other than a family member to adopt her or to put her into a shelter,” said Rafuse. “I didn’t want her to spend her final years in a shelter, so I decided to adopt her."

The feisty feline has a reputation for being a bit grumpy, explained Rafuse. One of her first social media posts was of Mackenzie batting at her face while filming a video with the cat.

"I thought it was a hilarious video,” said Rafuse. “I posted it to Facebook and my family immediately thought it would go viral.”

Within hours, the video had tens of thousands of views. Followers were also curious about the sassy cat’s history, along with others sharing their own stories of having to find homes for pets whose owners had passed or had moved into assisted living.

“They kept asking, ‘Why did you call her Mackenzie?’” said Rafuse. “I always would respond with ‘I didn't name her, she’s my grandfather’s cat,’ and that’s how we got the name for the organization.”

Since its inception in 2021, My Grandfather’s Cat has helped rehome 100 cats. The service is offered free of charge and is available nationwide.

“They get to interview each family that’s interested in adopting their animal, and ultimately they choose who adopts their animal,” said Rafuse.

Their online following has grown to over one million. Rafuse says Mackenzie has earned celebrity cat status, and is often recognized while out and about on their adventures together.

"One of the ways we fund the non-profit is through merchandise sales, and our Mackenzie sweaters are our best sellers by far,” said Rafuse.

To learn more about My Grandfather’s Cat, visit their website. Top Stories

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