It goes without saying that any actor or actress would be thrilled to star in CATS, which is one of the most iconic plays on Broadway. The ones who make the cast feel a natural affinity with felines. “It’s obvious when watching the musical that the actors love cats and have studied real cats to bring a wealth of feline personality to stage,” says Amy Nichols, the Vice President of companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States.
It, therefore, was a no brainer for cast members to team up with the Shelter Pet Project, a collaborative effort between Maddie’s Fund, The Humane Society of the United States and the Ad Council, to create an adorable video that encourages viewers to adopt cats from shelters.
“Shelter pet adoption is a cause the cast has supported in the past, but never with a PSA that paired the amazing actors with real — and adoptable! — cats,” says Sharon Fletcher, the director of marketing and communications at Maddie’s Fund.
Broadway photographer Emilio Madrid-Kuser also took photographs of the cast members, in full costume, holding shelter cats that seemed to correspond with their characters’ personalities. Mamie Parris, who sings “Memory,” holds a wistful little tabby. And Sara Jean Ford, who plays Jellylorum, a maternal figure, holds a fluffy white beauty.
Nichols said that the cast members really relished the opportunity to hold actual shelter cats before a performance. “There is nothing better than having the chance to cuddle with a friendly cat ahead of a big show, so everyone was eager to get in some pictures,” she says.
I mean, come on, CATS with cats? If you’re a Broadway fan, how could you not adopt a shelter cat after seeing this campaign? And even if you’ve never seen the show, you have to admit, all of these cats are pretty freaking heartwarming.
Plus if you’re not ready to add a feline to your family — or perhaps a third or fourth one — you can still help out shelter cats over the holiday season. “Contact your local shelter or rescue group — you can find one near you at TheShelterPetProject.org — and learn more about how you can support their efforts,” says Fletcher.
And if you have a shelter cat already — let it be known by using the hashtag #StartAStoryAdopt when posting a picture of you two chillin’ over this lazy weekend before the New Year.
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