First and foremost, everyone human and feline, is currently healthy, no worries there. However, without that gracious support you’ve blessed us with, we are at risk of losing everything we've ALL built together.
You stood by our side when Marmalade had cancer in 2014 and we’ve shared in his joyous remission since.
When Chris needed a shed last year to house TNR cats before being released, an Amazon Wishlist from you all fulfilled that dream. Dozens of cats have since then spent time in the “catty shack” after their lives were saved by him. More than 8,000 cans of cat food were gifted from you to Chris for his birthday; all to feed feral colony cats and fosters!
You've shared, commented, voted, loved, anxiously awaited test results, cried and laughed with us all for years. The messages we received on social media and in person, about being a light in the darkness when all else seems hopeless, saved us as much as it hopefully saved you.
We personally began doing this cat “work” in 2012 to help other felines—of all sizes. One of our most proud accomplishments is being able to fundraise to rescue, foster, support, provide medical assistance, care for and find homes for as many cats and kittens as we possible could.
But many supporters of our crazy cat life revolving around Cole, Marmalade, Juggernaut (Jugg) and Zig Zag may have noticed our recent absence on social media.
The time has finally arrived in which our family can share what we've been going through and why we've not been as active. Well, that is what we can share since the situation is now wrapped up in the court systems.
In May of 2016, we began a business called Digital Pet Media with two men who we believed to be in support of our efforts to raise awareness, educate and entertain the cat lovers of the world. Their “eCommerce”, funding and business experiences would help us create even more merchandise and their connections would open up more avenues than we already had in our growing business.
In December of 2019, the company eliminated Chris’s position. Jessica’s services were also terminated in December. Shortly after being eliminated from this position, a lawsuit was filed against Chris on December 23rd, two days before Christmas. We are putting our faith in our attorneys and hoping for the best.
After the lawsuit was filed, Digital Pet Media seized all of Chris’s computer equipment, cell phone, cameras and video footage. As a result of this Chris is no longer able to document the daily life of Cole and Marmalade to share. Digital Pet Media has been reposting and using rehashed videos of Cole and Marmalade, but Chris, Jessica nor the cats, have been involved.
Chris worked for the company full time since 2016 on continuing to create videos and content and Jess helped during nights and weekends, with answering comments and communicating with our social media supporters. In November 2017, Jess was able to quit her full-time corporate job to join the team and help Chris with an overwhelmingly increasing workload. Articles on our website were her avenue to share the ups and downs of cat rescuers of the world and help fundraise for those in need of even more support.
During that four years, we were blessed and happy to share our beloved felines with more and more people all over the world. We personally created hundreds of videos, memes…and hopefully smiles…for millions of people. We've gotten to meet with fans from coast-to-coast for many years; from CatCon in California, Meow Meetup in Chicago to Cat Camp in New York. These fans became friends.
But we have both endured serious bouts with compassion fatigue, depression, anxiety and/or PTSD. Not only worsening now from our dire situation, but from the years spent giving up nights, weekends and sleep for this important “work”. This was not just our jobs; it was our whole lives.
Although how can a person know how that affects you if they do not spend their days and nights literally in the bushes, attempting to help an injured or homeless animal? How can you understand what it is like to read through dozens and dozens of news stories to find articles that will help an organization or fellow cat rescuer, seeing ALL the horrific and heartbreaking things shared on social media? Or to try to find the time outside of your full-time job to help each friend, acquaintance and even stranger so that you don't lie in bed at night worried about that one cat that you couldn't help?
Unless you are out there doing just that, you will never fully understand.
So at this point, we are just trying to make it through each day without allowing the stress, depression, hopelessness and embarrassment to take hold. We are trying to fight back with all the strength we can muster, but after only a couple months of lawyer and court involvement, our savings is dwindling fast.
Our modest lifestyle of renting a manufactured home, Chris driving a donated car on its last leg worth less than $500 (from an amazing supporter; Thank you again!) and any hope of saving to finally put down roots is under serious threat now too.
We are quickly spending our life savings on lawyer fees and legal costs to date. Unfortunately, mediation was held on January 29th, 2020 and was unsuccessful.
And if we continue to fight for what we believe in our heart and souls is, was and will always be our purpose in life, this could cost us everything; not only financially.
In a purrfect world (sorry for the lack of cat puns!), our work product will become 100% ours again and we will continue to promote spay/neutering, TNVR, black cat and FIV adoptions, and general cat knowledge with the world. To be able to focus 100% on this and help as many of the world’s felines (*and more), we need the finances to do so.
We were so blessed to be able to run out and trap sick cats and newborn kittens off the streets and know we have the backing to care for them. But now, the stacked worries of our legal issues and costs for caring for these needy animals have become too burdensome to bear alone.
We’ve now (reluctantly) begun crowdfunding to help with our legal costs and support our ongoing rescue work during this difficult time.
Believing that cats will suffer because our attention has been forced elsewhere breaks our hearts. Any funds raised that are not used to cover the legal and living costs would be used to promote exactly that. We keep reminding ourselves that this is just a delay...a very costly and exasperating delay.
Thank you once again for taking the time to be a part of our lives, listen to our plea and join our fight in any way that you can.
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING, SHARING AND EVEN JUST SENDING A SUPPORTIVE THOUGHT!
Chris still goes out to help rescue as much as possible and TNVR cats and Jess still crochets and crafts like crazy for her Accessorati Etsy store. We will FUREVER cherish each and everything blessed upon us while on this catastic journey... we're just hoping and purraying it isn't over yet!
You can follow our personal pages on Facebook and Instagram and we'll keep sharing those little whiskery faces that we know you're all missing dearly. Purrs and head bumps to you all.
Furever gratefully yours, Chris Poole, Jessica Josephs, Cole, Marmalade, Jugg and Zig Zag
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