With approximately 76.5 million cats living within its borders, the U.S. has more felines than any other country in the world. However, one group in London may have just surpassed the U.S. in its love of cats.
An organization called the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service — CATS, for short — raised $30,526 in a Kickstarter campaign in order to have more than 60 advertisements in the Clapham Common station in the London Underground replaced with adorable portraits of cats.
The organization is a branch of a bigger entity called Glimpse Collective, which describes itself as “a group of friends who want to use creativity for good.”
Originally, the group wanted to simply replace the advertisements with cute cat photos, but the they later decided to partner with a local animal shelter, Cats Protection and the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, to feature felines in need of good homes.
The feline-loving group spent a significant amount of time personally putting up all of the cat posters, and relished in the fact that they teamed up with a shelter for a worthy cause.
However, this London group isn’t the only one creating celebrity-status felines for a good cause.
Celebrity cats all over the world, from Lil Bub to two felines named Cole and Marmalade, are using their fame for good. Namely, adopting animals from shelters.
Cole and Marmalade’s owners, Chris Poole and Jessica Josephs, of northern Illinois, are serious advocates for cat rescue. Among their funnier videos of the cats’ antics are others titled “10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat” and “How to Make a Feral Cat Shelter.”
The cat video craze has been an unprecedented source of advertisement and an activist platform for animal shelters around the globe.
“The Internet was created for sharing cat videos — that’s its higher purpose,” says Christie Keith, a communications and social media consultant for Maddie’s Fund, a philanthropy that funds animal-welfare programs.
“We have a culture that’s been trained to respond to silly, endearing, funny cat videos, and that’s an incredible opportunity for pet adoption.”
It seems that even those members of the London group CATS wanted to use traditional advertising platforms in a non-traditional way to raise awareness.
Their efforts have been praised by organizations around the world, and many hope that the cat pictures will be a permanent and recurring installment in subway stations around the city.