One piece of advice given to us whenever we hit rock bottom is that sometimes we have to lose our way for us to find it. Of course, it has a deeper meaning, but the story of Pip the Beach Cat: an adventure cat with a knack for community service has proven this saying can have a literal meaning too. The feline has become a celebrity in Ocean City. If you are yet to know about Pip, read on to find out his journey of finding a home to touching lives wherever he goes.
Finding a family
There is no worse feeling than that of rejection by people you thought would do anything to keep you. Unfortunately, that is what Pip experienced in Berlin. At first, Pip thought he had found his forever home when he went into one house where he found a grandmother house sitting for her family. The grandmother was kind enough to the kitten to start feeding him, but when the family returned, Pip’s fate was sealed. He had to find somewhere else to go since they did not want him, and the grandmother was moving.
Laura Meadows, a friend to the family that had declined to keep Pip, offered to stay with him if her parents allowed. However, they did not, and Laura did the next best thing, which was asking her sister, Emily, to babysit Pip for a while. Emily agreed, although the dirty-looking cat had her thinking of taking him to the humane society as soon as she could. After all, Emily had two cats already and was not interested in having another one, especially one that looked as sickly as Pip did. However, when she found the shelter full, Emily’s only option was to keep Pip.
Getting Pip to relieve his energy
At first, Pip’s health was a huge concern for Emily. Not only was he filthy, but he also had swollen shut eyes, and his ears were so dirty he could not hear when Emily and her husband called his name. Therefore according to The Dodo, they took him to the vet where his ears were thoroughly cleaned, and his hearing returned to normal.
It seemed that all that Pip was missing was health because as soon as he was healthy again, he showed his true colors. His energy caused him to destroy everything that he found on his way, including window screens, utensils, and scattering food. He even decided the best way to show his love for Emily’s other cats, Mowgli and Natty, was to terrorize them a bit. Emily had enough of Pip’s mischief when he used the houseplants as his litter box, and her solution was to give Pip a little more time in the outside world. Therefore she put Pip on a leash and took him to the beach.
Unlike many cats who dislike contact with water, Pip proved to be different. He loved the beach and did not mind the waves that found him digging in the sand as he searched for toys. Pip’s energetic personality saw him running around and taking a break by sitting under beach chairs. When he was completely burned out, he slept alongside his humans as they sunbathed. Once Emily saw that Pip would do anything for adventure, she told people he would become famous one day, as reported by Baltimore Magazine.
Famous, he became indeed
Pip’s love for the beach turned him into a surfer and swimmer. With people always taking videos and pictures of things that fascinate them, Pip’s antics were not left behind. His photos and videos went around since he also is very photogenic, and people are naturally drawn to him. With time, a local news station wanted to write a story about Pip, but it only highlighted the fact that during peak seasons, pets were not allowed on the beach. Still, that did not stop his popularity from growing.
Pip now has a massive following on social media, with Facebook carrying the highest number of 20.1k followers. His fans on Twitter are not as many since he only has 333 followers, but on Instagram, the number is at 16.4k followers. His popularity has seen him being chosen as the best feline to showcase the best of Ocean City through a children’s book. The book, “Pip’s Guide to Ocean City Vol.1” illustrated the different activities families can do on vacations since even Emily has found a reason to spend her winter in the town.
Previously, despite growing up in Ocean City, Emily used to spend her winters in Europe or Colorado, but Pip has shown her that there is a lot more that she can do. She thought the book was an excellent idea to show the locations that she used to visit as a kid so that adults can remember the good old days while children can explore Ocean City’s beauty for the first time.
Pip’s community service
For the feline, it is not just about having a good time; he is determined to give back to the community that has shown him so much kindness. Therefore whenever he can, Pip will visit nursing homes where he acts as a therapy cat. He has brought a lot of positive change for the patients with the example of one who has non-verbal dementia but always talks whenever Pip walks into the room. Emily also takes Pip to special needs schools where he does readings, as well as spend time with the underprivileged children.
For those who do not get a chance to meet Pip in real life, Emily creates small stuffed animals, Little Pips, under The Little Pip Project. The toys have become a welcome idea for seniors in nursing homes who are not allowed to have pets for various reasons. Emily sells the toys, and for each stuffed animal sold, she donates another to any deserving member of the community.
The well-known cat is also a model at Pawject Runway. He does campaigns such as Show Your Soft Side in collaboration with BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter). The shelter takes in at least 25 animals every day that need a loving home thus can use all the help they can get to keep the animals comfortable; Pip is determined to do his part.