The exquisitely tender ballad “In the Arms of An Angel” has reached the hearts of countless people who have viewed ASPCA advertisements for rescuing animals in need. Sarah McLachlan’s voice has arguably changed the minds of those who have made the decision to adopt shelter animals and give them forever homes. Now it’s exciting that she has found her own sweet kitten to bring home, too!
Sarah’s new kitten, Peanut, is an adorable striped tabby cat with white chin and chest, and light green eyes. Officially a Female Domestic Shorthair, Peanut was found all by herself on a city street. She was lucky, because someone brought her to Hamilton Animal Services. She was rescued by Ladybird Animal Sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. Ladybird Animal Sanctuary is a Canadian Charity, officially registered and situated in Hamilton. What makes the charity unique is that there is no sanctuary in physical terms. The rescued animals are all cared for in private homes by foster families who volunteer their time to care for community animals that are abused, abandoned or neglected.
Peanut could not know that she was placed in the hands of a trio of professional musicians who co-founded Ladybird Animal Sanctuary. It was this bit of serendipity that connected her to Sarah, whose bandmate was one of those co-founders. McLachlan has been a dedicated supporter of the rescue sanctuary for years. She just happened to be in the Toronto area for a concert and greeted Peanut at the airport so that the two could fly home together. Both rode home to Vancouver in First Class.
McLachlan’s “In the Arms of An Angel” song has been a hugely successful fundraiser for the ASPCA. The advertisement features the song as a backdrop for images of shelter animals needing help. It was first aired in 2006, and since then, the appeal has brought in $30 million in donations. This past December 2018, McLachlan recorded a new version of the song with proceeds donated to her Sarah McLachlan School of Music. Her school is free for at-risk youth and provides hundreds of private and group lessons every year. She opened the first school in Vancouver in 2011 and opened two more in Edmonton in 2016. She told CNN that “to give of yourself” is “like a drug”. The small project started out with about 200 students and grew to more than a thousand in just 13 years.
McLachlan very quickly dubbed tiny Peanut with the royal title of Queen Peanut. The tiny little kitten was sound asleep in a cozy red fleece jacket on her way home—McLachlan posted a close up on Facebook.
McLachlan was adopted herself. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1968. The McLachlan family accepted her placement with their family and legally adopted her later. She was always musical, starting at just four years old playing the ukulele. She eventually studied classical piano and guitar, and then voice. She studied the curriculum created by The Royal Conservatory of Music at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Art in Halifax.
When Queen Peanut headed for her new home, the kitten was on her way to become the newest adopted McLachlan, with a ready-made family including McLachlan’s two daughters; India Ann Sushil Sood and Taja Summer Sood. The two girls father, Ashwin Sood, was a drummer in their mother’s band. The two were married for 11 years and then divorced. In 2017, McLachlan took both daughters, then 10 and 15, along with her when she became an inductee of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It was just one way that McLachlan has built strong relationships with her daughters. The girls also will be enjoying Queen Peanut’s new role in their family.
McLachlan discovered Peanut on the Ladybird Animal Sanctuary website. McLachlan was just scrolling through the available pets section when she saw the little kitten and knew she had to adopt her. Peanut was even more fortunate than ever, because McLachlan has admitted during interviews that she cannot watch her own “Angel” commercials. She’s said that she can’t handle them herself, telling reporters that they “kill” her. The sad commercials are truly devastating for many who view them, but McLachlan admits that the process of creating them was “brutal”. Repeating sadness and expressing sadness hit her hard, and she also has said that she cannot watch them now.
But Queen Peanut was one very fortunate result of McLachlan’s musical efforts. Had McLachlan had no musical connection to the sanctuary, the two would have never met. How wonderful it is that Queen Peanut is now at home with her forever family…loved in the arms of her three angel sisters.