An award-winning video game featuring a stray cat is helping rescue animals
JOHN YANG: An award-winning video game featuring a stray cat is helping rescue animals.
Gamers with audiences who watch them play online known as streamers are using their platform to raise money for felines without a home.
We spoke to a number of the people who are using a virtual stray to help real life cats.
JEFF LEGASPI, Annapurna Interactive:
My name is Jeff Legaspi. And I’m the
Marketing Director at Annapurna Interactive.
Stray is a third person video game
where you play as a cat exploring
a post-apocalyptic city. It’s inhabited by
robots and animals, but no humans. And so,
you play us the cat that has been separated
from its small family of other cats. And you
are exploring the city and trying to find
a way out. It was a bit of a no brainer
for us to see if there were organizations that
would be more than happy to partner up with us.
BRENDAN GEPSON, Nebraska Humane Society: My
name is Brendan Gibson. And I’m a Marketing
Specialist at The Nebraska Humane Society. We
decided that the best way to collaborate would
be to give away several game codes for the game
stray through our Twitter account through $5
donations. It was very successful from the
initial fundraiser we raised about $8,000.
NO NAME GIVEN: Oh, my goodness. Oh, it’s
so cute. Look at him go. Me and my wife
had our first cat at the Humane Society on
the day after Thanksgiving in 2015. Her name
is Paro. She’s a little gray Tabby, and she’s
three legged. And then as an engagement gift,
a couple of our friends brought us an orange
kitten. He has become a giant fluffy 18-pound
Orange Maine Coon cat. You may say I was
asking if there were any local streamers
that wanted to charity stream the game and
I felt like I was going to be a perfect fit.
We were able to raise just over $1,500. So, I
had posted and advertised that I was willing
to match up to the first $200. We hit it
in like 20 or 30 minutes. It was crazy.
Destruction here, doing cat stuff.
Knocking all the balls around. It’s a super
thoughtful game. I think it has a really
good message. And it does have a lot of like
kind of poignant and powerful things to say.
RAPHAEL ALMEIDA, Gatos De Francisco: The game is
beautiful. Playing cats is fun. And the objective
of the game is to reunite the cats in the app
with his family. And that’s exactly what the
shelter do after that. My name is Rafael Correa
Boa Nova Almeida and I’m one of the volunteers
at Gatos De Francisco, a Brazilian shelter in
Rio de Janeiro. I had bought the game. I love
the game. The amount that we’ve raised in the
raffle was the equivalent of spaying 25 cats.
DEBBIE DISTANISLOA, Stray Cat
Relief Fund: This is Mr. Baig. He is
from Southwest Philadelphia. He was
found outside and he is like a very,
very sweet boy. My name is Debbie Distanisloa,
I work with stray cat really fun. This year,
we came up with the idea that we wanted to maybe
host our first 5K walkathon to try to raise money
for the medical care for the cats. I contacted
Jeff from Annapurna Interactive, and immediately
within the next day he said we would definitely
love to be a platinum sponsor, which was $4,000.
We were able to raise $6,500 to go
towards the medical care of our cats,
which was just absolutely astounding.
Just having a stray cat be the star of
a video game is just — it’s just
amazing. We’re really hoping that
it can shed some more empathy on the
community for the stray cat community.
Help a stray cat when you see them on the street,
please take them in. You don’t need anymore
kitties like big out there
struggling on the streets.