There has never been a better time to pay it forward than in the midst of a global pandemic. Stress levels are at an all-time high as families, individuals, and business owners navigate difficult decisions. But in the middle of that uncertainty, an Arizona cat rescuer has continued to do what she does best. Missy Pruitt Chastain was forced to close her Phoenix area cat cafe to comply with the changing health regulations. The decision left her business, not to mention dozens of homeless cats, at risk. Throughout it all, however, she continues to save lives and is being recognized in her community for her dedication and good deeds.
In a campaign to spread kindness and community support, CBS 5 has included Missy as part of their Pay It Forward initiative. The news crew received a nomination from Missy’s long-time supporter, Barb Scoby, who wanted to recognize Missy for her role in saving so many feline lives. Scoby told CBS 5,
“I just want to thank her for everything she does and for her passion. Even though she’s not asking for recognition, we see her – oh my gosh – so grateful.”
For the past three years, Missy has been the proud owner of the popular cat cafe, La Gattara Cat Cafe in East Valley. With a focus on saving lives and creating new families, the cafe was a place cat lovers could go to unwind and relax. And if they felt inclined, they could also go home with any of the adoptable cats that called the cafe a temporary home.
Missy has facilitated over 700 cat adoptions in the past three years. That is 700 lives that have been saved and 700 new friendships. With each adoption, Missy proved she has a special talent in not only saving cats, but in helping them find their perfect families. She is an expert feline match maker and helps adopters find the cats that perfectly fit their lifestyles and personalities. She said,
“I try and tell people they’re just like us – literally cats are just like us. We get down, we get grumpy, we get moody, we get hungry and annoyed and don’t want to talk to you. It’s the same.”
While the cafe has been closed for the past two months, and the end of a lease agreement has forced the cafe to move locations, Missy has not taken any time off. The future of her business is on shaky ground, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t cats that need her help. She has continued rescuing cats at all hours of the day and night. She brings them in, cares for their individual needs, and works hard to get them adopted.
To thank Missy for her incredible dedication to homeless cats, CBS 5 surprised her with a $500 gift card so she can continue to pay it forward. La Gattara Cat Cafe announced on Facebook that they have found a new location and hope to reopen when it is deemed safe. Missy says,
“You can’t save all the cats, but that one cat, you can change that one cat’s life forever so that one person is changing that one cat’s life forever, and that cat is changing that person’s life forever.”
h/t: AZ Family CBS 5