My Local Animal Shelter’s Adorable, Low-Budget ‘Kitty Kommercial’ Rockets to Stardom

The story behind the charmingly amusing Furkids spot

My local no-kill shelter's low-budget cat ad just went viral.

Furkids is an Atlanta shelter that's a short distance from my house. I've donated, am on their email list, and have frequented their thrift shop. So it was a surprise to wake up one morning and find that Reddit had rocketed this little shelter to stardom overnight.

The ad is titled "Kitty Kommercial," and it's already reached 4 million views on YouTube just days after hitting Reddit's front page due to an anonymous poster.

One of the reasons this ad is so endearing is that it can't decide what it wants to spoof. It starts with a tongue-in-cheek poke at infomercials and transitions smoothly into mocking used car ads (much like this viral spot from the Calgary Humane Society, which also sells cats like used cars) before rounding out its nearly three minutes with a send-up of Sarah McLachlan's tear-jerking SPCA PSA.

The star of the spot, Atlanta native Paul Preston, isn't an actor or hired talent but a contractor with a rental property company whose sister, Helen Preston, volunteers at Furkids. It was Helen who came up with the idea, wrote the spot, and recommended Paul as the lead. But it's adoption team manager Nicole Neill who steals the show with her impersonation of an inflatable air dancer.

Apparently, it took about 30 minutes to shoot the ad, and while the total cost hasn't been revealed, it was in the neighborhood of a couple of cans of cat food for the feline stars.

The outpouring of support and supplies has outpaced anything the shelter has seen in its 15-year history, with over 9,000 messages from people around the world, lots of packages from Amazon, and inquiries from the morning news shows. (We requested an interview with them, but they're a little too swamped to make it happen right now.) They did post a thank-you note and a video of their kitties opening up all their presents.

Human stars aside, the whole thing is about the kitties and puppers that the cage-free, no-kill shelter helps. Over the years, I've watched Furkids post about their rescues of some of the most needy, injured or last-chance animals they've saved, and viral success couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people.

Why, look: Here's a donation link.

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