Romeo the cat’s online community continues to expand, gaining more followers and raising funding for animal rescues through a Twitter account first launched for him in February by his owner, Caroline Golon.
Twitter is a free service that helps people keep in touch by sharing brief, frequent answers to the question: What are you doing? Golon says she signed up her cat to make a colleague laugh, but when Romeo started to gain followers across the country — humans, cats, dogs, hamsters, horses, turtles and birds — she decided it would be a good way to raise money for animal organizations.
For each follower who joins Twitter to start receiving the cat’s updates, Romeo donates 5 cents to an animal rescue organization. His followers, now approaching 5,000, started matching Romeo’s donations.
Since he’s been on Twitter, Romeo has raised more than $14,000 for various groups. The money goes to a different cause each month.
For the month of May, Romeo and his friends are raising money for the Beaufort Community Cat Project in Beaufort, N.C. Pet companies that have joined the effort to help raise money as corporate sponsors include Wellness Natural Pet Food, Feline Pine All-Natural Cat Litter and Furminator DeShedding Tools.
“Animal welfare and rescue organizations need donations now more than ever,” Golon said.
Romeo is a rescue cat himself, according to his website. At the time of his adoption, he was deaf in both ears and had a skin condition. After eight surgeries on his ears, Romeo now can hear fine, though one ear is folded down permanently.