Jack & Cheddar Say Cheese
Jack and Cheddar are two domestic short hair cats that have gone on a rag to riches journey and are now starting out on their career as cat models and advertising brand ambassadors.
So how did it all start? Just how did two rescue cats become aspiring models?
Mary McKinstray of Westfield, India is a quilter and her beloved cats, Jack and Cheddar, spend their days napping and watching her quilt.
Mary didn’t come across Jack or Cheddar in pet shops or from a breeder. In fact, she rescued them both. On her way to get the paper early one morning, Mary opened the front door to find a rangy, ginger cat sitting on the step, looking up at her. He sauntered past Mary into the house where he helped himself to breakfast before jumping on her bed and settling down for a nap. That evening he meowed to be let out. Mary doubted she’d ever see him again, but the next morning when she opened the door, he was sitting on the step. He strolled in, helped himself to breakfast again, and spent the day napping.
This routine continued for several weeks and soon named the ginger ‘Jack’. Mary thought he might have come from a nearby barn or been someone’s pet, but she was never able to locate an owner. Eventually, it became apparent that Jack had chosen her, and so, he quickly made Mary’s home his home. He is no longer rangy, weighing in at an impressive 18 pounds.. Jack is expert in the art of manipulation. If he thinks it’s time for dinner or a treat, he jumps on the coffee table and starts knocking things on the floor. If Mary doesn’t act quickly enough, more items fly off the table.
Now, Cheddar had a family, but they moved away and left him behind. He was found wandering around an apartment complex, taken to a shelter, and eventually placed for adoption through PetsMart Charities. When Mary learned his history, she knew she had to adopt him. He was shy and terribly thin, but sweet. Once home, he never let her out of his sight, following Mary everywhere. In fact, she can’t take a shower, do laundry or go anywhere without him trailing behind. He is particularly adept at opening doors with levered handles and will let himself, and Jack, into any room in the house.
When rheumatoid arthritis made large quilts increasingly difficult for Mary to handle, she started making miniature quilts and bought a doll bed to display her work.
One day, at Christmas time, she discovered Jack curled up, asleep, on the doll bed. One thing quickly led to another and both cats soon had their own beds and quilts in a cat-sized room decorated for the holidays. They preferred sleeping on their doll beds and Mary hated to put their beds and Christmas decorations away at the end of the season, so instead, the Christmas room became the ‘Catfish Lodge’, as pictured here.
And when they got tired of this, Mary developed something else! Soon, friends and acquaintances were asking for calendars, so Mary published a limited number of calendars, “Jack and Cheddar Say Cheese.”
Before Jack and Cheddar, Mary had seriously considered selling her machines and giving up quilting altogether. The constant pain and fatigue associated with her rheumatoid arthritis wrought havoc on her joints and resulted in double hip replacements, a laminectomy, three spinal fusions, and twelve hand surgeries. Her enthusiasm for quilting had dulled and she was worn down.
Jack and Cheddar changed everything. Not only is Mary quilting more now than ever, but a new hobby, photography, now occupies her time. When not home quilting, her time is spent between the quilt shops and camera stores, and photographing vignettes. Mary’s local pet store even asked me to take the Christmas photographs of their clients’ pets.
It wasn’t long before Urban Paws UK, an animal casting agency, came across the beautiful Jack and Cheddar online. Although the majority of their work is UK based, they do have some international clients and just knew that they had to work with Jack & Cheddar who are clearly perfect models! Urban Paws UK have worked with the likes of Tesco, E4, Cats Protection and Whiskas and with Jack and Cheddar’s growing online fan base, they’re sure that branding work will soon come pouring in for these two purrfect posers!
For more information on Jack & Cheddar contact their agent, Paula Stewart at Urban Paws UK.