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Moose goes backstage

From Animal Sheltering magazine September/October 2015

Ellen M. Gifford Cat ShelterEllen M. Gifford Cat Shelter

Boston band CliffLight has a new member: Bert, aka Moose, of the Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter.

Moose is living a cool cat life thanks to his foster dad, Cliff Kuhn-Lloyd, a lifelong animal lover and professional musician. Kuhn-Lloyd’s musical activities mean he’s often in transition, so for now he chooses to foster, rather than adopt. Previously a pit bull foster, Kuhn-Lloyd can now add “cat dad” to his resume, thanks to Moose.

The 8-year-old, arthritic, FIV-positive cat had a revolving door of cat roommates at the shelter. So it’s no surprise that during Kuhn-Lloyd’s shelter visits, Moose was a little standoffish.

But something made the musician look past Moose’s grumpy exterior and offer him a well-deserved break from shelter life. Once home, Kuhn-Lloyd opened the cat carrier door, and Moose immediately began making music of his own—soft purrs of contentment.

Before long, Kuhn-Lloyd began to see more of himself in Moose. He jokes: “We both can be a bit grumpy, so we kind of get along like that. I understand him.”

But there’s one thing that never fails to put Moose in a good mood: food. “He’ll steal my pizza; he loves it,” says Kuhn- Lloyd. “He’s very good at making it look like he hasn’t been fed, tricking housemates into feeding him twice.”

After he gets help down the stairs in the morning, Moose sits with Kuhn-Lloyd while he writes music. He is the center of attention at band meetings. At night, he waits for a lift up the stairs so he can snuggle beside his foster dad.

Kuhn-Lloyd now knows that, much like musicians, cats need space to march to the beat of their own drum. Should he choose to adopt Moose, we know they will enjoy their life together ... as long as Moose promises to stop stealing his pizza.

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About the Author

Stacey Price is the Development Director at the Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter in Brighton, Mass.