When people hear the name Andre The Giant, what typically comes to mind is the 7-foot-4-inch French professional wrestler, actor, and literal giant André René Roussimoff, who was better known by his aforementioned nickname. Sadly, Andre Roussimoff passed away in 1993 of congestive heart failure, but these days, there's someone else taking on the enormous moniker.
And he's a cat.
"Andre the Giant Cat," as he's known around the pet supply and animal rescue shop where he lives, is a 25-pound mixed breed behemoth that, like many cats in our age of social media, has found fame on the internet via his very own Facebook and Instagram pages. The only difference between Andre the Giant Cat and his more diminutive peers (aside from size) is that he's using his power for good. Andre wants to find loving forever homes for other stray rescue cats, just like he was lucky enough to find.
Andre the Giant was found wandering the streets of Fairplay, Colorado -- a small town outside of Denver -- last November, and was taken to Animal Rescue of the Rockies' Cat Casita. Cat Casita is a cat sanctuary located just downstairs from High Paw Pet Supplies.
It didn't take long for the owners of the sanctuary, and Miyuki Takeda -- who owns the pet supply shop -- to agree that they would keep Andre as a shop cat, and it was the best decision they ever made.
Once word of the giant cat hit the streets, people arrived in droves to see the feline anomaly. One employee of the rescue told the Denver Post that prior to Andre's arrival, they hadn't had a single adoption in three months, but thanks to visitors flocking in for a peek of him, they had five adoptions in the month of December alone.
"Within a month of us having him, people coming in to see him and to visit, the adoption rate for the rescue skyrocketed."
Kerrie Lynn, the manager of of Cat Casita as well as High Paw Pet Supplies, spoke with Huffington Post about Andre's newfound celebrity, and the effect he's had on their adoption rates. She explained that Andre the Giant, who has free reign of the High Paw, is the "protector of our store," and that even though he was shy to begin with, he's since come out of his shell, and now he loves all the attention the visitors give him. In fact, it's these visitors -- some from as far away as Oklahoma -- that have caused the surge in adoptions. Lynn explained that people come in to visit Andre, and end up meeting, and adopting, other rescue cats at Cat Casita.
Andre the Giant Cat may be a robust 25-plus pounds (Lynn says she suspects he's gained a few since his last vet appointment), but he's got a heart to match his giant size. So remember pet lovers, "don't shop, adopt!"
[Picture Credits: Andre The Giant Cat's Facebook]