In a heartwarming tale of compassion and companionship, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Linda, our Chief Product Officer (CPO) and co-founder of MyFriend! as she shared her remarkable journey of adopting a resilient pupper from The Adoptable Puppy Cafe (during one of our Meet MyFriends! Interview, in fact). Linda, a devoted pet parent, already had two feline friends in her loving home—a majestic Maine Coon named Fellini and a mysterious black cat Hekate!
The recent decision to bring in another friend of a different species has added another unique member and opened her eyes to the incredible resilience and love these friends possess. Join us as we delve into Linda’s inspiring story, exploring her motivations, challenges, and the impact Harry has had on her life, the lives of her existing pets, and how they’ve influenced MyFriend!
Please introduce yourself and your beloved pets
I’m Linda, I’m the co-founder and CPO of MyFriend, and I have three pets. I have two cats, Fellini who’s a Maine Coon, he’s 13 years old, and Hekate a Thai street cat, she’s one now. And Harry, Thai Ridgeback who’s 3 months.
I used to have another cat before, called Berlioz. When he passed, it was actually my first pet. When he passed, I was devastated. I never knew I could be so devastated by the loss of a pet. I was really heartbroken, and two-three months passed, and Kevin my husband saw me and he was like “We need to do something because you’re really – you’re crying on a regular basis” it wasn’t fun for him.
So we started to look at cats, really, at that time we were aiming for a Maine Coon. We saw that breed at different shows, we saw it on TV, and we just really wanted to have a Maine Coon and we also heard they have great character. Well, look at them. They’re beautiful. Really really beautiful. Turns out, we found this small breeder, a lady called Martine in France, and she just had a litter of cats, and when we saw him, the pictures of him. He was like two-three weeks old, we’re like “Okay, that’s the one that we want.“ And we contacted her, we told her our story, about Berlioz, how we loved him, how devastating his loss has been. We asked her to adopt, well, purchase Fellini.
Until he was 4 months old, she kept sending us pictures and videos every week. So we could see him growing up as well. And we drove, I think 500km, from south of France to where he was, to pick him up. He was not very happy in the car, in his cage. So he ended up doing the 400-500km back on our laps and he was very happy about it. And it has been now 13 years, and he’s great.
Then I have Hekate, so Hekate, a story of loss. So last summer we lost our dog Charlotte, a brussels griffon. I mean, she was 15 so it was kind of expected to lose her. That time, it was our daughter, Sasha, who was heartbroken. She would cry every week, she would miss her, ask about her, when she would come back… never, unfortunately.
And we started to try to get her mind out of it, so we went to pet cafes, dogs and cats, different stuff. And we started asking ourselves, should we adopt a cat? And of course, because of my work, at MyFriend, we had contact with different associations and I saw this little black cat at PAWS Shelter Bangkok, so what we did was we did to the adoptable cat cafe that was at True Digital, and that day we didn’t expect to adopt, we just wanted to see. I saw different cats, a lot of them were super cute but I didn’t have the real connection, and finally I found Hekate, who was, at that time, called Mr. Greene, because they misgendered her, and she was hiding inside a box. I don’t know, we fell in love with her, adopted her the same day, and she’s great. She’s super smart.
Harry, we just realized we were missing having a dog, and again, my work, we could see different associations. I mean, I see puppies and kittens every day on Facebook pages, and we saw him and we saw others. I was like “Okay, let’s go and see.” Again, we went to The Adoptable Puppy Cafe, at UnionSpace. Again, not really planning to adopt, but wanting to see. I think I’m lying to myself. Again, different dogs that we saw, some of them I really liked for the looks, but again no connection. And Harry actually spent his whole time napping on Sasha and staying with her. Yeah, we just adopted him as well.
At first, I would say that I was a cat person. I was really a cat person, I think I’m still a cat person. I mean if I go out, I will always have a stray cat following me or cuddling with me. I do have a thing for cats, but Kevin is a dog person, really at first. Because we had both, we just became both. So today, they bring very different things. I’m very lucky to have super nice pets. Very cuddly, very nice, very naughty as well. But I’m actually both, I love both for different reasons but I love both.
I would say that, well, a dog requires getting out on a regular basis, especially Harry, he’s a puppy. That means every two hours, you have to go out, you have to train him, you have to do a lot of things to have a nice relationship.
With cats, I’d say it’s more easy. They have the litter box, so you don’t have to take them out. It’s easier, and it’s more calm. It’s a different relation. Both great, but I’d say that dogs are probably more maintenance, much more work on a daily basis.
So I’m always told that Fellini is so majestic because he’s so big. But he’s the clumsiest, silliest cat EVER. And actually a lot of Maine Coons are that way. They look majestic, but they are very very silly. Super silly. Every night, we have a little ritual, we are both on the couch and he comes and cuddles with me. That’s his thing. It’s every night, I have my 10-15 minutes just cuddling with him.
Then, I’d say Hekate, she’s tiny, she’s super smart. Like, very very intelligent. I trained her to do a couple of tricks, I didn’t even have to train her. She just did them. She just went in her box, did some things, really really super smart. I guess street smart.
Harry, well, he’s still a puppy. So I would say that, like of course, all puppies, a lot of energy, but he’s super sweet. He’s always very friendly with dogs, with kids, with adults, he’s super friendly, super nice. I’d say that he’s a naughty little puppy, like all puppies are. But he’s very very sweet.
I’d say that first, research the association or the shelter you’re going to adopt with. See what they do, how you can help as well, because they need donation, they need time as well. You can volunteer with them, but I’d say that, of course, you are going to probably fall in love with a picture. Because they post pictures of pets. Looks are nice but I think the connection is the most important. I think it’s very important to meet the cat or the dog that you are going to adopt before. Because you might just find out that nothing really happens, and I do think that you adopt a cat or a dog, but they adopt you as well. So if nothing happens, maybe it’s just not meant to be, and they just need to find another family. You’re not the right family for them. That’s what happened with Hekate, something clicked, Harry, something clicked. I had my eyes on another puppy, which was nice, super sweet, but the connection wasn’t there.
So I do think that not just looking at the pictures. You have to meet them. You have to see them. Even if you have to go several times, ask questions to the shelters to know the backstory, to know what happened to them, because it might be difficult if they’re older, cat or dogs. You need to know what happened to them, you need to understand if you are ready to step up if needed. Because not all stories of adoptions are nice. Some cats or dogs were abused, some come from the street that had a difficult life. So you have to ask yourself if you’re ready for this as well.
I would say, again, make your research. You need to make sure that your lifestyle, your home environment is fit for a dog or a cat. If you are in a high-rise condominium, you need to protect your balcony. Accidents happens. You can’t rely on the trust of having the doors and windows closed. Things happen and you don’t want your cat jumping off the window. You don’t want that. Even if it’s just a second or third floor, you don’t want that. Do your research, make sure you can take care of them because they are with you for their whole life, you need to provide food, shelter, but also a lot of love. And love also takes time, it takes time.
Have patience, do not forget that pets react as animals, if they react badly to something, it’s probably just because they’re scared or defensive. You have to understand why. If you understand why, you can probably solve it.
There’s a ton of content on our Magazine, you have videos, tips to understand how to deal with a cat and a dog, and problems that you might encounter. So take the time and yeah, it’s a decision to take a pet. It’s a life long decision for them. So, you need to be ready for this.
Linda’s love for her furry friends also translates into what she does every day at MyFriend. To bring the best solution for pet parents everywhere, her story and welcoming Harry into her home only reminds us of the countless treasures that are waiting for their forever homes, to be safe, to be loved. Linda’s journey highlights the immeasurable joy & fulfillment of being a pet parent and how these little critters have such a profound impact on our lives.
The Adoptable Puppy Cafe is a monthly event that happens at UnionSPACE right in the heart of Bangkok. Feel free to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages and stay tuned for updates if you’re looking to open up your heart, arms, and homes for a furry friend to further enrich your life!
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