Finding Comfort in Feline Companionship: Lisa’s Story of Love and Resilience

Lisa Lindsey has a heart full of love for her cats, and plenty of reason to love them. Her journey with her seven feline friends has been a source of comfort and support during some of life’s most challenging moments. From rescuing her first cat to adopting a diverse group of feline companions, Lisa’s life has been enriched by the love and companionship they bring.

Through Lisa’s experiences and the challenges she has faced, some incredible bonds have been formed. These bonds are inspiring and touching hearts on Instagram and Tik Tok. Now, Lisa has shared her story with the Animal Rescue Site, as well.

A Journey of Love and Loss

Lisa’s love for animals started early, and her bond with her son, Trey, was inseparable.
Trey was with Lisa when they brought Honey home from an ad on Craigslist in 2016, and Chloe from the Nebraska Humane Society the following year.

However, their lives took an unexpected turn when Trey was diagnosed with stage 4 chronic kidney disease at the age of 10.

Lisa’s unwavering support and love led her to donate her kidney to him at age 12, and the transplant brought a glimmer of hope to their lives. Unfortunately, the kidney’s function began to decline when Trey turned 21, and he had to go back on dialysis. Tragically, Trey passed away about nine months later due to complications from the disease.

“Every 10 minutes another person is added to the transplant waiting list,” Lisa says. “I am a big advocate of organ donation.”

The loss of her only child left Lisa devastated and in a state of profound grief.

“That first year after losing Trey was a complete blur,” she says. “I was angry, and it just didn’t feel real. We were never told that he could suddenly pass away, so we never planned for or expected it.”

Lisa was facing major depression and was on several prescriptions. Amid the darkness, she felt a void that could only be filled with love and companionship. That’s why in 2018, she adopted a Siamese kitten named Bentley, hoping that a new furry friend would bring joy and life back into her home.

“I thought a dose of kitten energy is just what we needed to liven up the house again,” she says.

Finding Joy in Feline Companionship

As Lisa embarked on her journey to heal, she found solace in her feline companions. The bond with her Siamese cat, Bentley, brought a glimmer of light back into her life. In 2019, Lisa received a promotion that led her to move to California, where her beloved cats became her source of strength and comfort.

“This new job location kept me so busy, and California is so beautiful, so it was a great distraction,” Lisa says. “My mom came with me for support, and we had just rescued a kitten for her from the Nebraska Humane Society, whom she named TJ – a play off of Trey Junior.”

But life had more surprises in store for Lisa and her feline family. In 2020, during the pandemic, she adopted a Sphynx cat, who she named Kylo, after Kylo Ren, one of her son’s favorite Star Wars characters. The bond they shared was incomparable. The affection and intelligence of the Sphynx breed impressed Lisa, and she quickly fell in love.

“This is also when I got into making videos of my cats for TikTok. Or, as I like to say, making , saving, and sharing memories,” Lisa says. “While off work, I decided to wean myself off of all my depression medications. My feline companions continually enrich my life with joy and provide a source of profound support, enhancing my well-being on a daily basis, so I credit them to making that possible. The love I feel and receive from my cats heals my heart.”

Overcoming Adversity: The Fire and Miracles

In 2021, Lisa faced another shock.

“My mom called me when I was on my way home from work, and said our home was on fire,” she says. “When I arrived on scene, I was frantic, trying to see which cat or cats they were able to locate and save.”

The devastating fire that broke out at Lisa’s home resulted in the loss of about 85% of their belongings, but spared her son’s urn and the memorial she set up for him.

In the midst of the chaos, she faced the unimaginable fear of losing her beloved cats. With Honey, Chloe, Bentley, TJ, and Kylo inside the house during the fire, Lisa was frantic to find them. The firefighters managed to rescue Honey and Bentley, but the other three cold not be located.

That night, the American Red Cross arranged a hotel room for Lisa, but she could not sleep. At 2am, she asked her mother to take her back to the house to continue to look for the 3 missing cats.

“We eventually saw Chloe outside in the backyard, near the neighbor’s house, and she wouldn’t come to me,” Lisa says. “I approached her and she darted off into the night. The smell of smoke was prominent and overwhelming, so she could not tell anymore that this was her home, placing any cat trees or litter did not help in locating her thereafter. I was worried sick b/c these are indoor only cats.”

The next day, they continued to search and call out for the cats, as well as salvaging what they could from the fire.

“We had already been looted and items were stolen,” Lisa says. “I thought I saw a hairy tail from under the couch and was excited but terrified to investigate further. There were no sounds or responses to our voices or calling out their names, so I feared they may have perished from the smoke.”

Despite the immense loss, Lisa held on to hope.

“It was a MIRACLE. Both TJ and Kylo were found inside a loveseat, crawled up so far that they were stuck and could not get out, but they were both ALIVE,” Lisa says. “They had some scrapes and bruises, likely from trying to get out, but they were OK! We just could not believe it. The loveseat was located across from my son’s memorial and urn. We think Trey was looking out for them.”

Chloe was the last cat to be located, which took significant effort. Lisa and her mother posted lost and found message online and rented a live trap from the Humane Society. When they found a new place to live an hour away, it became difficult to check the trap daily. However, a woman in the area who saw the story took it upon herself to hire a professional trapper.

“Six weeks after the fire, they trapped Chloe! Another miracle!” Lisa says. “She was unharmed but was very skinny. ”

Lisa is happy that all her cats survived the fire.

Building a Community and Finding Healing

In the aftermath of the fire, Lisa found support and connection through social media. She began sharing videos of her cats on TikTok and Instagram, creating a platform where people with similar interests could connect. She found herself building an online community of animal lovers who understood the joy and companionship that cats bring to life.

The journey of documenting her feline companions became therapeutic for Lisa. It was a way to create and preserve memories, especially since the fire had taken so much from her. The support from her social media family and the joy she found in making videos of her cats helped her overcome depression and heal.

The Limit of Love: Seven Cats and Counting

When Lisa’s mom moved back to Texas, TJ went with her. But Lisa says she grew quite fond of Kylo and how close sphynx cats are to their owner.

“So loving. So smart. So energetic,” she says. “Kylo needed a friend like him. I got Rey at the end of 2021, and she came to the US from Ukraine. She is the exact opposite of Kylo, and yet they compliment each other so well.”

In March 2022 Lisa adopted Reign, a Lykoi cat.

“They are nicknamed werewolf cats due to their appearance,” Lisa says. “They have a hair growth mutation which causes them to molt and then regrow hair. It’s a naturally occurring mutation and they found this breed among the feral cat community.”

Lisa says that the Lykoi breed was misunderstood for a long time, and cats would be put down because people thought they had an illness. It wasn’t until recently that the Lykoi breed was officially recognized.

“They are relatively newer and relatively unknown, so Reign gets a lot of attention on social media, because she looks different than other cats,” Lisa says. “I find the breed immensely beautiful and majestic. Watching her grow up as a kitten, and seeing her molt was fascinating. She looked like a different kitten each time I got new pictures.”

In October 2022, Lisa adopted Neeko, a bicolor sphynx male that she says she, “completely fell in love with.”

“This is my 7th cat, and that is the limit,” Lisa says. “They all see a vet regularly, get lots of time with mom, eat well, and have plenty of room in the house to cohabitate together. You would never know walking into my house that 7 cats reside there.”

With about 90k followers on Instagram and TikTok, Lisa and her cat family is well known, and still gaining popularity.

“I’ve met and made some of the most amazing friends from social media through our cat accounts, Lisa Lisa and The Funky Bunch,” Lisa says. “Now that my mom is no longer here, and work has settled down a bit, I find my depression creeping back in, but my feline companions work their magic and dispel those negative emotions, bringing comfort to my life. They need me. And they need to be together. I have to stick around and continue to take good care of these little angels. They are true blessings.”

A Bright Future with Her Feline Crew

Animals have an incredible capacity to heal, uplift, and enrich our lives. Indeed, they become an integral part of our families, bringing joy and light into our darkest days.

With a total of seven feline companions, Lisa’s life is a testament to the love and care she showers upon her furry friends. They are her source of comfort, love, and inspiration. Lisa’s story reminds us of the incredible bond that can form between humans and animals, and how these loving creatures can heal and uplift our spirits.

See more of Lisa Lisa and her Funky Bunch in the video below!

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.
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