Of all the things Emma Pilkington Mead expected to bring home from a work trip in Mexico, a kitten certainly wasn’t on the list, but one in need had other plans.
While the photographer was in town documenting a music festival with her camera, an abandoned cat and puppy pair came strolling up to Emma, demanding attention. Emma could tell at once that Elio, the name she gave the fluffy white kitten, needed help. He was covered in fleas and had scars covering his neck.
A hotel rule that was meant to be broken
Emma sprung into action. While her friend Sam cared for the puppy, Emma focused on Elio, giving him food, water, and a warm bath. The only problem? Emma’s hotel didn’t allow animals. But she was falling for the cuddly white kitten, though—and falling for him hard. “He was very affectionate and very sweet,” the photographer said.
Emma made the difficult decision to leave the kitten alone, but was hoping fate would bring Elio back to her. “If he’s here tomorrow,” she’d told herself, “it’s meant to be.”
The following morning, the puppy returned—but Elio had not. Emma went to work, disappointed that the cat had decided to part ways, only to return to the office later that night to discover a sweet surprise: Elio was there.
So she smudged the rules—just a tad. “I stuck him in a bag and smuggled him into the hotel with me.”
That sealed the deal. Emma and Elio have been together ever since.
From fleas to fame
Today, Elio is living his best life. Not only is he happy and healthy, but he’s also become a TikTok star!
“He used to snuggle all the time,” Emma said, “now he sort of just likes to run wild…he’s just so independent.”
If you ever find yourself in Emma’s situation and stumble upon an abandoned cat in need, do as the experts say: get them warm, get them fed, and get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
There may be an Elio in your future who will thank you.