From homeless to famous, these two social media cats are using their “voices” to raise awareness for pet adoption and FIV – and they sure look cute doing it!
With nearly 4 million followers across their social media platforms, Cole and Marmalade are nothing short of legendary. These two felines and their humans, Chris and Jess Poole, spend their days creating adorable photos and binge-worthy videos to share on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds – and the world is obsessed with the result.
But while their creative content draws people in, it’s passion for animal advocacy that keeps them coming back. They’re using their platforms to promote pet adoption and break down stigmas surrounding black and FIV+ cats, and the impact they’ve made to date is outstanding. To learn more about their life and goals, we sat down with Chris to ask him a few questions!
AW: How did it all begin? Tell us Cole and Marmalade’s adoption story!
CP: Back in 2012 I was working at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida as the Videographer. Me and my wife Jess were both living on the property in a trailer when Jess’s friend texted us that she’d found a black kitten. Somehow she managed to see the kitten in her rear view mirror, pulled over and scooped him up. He was all on his own and she contacted us because she knew we were “crazy cat people”. We saw his pic and picked him up the next day and that’s how it all began!
Cole was only around 5–6 weeks old when we adopted him, and because he was so young he bonded with us very closely. He also got to look at leopards out the window as he grew up!
AW: How many years later did you get Marmalade?
CP: In 2013, a year later, a friend of a friend who owned Marmalade’s Mom was trying to find a home for baby Marmalade. He was the only surviving kitten of his litter. His two siblings had died and our friend was either going to take Marmalade to the humane society or release him outside with a local feral colony. When we received the text message and pic from them, we couldn’t say no… we had been thinking about adopting a friend for Cole for a while and ginger kitties kept getting my attention! So we saw this as a sign from the cat gods and picked him up the next day!
AW: When and why did you decide to start an Instagram account for them?
CP: The first account we started was YouTube. I just used my personal account and began to upload Cole vids. Then a friend of ours told us that black cats have a harder time getting adopted and are most likely to be euthanized because of overcrowding at animal shelters. That’s the reason I started making more cat videos. I grew up with a black cat as a kid and they’ve always been my favorites, so when I learned that people still think they’re bad luck and choose cats with fancier markings and colors at shelters I decided to make it my new hobby to show people how cool Cole was and why they’d be LUCKY to be owned by a black cat!
So that became my new mission on my weekends when I wasn’t making videos of tigers and lions at Big Cat Rescue! Then of course we started a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account to spread the message as far as possible.
AW: Has the purpose of the account changed over time?
CP: Not really! We still try and educate as well as entertain with our posts. The pressure has definitely increased now though. Because we’re so well-known I feel that we can’t just do what some famous cats do and post cute/silly content all the time, we need to use our popularity to continue to educate and make a positive difference. We promote adoption, spay, neuter and compassion towards community cats and getting involved with TNR.
AW: You also use your platform to spread FIV awareness. Why this disease?
CP: Marmalade is actually FIV+, so we’ve learned a lot over the past 7 years about the disease and cat health in general. Marmalade tested negative as a kitten and we weren’t made aware that you should re-test when they are older since the kitten tests can be unreliable. So when we discovered Marmalade had lymphoma in 2014, we re-tested then and he was FIV+ … at first we didn’t know much about the disease and thought we might have to separate Marmalade from Cole and panicked, but we learned a lot about FIV, and although it sounds very scary, it’s really not that big of a deal and can be easily managed and FIV+ cats can live just as long as FIV- cats.
AW: What a story! No wonder you’re so passionate about it. So, what’s the ultimate message you’re trying to spread?
CP: The message we’re trying to spread is that if you see “FIV+” on the cage card of a cat at a shelter, please don’t let that be a deal breaker for you! Those 3 letters scare so many people away and it’s a real shame, we like to say that FIV+ cats are POSITIVELY adoptable! … Since Marmalade is very popular we like to highlight the fact that he’s FIV+ so people see him in videos running around being crazy and having fun, which shows that FIV isn’t something to worry about.
We also made a fact sheet and send to people so they can print out and display at their local shelter/vet to spread the message
AW: Sounds like you’re a huge advocate for animal adoption! Tell us about some of the rescue initiatives you’re currently involved with.
CP: We’re actively involved in TNR and rescue work. I get messages all the time from people needing help and advice with cats and kittens, and if they’re local I do my best to get out there, trap and help however I can.
It’s gets kind of overwhelming at times, but I do my best to save as many lives as possible and help stop the cycle of suffering
AW: What’s next for you, Cole and Marmalade? What are some of your short- and long-term goals?
CP: Hmmm, we’re just trying to keep up with everything! Keep creating content that people can relate to, help get more people involved in rescue work, I’d really like to do more to connect with children, we have so many younger fans I’d really like to do more stuff to inspire and educate them to be crazy cat people when they’re older!
AW: Sounds like a great goal. We need more crazy cat people in this world! Speaking of crazy, do Cole and Marmalade have any notable quirks?
CP: Cole carries around his favorite toy and meows in a high pitch to announce his “kill”. He loves to snuggle and drools on you when he really gets in the purr zone. Marm is a food freak and trying to eat with him around can be very time consuming… he also sees and talks to ghosts on a daily basis!
AW: They’re quite the characters! For our readers who want to find you online, what are your social media handles?
The cats have long battled sickness. Marmalade is positive for FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus, and survived lymphoma. Most recently, Cole was fighting cancer.Is marmalade FIV positive? ›
CP: Marmalade is actually FIV+, so we've learned a lot over the past 7 years about the disease and cat health in general. Marmalade tested negative as a kitten and we weren't made aware that you should re-test when they are older since the kitten tests can be unreliable.Who is the owner of Cole and Marmalade? ›
Chris Poole - Videographer/Creator - Cole and Marmalade | LinkedIn.How is Cole the cat doing? ›
(Marmalade is FIV positive and Cole was a rescued black cat. Black cats notoriously face more difficulty finding forever homes.) Sadly, after a battle with kidney disease and beating cancer, Cole passed away on Sunday, October 10th, 2021.Where do Cole and Marmalade live? ›
Cole and Marmalade's success let him spend most of his time in the field doing that. His wife also left her corporate job to work on Cole and Marmalade's online presence full time. The couple lives with the cats in a rented, manufactured home in northeastern Tampa where catnip grows in pots on the front porch.Can a cat with FIV infect a human? ›
Can humans catch FIV? While FIV is related to HIV in humans, there's no way that the cat virus can cross between species and infect people. FIV only affects cats, cannot be transmitted to non-felines.How do cats get infected with FIV? ›
Risk and Transmission
The primary mode of transmission for FIV is through bite wounds from an infected cat. Casual, non-aggressive contact, such as sharing water bowls or mutual grooming, does not appear to be an efficient route of spreading the virus.
One can easily imagine that if an infected cat grooms another, the virus in his saliva could wind up in the mouth of his cat buddy. However, there's only scant evidence that FIV can be transmitted to cats by non-aggressive-that is, non-biting-behavior.Are all marmalade cats male? ›
Approximately 80% of ginger cats are male.
Females, however, need to receive copies of the gene from both parents, and the more copies of the gene she inherits, the more ginger she will be. Females with orange in their coats are more often tortoiseshells and calicos.
Two of the most common nicknames for the orange tabby are ginger cats or marmalade cats. These are both nicknames that derive solely from the color of the cat, and it's no wonder that these names were chosen. The orange color of these cats is very distinct and very noticeable.
Orlando (The Marmalade Cat) is the fictional eponymous hero of the series (of the same name) of 19 illustrated children's books written by Kathleen Hale between 1938 and 1972, issued by various publishers including Country Life and Puffin Picture Books.Where is marmalade from? ›
Marmalade are a Scottish pop rock band originating from the east end of Glasgow, originally formed in 1961 as The Gaylords, and then later billed as Dean Ford and the Gaylords, recording four singles for Columbia (EMI).What was Marmalades biggest hit? ›
Dean Ford, vocalist for the Scottish band the Marmalade, whose voice was heard around the world on the group's biggest hit, “Reflections of My Life,” died on Monday in Los Angeles.What is the origin of marmalade? ›
The Scots are credited with developing marmalade as a spread, with Scottish recipes in the 18th century using more water to produce a less solid preserve.What happened to Socks the cat? ›
Socks was euthanized on February 20, 2009, in Hollywood, Maryland, after suffering cancer of the jaw.What happened to the cat guy? ›
On November 5, 2012, he was found dead in his garage, with a gun on the floor. He was 54 years old. News of the death became public one week later. In an online post, BMEzine founder Shannon Larratt wrote that his death was a suicide.What happened to Mittens the cat? ›
Mittens is occasionally taken to the SPCA or the police. Originally from the suburbs of Auckland, he has become a social media celebrity since he, his late brother Latte, and their owner Silvio Bruinsma moved to the capital city in 2017.Are Cole and Marmalade back? ›
Tampa's most famous internet cats reappear when the world needed it most, owners say. They're back, they're still cute and their owners can again legally post as many photos of their frisky antics as they want.How long will a cat with FIV live? ›
Cats infected with FIV may live for months or years. On average, life expectancy is 5 years from the time of diagnosis depending on how active the infection is. There is a FIV vaccination given twice initially, then yearly thereafter for outside cats or cats exposed to outside cats due to the potential of cat bites.Can you kiss a cat with FIV? ›
Just as we tend to avoid close contact with humans who are sick, you should avoid kissing your cat when he or she is sick.
Treatment for the feline immunodeficiency virus is quite expensive. According to estimates, the cost range from $150 to $2,000 per treatment.Can FIV be spread through water bowls? ›
FIV is spread primarily through cats' saliva, particularly when a cat bites deep into another cat. FIV typically does NOT spread through cats grooming each other, sharing food and water bowls, or sharing a litter box.Can my cat with FIV be around other cats? ›
Dr. Zarah Hedge, chief medical officer of the San Diego Humane Society, says some people believe that FIV-positive cats should always live separate from other cats. Not true, she says: FIV-positive and -negative cats can live together as long as all cats are spayed or neutered, remain indoors and interact peacefully.What to do if your cat has FIV positive? ›
Infected cats should be confined indoors to prevent the spread of FIV infection to other cats and to reduce exposure to disease-producing organisms. Isolate. The best method of preventing spread to other cats in the household is to isolate the infected cat from interacting with housemates.Can cats with FIV share a litter box? ›
FIV is spread between cats through blood transfusions, deep bite wounds, and less commonly, through intercourse or an infected mother's milk to nursing kittens. Sharing a litter box, sleeping area, toys, water bowl or other items will NOT transmit FIV between cats.What happens if a cat with FIV bites another cat? ›
If an FIV-infected cat bites a kitten, he or she can develop a true infection. However, the FIV test will usually not turn positive for several months. If a mother cat is infected with FIV at the time she is pregnant or nursing, she can pass large quantities of the virus to her kittens.What are signs of FIV in cats? ›
Any recurrent illnesses may suggest that the cat has FIV – or another virus, such as FeLV . Common signs include long-lasting or recurrent diarrhoea, a runny nose and sneezing (rhinitis), inflammations of the eye and recurrent skin infections. They are also more likely to get some types of cancer.What is the personality of a marmalade cat? ›
They're known for being super chill. It's true, this is one cat that loves to relax! While marmalade cats are all different, many of them tend to have a strong couch potato gene which means their ideal day involves sleeping, stretching out in the sun, and just generally being rather sloth-like.Do ginger cats have health problems? ›
Like all breeds, ginger cats are at risk of developing health conditions over their lifetimes. Here are some conditions to be aware of if you have a ginger cat: Dental problems: Like all cats, ginger cats may be prone to dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay.Is it rare for a ginger cat to be female? ›
Females have two X chromosomes and so need two copies of this gene to become ginger, whereas males need only one. This means there are roughly three males to one female ginger cat.
- Ragdoll. ...
- Siamese. ...
- Maine coon. ...
- Sphynx. ...
- Abyssinian. ...
- Burmese. ...
- Scottish fold. ...
- Birman. The CFA describes the Birman as “the best friend you ever had.” This fluffy kitty is a gentle and quiet creature, often happy to socialize with both humans and other animals.
- Ragdoll. These cats are considered 'puppy cats' because they have dog-like traits, including wanting to play and cuddle with their owner. ...
- Persian. The Persian is a placid breed that is prone to bursts of kitten-like energy. ...
- Abyssinian. ...
- Maine Coon. ...
- Burmese. ...
- Sphynx. ...
- Cornish Rex. ...
- Scottish Fold.
1. Sokoke Cat. The Sokoke Cat is the rarest domestic cat breed in the world, according to the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).Is it true that orange cats are always male? ›
Orange tabby cats are usually male.
In fact, up to 80 percent of orange tabbies are male, making orange female cats a bit of a rarity. According to the BBC's Focus Magazine, the ginger gene in cats works a little differently compared to humans; it is on the X chromosome.
According to Psychology Today: Orange cats are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Orange cats are thought to be friendlier and more affectionate than others.Are ginger and orange cats the same? ›
The orange tabby cat is not actually its own separate breed of cat. Whether you call them orange, red, ginger or marmalade tabbies, orange tabby cats are not a specific breed of cat, rather it is referring to their fur color.Why is marmalade evil? ›
He was thought to be a harmless and innocent guinea pig, but, he was revealed to be actually evil. Since he met the Bad Guys, he wanted revenge on them because they messed with the wrong guinea pig.Is marmalade good or bad? ›
The quick answer. Yes, marmalade is good for us, but like with many sweet foods, moderation is the key here! One tablespoon of orange marmalade contains 49 calories, negligible amounts of fat or protein, 0.1 grams of fibre, 12 grams of sugar and 13.3 grams of carbohydrates, which is fairly low amount of calories.What is marmalade famous for? ›
Marmalade is typically used as a sweet condiment for toast, biscuits, scones, croissants, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a sweet, fruity addition to cakes or in savory applications as a glaze for meats or vegetables.What was the biggest hit song ever? ›
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks. It also became the fastest song in history to be certified diamond. "The Box" charted at No.Why is marmalade not called orange jam? ›
Marmalades contain the peel of the fruit as opposed to the whole fruit which jam is made from. Is marmalade just orange jam? No, orange jams use the entire fruit by crushing, pureeing and cooking, whereas marmalades consist of the citrus peel, (not the whole fruit).Who eats marmalade? ›
Paddington Bear (Brown) is known for eating marmalade sandwiches, and always has one of them prepared under his bucket hat, or in his P.B. suitcase. In Paddington Run.What fruit is original marmalade? ›
Originally, marmalade was made from quince, which is a fruit that looks like a pear.What fruit is used in marmalade? ›
Use a single type of citrus fruit, mixed citrus or a citrus and other fruits to make marmalade. Use good quality, ripe fruit (under ripe fruit has poor flavour and less juice) to ensure as much natural pectin and acidity to help the marmalade gel (set), plus give a jewel-like colour to your preserve.Is the band Marmalade still alive? ›
Dave Dee began appearing as guest singer for Marmalade in 1987 and recorded a single with the band, "Scirocco", in 1989. He continued to make live guest appearances with them until his death in 2009. In September 2010 Graham Knight, the last remaining member of the original band, departed.What happened to Pinky the cat? ›
What happened to Pinky at the end of the video? TheShelter worker dropped the leash and Pinky ran away. We called the Animal Shelter. Pinky was never seen again.What happened to mango the cat? ›
Unfortunately, the health problems were serious. The family soaked up every minute with the always-loving Mango until the end. On 2/21/22, Mango passed away after living an amazing life for two decades.What was Marmalade's biggest hit? ›
- Wait For Me Marianne. Wait For Me Marianne. ...
- Falling Apart At The Seams. Falling Apart At The Seams. ...
- Radancer. Radancer. ...
- Reflections Of My Life. Reflections Of My Life. ...
- My Little One. My Little One. PREVIEW. ...
- Rainbow. Rainbow. PREVIEW. ...
- Cousin Norman. Cousin Norman. PREVIEW. ...
- Back On The Road. Back On The Road. PREVIEW.
They moved to London as Dean Ford and The Gaylords to find success, they changed members and their groups name to Marmalade, according to their website.
Tired of touring, Campbell left Marmalade in March 1971. During the 1970s, he had two self-penned solo records released, both of which, "Hallelujah Freedom" (#9) (1972), (with Doris Troy on backing vocals), and "Sweet Illusion" (#15) (1973), made Top 20 chart appearances in the UK Singles Chart.What happened to Otter the cat? ›
Otter Doesn't Need Helmet After Brain Surgery
After 1.5 months, he is doing great, and it looks like he never had brain surgery! Thanks to how well he has healed, he doesn't wear his helmet and can enjoy life unencumbered.
While it's upsetting, the cat's death is not actually shown and we never see or hear the cat suffer in any way. But it does establish that Rose is losing her mind, that no one trusts her anymore, and that she herself is in as much danger as her late pet. Bacon told Variety.What happened to the piano cat? ›
Though Fatso had died in 1989 Schmidt had since adopted two other cats to become the new "Keyboard Cat" and providing video footage to be used for the meme: Bento until his death in 2018, and the new current Keyboard Cat, Skinny.What happened to Nana cat? ›
She and her two kittens, Toto and Dodo, were going to be euthanized by the shelter if they weren't adopted because their time at the shelter was about to end. Claire's friend informed her about that and she agreed to foster Nana and her kittens, and now she has adopted the three of them.Where is Tara the cat? ›
Zatara (Tara for short), is a female tabby cat living in California, United States, who rescued her human family's child from being attacked by a neighbor dog named Scrappy.What happened to Scarlett the cat? ›
The cat herself was cremated.Who does Cole end up with? ›
Cole and Zanab, who are both realtors, met in the pods early on, and though they were both interested in other contestants, the pair wound up engaged at the end of the pod phase.What breed is Cole and Marmalade? ›
About Us - Cole & Marmalade. We believe Cole is a TURKISH ANGORA but can't be totally sure since he was rescued off the streets, but we all know rescued is the best breed anyway ! …