Meet Kelly Pavlik- a cat who shares more than a name with a professional boxer. It turns out, the feline Kelly Pavlik is as loyal to his hometown of Vilonia, Arkansas as the boxer is to Youngstown, Ohio.If I have learned anything about cats in my lifetime, it’s that they always choose their people. You may think you are picking out a cat, but somewhere along the way they decide that you are theirs or that you are not. Good luck to you if their decision is the latter. Kelly chose his people, and they have clearly rescued enough pets to give him the respect to recognize it.
Like the fighter he was named for & unlike most other felines on the planet, he was loyal; appearing it the back door each day to wait for someone to bring him inside, until he decided it was time to go back out & attend to whatever business it is that cats have.
On the evening of April 25, 2011 Kelly Pavlik used whatever kind of magical cat sense they all seem to have & decided to stay in. On this particular evening, a tornado ripped through the sleepy little town of Vilonia & destroyed Kelly’s home. Everyone is alright- as alright as a family can be when a tornado comes to visit & takes your home with it as it goes.
When the tornado disappeared, Kelly disappeared for a few days as well- one more quality he now shares with the boxer, who wears the nickname “the ghost” so well. After two days he reappeared at the neighbor’s house, possibly because his 108 year old home wasn’t where he left it.
We will certainly never know what that cat experienced during that storm & in the days following it, but as one of his chosen people explained so eloquently here & here, life-changing events teach us what is real & what is true. This cat chose his people & in return they chose for him the perfect name, although at the time nobody could have guessed how well he would earn it. Little Kelly Pavlik is a fighter.
Making art, especially painting pet portraits brings me so much joy. I also love being able to use some of that money to help homeless animals, but I honestly never realized how much it would mean to me to meet the people owned by the pets & hear their stories. Kelly Pavlik is a lucky cat- not just because he outsmarted Mother Nature, but because he picked such a wonderful family. Every cat should be so lucky.