Facebook campaign gets kids 100,000 'Likes,' 1 cat

Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM ET

Marisa Papile Urbano/Facebook /

One more shelter cat has a forever home thanks to a couple of irresistibly adorable kids, their social media-savvy mom and more than 100,000 Facebook users.

Remi Urbano, a 7-year-old feline fan in Newton, Mass., and his toddler sister, Evelyn, really wanted a cat. Mom Marisa was on board, but daddy Dan would only acquiesce to the furry new family member on one condition — that the kids get get at least 1,000 "likes" on their cat campaign photo (above) featured on mom's Facebook page

"Dan thinks there is NO way we can do this," Marisa wrote. "I say there is. Help us out. We really want a cat named Hairy Pawturrr. If you can't like, shares. Shares count too! Thanks so much everyone!!" (Like most kids — well, humans — the Urbanos are apparently huge Harry Potter fans.)

Certainly this was all in good fun for the family — Papa Urbano would have to exist in the pre-Internet age of 1990-something to not know that when it comes to cats and the Internet, all bets are off.  What's more, he has in-real-life knowledge of his children's obvious charm, which we only get a glimpse of via Facebook.

And so, more than 118,000 Facebook "Likes" later, a lovely tabby with a jaunty white bib and socks to match, left the Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter in nearby Brighton for her new home with the Urbanos, along with a new name — "Hairyette" instead of "Hairy" in the end, as the the kitty selected is a "she."  (Why not Purrrmione Granger?" We've reached out to the Urbanos and we'll let you know what they say.)

As you can see from the updated photos on mom's Facebook page, Remi seems delighted with his social media campaign's success — even if Hairyette looks a little unsure. (You know how cats are.)  

Marisa Papile Urbano/Facebook /


"We never intended to get this much attention, but are so happy to have put smiles on some faces and most importantly to have saved a life," Marisa writes in her Facebook update. "Thank you to the Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter for helping us find our newest family member, they are a wonderful organization and were so kind to our family. Hooray for happy endings!"

As for Dad, "I knew it was going to hit 1k at some point - I thought it would take longer than 2 hours," Dan wrote, chronicling his rapid defeat in a blog belonging to Mimocom, the Boston-based design company where he works. "Out of all the pets we could have gotten, a cat is the best I could think of but we’re getting rid of all our fish now."

Rather than sending gifts to the Urbano's new addition — as many have offered on her Facebook page — Marisa asks that instead, donations are sent to Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter.

 Good job, Facebook! Now, are you willing to clean the litter box?


Mimoco /
Dad Dan doesn't seem to be one to hide his feelings.

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah abut the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+.  

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