In 1970 Disney released an animated movie called The Aristocats. The story is of a family of cats owned by an exceptionally wealthy retired opera diva. Her mama cat, Duchess, is the love of her life, and the three kittens,Berlioz, Marie and Toulouse are growing up in a true aristocratic lifestyle. When Madame decides that when she passes her wealth should be bequeathed to her cats until they too pass, her butler kidnaps them, hoping to speed up his inheritance. The sweet family finds their way home courtesy of an alley cat named Thomas O'Malley.
The musical animated film has continued to touch hearts to this day, so much so that when Texas resident Shelby Sewell-Lopez adopted an absolutely stunning white cat in 2018, she named her Duchess. Shelby says that when she adopted sweet Duchess, she was not very healthy. She was frail, had a hernia, and thanks to a multitude of parasitic infections, the poor cat's hair was falling out.
Nevertheless, Shelby pursued recovery and health for Duchess with compassion and enthusiasm. In an interview with Bored Panda, she said:
Through all of the rehabilitating, she kept her calm demeanour and a beautiful cat emerged. She is unbothered by everything except the vacuum cleaner!
Duchess was "reborn" in all the glory she clearly was intended to possess. An elegant, beautiful, sweet cat.
Shelby and her family were under the impression that Duchess was spayed. However, that turned out to be untrue, and they discovered it because they opened a closet in their home one day, to see Duchess curled up with what, at first, appeared to be a mouse. Upon closer inspection, however, that "mouse," was a newborn kitten!
Shortly after, Duchess birthed three more precious kittens!
The first three kittens born were, amusingly, im-paws-ible not to compare to Disney's favorite litter: first Berlioz, then came Marie, and Toulouse. A quiet came and calm came over, but shortly after the fourth, a bonus kitten was born, too. Shelby named the bonus kitten Blue, saying:
Although Blue is not an official Aristocat, he is the most affectionate and definitely steals most of the attention.
Duchess may have had a rough start in life, but that has definitely not hindered her ability to be a devoted and affectionate mother. As the kittens grew and began to explore the world around them, Duchess could always be seen nearby, following her purr-fect babies everywhere they went.
Shelby admits, however, that Duchess became at least slightly spoiled during her recovery, as all of her meals and water were brought to her.
Four kittens may not seem like a lot to someone whose cat had a larger litter, but it's quite a bit for a small family to take on. For Shelby, though, separating the purr-fect family was not something she could bring herself to do!
Deciding to keep the kittens was a no-brainer for Shelby, but she says she did have to convince her husband.
Today, Shelby and her family are keeping up with their growing fan base via their Facebook Page.
As Disney's The Aristocats has remained a favored story, it's no surprise that people are super excited about Duchess's story and her sweet litter of kittens.
Even better, Duchess and her kittens have brought some joy to the daily lives and hearts of the people of the Internet.
Today, if you follow them on their Facebook page, you will see that Shelby's family is using this awesome opportunity to raise awareness to other cats like Duchess, who need love and support to heal and overcome obstacles. The bonus is that you also get to watch The real-life Aristocats grow and glow!
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