From a homeless stray animal to an accomplished commercial meowdel, this cat proves that love can change everything.
Rue is a seven-year old kitty who has experienced the struggle of neither having a place to live in nor food to eat. Luckily, on the night of July 24, 2009, a kind-hearted hooman in the name of Jonna Baquillas rescued and adopted her.
“I decided to walk along Lapu-Lapu St. that evening, and suddenly a tiny kitten appeared in front of me. She made tiny meows, looked helpless, but was totally cute. I noticed her classic tabby pattern, which is a dream cat for me, and thought we were meant to meet. But I put her back down because my other cat, Qish, was still recovering from an illness at that time, and I thought a new kitten would stress him out. So I left. The tiny kitten tried to follow with her tiny steps, but of course she couldn’t catch up. Five minutes later, my heart was flooded with guilt for leaving the kitten. So I came back and took her with me.”, Jonna answered when asked the story of how she adopted Rue.
According to Jonna, “Rue Noire” or Rue’s name is a rough translation of “dark street” in French which is basically where the two first met.
Growing up, Rue proved to be a good subject for photography because of her adorable face. And so, by 2010, Jonna decided to start a blog at PAWsomecats.com. She also started being active on Facebook and Instagram at @pawsomecats. Rue entering the social media world was the start of her career. She got featured in several international blogs and so, Jonna made accounts which are all dedicated to Rue. Hence, the birth of @LilMissRue.
“Her break came when she broke the internet with her photo in Lil Red Riding Hood costume. It was taken during the Scaredy Cats and Dogs event of PAWS in 2011. She became an overnight internet sensation, getting featured in hundreds of news sites all over the world. The same photo was published in Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer. She was included in BuzzFeed’s 30 Most Important Cats of 2011 and 100 Most Important Cats of All Time.”, Jonna shared.
In 2012, Rue had her first TV appearance with Luis Manzano in Pilipinas Got Talent. And then, she started meowdeling for big pet brands in 2013 to 2014. Her photos were all over store posters, websites, magazines and even vaccination cards. She also came out in postcards in 2013 when she meowdeled for an international pet brand.
In 2014, she was picked to do a commercial with Marco Masa (Nathaniel) for Royco Indonesia and Knorr Singapore. She even had a chauffeur who picked them up and brought them home which are all provided by the production company. Jonna even shared that during the shoot, Rue was allowed to rest as long as she wanted and when she needed to. She was also assigned an animal trainer. “Unfortunately, we had to do a reshoot so she’ll be “acting” better in her natural environment. The production company set up temporary flooring in my condo, and did the reshoot. She did very well during the reshoot, but it still took 12 hours to shoot her exposure for 6 seconds. She had long breaks and enjoyed treats and toys during the shoot. We were very lucky that our director, Dindo Angeles, was very patient and nice.”, Jonna added.
In 2015, Rue appeared in Animal Scene magazine. A year later, she had her princess-themed 7th birthday purrty with a theme, “A Purr To Ruemember”, in Commune, Makati which was graced by her cat friends and their hoomans.
Rue has already retired from the limelight; she now enjoys lounging in her sunny seat while enjoying the view of the cityscape from day to night. No worries, her Facebook and Instagram accounts are still updated with all her shenanigans and a couple of pet product reviews here and there.
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