|Trooper the cat and friends pose with Trooper the band. (Photo via Facebook)
Trooper, the three-legged cat with a penchant for survival, travelled in style this week to meet the classic Canadian rock band that is its namesake.
The miracle critter made headlines and garnered fans around the world after it was found trapped overnight in the ice in a driveway in Stephenville, N.L., on Feb. 11.
It lost a hind leg and tail to frostbite in the ordeal, and still struggles with its bladder.
Trooper's fans — there are almost 4,000 of them on Facebook — bombarded the rock band Trooper's official website with stories and pictures of the cat.
In April, Trooper the band sent Trooper the cat a care package that included a pint-sized T-shirt emblazoned with the title of the band's hit song Raise a Little Hell and an autographed CD.
So when Linda Sheppard, a grocery-store owner and fan of both Troopers, heard the band was coming to Pasadena, N.L., just a short drive from Stephenville, she got in touch with the rock icons and arranged for them to meet their kitty counterpart.
A local limo company arranged for the cat and its caretakers to ride to the concert in style.
"For me it was amazing. I've followed the band since I was growing up. Since I was a teenager I always loved that band. I always loved their music, so it was a total honour for me to get to meet them," said Gwen Samms, president of the Society for the Care and Protection of Animals, who helped rescue Trooper. "They are an amazing group. They are so nice. They made us feel so welcome,"
Samms and her sister — who is now fostering Trooper and will likely adopt it — were initially nervous about how the cat would react to the whole spectacle.
"To everyone's surprise, he did really good. He didn't mind. There was music playing pretty loud in the background. He didn't mind it," she said.
Samms still has trouble wrapping her mind around Trooper's fame. People raised almost $12,000 for the cat's medical bills.
"I still really don't know what to think of that. We've rescued a lot of animals over the years. Some in really bad shape," she said, describing a dog at the shelter now whose owners left it to die in a ditch after it was struck by a car.
"For some reason Trooper's story just touched people all around the world," she said. "He's had the strength to him. He had the will to live. And I think that's what touched people."