When a global pandemic means the loss of your employment, and the cancellation of your wedding and honeymoon, what’s a couple to do? Open a kitten rescue center, of course!
Jessica was a performer at Walt Disney World Resort and with Disney Cruise Line. Having been raised in a “Disney family,” she began her career only a week after she graduated from high school. Landon also performed with Disney Cruise Line after training in musical theater at East Carolina University. When they met, Jessica and Landon realized they were “royal counterparts,” with Jessica performing the female lead on land at the Magic Kingdom to Landon’s male lead at sea with Disney Cruise Line, and the spark ignited.
After 10 years in roles they loved, their journey as cast members came to an end when the pandemic brought Orlando to a grinding halt – and so did their upcoming wedding and honeymoon plans. Determined not to be down for long, they eloped and used the money that would have gone into their big day to start a non-profit kitten rescue.
To honor their careers with Disney—specifically Jessica’s time spent “in the company of royal princesses” and Landon’s regal roles on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder—they named their new center Kingdom Cat Rescue, and, as 2020 wound down, they had already rescued and rehabilitated more than 200 kittens, turning their personal losses into forever homes with loving families.
News about Kingdom Cat Rescue has spread quicky, and each day the center receives calls from people who have found orphaned kittens. Being among the few centers with a dedicated neonatal kitten ICU and the ability to provide 24-hour care to sick or injured kittens in need of heat therapy, oxygen administration, or tube feeding, Jessica and Landon are able to care for the most vulnerable animals. But the life-saving doesn’t stop there. They have also partnered with local shelters to take in kittens on euthanasia lists.
Their mission statement says it all: “Kingdom Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Entertainment Cast Members heavily affected by Disney’s mass layoffs. This organization was our way of continuing to make magic as the curtain unexpectedly closed on our Disney careers. We saved over 200 cats in our first year, and found them safe and loving forever homes. The joy and magic a beloved pet brings reminded us all of the Disney magic, and we are proud to carry on that legacy in a different way.”
Adoptions and meet-and-greets take place at the center in Windermere and at Saturday adoption events. All kittens are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and are up to date on vaccinations, deworming, and flea prevention. A pre- and post-adoption health care exam are included in the adoption fee.
Saturday adoption events take place at PetSmart at The Loop in Kissimmee, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
To find out more about this rescue center, or to foster, adopt, or donate, visit KingdomCatRescue.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. To contact Kingdom Cat Rescue, email [email protected].