Tripod Cat Gives Adoptable Pets (and his Mom) a Leg Up

Chuck the cat’s inspired “pawdcast” helped Megan continue her radio career.

Megan + Chuck

A three-legged cat named Chuck finds his forever family in Megan, and inspires her to advocate for disabled animals on her radio show. Then, when Megan’s career takes an unexpected turn, he inspires a podcast that gives her a second chance. 

"Chuck became the most amazing cat I’d ever had. I was a radio personality in Sacramento, and I talked about Chuck constantly. Since he had a human name, some listeners were convinced he was my boyfriend, not my cat."

I walked into Front Street Animal Shelter to adopt what I had grown up with: a fluffy, white, flawless kitten; the kind you see on cat food commercials. So, when the volunteer said the only cat they had was short-haired, black, and missing a leg, I hesitated.

But something told me to give it a chance, and when the kitten came out of his crate, he hopped (not walked) straight into my arms — and an hour later, into my home. 

Chuck became the most amazing cat I’d ever had (and he got fluffy after all!). I was a radio personality in Sacramento, and I talked about Chuck constantly. Since he had a human name, some listeners were convinced he was my boyfriend, not my cat. I even shared cat stories with feline-lover Ed Sheeran on a segment. Chuck made me realize there are many animals with disabilities in shelters, and inspired me to use the radio station’s reach to feature special needs pets who were struggling to get adopted in a segment called “Megan’s S.P.I.N (Special Pet In Need) of the Week,” which helped animals who were often passed by to get the exposure they needed to find forever love. 

This year, my 13-year radio career came to an abrupt halt. On my birthday I was called in and told that because of COVID-19, I was being furloughed and would no longer be working. My world turned upside down. The solitude and monotony of being trapped at home with no sense of purpose was made better only by Chuck’s love. He’s always been able to sense how I’m feeling, and whenever I was really down, he’d come to lay behind my head or on my lap. Because he’s so empathetic, I didn’t want him to feel sad because I was sad, and that motivated me to stay busy and positive. I’d always wanted to start a podcast, and I decided to name it the “What the Chuck Podcast” after my biggest inspiration: my adopted cat! 

Because Chuck is somewhat famous both on social media and in the Sacramento community, having his name on the podcast led to an incredible start — I saw great listener numbers almost immediately. Little did I know that my cat-inspired podcast would soon lead to a new job. I heard an ad for an at-home radio host position, and because I already had my equipment set up for the podcast, I was able to submit work samples to the station right away. In no time, I had a new occupation that gave meaning back to my life. 

I’ve had Chuck for six years, and each year something great has happened because of him. This year it was a new job, and the safety, security, and purpose that came with it. But most precious of all are the day-to-day joys Chuck brings, and the countless smiles and memories. I encourage everyone to adopt, especially a special needs pet. I promise they’ll light up your world.

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Megan won City of Sacramento Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.