City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Here Comes the Easter Cat

How a Boise Shelter Cat Became the Cadbury Bunny

Article by Jordan Gray

Photography by Simply Cats and Cadbury

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Nostalgia strikes each year with the return of the Cadbury Clucking Bunny Easter commercial.

In 2019, Cadbury expanded its Bunny Tryouts into real life, with a chance for pets to take home thousands of dollars and earn a commercial spot. Three dogs and a treefrog clinched the title in years past.

This year, Cadbury themed the tryouts around rescues and one special Boise shelter cat donned the bunny ears.

His journey to stardom wasn’t without hardship though.

A Cat Named ‘Crash’

“Crash was found right outside our facility on Victory View after he had been hit by a car,” Simply Cats Adoption Center Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator Maddie Corey said. “Our executive director, Patty Cutler was driving to work, and she happened to see Crash right after he got hit.”

The orange-and-white cat was in poor shape as Cutler ran him into the shelter and called for the Simply Cats veterinary team. The injuries were severe.

A broken front leg. A mangled eye. A busted jaw.

But the cat and Simply Cats weren’t willing to give up.

“He had six surgeries over the course of a few months to fix his jaw, to get his eye removed because it was irreparable at that point, and to fix his leg,” Corey said. “He spent about six to seven months rehabilitating with us. Because he was not in an adoption room because he was still healing from all of his surgeries, we kind of let him run around the shelter and rehabilitate that way.”

Cutler gave the cat his name.

“When we take a cat in, we have to give them a name so in our systems we know who's who. We asked her, ‘Well, what should we name him?’ And the first thing she said was, ‘Crash.’”

When no owner could be located, Simply Cats took Crash in.  

“Crash is the perfect mascot for Simply Cats,” Corey said. “He really embodies everything we stand for when it comes to helping cats in need. And he is a great cat to be the resident shelter cat because he is so friendly, and he gets along with everyone.”

Nailing the Audition

When the Cadbury Tryouts contest came about, Corey figured Cadbury might feel the same way about Crash as the Simply Cats team did.

“I was on Facebook one day and someone in Boise had posted they entered their dog in the contest. Naturally, I was like, ‘We have to enter Crash,’ because Crash is a very chill cat. I actually saw it the day before entries were due, so the next day we hopped right on it.”

A week later, the news came that Crash had reached the Top 20.

“We had two days to make an entry video and he had to be wearing bunny ears the entire video,” Corey said. “Luckily, Crash is very talented. The video came out really great. It has him high-fiving, it has him walking through hoops, it has him running across the shelter, staring in front of the camera, just showing off.”

Crash sailed into the Top 10 and the public voting period.

“No other cat had won the contest before,” Corey said. “So, we really wanted people to know that when they voted for him, he would be a spokesperson for cats and for cat shelters across the nation.”

Bunny Time

The day after voting closed, Simply Cats was entrusted with a secret: Crash was the new Cadbury Bunny. But his commercial and photoshoot had to take place before the announcement.

So, Crash donned his pink bunny ears once again.

“(Cadbury) had a production team from Atlanta fly out … and they spent about three or four hours just taking photos and videos of Crash. They were all really impressed with him. And then they sat at Simply Cats and edited everything from there.”

Crash’s commercial debuted and Simply Cats’ resident mascot became a star nationwide. And with his new title came several pounds of chocolate, Cadbury bunny ears, and a $10,000 donation.

A Helping Paw

Corey said the impact of Crash’s win has been great.

“We’ve had so many new followers and people who don't even live in Boise that want to support us because they love Crash and they love his story,” she said. “We have even more people wanting to adopt and wanting to support our mission.”

The money is already helping as well. 

“That's going toward our veterinary care, which is the most expensive part of running a cat shelter. Surgeries can cost upwards of $800 to $1,000 depending on what it is. And (the money) has been really helpful because since COVID, we haven't had our typical fundraisers.”

As for Crash himself, the fame might have gone a little to his bunny ear-bedecked head.

“He's become a little diva,” Corey said with a laugh. “But I think it's okay. He deserves it.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Simply Cats or setting up an adoption appointment, visit