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Target Signs New Model—And He’s Not Who You Would Expect

target cat model

A gray and white rescue cat named Hercules—who beat all odds to live—is now an official model for Target.

Hercules suffered a traumatic life until he found a new home with owner Jill LeBrun. When he was estimated to be 8 years old, a good Samaritan pulled from a hot car. After a medical check, vets didn’t think he’d survive.

“When he got to us, his jaw was severely fractured, his temperature wouldn’t read, he had a severe maggot infestation in his mouth, his ears, everywhere. And then, some other pretty horrific details,” Dr. Nicole Perreault told Good Morning America.

Dr. Perreault said she knew Hercules was in “visceral pain” when she looked at him. And she didn’t know if it was “humane” to keep him alive. But after showing her a moment of hope, she knew he was a fighter.

“He lifted his head and looked at me,” she continued. “And I thought, ‘OK, you have survived all this time to make it to this clinic and this rescue.’ So I was like, ‘we’re gonna give this a shot.'”

Dr. Perreault went to great lengths to save Hercules with multiple surgeries to stabilize his jaw, round-the-clock medication, special food, and more. But he pulled through.

While the cat was under medical care, Dr. Perreault posted his story on social media, which is how he made his way to Jill.

Hercules’ Owner Was Shocked To See Tha Cat Had Become A Target Kitty Litter Model

Jill, a registered nurse, fosters cats with “medical issues” saying that caring for them is in her “wheelhouse.” So she took him in and was amazed at how well he got along with her two other cats and her puppy. A few months after he moved in, one of her other cats died, so she decided to officially adopt Hercules.

In 2023, Jill saw an ad from a local animal talent agency that was looking for cats “with unique faces.” So, she sent in a photo of her precious rescue animal.

“I figured with [Hercules’] tongue always hanging out, that made him somewhat unique. So I submitted his photo,” Jill told the publication.

Then this February, Jill went into her local Target to pick up some pet supplies, and she realized that her cat was famous.

“I got to the cat litter aisle and all of a sudden, the whole aisle was like, Hercules’ face on all the rows of cat litter pails,” she remembered. “There was another woman in the aisle looking for products. And I had to stop myself from looking over at her and being like, ‘That’s my cat!'”

While Hercules is officially a model, Jill noted that he opts to live a private and peaceful life. Now 10, he like to spend his free time watching birds and cuddling.

“He’s a 10-year-old cat with this traumatic history and yet he just entered and stayed in our home effortlessly,” she added. “There is no sign that he has been through any trauma.”

This story’s featured image is by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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