In response to all the generous comments received in the last few days we thought it best to try and answer all the questions received and welcome cordial conversation. (A partial list of some of the responses that as a warning may have the 4 letter words crossed out is below for review and no, MEOW is not one the 4 letter words we are referencing.)
We have always tried to be good stewards for the cat community and hope we are providing engaging content for all cat and pet lovers. The other owners of Digital besides Chris have been involved in the pet industry for decades and are longtime supporters of animal causes. Here are answers to many of the questions we have received:
- No, the Cole and Marmalade website was not stolen or hijacked nor was the YouTube page or any other Cole and Marmalade property. Since the company started in 2016, Chris Poole and Jessica Josephs have owned the same percentage of shares in the company as the other two owners. That remains true today. For example, they received a year-end distribution in December of 2019 as part of their ownership in the amount of $27,500 and received a $5,000 monthly distribution less than two weeks ago.
- Yes, Digital Pet Media is the 100% owner of all the intellectual property of the business since its inception including but not limited to Cole and Marmalade® brand name, videos, equipment, etc…, but remember Christopher Poole and Jessica Josephs own an equal part of that company with the other owners. That is what everybody agreed to and that is the way it has been for over three years.
- Yes, the Company did pay Christopher Poole and Jessica Josephs. They did not work for free. Since the inception of the business over $370,000 has been paid to them for their services and distributions not including monies the Company paid for health insurance, travel and thousands and thousands of dollars for cat food and veterinary bills for both Chris’ cats and rescues.
- Yes, Christopher Poole was terminated from his position with his employer, but that did not change his ownership in any way. It was disappointing that he didn’t share in detail the circumstances of why this happened on a recent GoFundMe campaign. At the time, he wanted all of the intellectual property that was made valuable using the financial support and resources of the company over three years given back to him. We tried our best to settle this without legal teams involved and address these issues with him, but he would not communicate with us at all. We did what any other small business would do to protect the business based on his inappropriate and erratic actions that were detrimental to the business. The best analogy is if you own 100 shares of Walmart stock it does not entitle you to walk into Walmart and take anything you wish because you are a shareholder. Chris was trying to do exactly that and would not even discuss it with us.
- No, the video camera and equipment was not seized. All the equipment was paid for by the company and property of the company from day one and Chris was requested to return it. He agreed and dropped it off personally because he knew it did not belong to him.
- No, the videos and content were not stolen. Since the inception of the business it has always belonged to the company and Chris dropped off the digital files personally and kept copies for himself. Again, he knew it did not belong to him and he continued to accept his distribution checks from the company that resulted from use of that content.
- Yes, Jessica was a consultant to the company but quit working for an extended period of time in December with no communication with us. This happened at the same time Chris was not communicating with us. We were required to discontinue her work as a consultant and get that work completed by someone who was responsive.
- Yes, the team does own cats. Over 10 was the last count with the youngest being “Summer” @ 4 years old, and the oldest “Fred” having a birthday soon turning 20! We have been cat owners for over 40 years and huge supporters of non-profit shelters and rescues with over $50k in personal donations outside of Digital Pet in last 10 months alone. Additionally, we are huge advocators of “Adopt, don’t Shop”, just as Chris is.
Related to a recent GoFundMe Campaign that was posted, we are happy it was successful but felt it was very misleading. We wish Chris would’ve been more transparent on all the facts and commented when he saw false statements being made by the cat community. We particularly wish Chris would’ve spoken up and stopped members of that community that were threatening our families with physical violence. It was very scary for us, and no business dispute should ever result in scaring innocent families and children with threats of physical violence. We certainly would never condone any similar treatment of Chris and Jessica or their pets.
We all love cats, which is why we agreed to become part of and invest in the Cole and Marmalade network. Chris and Jess are valued shareholders in the company and Chris is one of the most talented artists we’ve ever met. We do not wish Chris or Jessica any ill-will.
If you don’t like the content on our sites or the pages, we are sorry we haven’t connected with you on the cat stories, images or videos and hope we can earn that trust in the future. If you are like us and enjoy heartwarming cat rescues, like reading fun cat facts or laugh at the funny things cats do, please share them with your friends and thank you for your support.
For the cats!
Here are some of the less offensive comments from the thousands received below:
The Cole and Marmalade Network is not only four famous cats. We would love for you and your cats to be a part of it.