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Meet WGLT's No. 1 Feline Fan: Kiki The Cat

Kiki the cat
Michele Carroll
Kiki the cat listens to WGLT every day.

Today is $5 Friday at WGLT. That means we’re asking those who’ve never contributed before to set up a $5-a-month commitment to support their public radio station.

Typically, when we’re fundraising, we’re laser-focused on asking humans for money. But today we’re reaching out to all our furry friends whose moms and dads leave the radio on when they leave the house.

Kiki the Cat is one such WGLT superfan. The funny but very well-informed little cat lives in west Bloomington with Michele Carroll and her partner, Jason. When Michele leaves the house, she puts on WGLT—and Kiki loves it. If they forget to do it, Kiki is noticeably grumpy when they get home.

“She loves Charlie Schlenker’s voice. She’s really funny about that,” Carroll said. “If she’s listening on a chair, she’ll roll onto her belly and purrs like, ‘Yeah, that’s the stuff.’”

Kiki has been keeping close tabs on the impeachment hearings, thanks to NPR’s special coverage. She’s also a big fan of Highway 309, WGLT’s new-ish music format.

“She’s very, very social. I listen to WGLT and NPR all the time, and she started associating it with us being home. She’s very comforted by the voice personalities that she’s gotten to know,” Carroll said. “She likes to have the interplay between music and human voices, it seems.”

Carroll is quite a WGLT fan herself. She grew up listening to WBEZ in Chicago and switched to WGLT when she moved to Bloomington-Normal in 1996. She started financially supporting the station right away.

While Kiki is currently unemployed, Carroll is a social worker, focused on hospice care. She doesn’t make a whole lot of money—and she’s got a cat to feed.

“But I find a way to budget in one less latte a month, and that’s what I’m able to give to WGLT,” Carroll said. “And I know for a fact that it’s not about how much someone can give, but everyone pitching in what they can.”

Carroll noted that over half of WGLT’s budget comes from individuals, families, and businesses in the Bloomington-Normal community. 

“It’s part of showing what your values are,” Carroll said. “It’s a wonderful resource for local, national, and international news. One of the things I find most helpful myself is the different reporting helps put it all together. It answers, how does the international or national news affect us locally?” 

Join Carroll, Kiki, and all our other supporters by setting up your $5/month contribution now.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.