My cat Priscilla usually writes these recaps, but she's on strike this week (something about not getting enough Temptations,) so I'll be taking over while her contract negotiations are underway.
In the meantime, I can't wait to fill you in on another great episode, filled with cool cat stories, this time from all across the Midwest!
The Fur Kids
"I love my fur kids, they're my family. Turned my house into a home, they mean everything to me."
First up, John traveled to the town of St. James, Minnesota to meet Greg Krueger, an incredible man who has transformed his home into a veritable kitty palace! The gentle, cat loving soul customized his entire living quarters for his six "fur kids," (Kitty, Wendy, Vicky, Trashee, Indy, and Shooting Star) in the belief that the cats are what makes his house a home.
Over the course of 20 years, Greg has spent $10,000 to turn the house into a "kitty playland," complete with 300 feet of cat walkways, 38 hand carved cat openings, and dozens of platforms. The bedroom even features a "private, rustic hideaway" in case the cats want some alone time, and a custom mini-kitty sized staircase.
Amazingly, Greg's cats can travel through the entire house without touching the floor, and if for some reason they ever want to leave, there's even an outdoor cat enclosure for them to enjoy!
(Check out my exclusive interview with Greg and The Fur Kids, here!)
Yoda, The Cat With Four Ears
Next, we traveled to the town of Downers Grove, Illionois to uncover the mystery behind an unusual cat named, Yoda.
What makes the 4-year-old kitty so mysterious? The gray housecat has two very uncommon characteristics: Flaps of skin on his head that make him appear to have four ears!
Image source: Must Love Cats Facebook Fan Page
Yoda's owners, Valerie and Ted Rock, took the "deformed" kitten in after someone brought him into a Chicago bar, because no one wanted the "devil cat."
On this day, Yoda is visiting a local school to meet with some of his adoring fans. The curious looking cat doesn't travel far because he gets carsick, and the Rock's don't want to exploit him (he is their family cat after all), but one must agree he loves these little outings where he is treated like a bona fide celebrity!
At the end of the segment, a visit by John to Yoda's vet reveals that the kitty's "horns" are just earlobes/flaps that "are not doing anything but making him famous."
The Rock Cats
Billed as "Chicago's only trained domestic cat show," The Astro-Cats are always ready to amaze you with their smorgasbord of rare kitty talents! Prepare to see them "ride skateboards, ring bells, roll barrels, walk the high wire, climb ropes, push a shopping cart, jump through hoops, and even run a cat-size agility course!"
The traveling cat circus, only one of four of its kind in the U.S., also features a trio of
feline rock legends known as The Rock Cats, and John hooks up with them to see a very special performance, and get a behind the scenes look into their studio. He even gets a chance to get up close and "purr"sonal with furry band members Pinky (guitar), Dakota (percussion), and Nue (keyboard).
Acro-Cats founder Samantha Martin won't reveal the secret of how she trains the The Rock Cats, but she does admit that much of her training is clicker based. In addition to using it on her own cats, she also uses the clicker method to train her foster kittens how to do tricks during Astro-Cats performances, in order to give them a better chance at getting adopted!
Tats For Cats
Next up, John stays in Chicago to attend another pawtastic event to help raise funds for felines in need.
Insight Studios regularly holds the fundraiser, appropriately titled, "Tats for Cats," in an effort to raise money for Tree House Humane Society, "a cageless no-kill cat shelter dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured, and abused stray cats."
You know I couldn't resist posting these cat cupcakes that were custom made for the event!
A record breaking number of people attended the tattooing event last June, with all of the proceeds going to the shelter.
John talked to some of the customers about their personal cat tattoos, and finished the segment with a (temporary) kitty tat of his own.
To see more great pictures from the event, check out Tree House's Flickr photostream here.
And finally, the last part on this week's episode took us to Muncie, Indiana to visit (arguably) one of the most famous cats in the world!
Muncie is home to Garfield creator Jim Davis, and his office PAWS, Inc., is affectionately referred to as "The house that Garfield built."
Davis wrote the first Garfield strip in 1978, and was loosely inspired by the cats on the farm where he grew up, especially one in particular, named Granny. Amazingly, even after 33 years, Garfield is still syndicated in 2,500 newspapers around the world!
First Garfield comic strip (click to enlarge)
The PAWS office looks like a fun place to work, with lots of feline "employees" to liven up the atmosphere. There's even a real life cat named Nermal, whose name was originally Charlie Brown!
After taking a tour and talking to Davis, Fulton meets with the animated, lasagna loving fat cat himself for a candid one-on-one chat. Not much is really revealed, except that Garfield is not too fond of John's "kitty ditties"!
Jim and John
Don't forget to tune in to an all new episode of Must Love Cats this Saturday night at 8/7 P on Animal Planet, when John hits the Northeast to meet some kitty fashion plates and NYC's best mousers!