Thursday, March 17, 2011

Must Love Cats Episode 5 Recap & Resource Guide

Welcome back for another action packed Must Love Cats episode recap! This week, host John Fulton tackled the Southwest where he caught up with a kitty who loves boxes even more than Maru, explored the fabulous world of kitty wigs, learned how one organization is spearheading the fight against feline obesity, and visited a kitty sanctuary straight out of the wild west! YEEHAW!


Cody the Cat - Dallas, TX

Cody the cat loves cardboard boxes, which is lucky for him, because his family runs a business out of their home, shipping boxes all over the country. It's not unusual for Cody to hang around helping office assistant Elyse fill orders, but one day the curious cat got a little more then he bargained for!

It was just another Monday evening when the family noticed that Cody had disappeared. They looked everywhere to no avail, while his youngest owner, Natalie, began to suspect that he had gotten shipped away in one of the boxes. Elyse tried to ease Natalie's fears, but by Wednesday morning, the missing cat still hadn't been found.

Fortunately, later that day, the family got a call from an out of state phone number with the good news that their missing kitty had been located! One of their clients in Chicago - Nearly 900 miles away from their home in Dallas, TX - had just received a suspicious, beat up box filled with cat hair. Apparently, Cody HAD managed to pack himself up, after all! He was rushed to a vet after his 2-day ordeal, but emerged no worse for the wear after his cross-country adventure. It's still a mystery how Cody ended up in the box, but Natalie tells John that she's just grateful to have her cat home. She says, "I'm happy he's sleeping with me again. I'm not feeling lonely at night."

Kitty Wigs, Dallas-Fort Worth

Is your cat looking for a fresh, new look? Then maybe it's time to get hip to the trend of Kitty Wigs, a website that sells tiny multi-colored hairpieces strictly for the fashionable feline set.

Founder Julie Jackson got the inspiration for Kitty Wigs by looking at pictures of cats online, and her partner-in-wig-crime, photographer Jill Johnson is responsible for some of the glamorous photo shoots the wigs inspire.

In the segment, John teams up with Jill on a photo shoot with a cat named Shaft. He tries to "direct" the diva-licious black kitty, but quickly learns that "you can't direct a cat." He then tries taking some pictures of his own, before getting in front of the camera in his own synthetic 'do.

The wigs are such a sensation, they're also the topic of the book, Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs (Amazon, $10.17), available in both English and Japanese! (Yep, you know I already own a copy!)


Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) - Walnut Creek, California

Next up, John headed to Walnut Creek, CA to learn all about a program called "Meet Your Match."

The ASPCA program takes the personality of a person and matches it with the personality of a cat, to ensure that both of them will live happily ever after. "Meet Your Match" is being used in shelters all over the United States, including at Animal Rescue Foundation, or ARF, founded by famous baseball manager Tony La Russa.

ARF uses the program's three color system to match up cats with potential owners. A certain color doesn't mean that the kitty is more or less adoptable, just that they have different behaviors or interests. The felines are assessed on eight different behavioral areas before being assigned a color, and we get to watch as a sweet cat named Ryan is tested for his "feline-ality."

Since its inception, the program has been a smashing success at ARF, with cat adoptions increasing by 25%, and returns decreasing by 45%!


Fat Cats

Fat cats may be cute and squishy, but more than one-third of American kitties are obese! That's why Shelby O'Neill and Francisco Garcia founded The Slim Pet Challenge, inspired by their pudgy office cat, TC. As part of the program, participants are required to visit the clinic once a month for weigh-ins, and their owners receive custom meal plans and portion control advice. The goal may be to slim down, but the reward for sticking to the challenge is far from skinny. Besides the obvious health benefits for the pet, they also receive a $250 credit toward future vet care.

Depending on their breed, cats can weigh between 4 and 25 pounds, but a good target weight is between 7-10 lbs. How can you tell if your cat is overweight? An easy test is to see if you can feel their ribs. If you can't, you just may have an overweight feline on your hands.

So what can you do to help your cat fight the battle of the bulge? Vets recommend reducing food intake by 30%, and a cat behaviorist suggests a daily exercise routine of 30 minutes a day to build confidence, temper aggressive behavior, and help kitty slim down!


Dog, Cat, Rat - Austin, Texas

Here's something you don't see everyday: A rat, balanced on a cat, balanced on a dog! John meets up with Greg Pike, otherwise known as "Dog Cat Rat Man," the brains behind this unique operation. Featuring Booger the dog, Kitty the cat, and Mousey the rat, this stunning feat of interspecies collaboration is meant to show people that "nothing's impossible."

The story goes that Kitty met Booger and Mousey when she was a kitten, and the trio became fast friends. Greg confirms that Kitty, like all cats, is the "boss," and tells John that her favorite part of performing is "the attention. She loves people, and she likes to be held."


The Alamo Cat - San Antonio, Texas

Did you know that a cat has been on guard at the Alamo since the 1800s? It's true, and the latest fearless feline latest protector is C.C. the cat, who has held the furry important post since 1996.

Formally feral C.C. is a beloved member of the Alamo staff, and works hard to defend the grounds from its dastardly vermin predators. Sometimes she likes to drop off these little "rewards" in the gift shop, but if you're lucky, you can score some real C.C. merchandise there. Stuffed animals, socks, and postcards are among just some of the items that are available, and this kitty business is no joke! John reports that C.C.'s touristy cat themed trinkets gross nearly $20k a year in sales for the Texas landmark!


Kitty City Cat Sanctuary - Alamogordo, New Mexico

The final stop of this week's episode takes John to New Mexico, to visit a frontier style cat sanctuary called Kitty City. The no-cage shelter takes in unwanted kitties that might be euthanized, and adopts them out to good homes!

The 3.5 acre grounds, which are protected from coyotes, offer areas like a kitten sanctuary, Long Whisker Saloon, Miss Kitty's Bunkhouse, and a 1700 square foot play area.

The inspiration for this unique cat town came out of a sad situation, when 135 cats were discovered in a local hoarding case. The city was set to euthanize them, before the angels behind Kitty City stepped in. The sanctuary has adopted 400 cats out in just 1.5 years, which is an impressive 70% adoption rate, compared to the 25% rate of a normal shelter. What's even more amazing, is that since the inception of Kitty City, NO CATS have been euthanized at the local animal shelter at all!


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! This week's SEASON FINALE will also feature a live, online chat with John Fulton at 8 p.m.!

P.S. If you're looking for even more information about any of the stories featured in this episode, check out the handy resource guide below!




(This page has great photo galleries from each episode, and is the source of some of the images from this post.)



















Gigi said...

Oh dear Cod, if the Human ever tried to put one a them wigs on me, she'd need a transfusion.

Samantha & Mom said...

WOW!!!! What a lot of neato information on this post!! Mom says she can't feel our ribs so it's diet time for us!! And we so glad Cody was found and none the worse for being sealed up!!
Your TX furiends,

=^..^= said...

Wat an adventure Cody must have had in that box! And when will hoomans learn... cats are not meant to be directed. And by inferior hoomans of all creatures!

~Slash & Bronzy

Brian's Home Blog said...

Thanks for such a fun recap, hopefully I'll catch it on a rerun. Have a great weekend!!!

Mr Puddy said...

I'm the same as Spitty...A kind of wigs must be destroy !!!!
Thanks for your post, It's always awesome !

Hannah and Lucy said...

We love boxes but not enough to take a trip with the mail man!!
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Oskar said...

Well I know that blodletting would be involved if my mom person tried putting wigs on our cats! We've never seen this show, though, so thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Nubbin wiggles,

Julia Williams said...

Another great episode of my favorite show, and a pawesome recap! I sure hope this show gets renewed, as this weekend is the last new episode! I have to say, though, I didn't like the segment on fat cats. I appreciate that they did make a point to say how unhealthy it is, but I wish they wouldn't show so many people who think it is cool, funny or adorable to have a fat cat. It's NOT!

Baby Patches said...

Must get momma to start recording these for us to watch MOL

Rachel Shubin Sandpiper Cat blog said...

So funny! I was looking for the kitty city website to use for my next blog post after seeing this episode today!

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