Thursday, March 24, 2011

Must Love Cats Episode 6 Recap & Resource Guide

On this, the final week of John Fulton's national kitty tour, our intrepid host visited the Southeast to meet with cats that he described as, "friends, companions, and heroes." From collegiate kitties, to some seriously laid back island cats, we got another peek into the lives of the most interesting felines in the U.S.


Eckerd College - Cat Friendly Campus

The first stop this week was to Eckerd College, an independent liberal arts school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. What makes Eckerd so unique is that it's one of only twelve colleges in the U.S. that has a policy allowing pets to live with students in their on-campus housing. John went to meet with some of the lucky coeducational kitties, and learned about the benefits of being able to bunk with a kitty companion. (One girl described her cat Mocha as, "the best roommate ever.")

Living with pets helps combat homesickness, and is known to lower blood pressure. I don't know about you, but I think the soft purr of a cat during finals week would be the best stress relief ever!


Leroy, The Hero Cat

"Leroy the kitty's gonna save the day, gonna save it with his nose!"

Next up, John traveled to Maggie Valley, North Carolina to meet Leroy, an ordinary house cat who accomplished the extraordinary when his heroic actions saved several families from a devastating fire in their neighborhood.

The perceptive cat's owner, Brian was fast asleep early one morning when Leroy jumped on his bed and started meowing loudly and clawing at his face. Brian reluctantly went downstairs to let the kitty out through the front of the house, but Leroy had other ideas. He ran to the back door, where he started frantically pawing at it in an effort to get his sleepy owners attention. Brian heeded the cat's warning, and stepped outside, only to see huge flames billowing everywhere. He immediately ran outside to wake his next door neighbor, who also escaped with her dogs.

The fire was so severe, that it was described as being almost 20 feet above the houses! Leroy's act of heroism that day is also credited with saving the lives of four other families that lived in the complex.


Pet Oxygen Masks

Smudge demonstrating how to use a pet oxygen mask

Leroy was very lucky, but sometimes cats need help in fires too. The next stop on John's road trip led him to the Wilmington Fire Department, where he met with some brave firefighters who not only rescue humans, but save kitties, too!

Did you know that this year alone, an estimated 40,000 pets will die in house fires? Unfortunately, that sad statistic could be lowered if rescue teams had the right equipment. The Wilmington Fire Department is one of the few departments in the country that are equipped with pet oxygen masks in every vehicle to help save the lives of cats and dogs. During the segment, Captain T.W. Smith showed John how to put a human mask on, while Smudge the cat demonstrated how to use the smaller, cat-friendly version.

Spice - Still trucking after almost losing one of her nine lives!

We also got to meet Spice, a lucky cat who survived a house fire because of the life-saving equipment provided by the same fire department. When rescuers arrived on-scene, she was suffering from smoke inhalation, drooling, and gasping for air. Firefighter Joe Lopez didn't think Spice was going to make it, but after using the pet oxygen mask on her, she miraculously recovered!

It's interesting to note that most oxygen masks are donated to fire departments by the public. Last year, I discovered a news story in Colorado, where a cat named Oliver was saved using a mask that had been donated by two little girls who sold jewelry to raise the money to purchase it!

The firemen suggest that the most important thing you can do to protect your cat, is putting a pet notifier sticker on your door, indicating how many animals are in your home.


Catman Drew - The Cat Artist

Catman Drew and John

On a lighter note, John headed back to Florida to stop by the home of artist Catman Drew, whose claim to fame is creating the largest collection of watercolor cat paintings in the country!

Drew feels a strong bond with cats, and considers them to be his artistic muse. He tells John that he first fell in love with them as a toddler, when he used to sit and draw with his mother, who was also an animal artist. Drew has created over 3,000 paintings, which sell from $495 to $7,500!


Dusty the Klepto Cat Update

"He's stealing your heart, he's stealing your shoes, a real cat burglar with nothing to lose.."

You might remember Dusty from his segment on the very first episode on Must Love Cats back in February. The devious feline was dubbed "Klepto Cat," because of his fondness for stealing things from families around his San Mateo, California neighborhood. Since the clip originally aired, Dusty has gone viral, appearing everywhere from E!'s The Soup, to even snagging a guest spot onThe Late Show With David Letterman!

With that being said, it's not all that surprising that John traveled back to the "scene of the crime," if you will, for an update on the most famous cat burglar since Catwoman.

Dusty's owner, Jean Chu told John that fame has not changed him, however, she also admits that he was "a prima donna before." We also learn that she's kept the kitty spy cam from the original segment up, and has been able to capture all new footage of him out on the prowl, and hanging out with his girlfriend, a pretty kitty named Chloe.

The two set up an event called "Dusty GIves Back" in Jean's front yard so that the neighbor's can come and claim their stolen loot. Not surprisingly, a lot of people showed up (I remember being suspicious in the first episode when Chu claimed that no one wanted their stuff back!), but despite a good turnout, only 125 items of approximately 500 were returned to their rightful owners.

In other news, Dusty is wearing a bell now, so neighbor's can hear him coming, and his next stop will be Redwood City, California, where he's set to steal hearts as the Grand Marshall of the annual pet parade.

Click here to read more, and see video from the "Dusty Gives Back" event!


Why Cat's Spray


John left Dusty behind in California, and traveled back East to Raleigh, North Carolina to learn about the issue of why cats spray. He met with Kerry Vol, a cat lover with five cats, including Cheetos, an orange, 3-legged kitty who has a big spraying problem.

Spraying is one of the biggest reasons that cat owner's surrender their kitties to shelters, but Vol, who had rescued Cheetos, was determined to keep him even though he was creating a constant mess in her home. Looking for a solution, she took the uncontrollable feline to see the vet's at North Carolina State University, who are studying the reasons cat spray, and how to prevent it. First, veterinarian's checked Cheetos for any underlying medical issues, and when none were found, they began looking into outside factors that might be influencing his destructive behavior

Cats spray for a variety of reasons - From stress, to communicating with other cats (claiming their territory), and the team started looking at litter box placement and quantity around Vol's home as a possible cause of the problem. (Did you know experts say you should have one more litter box than the number of cats?)

In the end, it turned out that the cause of Cheetos problem was a new cat named Lady Chloe, who was making him very anxious. Doctor's prescribed him some anti-anxiety medication, and within days his spraying reduced, and eventually stopped. Happily, his owner says that he is more relaxed now, and able to enjoy life!


Key West Cats

Key West cats have it made!

The final stop of the Must Love Cats national tour was fittingly to the most cat friendly destination in America: Key West, Florida. Arguably the ultimate cat loving city, Cat Fancy reports that with an estimated ratio of 4 cats per person, it's home to the most cats per capita in the U.S.!

So what makes Key West such a great place for kitties? Its revered feline residents are allowed to roam free, and everyone in the island community pitches in to take care of them. They first arrived in the early shipping days, and as John puts it, "hopped off the boats and prospered in the mild climate and are now kings of this island paradise." Cats have also become welcome visitors at tourist spots all over town, including the Cypress House Inn and Blue Heaven restaurant. Both establishments are home to several formally stray cats, who have become part of the entire guest experience.

John visited The Hemingway House, a Key West landmark, that I hope to see someday! The estate was home to Ernest Hemingway, and now houses forty-four well cared for felines, half of which are polydactyl. Legend has it that Hemingway received his first six-toed cat from a visiting ship captain, and that kitty started the bloodline that continues to this day.

Looking for something to do in Key West after the sun sets? Dominique LeFort has been bringing his cat show to town since 1984. Dominque trains cats that he rescues intuitively, and the advice he offers about getting cats to do tricks is simple: Let the cat choose you, and figure out what they naturally enjoy doing, and take it from there. The segment ends with LeFort's cats jumping from stool to stool, walking a tightrope (it's more like a metal pipe), and leaping through a flaming hoop (don't worry, the bottom isn't lit, and the kitties don't look like they are in danger!)


Thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out my recaps and resource guides over the past six weeks! I'm sad this was the last episode of the season, but we all should keep our paws crossed that it will be renewed!

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!















Anonymous said...

I stayed up until two in the morning to watch this (couldn't catch the earlier one) because a rescue I love ( was supposed to be feature on this episode. Turns out they cut it from the episode. :(

I would love it if your site did something on Caboodle. Such a bummer that they didn't get the publicity (and donations!) this show would have brought them.

PS. Have really enjoyed your re-caps, especially for the episodes I missed. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Your blog is purrrrrfect as always, Miss Cat! ~^••^~

sandra said...

I recorded this episode and caboodle farm was in it. It was recommended by the local vet. And Jhon loved it.

But in America (I am from Belgium) Their is a high censor rate.

And because Peta and Acap decided to close because of true??? video footage .

I must love cats has censord it from this episode. That is a shame and not purrrrrrrrrrrfect for a catlover!

sandra said...

Correction of my testimony on 13 August.

After many researches on internet .I come to the conclusion that caboodle ranch is not what it seemed to be.
Many cats suffered severely and had to be euthanised.
It is not Jhon's fault because the farmowner knew that he was coming to film on that day.

So I apologise for my previous comment

Anonymous said...

Sandra,I quote ye "Many cats suffered severely and had to be euthanised.",ye are DEAD wrong,let me guess,ye are going by wot PeTA and the ASPCA has said,I WANT YE TO READ THIS and then recant ye comment.....

The once highly praised and beautiful sanctuary for cats becomes a ghost town, a virtual abandoned safe haven for the cats that once lived here. Gone are the 'happy tails' and curious faces that passed through this path just 5 months ago. Gone are the playful antics of hundreds of saved cats that used to run up trees, play in the tall grass or bat a bizzy ball around. When PETA and the ASPCA were contacted by "haters" of the ranch, they quickly came down to do their well known damage. The job they do best, destroying any chance that these cats had at a safe and peacceful life. A life they were already living at the ranch, some for 11 years. But these activists groups had it in their head to (as an ASPCA officer told us) "Seize first, investigate later". And with this 'policy' they turned the ranch upside down for 5 days and nights, in the rain, chasing down and terrorizing and trapping all the cats that just that Monday morning were safe in their beds enjoying a sunny sleepy morning.

After they took the caboodle cats aways to the Jacksonville ASPCA for their "rescue and treatment", the onslaught of false accusations, lies and staged photos came to the court in order to shame the man who built this oasis and saved over a thousand cats over the years. These cats had no where else to go. There were no other no kill shelters that could take them. They came to the ranch from all over the US and other countries. But that did not matter to the ASPCA or PETA. They continued to drag Craig Grant and its workers through the mud telling everyone that they were horrible people and cruel to boot. The "haters" made it their mission "to destroy Craig Grant and Caboodle Ranch" and despite the most gallant of efforts and thousands of dollars in legal fees, they succeeded. The ASPCA recently held an adoption event on August 11th and 12th. Succeeding in adopting out only about 300 cats of the 650+ that were taken away. So what's the next step? More adoption events? A court order AT LEAST prevents them from euthanizing any of the remaining cats. But that does little to ease the bone marrow deep grief that Craig Grant, the workers and suporters feel.

Craig is a broken man. Not a man that has given up, but a man who has had his 'family' taken from him, his dream destroyed, his ranch demolished after putting 250K into it to make it a magical joyful place for the cats. He is a man that has been brutally beaten down at every turn for the mere fact that he wanted to make a difference and give people an alternative to euthanasia or having a cat live forever in a cage. The level of injustice that has been done to this man, this ranch and most of all the cats is an atrocity to the so called legal system. In a court order, Judge Parker said that Criag will have his personal cats returned to him. He has over 12 personal cats and the two Great Pyranese that were the watch dogs. The judge only mentioned 5 cats. So why return his cats if this man is cruel and neglectful in the care and treatment of animals? Exactly. The county of Madison had an agenda that involved closing the ranch altogether and went about it so corruptly it's a wonder that Dateline or 20/20 hasn't been here yet to investigate. And we hope they DO come. This cannot happen again. Every rescue and every shelter and every person out there that is trying to save lives, to make a difference will be next, because PETA and the ASPCA feel and are treated, as if they are above the law.

Someone has to step up and stop this insanity. These precious cats were happy. And the people behind the events that have taken place from February 27th 2012 to present will be held accountable, eventually, for their atrocious actions.

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