Welcome back for another edition of Caturday, where we catch up on the week's latest cat news, and get to meet some of your amazing kitties!
This week, Kyoto's first kitty cop fought telephone fraud with cuteness, Purrfect the cat stole Cee Lo's thunder on the cover of Fast Company magazine, a funky cat-inspired hairdo swept Tokyo's famous fashion district, United Bamboo had an online casting call for their 2013 cat fashion calendar, "Glee's" Chris Colfer dished about his overweight senior shelter kitty, Patti Haskins sewed and crocheted colorful feline dolls and decor, I got crafty with a DIY vintage suitcase cat bed, and we went around the world in 80 cats to get a firsthand account of the 43rd annual Kattenstoet cat festival in Ypres, Belgium!
Also, stop pussyfooting around and enter for your chance to win a copy of "My Cat From Hell" star Jackson Galaxy's new book, will ya? I'm drawing the lucky winner of "Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love and Coming Clean" on Tuesday 2/22!
And finally, I just want to say how honored and excited I am to have been named as a finalist for "Best Meow Blog" at the first annual BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards! The winners will be announced during a ~*red carpet gala awards ceremony*~ at the 2012 BlogPaws conference, which is taking place from June 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. W00t!
This week's featured feline is a special needs kitty with a touching story who recently had an (internet) brush with his famous namesake, Anderson Cooper!
Meet my sweet and extraordinary little guy, Coopurr -- a three-year-old Russian Blue mix who's named after TV newsman, Anderson Cooper. It's a grand name to live up to, but when I bestowed that moniker upon him, little did I know that the two Coops would eventually be sitting side-by-side on the Internet.
When I first met Coop (formerly known as "Teeny Tiny") as a kitten in the shelter, he was very sick with non-healing corneal ulcers caused by the Feline Herpes Virus. In fact, he couldn't even hold his right eye open. But I could just sense immediately what a wonderful cat he was about to grow into...especially when he put his tiny paw through the cage and wrapped it around my index finger...
Coopurr's first week at home. He couldn't hold his eye open due to the corneal ulcers he suffered as a result of the Herpes virus.
Before Coop's adoption became official, I spent quite a bit of time visiting him in the shelter while he was on medical hold. The wonderful vets at the shelter's animal hospital tried desperately to help his ulcers to heal, but he just couldn't fight the infection. There was actually talk of possibly removing his right eye. However, after our family vet examined him when I finally brought Coop home, he was optimistic, and he sent us to a veterinary ophthalmologist for complete diagnosis and treatment.
It took quite a few months of eye doctor visits, drops and ointment. Coop even had to wear a special contact lens for cats -- which protected his eye but also allowed the medication to penetrate to the ulcers -- for a few months. All of that, he took in stride, and just allowed me to do what I had to do to him.
Although the ulcers are no longer active, he's partially blind in his right eye from the scars of the infection. He does still live with Feline Herpes, and I keep him on a daily Lysine regimen. In time, we've both adjusted to his illness and have dealt with his symptoms -- the runny nose, sneezing and occasional upper respiratory infections -- but it's manageable.
Coop with his beloved mouse. He walks around and cries when he loses that toy. (We have eight spares.)
Our greatest scare came over a year ago when he had a lower respiratory infection, which our vet feared might be a symptom of cardiomyopathy. I can't say that Coop faced the blood work, X-rays and sonograms like a trouper. He cried and cried through each and every procedure, which broke my heart because he's a very quiet cat. However, we were so very lucky that the results revealed that his heart is indeed healthy!
I tell him now, "Your heart's just a tiny bit large because you're a big kitty and there's lots of love in there...."
In spite of his special needs, Coop lets nothing stop him. He's one of the most resilient cats I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's even managed to overcome his shy nature, and he no longer hides under the couch when we have company.
Favorite spot: In the window, basking in the sun.
Aside from those wide emerald eyes and Russian Blue "smile," Coop's greatest charm is that he loves to love. In fact, he'll give kisses on command and even asks to have his belly rubbed.
Coop also believes that he's a carpet cheetah, dashing through the house and stalking any toy that resembles a rodent. And although he has an embarrassing stash of cat toys, he much prefers paper -- toilet paper, paper towels, notebooks, cardboard boxes....and the list goes on....
Eventually, his "talent" for destroying paper coincided with his namesake. Two years ago, I got an Anderson Cooper bookmark, and I thought it would be fun to take a few pictures of my two favorite Coops. However, Coopurr had other ideas: He immediately attacked his prey and chewed on Anderson Cooper's head! It wasn't a photo-op. It needed to be recorded.
(Click here to watch if video doesn't load)
A few weeks ago, Anderson asked for pet stories, pictures and videos. On a whim, I sent the video of Coop gnawing Coop....and twenty-four hours later, I received a call from a producer. Apparently, the staff at Anderson's daytime show found the video quite funny, and they wanted permission to use it. Since I live in New York City where the show tapes, the producer also invited me in to possibly speak about my fur baby on the pet show.
They'd warned me that they were over-booked and that the segment might get bumped...but the following afternoon, I found myself sitting in the Green Room at The Time Warner Center where the show tapes and getting wired with a microphone...just in case. At that point, I was just thrilled that they might use Coopurr's video, and I didn't care if they interviewed me or not.
Screenshot of Coop as he appeared on Anderson Cooper's website.
They didn't get to Coopurr's video for the actual show, but it was a wonderful afternoon. Three staffers made it a point to tell me how funny they thought the video was. And I got to enjoy the day with one of my dearest friends, watching the taping.
When the show aired, they posted the video on Anderson's website. And I have to admit, it was quite surreal to see Coop next to his namesake. Let's just say that I now have our holiday card photo for 2012!
Stardust aside, Coopurr is proof that the shy, sick kitty you see in the shelter won't always hide under the couch and have medical issues. "Teeny Tiny" the kitten blossomed into fourteen pounds of Coop, the Social Butterfly. Time, love and patience on both ends got us to the point where he is today. And while he does need to lose a couple of pounds, he's in perfect health, so said our vet on our most recent visit. His sunny disposition can brighten even the worst days...and his sandpaper kisses...they can melt even the coldest heart!
Special thanks to Jenn for sharing Coopurr's inspiring story with us this week! It just goes to show how a little TLC can go a long way in helping a very sick kitten blossom into a healthy and loving cat!
p.s. Looking for even more Catsparella? Check out my weekly columns over on Catster!
Want to see your cat(s) on Catsparella? I'm always taking submissions for my weekly Caturday post! Just email your best kitty pics to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your cat's name and anything else you'd like to share! I can't wait to hear from you!