Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Linton Zoo Mourns Loss Of Famous Feline Babysitter

Arnie and Safina

Earlier this month, Linton Zoo in the UK said goodbye to a special feline friend who touched the lives of many creatures, great and small. Arnie, named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, showed up at the zoo as a stray in 2000, and made a place for himself with his bold personality (he was described as a "real life Garfield"), while racking up an impressive array of credentials, including welcoming committee, pest controller, and lifter of spirits.

Arnie's "most special job of all", however, was as a babysitter to abandoned newborn animals brought inside for hand rearing. He was especially fond of lion cubs, and looked after all four of the zoo's now adult lions, and some of their babies, too.

The ginger kitty, who came to Linton as a young adult, had been suffering from arthritis and other age related health problems for the past year. Fittingly, he passed away doing what he loved best, and went peacefully in his sleep, after one final walk around the zoo to say goodbye.

According to a tribute on the zoo's Facebook page, Arnie will be remembered as, "A cat with an outstanding personality, (he was) was without a doubt a most extraordinary cat who had an extraordinary life. He will be missed by not only the people who knew and loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo, too."

Via Facebook (Linton Zoo) / ZooBorns



Anonymous said...

I had a feline babysitter too. My Teddy was a great surrogate dad to kittens that I fostered for over 5 years. He would nuzzle them and clean them,... Eventually I brought Cassidy home to stay. Cassidy was also a rescue whose full name was ...Hop-A-Long Cassidy since he had 3 legs. Cassidy wasNOT happy about his new digs and hissed fiercely at Teddy. Teddy did not hiss back or become upset. He simply waited until Cassidy took a nap then quietly curled up right next to him. Are you surprised that Teddy won over Cassidy? LOL!!

Catsparella said...

@Anonymous Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! :)

Katie Isabella said...

That is precious. Both stories are. Our cats are so capable, so loving and so intelligent. More so than humans give them credit for so many times. Very wonderful cats here to read about and be touched by. Fly free dearest Arnie.

Unknown said...

So sad, but so sweet.

Cat Tee Mission said...

What a great kitty! RIP :(
When I was in Africa I was witness to many cat and dog baby sitters comforting orphaned wild animals. So sweet!

Anonymous said...

You went to a special place Arnie. You are now one more star in the universe. Burn brightly.

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