Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Cat of the Year...

Alex named 2009 Cat of the Year at Marler-Schmetterling Household!

Alex (pictured above, humbled by the honor, with June in the background overcome with joy, and cheering him on).

He won by a unanimous vote, trouncing Natalie,
and June. Never one to take anything for granted, Alex was astonished by the honor of this award. When told of his victory, he humbly acted like he did not even know what we were saying. His lack of pretentiousness is refreshing. He does not expect much in life, probably because of his modest beginnings.

An innocent victim of an animal hoarder, Alex was surrendered to the Bitterroot Humane Society a few years ago, where he was promptly shaved and treated for various ailments. As a bald, adult cat who does not purr, he did not get much attention at the Humane Society. After seeing many of his peers get adopted during his year at the shelter, he withdrew and suffered from depression. He was placed in foster care where he received special attention. We fell in love with his picture on line and adopted him soon after.
Unflappable, Alex is the glue that keeps the cat family together: he likes all three of his housemates and does not buy in to the often petty politics and resentments so common in housecats. Beneath his calm demeanor, Alex enjoys classic games like "Chase" and "String." He is a little bit of a renaissance man. He can play Chase by himself, or with the other cats, even if they don't know they are playing a game.

Alex is a Turkish Angora cross, and we think he feels a little ostracized by our registered Himalayan (Squeak) and purebred Persian (June). However they were both rescued from shelters, too, so we don't understand why they have such snobby attitudes. He is not the biggest cat (Natalie is nearly twice his size), not the oldest cat (Squeak, at 16, is 8 years his senior), not the newest cat (June). He is not the fluffiest (Squeak), nor is he the fanciest (June and Squeak are tied). As a result, many of our friends forget about him. Nevertheless, he has important jobs- he greets everyone that comes into the house, he eats anything yet does not beg for table scraps (I hope June is reading this). We are glad to take this opportunity to recognize his achievements.
Alex has put together a remarkable year: he was our least expensive cat this year (Natalie's synthetic body wall surgery will keep her ahead in that department for a while), was a great sport about June joining the cat family, and carried out his aforementioned duties without a single complaint (it is almost as though he doesn't even know he has these jobs).

June did pretty well in the voting, too, but her litter box habits are not going to win her any prizes.

Visit your local humane society or donate to ours! in Missoula and in the Bitterroot.


  1. Congrats to Alex! I would have a hard time selecting one of ours as Cat of the Year. Mungus would no doubt manage multiple voting, while Toby Soprano would make the vote tallyer an offer she couldn't refuse...
    Happy New Year, David, and looking forward to more tales in 2010.

  2. Wow - mark and I would be hard pressed to chose a cat of the year here. Our 4 are all amazing in their own rights but...hhhmmmm let me think about it.

  3. Good job, Alex!
    Pets from shelters are the best!!!!!

    Happy New Year.

  4. Thank you all for your comments.
    Voting was surprisingly easy this year and that is a testament to the remarkable year Alex put together. But today begins a New Year and it is anyone's game to win.
    Happy new Year to you all and all your cats!

  5. Congrats Alex! You definitely look like a winner and your humble attitude enforces my feelings~ Dave, I love that you rescue from the local shelter. So many animals need homes that I could never see may way clear to purchase a dog or a cat. We have 5 cats and all are rescued or were dumped on our property. All of them thankful to have a home.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Great post about your cats and their habits. It's obvious that each one is dearly loved and accepted no matter what.

  7. Although a mere country mouse, I love cats. Rat however, shudders when even the shadow of a cat falls upon his sensitive whiskers. So no more cats for me. Anyway there are too many predators here, and cats don't last too long. Also cats prey on wildlife. So it's jut as well. I enjoyed sharing vicariously in your cats - and your wit.

  8. Thanks for your comments country mouse. I am glad you are enjoying my cats, even if vicariously!
    I agree that cats don't belong outside- mine are all indoor only cats- it is better for the cats and better for widlife. Here is an older post of mine with more info: