Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Cat of the Year: Voting is now open!

Junebug 1999- 2012

This year's Cat of the Year Award is offered in loving memory of Junebug. She was a glorious creature and the only two time champion of Cat of the Year (2010 and 2011).  Sadly Junebug passed away this year in May.  And unfortunately, as you may recall with Squeak, since she did not complete at least 50% of the year she is ineligible for consideration as the 2012 Cat of the Year.  These are the rules.  Frankly no one expected Junebug to make it as long as she did.  

We dearly loved Junebug and we miss her every day, and so does Alex (we think).  However, as you will read, not everyone shared our fondness for that little monster.

So, in alphabetical order, here are the contestants for the 2012 Cat of the Year.  Polls close January 4 at midnight, so, do the civically responsible thing and vote.  And leave a comment- these were the best part of the voting in past years!
Pictured from left to right:  Natalie, Miles, and Alex
Age: 11
Weight: 8 lbs
Breed: Turkish angora x Persian
Alex with his friend, Junebug.
Background: Innocent victim of a hoarder. He was at the shelter for 2 years because no one wanted to adopt an adult black cat. We adopted him in summer of 2007 as a friend for Natalie. Boy was that a bad idea.  Really bad.
Pros: Good attitude. Greets all visitors at the door. Does fantastic acrobatics. Plays hard.  Tries to play with the other cats (they don't play back), and he respected Junebug and her issues.  After the passing of Squeak, the undisputed leader of the house, Alex has assumed a more prominent leadership role.  This is despite his age (our youngest cat) and small stature ( he is about 56% the size of Natalie).
Cons: Rarely purrs. Bites your face if you oversleep.  In warm months he will bolt out the door to check out the yard (but in his defense he stops after 10 feet).  Socially inept.

Accomplishments in 2012: Whereas Alex grew one white whisker in 2011, contributing to his more distinguished appearance, he seems to have lost it.  Although he lost his closest friend, Squeak, in 2011, and then Junebug, his other friend in 2012, Alex maintains a cheerful and outgoing personality.  He is still very, very fast.

After beating the crap out of Miles when they first met, Alex was the first to offer an olive branch. 
Alex and Miles reach an agreement.
Natalie has yet to offer such amends. 

Gregarious, yet modest and unassuming, Alex just likes to be close to people.  But now, he spends a lot of his time in Junebug's old room. His ¾ length tail, though not new in 2012, is always worth some points. 
Alex had an expensive year of vet care in 2011 ($80/pound) for some skin tumors and dental issues.  So far in 2012 he has had zero vet visits and no expenses. But unfortunately we recently noticed that his skin tumors have returned. We are fearful of the prognosis, although Alex is as stoic as ever.
Expenses: $0.*

Cost per pound: $0
*He will eat whatever any of the other cats are eating. He doesn’t mind, nor does he expect anything more.
Miles and his favorite person, Marilyn.
*note:  Miles not eligible for consideration this year (he has only completed 25% of the 2012 competition season, but barring any complications he will be a contender in 2013).

Age:  8
Weight 7 lbs
Breed:  Wire-haired Chihuahua (a rare condition that should likely garner him some votes by loyal readers.  Only a few long haired and short haired Chihuahuas end up with the wiry hair).

Background:  Our smallest and youngest cat, Miles is a "California Little"- one of the small dogs sent to Missoula's Humane Society from an animal shelter in Merced, California.  He, like his bother Alex, is the innocent victim of a hoarder.  We know very little about his past, but when we adopted him he had sores on his feet and legs from confinement.
Miles is color coordinated with our kitchen floor- an important consideration in future voting.
Pros: Will not make eye contact with the cats.  Generally enjoys everything.  Does not bark (except when he is asleep and dreaming).  He is a “proud stepper”, and he is tall for his height.  He has the long (albeit, short), graceful legs of an antelope.  Despite his central California upbringing, he is unfazed by winter and snow. 

Does not purr, and will not use a litter box.

Accomplishments:  Has recently mastered “sit”, "lay down", his name, and can jump onto all the beds.  Sleeps under the covers with us at night.  Does not eat treats from the cat litter boxes.

Cost per pound: $57

Natalie is not impressed.
Age: 17
Weight: 14 lbs (according to her driver’s license)
Breed: Domestic long hair
Background: Disemboweled by her previous owners’ dog, historically medically neglected. Borderline diabetic (Type 2 lifestyle diabetes, I'm calling it what is is). She’d prefer to be the only cat in our house.
Pros: Classic beauty, good stomper, good at polishing things with her declawed paws (including the computer monitor when you are trying to read or write something). Great purr, skilled exfoliator of the human face.  Very helpful when you are reading a book, looking at a monitor or doing anything that she can sit on, sit in front of, or otherwise interrupt (see below). Very friendly with human visitors.
Cons: Not a team player. Generally is disgusted by any other cats including Squeak, Alex, and cat-like pets including Junebug and Miles.  In 2011, we suspected she was happier after Squeak died, but in 2012, after Junebug died, her glee was obvious.  I have never seen Natalie happier.  This unabashed glee lasted until we came home with Miles. 
Accomplishments: Natalie continues to be the largest of our cats and had no surgeries this year. Glowing report from the vet (who she hates). It appears as though she is getting healthier and younger with each vet visit.  We suspect she is robbing the strength of all the pets we have lost (Squeak, Junebug, and Mattie).  We are fearful there is a portrait of her in the attic that is aging.  She is a wonderful, happy cat, and if not for her utter disdain of any other pets (currently Alex and Miles), this would be her title to lose every year.
Cost: Expensive diabetic food, but no vet visits this year.
Cost per pound: $3/ lb