It’s a holiday weekend, time to celebrate! No, I’m not talking about Memorial Day. This is much bigger. And slightly more dangerous. For all you feline neophytes, today is Hug-your-cat Day and the folks at SPCA Tampa Bay want to see who you’re hugging. As part of their Adopt-a-human campaign promoting shelter cat adoptions, they’re holding a Cutest Cat Photo contest.
Think your kitty is the coolest thing in town? Head over to Adopt-a-human’s Facebook page and submit your cutest/silliest cat pictures and be sure to spread the word to all your friends. The top 10 photos that receive the most positive comments and likes on their photo status will then be forwarded to our judges: WTSP Studio 10’s hosts, Holley Sinn and Jerome Ritchey.
They’ll announce the top three photo winners on Studio 10 on June 2nd between 10am-11am. And get this: the top winner and their photogenic feline will go live on Studio 10 with me, Holley and Jerome on June 9th to showcase your winning photo. You’ll also get a special Cat Basket from the SPCA Tampa Bay Boutique filled with cat toys and accessories. So start digging up those adorable cat pics. (But, of course, finish reading my blog first!)
Now, it’s only fair that I show you who I’m hugging today. I’ll be giving out four big embraces with varying degrees of success. Cat owners know, it’s not always the easiest thing to do to wrap your kitty in a big hug. Dogs? Sure. Most of them would accept a hug from anyone, even the mailman. Cats? Not so much, depending on the cat’s personality, mood and motivation. The easiest one by far for me, will be Louie.
If given a choice, I think Louie would opt for a lifetime-long hug. In fact, many times, I have to pry him off me, foot by fluffy foot, just to get things done. My mother-in-law calls him ‘Louie the Lump’ and for good reason. As soon as he senses me sitting down somewhere, he’s there like a flash, (those short little legs are deceptively fast,) climbing up into my lap and stubbornly settling in for the long haul. It’s very cute and sweet. For about the first three hours. Then, even this crazy cat lady has had enough.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Sweetie. Don’t get me wrong, he’s incredibly affectionate and quick to hand out a lick and a purr. That is, when he’s on the ground. Once he’s airborne, he turns into a wriggling, windmilling, wailing mess. Since he spent his first few years living the feral life, he never got used to someone picking him up and no matter how much headway I make with him in the trust department, being held remains firmly on his no-no list. I guess he’ll just have to do with a mental hug instead. It saves him a lot of stress and me, a lot of scratches.
My oldest cat hasn’t ever been much of a hugger either, though Rhett’s hands-off rule stems more from macho cat-itude than fear. When he was younger he’d suffer through a short cuddle, sighing loudly to make sure you knew just how darn annoyed he was at this terrible indignity. But maybe Rhett has mellowed with age because now I can hold, kiss and cuddle on him and feel totally confident, (well, mostly,) that he’s not leveling a crazy cat-voodoo curse on me. If I suddenly turn into a toad, I guess we’ll know I was wrong.
My last hug will be handed out to Lucy Jane, the little stray who is deaf. Lucy has no problem with the hugging itself since she craves affection at an almost Louie-like level. I just have to carefully consider how to deliver the hug. If I ‘sneak’ up on her, she’ll be hanging from the ceiling before I can even get my arms around her.
I often forget about Lucy Jane’s disability and her aversion to surprises and end up scaring her to death by approaching her from behind or when she’s asleep. Word to the wise if you ever visit my home: unless you want to incite a flurry of punching paws accompanied by ear-piercing yowls, make sure Lucy Jane sees you well before you touch her.
You have until May 30th to submit the pictures of who *you’re* hugging to Adopt-a-human’s Facebook page. We already have close to 50 submissions so be sure to get yours in on time and spread the word to your family and friends to vote for you. Good luck!