Well, it’s official. My cat Cheeto’s little pinhead has blown up to match the size of his big flabby BUTT!
After appearing on the local KOMO 4 news the other night and King 5’s program Evening Magazine tonight, interest for Cheeto’s work as a “target cat” has grow nationally. He will appear on Animal Planet’s “Must Love Cats” show this Saturday March 17th at 8:00 p.m.
The great thing about Cheeto is that not only is he a valuable “employee” of Missing Pet Partnership with the work he does (he’s used to train Missing Pet Partnership’s “cat detection dogs” to find lost cats for our lost pet rescue team here in Seattle), but he is a quirky cat with a boat load of personality! Here’s what I mean:
1. Cheeto is trained to sit up and wave “bye-bye” on command…of course, there must be a hunk of dried salmon involved.
2. Cheeto is a true “drama king” in that he will take several steps and then, in the most dramatic fashion possible for a cat, he will literally flop down from the supposed exertion it took for him to walk five steps. You can see him do his drama flop in the Evening Magazine video clip. Of course, he has NOOO lack of energy when it comes to him racing around my house and beating up on my other skinny, sweet, elderly kitty Myron!
3. Cheeto is featured on the cover of one of the books I authored called, “Dog Detectives: Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets.” I think this was when he ego began to grow out of control!
4. Cheeto once owned his own pet, a mouse named Squeakers who I rescued from becoming snake food. Cheeto (and Myron) spent HOURS in front of Squeaker’s glass home (a fish aquarium) where they watched their pet. Squeakers was tame and let me hold him and even sniffed noses with Cheeto who, surprisingly, never made a grab towards the mouse. Sadly, Squeakers ultimately died of old age (he was 2 years old, I believe) and was replaced with a little brown mouse who proceeded to bite me, so I never really handled him again. When trying to come up with a better name than “Squeakers Number Two” I noticed Myron and Cheeto admiring their new pet and imagined Myron asking Cheeto, “Merrow…what do you think he TASTES like?” and Cheeto’s response was, “Like CHICKEN!” So the brown mouse was named “Chicken” and ultimately died of natural causes as well. I put my foot down after that point and told Cheeto, “No More Cat Pets!”
Cheeto actually has his own business card. It is a baseball trading card with a semi fuzzy photo of him with Squeakers. As a fundraiser for Missing Pet Partnership and since Cheeto is now developing a fan base, I am offering to send a Cheeto trading card (and/or a Karma the pit bull trading card) to supporters who sign up to become “Search Posse Pal” members of Missing Pet Partnership at the $100.00 membership level (or above, if you’d like to give more). Make sure that when you sign up that in the “Message Optional” section you type in that you “want a Cheeto Trading Card” (or Karma Trading card, or BOTH a Cheeto & Karma Trading Card..just tell us which cards you want). MPP will then snail mail you a free membership t-shirt (it says: “Missing Pet Partnership: Finding Lost Pets ~ Saving People!”) along with your trading cards as a thank you gift for your support.
Our vision at Missing Pet Partnership is to develop lost pet search-and-rescue teams just like what we’ve launched here in Seattle. We hope to rescue dogs like Karma and more cats like Cheeto (oh good grief, can there really be more cats like him?) from animal shelters, train them and use them to recover lost pets, and partner with animal shelters, rescue groups, and volunteer teams that we help to train in communities across North America. If you’d like more information on our Missing Animal Response training course (that will be held here in Seattle this June) or in how YOU can host a MAR seminar in your own community, click here.
Oh, and I should add that the Evening Magazine clip did not give correct statistics on our recovery rate! They said that “Cheeto and the dogs with Missing Pet Partnership found over 300 cats last year alone.” The reality is that our search dogs are only one tool that we use at MPP to help families recover lost cats (and lost dogs) and our search dogs only recover a very small percentage of the lost pets that we search for! What should’ve been reported was that last year, Missing Pet Partnership helped over 300 families recover their lost cats through all of the techniques that we use (advice on our web site which is linked to animal shelter web sites nationally, lost cat email consultations, lost cat telephone consultations, physical searches with our cat detection dogs, humane traps, wildlife cameras, and lost cat recovery tips).
Thank you for sharing the story about Cheeto with other animal lovers and for supporting Missing Pet Partnership with your membership. Life is too short to not live with a weird cat!