.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rags to Riches Cat Named Joe Goes from Homeless Shelter to TV Stardom in One Giant Leap

"A cat is above all things, a dramatist."
-- Margaret Benson

Not all rags to riches stories in the tradition of Horatio Alger pertain to humans. Ever once in a while a lucky cat makes it big also and Joe is definitely such a cat.

Four-years-ago, the six-year-old, green-eyed moggy was just another homeless cat in Sheffield. Fortunately for him, he was taken in by Jane Ward of Furry Friends Cat Sanctuary in nearby Dore who immediately recognized his potential as a thespian. (See photo above of her and Joe.)

She then enrolled him in a school called Prop Farm in Bolsover which trains animals for acting careers. Since graduating he has appeared in two television detective shows, A Touch of Frost and Mayo, as well as a soap opera called Doctors. He is also slated to appear in several commercials.

So far, his roles have been primarily bit parts, such as sleeping on someone's lap or strolling across a room, but he, like Pip, has great expectations of bigger roles to follow.

"He has a very good temperament. He is what they call a 'staying cat' in that if you put him somewhere he will stay there," Ward told Sheffield Today on March 7th. (See "Joe Claws Way to TV Stardom.") "He was ideal for TV work."

He is so docile in fact that he is sometimes mistaken for an inanimate object. "We took him to an open day and placed him on a mat on top of a table and he stayed there all day. One person thought he was stuffed," Ward recalled.

Although he knows by now that he is a star, fame has not gone to his little head as it so often does with actors and actresses who have made it to the top. "If you take him somewhere he knows he is the center of attention. He is very photogenic and will do as he is told," Ward related.

Through his efforts on the screen Joe is also helping other stray and feral cats in that his earnings are plowed back into Furry Friends. Established fourteen-years ago, the sanctuary rescues cats from the streets in and around Sheffield. They are then given medical exams, sterilized, and microchipped.

Only a few of them are sent to acting school, however. The sanctuary instead concentrates most of its efforts on finding good homes for them. Although most of them are resettled in the Yorkshire area, some have been placed in homes as far away as Seattle.

Furry Friends currently has seventeen cats in its care but in the past it has had as many as sixty-five. "All cats need homes, but we attract the more difficult ones, which need extra-special homes," Ward told Sheffield Today in the article cited supra.

Ward is such a dedicated cat lover that she cannot even relax when she is en vacance. For instance, on a recent trip to Cyprus she ended up rescuing cats from the street and having them sterilized.

As for little Joe, cat lovers should be on the lookout for him whenever they are tuned in to the tele or at the movies. He may be a little guy and his parts may be small ones, but he is nonetheless a really big star.

Photo: Sheffield Today.