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Rescue-facility adoptees find feline fame

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Top cats

By Laura Lewis, Reporter

 BY LAURA LEWIS

STAFF WRITER

OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Anyone who ever thought Cat Tails feline rescue just handles ordinary cats might want to think again.

Two recent, true cat “tales” have proven the rescue facility on Beach Drive has a knack for adopting out kitties who go on to make names for themselves.

A few weeks ago, Ellie, a calico feline who once lived at Cat Tails, won four merit ribbons in the household pet category at the Cat Fanciers Association Allbreed “Back to the Beach” Cat Show Oct. 4 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

That’s a long way to come for the 15-month-old cat that was bottle-fed as a kitten by a foster caretaker and later wound up in Cat Tails’ feline quarantine room with ringworm.

That’s when Ron and Bonnie McCreight of Little River, S.C., first spied Ellie and decided to adopt her in early January as a Christmas gift for Ron.

The couple had already decided they wanted a calico cat to go with Stuart, their 4-year-old black-and-white male cat. The minute Ellie was handed to her husband, “he melted,” Bonnie McCreight said.

In October, they decided to enter Ellie in the cat show.

“We wanted to find out what kind of cat she was, the kind of breed,” Bonnie said. “We had no idea who her mother or father were.”

The cat-show judges “thought she was beautiful,” she added.

They also identified Ellie as a “brown-patched mackerel, tabby and white” breed.

Ellie, who tends to be shy around strangers, also proved to be a natural as she “stretched out like a sausage” while the judges examined her, the McCreights said.

“If anybody wants to adopt a cat, Cat Tails is one of the best we’ve seen,” Bonnie said as the couple showed off their pro-show-cat.

Calendar cat

Cat Tails volunteer Kathy Fell is the proud owner of Andie, a black-and-white cat she adopted as a kitten. Andie was recently chosen to appear in next year’s Cats Page-A-Day calendar.

Fell was recently notified by Workman Publishing Co. that Andie had won a spot as the cat-of-the-day for Jan. 23, 2009, in the calendar.

Fell has had Andie since last March, after she took in what she thought were sister Annie and brother Andy to provide foster care when they were kittens. After they were “plumped up” for neutering, Cat Tails manager Trish Kelley learned from a local veterinarian Andy was actually a female Andie.

Annie found a home right away after Cat Tails volunteers took her to PetSmart in Wilmington. Little Andie, however, didn’t.

“After three or four months, I finally told Trish I would end up keeping Andie,” Fell said. “I couldn’t keep taking her to PetSmart. I told Trish I’d had her so long, she was starting to bond with me.”

A few months ago, Fell submitted a photo she’d taken of Andie as a kitten for consideration for the Cats Page-A-Day calendar. In August, an editorial official at Workman notified Fell Andie’s photo had been chosen as the Jan. 23 cat for 2009.

“I personally feel like a very proud Grandma,” Fell wrote in a recent e-mail to the Beacon.

For Fell, it’s just another example of the fine felines Cat Tails cultivates into wonderful, adoptable pets.

Cat Tails, she added, “has more winners for adoption.”

She advises those who are interested to visit the no-kill facility at 6622 Beach Drive. Public visiting hours are 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays; or visit its Web site at www.cattails.org.