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Let’s Celebrate National Cat Health Month, Right Meow!

With only 28 days, February marks the shortest month on the calendar. It also marks the observance of National Cat Health Month, a month-long celebration of feline wellness and health— two things Morris Animal Foundation values dearly. 

When the Foundation funded its first feline study in 1950, the organization began a 65-year love affair with our furry feline friends. That love for cats shows in our current staff; 10 of them are pet parents to one or more cats. 

We often tell you about the incredible studies to benefit feline health that the Foundation is funding, so today we thought we would ask some of our staff about the cats they love so much. Enjoy, and Happy National Cat Health Month!


Why are cats such great pets?


“Cats are entertaining, can be very affectionate, provide wonderful emotional support, are very fun to have around and really brighten our world.”

—Cherie Cassel, Senior Specialist, Grants Administration

(Cats: Maizee Grace, Dusty and Matsi Keetah)


“They are lovely creatures. They check on us to see how we’re doing and warm us up. They are friendly and happy and give life to our homes.”

—Bonnie Hayden, Development Officer, Major Gifts

(Cats: Mo Cheeks and Larry)


“I think cats make great pets because they are low maintenance if you have a cat like Tigger, she’s my little buddy. They make good companions and somehow I think when you only have one cat, they are more so.”

—Darcy Nelson, Office Services Coordinator

(Cat: Tigger)


How do you feel about Morris Animal Foundation’s work on behalf of our feline friends?


“Cats are so stoic that by the time they act sick, they are really sick. We need to have the tools and knowledge to keep them healthy.”

—Tobie McPhail, Director of Scientific Programs

   (Cats: George and Maple Leaf)


“I feel like the feline studies that Morris Animal Foundation has funded have helped cats live better and healthier lives.”

—Thomas Stevens, Senior Specialist, Veterinary Outreach

   (Cats: Morgan and Smuckers)


Cats have such distinct personalities. What are some of the hilarious things they do?


“During the spring and summer months, Maple Leaf does her best impression of a lion with the stylish haircut she sports.”

—Tobie McPhail


“Mo Cheeks enjoys sleeping on the cable box and throwing up on it. She also enjoys eating cream cheese, but I think her most favorite thing may be falling asleep on people’s laps, so one of her nicknames is ‘Laptop’.”

—Bonnie Hayden


“Dusty is obsessed with her dad in general. He is always attached to his dad in some way. Dad has pretty much learned to do everything while carrying around a very large, very furry kitty or providing a lap for said kitty. Dusty also loves to race around like a maniac and has been known to wander around with a foam ball in his mouth screaming, “I have a BALL!” at 3 or 4 a.m.”

—Cherie Cassel


By: Allen Byrne


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February 2, 2015