Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Local cat is calendar girl in '365 Cats'

  • A famous calendar girl lives in Pittsburg, but you won’t catch her out shopping for the latest fashions or carousing in the hottest night spots.

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  • A famous calendar girl lives in Pittsburg, but you won’t catch her out shopping for the latest fashions or carousing in the hottest night spots.
    She spends a lot of time napping and/or hiding out the basement of her owners’ home on Langdon Lane.
    “Babe is about 11,  which is getting old for a cat, and she’s cranky,” said Terry Walker.
    Babe is featured as the cat of the day for Jan. 18  in the 2013 “365 Cats” calendar put out by Workman Publishing, New York.
    Pet-lover Walker had enjoyed buying the cat calendar and noticed that inside each is an entry blank stating the rules for sending in pictures.
    “I sent in the first couple of pictures of Babe, our gray tabby, to the calendar before 2002,” Walker said. “To my surprise, they let me know with a note of congratulations and a free calendar that Babe was to be Miss December 18 in the new calendar.”
    In that first picture, Babe is nose to nose with a ceramic Santa Claus.
    “The rules say to send a a clear sharp picture, but I think it depends on sending in the right picture,” Walker said. “Any picture that might convey a theme will certainly be considered.”
    In her latest photo, Babe has a bell around her neck. The text accompanying the photo notes that many pet owners are distressed when their cats bring home prey, but that a bell attached to  a cat’s collar will serve as a good warning to any small animals that are being stalked by the cat. The cats can still enjoy some of the hunting experience, and the owner is spared offerings of dead vermin.
    “A bell is not something that Babe wears on a daily basis because she’s not outside that often,” Walker said.
    Babe had a close call at a kitten that probably used up at least one of her nine lives.
    “She was a kitten in a barn down the street, and when she was five or six weeks old she got under a neighbor’s lawnmower,” Walker said. “It split her down the belly. He took her to the vet, of course, and they were afraid she wouldn’t live through the night.”
    She did, of course. Later, when the neighbor went on vacation, he asked Walker and her husband, Bill, to take care of the kitten while they were gone, and eventually the situation became permanent.
    There’s also another cat in the Walker home, a black and white tuxedo cat named Sweetie, who’s about 10 years old.
    “Our son, Patrick, dragged her home one year while he was in college,” Walker said. “I sent in a photo of her covered in red and yellow yarn, and Sweetie became Miss November 29, 2009.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Since this is an international calendar, it features cats from around the world. The 2013 calendar, for example, includes kitties from around the United States, Canada and Japan.
    “I sent the picture of Babe with the bell year before last, so I know they keep the photos and use them when they fit a theme,” Walker said.
    She enjoys taking photos of her pets, but suspects that Babe is becoming bored with fame.
    “She isn’t as cooperative as she used to be when I point a camera at her,” Walker said. “She has learned to turn her back on me. She doesn’t take being a calendar girl too seriously. But being in the calendar two times doesn’t mean that she can’t make it again.”
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