By Julia Williams
In the last few years, I’ve come across a lot of really cool cats who are making this world a better place. I’ve profiled many of them here, including two wonderful therapy cats, Tabitha and Henry. It still blows my mind that any cat has the temperament to become certified for therapy work, but I’m just so proud of those who do. Today I am delighted to introduce you to another therapy cat extraordinaire – Guido the Italian Kitty. This handsome brown tabby is so incredibly PURRsonable that I’m positive he could charm the pants off of even the most anti-cat curmudgeon. The spunky 4-year old feline must also have an Energizer Bunny battery implant, because he does more in a typical week than most cats do their entire lives!
Truly, Guido has to be the busiest Celebricat on the planet. When he’s not “on the job” visiting his special friends, Guido is busy writing his own newsletter (the Guido Gazette), posing for an award-winning pet photographer, competing on a TV game show for cats (and hanging with Chuck Woolery!), and getting featured on not one but TWO months of the Morris & Friends 2011 Cat Calendar. Guido the Italian Kitty is also very active on Catster.com, a.k.a. “The Facebook for Felines” where he's received multiple honors and won several fun contests. Whew!
It’s a miracle that I got Guido to sit still long enough to answer a few questions, but I’m so glad I did. I hope you enjoy getting to know this witty kitty as much as I did.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Envirocat, Catzowey, EyeTailYun
Tell me about your work in the Animal Assisted Therapy program. 3 yrs ago when I was inky dinky, I visited a furiend who was very ill. My momma thought that if she sees me, I might perk her up. Well, I did and it was fun, and I saw the senior infirmed lady get color back in her skin and smile again. I even convinced her tooza get out of bed and come to da breakfast table to have yogurt with me! So then momma enrolled me in San Francisco SPCA's "Animal Assisted Therapy" program where theyza tests me – hee hee hee, they stretches me out like a pizza dough! And theyza makes noises and stuff, just to see how I react. I surprised them cuz I just looked at them like, Whatcha doing? I passed the test and got my official AAT vest with my name “GUIDO” on it. Oh, I luvs my job and have been going to work for 3 years now at The ARC of San Francisco, where I mingles and plays with da seniors whooza got Autism and Down Syndrome and other condishuns. But you know what? Theyza no different than me and I’m no different than them, cuz weeza all plays and communicates and theyza make me purr at my job. Itza high paying job getting all those purrs!
What is your most touching memory from your Therapy Cat work? I got abundacat speshule memories of being a therapy cat but probably da mostest giganticat event was when a client at The ARC saw my momma in a grocery store (without me). He duzn’t touch peoples, heeza just does what he wantza do (like me) and he yelled out in the aisle “Guido – Guido” (recognizing momma cuz sheeza brings me to The ARC) and he came up to momma and kissed her on the cheek! It was an incredulous moment cuz da ARC’s manager whooza with him says heeza never ever done that – thatza the gift that keeps on giving.
What kinds of things can kitties and cat loving hoomins learn by reading your Guido Gazette? Meowvalous question Signorina Julia! I always try to make purrsons smile, and weeza gotta remember dat life is short even if you got 9 lives and life is Catzowey and shouldn’t be catastrophic and having a hiss fit isn’t good. I’ma envirocat, so I cat chats about taking care of our Planet cuz itza our purrmanent home.
How many photo shoots have you done with Mark Rogers? Abundacat shoots, and I loves his giganticat lens. I met Mark at Pet Camp Cat Safari, the mostest incredible kitty hotel in San Franfuncisco, and I loves posing fur him.
Your Catster profile has a plaque that says Winner: Funny Face Category. What was this? Catster.com has da annual “Coolest Dog and Cat” contest. So my Staff entered me and my momma Baci (sheeza crossed The Bridge last April) so winning this foto contest was a tribute to my momma cat, whooza raised me, tolerated me and gave me my meowster manners. I thinks Baci is making a more funny face than me!
Who is your Best Friend? I dontza have one bestest furiend because I'ma meowster whooza blessed with a catzullion diverse furiends all over the Planet, on every Continent. Why have one bestet furiend when youza can have abundacat furiends!
Do you have any siblings? Shure, I got a little brofur! He’s Yolo from Yolo County SPCA – datsa where UC Davis is. Oh I luvs Yolo, and weeza wrestles every hour weeza not catnapping. Heeza 3 and I’ma almost 5.
What’s it like to be a bona fide “Celebricat” and have so many adoring fans? Life is purrfectly catzowey as a Celebricat, and I adore my fans and furiends cuz theyza all makes every day special. Fans and Furiends are my spice to life – like a good Italian meatball! One of my favorito things is to donate my pawsagraphed foto to fan’s auctions that are benefitting meowsters and pooches in need. Giving back to my ComMEWnity is what makes all my nine lives worth living.
Ciao & Meow! GUIDO the Italian Kitty
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