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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Purrfect Capitol Hill Companions

You’re more and more likely to see dogs at the U.S. Congress these days, as lawmakers bring their canine companions to work with them. But two stories caught my eye this week that made me think cats are making a comeback on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen and his cat Callie U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) posted a video on his YouTube page featuring his cat, Callie, expressing support for federal legislation to ban “crush” videos. Rep. Cohen is a leading animal advocate in Congress, a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, and the sponsor of legislation to crack down on remote Internet hunting and canned hunting of captive exotic animals. Callie is a big and beautiful calico kitty, and she makes a great ambassador for why animals should be protected from cruelty and abuse.

Jay Fitzgerald of the Boston Herald also reported today on a new rescued kitten who has taken up residence in the office of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)—and he’s posted a short video of the two. Here’s an excerpt from Fitzgerald’s story on the fortunate feline:

The office pet was saved by a Brown aide who spotted the weeks-old kitten sticking her adorable head outside a brown bag on the side of the road, as he recently drove along Interstate 195 near Fall River to catch a flight at Logan International Airport.

“We passed her at first and then thought ‘Whoa, did we see what we just thought we saw?’” recalled Nat Hoopes, the legislative aide who was in the car with his father when they spotted the apparently abandoned feline alongside the highway, discarded like a piece of trash on the side of the road.

So Hoopes, who was returning to Washington after visiting his Bay State family over Memorial Day weekend, said he and his father turned the car around, picked up the abandoned kitty, and headed back to Logan. He bought her a traveling cage for $45 and a one-way ticket for $75 - and it was off to D.C. for the duo.

U.S. Senator Scott Brown with his office's new cat Thanks to Nat Hoopes for going the extra mile to save the stray from the streets, and to Sen. Brown for making his office feline-friendly, the black-and-white kitten is a welcome addition here in Washington.

I’m glad to know I’m not the only person in the nation’s capital with cat hair on my suit. And if you’re looking for a stimulus package for your feline companion at home, check out Katina Antoniades’ article in the current issue of All Animals magazine with tips on how to enrich your cat’s environment.

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