Tiny cat makes it BIG

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Tiny cat makes it BIG

Post by Cat » Sat, 24 Jul 2004 11:35:59



Small cat pics:
http://images.ibsys.com/2004/0721/3558821.jpg

http://images.ibsys.com/2004/0721/3558820.jpg

http://images.ibsys.com/2004/0721/3558825.jpg

By Sharon Woods Harris
Times staff writer

TREMONT -- Until two years ago, Mr. Pebbles was the runt of his family,
living on a rural Tazewell County farm with a future that did not appear too
bright.

He was a skittish and very small cat -- with little hope of ever becoming a
good mouser who could fend for himself.

Lucky for Mr. Peebles, there was Dr. Donna Sassman. Sassman had been called
to the farm for a routine veterinary call and, as she was leaving, noticed
the little multicolored fellow with his white socks on all fours out of the
corner of her eye.

"I asked the woman why he was so small and she said he was just the runt of
his litter," said Sassman. "I asked her if I could have him and she said if
I could catch him, he was mine."

Once Mr. Peebles got back to the Good Shepherd Veterinary Clinic in rural
Tremont with Sassman, a worker there, Robin Svendson, asked if she could
have him. Sassman agreed.

These days, Mr. Pebbles leads a good life. He spends most of his time in the
company of his master and the clinic staff basking in the sun through office
windows and playing with C.C., better known as the Clinic Cat.

There is a stark difference between Mr. Peebles and C.C. in that Mr.
Peebles, a 2-year-old domestic tabby cat, is only 6.1 inches tall and weighs
3.3 pounds -- a little fella compared to the robust and huge 3-year-old C.C.
Mr. Peebles should weigh about 10 pounds.

In fact, Mr. Peebles is so small that on Jan. 28 he was recognized as the
world's smallest living cat by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Notification was received July 5. The recognition does not mean he will be
listed in the popular Guinness Book of World Records.

"It was quite a surprise," Svendson said. "I always thought the world's
tiniest cat was somewhere in Africa, maybe 3 inches tall.

"And for a little guy who came from the wild and has become a celebrity --
that's pretty good. For a while this will be OK, but it's like a sense of
loss. He's just one of a kind."

And a celebrity Mr. Peebles has become. He spent Tuesday with various
members of the news media. Clinic secretary Cathy Smith of Delavan has
scheduled his media appearances -- though he doesn't seem too pleased with
all of the attention, being the shy little guy he is. Smith is the one that
submitted the entry.

Sassman said she isn't sure why Mr. Peebles is so small -- he eats a good
diet. Mr. Peebles may not be able to leap small buildings in a single bound,
but when it comes dinner time he has been known to propel his small body 3
feet in the air to a table top to get a bite to eat.

Guinness officials told Smith that no one had ever submitted an entry for
smallest cat until this year. Mr. Peebles was in competition with one other
cat and turned up to be one-half inch shorter to win.

Two veterinarians had to measure Mr. Peebles and send verification of his
size. A picture next to a ruler had to be sent. The application was about 10
pages long. The process took several months. The letter announcing him as
the winner began, "Dear Mr. Peebles."

Svendson said Mr. Peebles was named by her husband, Jerry, who said the cat
gave him the feeling that Jerry Seinfeld had when he saw the silhouette of
Mr. Marbles on the wall one night while he was sleeping over at Kramer's
apartment. Mr. Marbles was Seinfeld's wooden dummy that he worked with as a
ventriloquist.

Svendson's 3-year-old granddaughter, Grace, loves to snuggle with the
affectionate Mr. Peebles and calls about him regularly to see how he is
doing. Svendson said Grace noticed very quickly that Mr. Peebles wasn't
quite like any other cat. His head is larger than it should be for his body
and his eyes are like large Garfield eyes.

Sassman said she is concerned that because of his size Mr. Peebles could
develop arthritis and provides him with a daily supplement to prevent it.

He does not have the normal bone size of his counterparts. His back is very
stiff, but X-rays do not show it has fused. He will not get any taller.

Mr. Peebles squeaks -- he does not meow. He doesn't tend to groom himself
very well, so has to be bathed from time to time, a process he hates.

But he loved to be held and to snuggle up next to someone's neck, to be
caressed and loved.

"He is always so lovable," said Svendson. "He loves to be held. Once you
hold him, he doesn't want to go anywhere."