North Texas Shelter Cat Chosen for Online Contest

A feisty one-year-old could be the next reality show star from North Texas, says writer Alan Melson.

Sam, a shorthair with orange and white fur that was dropped off several weeks ago at Carrollton no-kill shelter Operation Kindness in Texas, has been chosen to appear in the Meow Mix House, a reality offering from the eponymous cat food company that is scheduled to hit the Internet in June, stated Melson.

Operation Kindness Executive Director Johnnie England said the shelter was one of ten chosen across the U.S. to participate in the promotion, according to Melson.

“The 15-pound feline’s upbeat, likable personality endeared him to shelter employees and brought him to mind when it came time to choose a contestant,” said England. “We’re going to hate to lose him because he’s practically on staff here.”

England said that in June she and Sam will take an all-expenses-paid flight to New York City where he’ll share a posh kitty pad on Madison Avenue for ten days with nine other cats, wrote Melson.

“Our initial reaction was, Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Hmmm. Let’s think about this,'” said England in a recent interview. “I’m happy for the shelter to participate in the promotion that is intended to raise awareness of the Humane Society’s Adopt-A-Cat Month in June.”

Ira Cohen, director of marketing for New Jersey-based Meow Mix Company, said the animals will be treated like royalty, writes Melson.

“We’re not putting them in steerage,” said Cohen. “When they lose, it’s actually a big win, because they get adopted.”

“The last cat standing will be named the company’s feline vice president for research and development,” said Melson.

“They could have just had a contest where people submitted their own cats or purebred cats from a pet store but they selected shelters, so it’s a good way to promote adoption,” said England in the article. “I hope the promotion will remind viewers that many cats could use a good home.”

Cohen said the company is talking to media partners about doing three-minute segments that would run on cable networks targeted at female and family audiences, according to the article.

“I think they really thought this through,” said England.
Broadcasting from their living room show host Annabelle and her cat Stinky kick off the airing for the first programming targeted specifically at cats.

In August 2004 the Meow Mix Company opened a temporary store on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan called the Meow Mix Caf�©.

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