November 13, 2010

Cat's pumpkin shape easy to outfit

Some people spend a lot of time and money crafting Halloween costumes for themselves, their children or their pets.

Some people spend a lot of time and money crafting Halloween costumes for themselves, their children or their pets.

But the most elaborate, expensive costumes aren't always the best.

Jennifer Mark, winner of Wichita Paws' Howl-o-ween pet photo contest, spent 25 cents and five minutes transforming her cat Oliver into a jack-o'-lantern, using felt and scotch tape.

Mark's photo of Oliver, her "big, fat, lazy" orange cat, received the most votes in the contest, winning her a $50 gift card to PetSmart.

Aiko, a black cat wearing a tiara and pink tutu, came in second, and Petey the Lobster Dog came in third.

Mark said she originally tried to come up with an idea for a Halloween costume for her other cat, Yuki, who is black.

But Yuki is a much more active cat than Oliver, and "she doesn't really put up with my shenanigans," Mark said.

Mark figured she'd have an easier time getting a costume on laid-back, easy-going Oliver.

She focused on his color — orange — and thought, "Pumpkins are orange."

She spent 25 cents on a piece of black felt, cut out triangular eyes and a crooked-toothed smile, and stuck them on Oliver's rounded back side with scotch tape.

"I put it on his back and gave him a treat at the same time," then snapped the photo, she said. "I don't think he even noticed what we were doing to him."

Mark said she was looking to adopt a mellow adult cat when she visited the Kansas Humane Society about six months ago. As soon as she met Oliver, she knew the 2-year-old tabby was just what she wanted.

"He had been visiting with another family, and they put him in a box and he just laid in it," she said. "I knew that was the one right there."

Mark's other cat, Yuki, is "the exact opposite of Oliver," she said.

Yuki, also adopted from the Kansas Humane Society, is "always into everything," Mark said. "She doesn't like to sit still. If she sees a bug, she's after it."

Oliver is "just kind of a happy-go-lucky cat, but she's very serious."

Perhaps it's that lack of ambition and exercise that gives Oliver his pumpkin shape.

Mark admits that Oliver is a "big boy," weighing in at about 15 1/2 pounds.

But he hasn't always been a tubby tabby, Mark said.

"He had to get some teeth extracted after I adopted him," she said. "He didn't eat too much before that, but after he got those teeth that were hurting him taken out, he eats quite a lot."

So much that his veterinarian has put him on a diet.

"I feed him light food and I have to measure it out every day" — and make sure he doesn't steal food from Yuki, Mark said.

Mark, who is from Wichita, said Oliver may be lazy but is an awesome pussycat who is her best friend.

"He's a very good boy," she said. "He's what I call my cuddle cat."

Related content