Belinda Bear, Baxter Bear and Panda Bear are the pampered pets of a Huron couple that are among felines featured in two unique 2022 Cat Calendars.
“Somebody actually gave me a Cat Calendar for a gift one year,” said Laura Jones, who lives in Huron with her husband, Scott, and their seven beloved cats. “They had an entry form for the contest in the calendar. I love to photograph my cats. I have hundreds of pictures and I’m happy I get to share them with so many people.”
The calendars, published through Workmann Publishing Co. Inc., are still available through Amazon or Walmart.
All of their cats are rescues, with four coming from the Beadle County Humane Society and the others found by the couple.
Three of their cats from the Humane Society are featured in the two calendars, a daily desk calendar and a wall calendar.
“I wrote a little story about the first one I submitted,” she said of a picture of their cat sprawled across a window box filled with plants. “She was actually found in the window well of the post office — 1.1 pounds and very sick. She spent three weeks at the vet clinic. I visited her every day, just to hold her and get her used to me. She fought to live.”
They named that rescue cat Belinda Bear. “All of them have the middle name of Bear,” added Laura. “Their first name always starts with a P or a B. I have two more names picked out, but my husband says seven is enough. They’re all black and white. I say it’s already a circus, is two more going to matter?
“People think cats can pretty much take care of themselves,” she said. “That’s not our cats. I do canned food three times a day. Between walking, brushing, going to the vet, it can be a lot. But I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
“There’s no better time than watching my husband with a fishing pole with a cat toy at the end,” Laura added.
Their other two cats, Baxter Bear who just turned three, and Panda Bear, now six, are both featured in the wall calendar in the month of August.
“Panda bear was very sick when I brought him home,” Laura said. “There were some nights when we didn’t know if the poor little guy would make it.”
Their oldest cat, Billie Bear, is 17, and she found him when he could fit in the palm of her hand.
“I’ve been rescuing and taking care of kitties for a long time,” she added. “We usually have two in bed with us at all times. Our littlest just turned two, he’s a lap-cat. I got him during quarantine. He doesn’t like it if I’m gone for very long.”
They screened in their home’s second-story deck and added a roof to create a catio. A cat door was installed so the felines can come and go as they please. Their backyard is also open to the cats, with extra measures taken that prevent them from escaping.
“We’ve spent thousands of dollars so the cats can’t get out of the yard,” she said. They also have a screen-enclosed cat stroller to take the felines for walks in the neighborhood.
Their cats, in order of age, are Billie Bear, Panda Bear, Pandora Bear, Bella Bear, Belinda Bear, Baxter Bear and Buttons Bear. “Sometimes I get them mixed up,” Laura said. “I just say, ‘One of you Bears!’”
Laura said they’ve already submitted pictures of all seven of their cats for consideration for the 2023 Cat calendars.
“These are our kids,” she added. “Just the furry kind.”