June 30, 2004 --
It was approaching a month after Rudy had passed, and I was feeling empty without a cat. I kept lurking the ads and the AZ Persian & Himalayan Rescue website, as well as Petfinder for a good available Persian adult (not a kitten). I came across an ad posted by:

Sonora Veterinary Specialists' Animal Rescue Center at Petfinder.

(Sonora Veterinary Specialists official website)

They had several adult Persians, who were housed at the facility and available for adoption. After e-mail contacts with the rescue director, Tina Nieri, I made an appointment with Quinn Snook at the facility to look at the 4 available Persians. (I was elated that they're not too far from where I live, SE corner of 40th Street & Cactus in Paradise Valley)

"Four little Persians, but one only looked in my direction. I extended a tentative finger and two soft paws clung to it. There was a contented sound of purring. I suspect on both our parts."
~ George Freedley, American writer
First was "Martha", a chubby peke-faced cream flamepoint with crystal blue eyes (whom I later chose to take home and renamed "Brandy")

the second was "Oscar" (who could pass as Martha's brother), the third was "Kim" (who was a black Persian-mix with 1 eye), and the fourth was "Felix" (a charcoal-colored who appeared to have an ear problem, as his head tilted). I spent about 5 minutes getting to know each of them. They were all were great, and I had quite a decision to make. I thought of taking home another boy Persian and thought of Oscar but figured why not have a girl this time, so I chose Martha. The rescue veterinarian, Dr. Rick Snook DVM, preferred that I either adopted Martha or Oscar due to their good health. I guess after what I went through with Rudy's doomed kidneys, that it's a safer bet to go with either healthy cat. I told the staff at the facility that I was renaming her Brandy as a 'thereafter Rudy', as in a baby name book: "Brandy" is an "after dinner drink, an American name". The name BRANDY entered my mind and stayed! I wasn't crazy about the name Martha anyway. I asked Quinn whether the Martha was chosen because the famous Martha Stewart has Himalayan cats. No, that wasn't it. There was a lookalike "Maria" (who was adopted out already), and so they were just matching Maria and Martha together. I officially adopted Brandy on Tuesday June 22, 2004 and took her home the following June 24, so they could do bloodwork chemistry and perform an ultrasound (done by Dr. T. Arch Robertson DVM, an ultrasound specialist) to be sure Brandy's negative for PKD that Rudy succumbed to. The wonderful staff did them pro bono, for which I'm forever grateful. They understood what I went through with Rudy and encouraged that I adopted Brandy as she's a healthy cat. Quinn gave her a bath and removed most of the mat balls. She also offered a body shave by their groomer (who used to donate her services), but Quinn announced she had sold her business and that the new groomer who purchased her business would not do cats. I was kind of relieved about that, because Brandy would've looked bald-ish in the pictures! Her mats were easy to remove anyway.

Brandy's pedigree is unknown and did not come with papers. However, she's considered a 'show style' Persian purebred. Yet, here's the surprise part. As I made an appointment with Quinn to visit those 4 Persians, I asked how the facility acquired several Persians at one time. When she said they got them from the County Animal Control during a seizure from the indoor kitty mill breeder, I was very surprised! I thought they all got adopted out last year but no, there were many left. Brandy was one of them! Wow, I'm adopting a piece of history, I thought. See the articles all about the well-publicized seizure near the end of this Page. Regardless of Brandy's lineage, I selected 'June 22, 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona' as her approximate birthdate & place. Dr. Snook estimated Brandy's age as between 5 or 6-8 years old. I didn't mind, as I wanted an adult Persian and the lineage status doesn't faze me- a healthy cat to start with is important. Brandy was coming home with me...

Upon arriving home, Brandy must've sensed she's here to stay forever. She explored every corner of her new home on & off within the following couple of days. I sort of felt sorry for her, because I wondered what kind of life she had during the first few years. Dr. Snook said she'd been at the facility since August(!), when the seized Persians were released for adoption. At first, she was a bit shy and not as cuddly yet. I don't think she was ever abused or severely neglected- just not properly socialized during her early years. After a few days of building confidence and plenty of catnaps, she learned her new name and started understanding that being picked up and kissed was all about loving and not only to be examined. She loved me! Sometimes she even licks my wrist as I groom her. She also has accepted Beau, my Shih Tzu dog. She approved of my home and is loving it. She loves to hop around and play- even does some typical cat zooming. She enjoys looking out my big living room sliding door watching the birds fly around the big tree by my balcony. Her face turns 'Magoo' while she naps (or as I usually called it, 'embossed face'!). She reminds me alot of Cleo- more so than Rudy, and that's okay. Cleo and Rudy are still sorely missed, and I know Brandy is capable of carrying the tradition of keeping me happy just like what Rudy did after Cleo. Upon adopting Brandy, I made a fee 'donation' in memory of Rudy. I'd like to thank the staff at Animal Rescue Center for entrusting me to adopt Brandy and taking her home to love indefinitely. As you can read about that AZ Maricopa County/AZ Humane Society story articles that I collected (scroll way below), she must've gone through alot...

I look forward to many years with Brandy and will keep you updated as we (& this Brandy website) expand together!


August 7, 2004 update...look out for professional portraits of Brandy & me here next month from the Picture People studio, who's having a free portrait/free sitting special...
September 8, 2004...Here are the pictures below! She was such a good girl- all calm and relaxed. She even didn't twitch a bit when the mall (Scottsdale Fashion Square) had a blaring fire alarm test run (that the portrait studio neglected to inform me about when I phoned to set an appt.). I'm so happy the poses came out great! I could tell Brandy must've pretty much enjoyed the session. She was also very quiet inside the pet carrier on the long bus ride to/fro; she did 'mew' briefly on the way there.
Over the past few months, Brandy has completely acclimated in my household. She's alot more confident and enjoys daily life with Beau and me. She's even begun to 'talk'! Yes, talk as in 'meow' to start with. She didn't say a peep when I adopted her. She now meows on command, and it sounds oh so soft and serene. Whenever I pick her up and hug and kiss her, she's much more relaxed and no longer a bit spastic or stiff. She's also like Cleo- zooms around after she does her business all hoppity and happy, LOL. Rudy was much more humble!
September 26, 2004...To this date, Brandy has completely adapted. She's meowing more and is comfortable 'grazing' me when she wants something (usually food-related...she eats any cat food I feed her). She still likes Beau and me famously and shows it daily. She gets a daily back massage and must think I'm an excellent masseuse! She loves to play with a feathery toy at the end of a stick, as well as sticking her arm under the door to catch my fingers (she has such thick claws like a dog that it's not prickly!). She gently scratches/plucks her claws in the carpet without the slightest damage (partially because her claws are thick), so a scratching post isn't needed for now(!) Her favorite napping area is atop her 1-story kitty condo right by my living room sliding door. She's not much of a furniture type, so she doesn't jump onto furniture (except for my foot locker trunks in my bedroom- she must've loved that cool feeling from them as she lied on her big belly!). She's also not interested in paper bags. She's more like a dog, LOL. She also loves to play 'track-and-field' in her daily zooms; she'd position herself in a 'start' position (sorta like playing with an imaginary friend, as well), then sprint to run around- sometimes I'd say "booga-wooga" whenever she'd peek at me in-between runs and then she'd hop around some more. Such a happy, bubbly pussycat! She's enabled me to laugh again. I've been continually photographing & videotaping to capture her trademarks. Like Rudy was, she's flawless. They're never even interested in touching my garbage pails. They weren't interested in sleeping on my bed, but then again, I didn't raise them like I did Cleo- who was interested in my bed. They weren't interested in sleeping on my bed, but then again, I didn't raise them like I did Cleo- who was interested in my bed. I feel like I got Rudy back via Brandy; I also felt like I got Cleo back via Rudy. I truly believe this 'method' is the reason for my being able to move on. I'm so appreciative to be able to enjoy a Persian again (Cleo was a Persian-mix), and hopefully for many more years picking up after Rudy, to enjoy this wondrous feline breed. When I requested the hospital where I adopted her to ultrasound her for PKD before I picked her up, I had a hunch she'd test negative because she was older, chubby, and a big girl. She had no bad smell on her either. She was also older and past the genetic-deficiency pop-up age group. I was recently reading a new book that I borrowed from the library entitled, Coping with Kidney Disease: A 12-Step Treatment Program to Help You Avoid Dialysis by Mackenzie Walser, MD, Prof. at John Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, pub'd 2004. It's actually written for humans but there's some useful information about PKD, some which applies to animals. I photocopied the PKD parts. I never ponder my adopting Rudy. I don't regret ever taking him home. Despite not knowing about the disease beforehand, I'm still glad he was part of my life. The big pain is actually not knowing about PKD beforehand; it's as if the disease itself hurts more than death. I'm not a prejudiced perfectionist and wouldn't mind the disease- provided that I KNEW about it- whether by God, fate, or the breeder. Or, that he'd passed much older than 4 years old- that's what hurts so badly- he was such a baby and didn't know what to make of his discomfort. It still hurts that he's gone. Sure, he's frolicking about in Heaven, but I'm left behind. As the above book stated: "Kidney disease is a huge, underrrecognized and undertreated problem in the United States." Still, I ONLY ponder on the 'advancement' of general veterinary medicine- especially the fact that a bloodwork didn't recognize Rudy's deterioriating kidneys until they're inches from the grave. I even wish I was able to use the regular daytime veterinarian (the one I used for Rudy) and not that eccentric nighttime/24-hr. emergency animal clinic that's more of a corporate than a business with heart (they were nice at first and not so nice afterwards, where I filed a complaint against for partial refund- which I happily got. Be forewarned about them, and read about that briefing over at Rudy's Memoriam Page!). Nonetheless, I have a second chance with Brandy and know that God sent me Rudy as the best candidate to love and care for him until the end of his short life. At the beginning, I was thinking: Poor Rudy, he wasn't supposed to be born (because of this genetic disease), he wasn't supposed to be in Heaven yet (as in too young to go), and his previous owner had him declawed by then eventually sent him back to the breeder- all while he wasn't even a year old yet. I also think how Rudy came from a carefully selected breeding program and Brandy is the product of an indoor kitty mill; yet, Rudy's the one who got sick. Ironic. Yet, I look back and think: Well, at least he ended up with me and lived with me the longest and was well-loved until the end and has a memorial in his name forever. And, I take comfort in that.
May 11, 2005...I received a complimentary copy of this wonderful rarity of a gem book, The Older Cat-2nd edition-2002 by Dan Poynter. It focuses on continuing to raise and live with an older cat and how to keep him/her healthy as well as recognizing early signs of impending diseases (should any occur). I highly recommend this book, because it's not about dealing with the grief of watching our precious kitty enter the Rainbow Bridge and dealing with that, but simply about raising our kitty as s/he ages, as well as keeping him/her happy and comfortable with each day. So, that should come handy for Brandy in the future. Therefore, I am much more educated. Thanks, Mr. Poynter, for publishing this handy reference.

Here's an excerpt from the letter I received from Tina/Animal Rescue Center via snail mail:

"Dear new family,

I just wanted to tell you how excited I am to become a member of your family. I am a lucky little kitty. I will do my best to make you happy. It has been a little while since anyone has loved me, so I may be a little timid and shy at first. Please be patient with me - I promise that I will try to learn quickly and I will trust you to help me get acclimated.

I love you all already! You picked me from so many other cats and kittens and I heard you tell my rescuers, 'This is the perfect cat for us'. I have been waitng and waiting to hear those words. I will try and be everything you want me to be. With love anything is possible. My heart is so full of goodness and innocence, so please treat it tenderly. Thank you for choosing me.

Love, [signed] Martha" (a.k.a. new name Brandy)

Professional portrait at The Picture People in Scottsdale, Arizona!

(thanks, and FYI, my stringed-toy-on-a-stick prop helped get Brandy to look at the camera!):

at persian-cats.com:

- from Joan Smith (Chaleur):

Karen, I love the pictures of you and Brandy together..what a neat idea..maybe I'll bring mine in for pictures with me! Brandy is such a cutie! Purrs, Joan

- from Lillian Loquet (patje):

hey you two look like real purrrofessionals photomodelzz. Great picfurrrs ! weez want picfurs of uzz and da momsie too ! Pattapouff/aka Pats and Nelson

- from Patricia Hodge (azurine):
The pictures say it all Pat and Blue

(baby frame purchased at Picture People for only $1.99 down from $6.00...who says a frame like this is for a human baby, LOL)

See Halloween portrait!

Merry Christmas 2005
Happy Meow-ween 2006 / 3rd Place winner in costume contest as a Witch!

Photos 2 / Xmas

• Click to visit

• Click to visit

Famous Persian/Himalayan cat owners: domestic doyenne Martha Stewart (4 Himalayans+), model Alek Wek was seen holding a Himalayan in Vogue magazine, several Himalayan kittens were featured in a printed ad for Scrabble board game, heiress Paris Hilton held several Persian kitties for the December 2006 issue of Seventeen magazine, rocker Freddie Mercury of the group Queen, TV hostess Jillian Barbarie of Good Day (2 Himalayan rescues named "Rudy"(!) & "Bab"), actress June Lockhart of TV's Lost in Space, TV host Regis Philbin (Persian named "Ashley"), model/actress Nicollette Sheridan of TV's Desperate Housewives and Knots Landing (2 Himalayans "Princess" & "Ragamuffin"), white Persian named "Sugar" in the reality-TV series Family Plots, actor Chris Marquette of TV's Joan of Arcadia (Persian named "Patches"), actress Nicole Eggert (TV's Charles in Charge), Suzanne Somers (TV's Three's Company)'s white Persian named "Chrissy" named after her character Chrissy Snow, actress Joan Fontaine (gray Persian named "Calico"(!)), KISS rocker Gene Simmons & family's bicolor Persian was seen in their episode of TV's Family Jewels, actress & former porn star Traci Lords (white Persian named "Mr. Steve McGarrett" from actor Jack Lord's character on TV's Hawaii Five-O), "Jinx" the Himalayan on Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, "Sassy" the Himalayan in two Homeward Bound movies, white Fancy Feast cat food Persian cat, white Persian in a Clorox liquid bleach TV commercial, "Snowbell" played by 5 chinchilla Persians and 4 Persians in Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2,, one half featured in the movie Cats and Dogs ("Mr. Tinkles", played by 2 white Persians, Foster and Fritz), a Persian in National Lampoon's Christmas movie, a Persian in the movie Meet the Kranks, 2 Persians were briefly seen in Scrooged movie, an episode of TV's Judge Joe Brown, featuring a Brandy lookalike in the middle of a veterinary bill dispute between litigants, an episode on Animal Planet cable-TV's Animal Precinct: Hospital featuring a doll-face Persian named "Casper" who fell 5 stories and survived with needing only a splint to fix a broken limb (owner was disciplined by the hospital for not having a screened window- kudos to the veterinarian!), a colorful spread in Vogue magazine's October 2005 issue featured model Karen Elson with an array of Persians and mixed-breed cats, a red Exotic Shorthair Persian was seen in an episode of BBCAmerica TV's Cash in the Attic, a white Persian kitten was seen in an episode of THS Investigates: Plastic Surgery Nightmares where its owner had a botch plastic surgery (extreme eyebrow lift), 2 Persians ("Pumpkin" & "Bart") owned by creative director Grace Coddington were seen in the March 2007 p. 245 (Pumpkin) & March 2008 p. 286 (Bart) & May 2008 p. 84 (Pumpkin wearing a little custom-made hat) issues of Vogue magazine, 3 rescued neglected British Persians were featured on cable-TV Animal Planet series RSPCA, silver-shaded Persian being primped in Saturn automobile TV commercial, a smoke Persian was seen in an episode on TV's The Dr. Oz Files featuring the Persian's owner who's a client of Dr. Oz, a silver-shaded Persian was briefly in a scene in the Hilary Duff movie Material Girls, a white Persian was seen in Remax TV commercial.
Cat Fancy magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary featuring our luscious copper-eyed solid white Persian on the November 2005 issue, patterned (i.e. calico, tortiseshell) Persians were on the cover/the profile for the May 2006 issue of Cat Fancy magazine as well as Exotic Shorthair Persian in March 2007 and chinchilla Persian in April 2007 and calico Persian in February 2008.

My Will and Testament

Check out My Brandy's Stepping Stone pawprint!

Princess Brandy's Caricature & Portrait & Winter 2005-6!

Melody & Brandy:Summer Babies (birthday!)

My St. Francis of Assisi / pet blessing

(I'm [was] 'Rudygirl' there)

© 2004-2008 Karen Catalioto



last updated: June 5, 2008



Here are a few nice letters posted or written to me from the pet bereavement forum:

Dear Karen,

What a heartwarming story -- thank you so much for sharing it with all of us, and congratulations on the adoption of your precious little one. We are so happy for you, and for Brandy.

Most sincerely,
Marty T
Marty Tousley, MS, RN, CT
Bereavement Counselor

Dear Rudy's mom,

I read your memoriam of your dear Rudy and just wanted to let you know how sorry I am to have lost him so early to death. It makes me so mad that there are breeders who do not bother to test for genetic diseases....and thus cause such unnecessary deaths. Rudy will always be in your heart.

Congratulations on the adoption of Brandy!
Clara's mom

Hi Karen,

Thank you so much for responding to my post! It's comforting to hear from others who also hold their pets in such high regard. I truly loved my cat Alex. I miss her so much. Some days seem unbearable. I always make it through though. I just think of some of the funny things she used to do, and I smile through the tears. I learned so much in the time spent with her. I am forever changed, for the better.

I know Alex is enjoying herself at the rainbow bridge. I'm sure she has been reunited with the tabbyn we had before named Pebbles and our yellow Lab named Yankee. I hope she is telling them all about me since we were last together. I'm sure she is there with your pets too. They are all together talking about the lives they had with us.

I am truly sorry for the losses you've suffered. I'm glad to hear the you were able to go on to adopt new pets each time. I'm sure, in time, I'll do the same thing.

Thinking of you

(one-year adoption anniversary later...my update at persian-cats.com):

Rudy memorial-1st Anniv. Karen Catalioto (Rudygirl)
2005-05-17 00:43:17

it's been awhile since I last posted last year. May 17 marks Rudy's passage over the Rainbow Bridge:


https://www.angelfire.com/zine2/shihtzuforum/rudymemoriam.html "Rudy Memoriam Page"


I'm doing better, esp. now that I have Brandy who's been a huge help. She's such a living doll who's doing a terrific job keeping me happy & busy. I think about Rud every day and miss him very much and can't wait to reunite with him someday. What a very special sweet little boy he was. Thanks for keeping in touch and thinking of me.


https://www.angelfire.com/zine2/shihtzuforum/brandy.html "Brandy"

Here's a direct link to her latest portrait (vignette close-up and caricature):



Be in touch!



Patricia Hodge (azurine)
2005-05-17 07:55:17

Every time I visit that page I cannot control my tears, it is so lovely, what a tribute and the fact that you included so much information on little Rudys problem is so thoughtful and helpful. My thoughts and prayers are with you.....my first anniversary for Bear just past, as Willow did too.. Pat
Birgit Friese (Adelphi)
2005-05-18 13:40:08

Dear Karen,

I still remember Rudy's life and all the love you gave him and how you where his best companion on earth.
Thank you for sharing his memory with us again. Hugs,
m c (sweetsampagita)
2005-05-24 17:27

The tears came pouring out when I checked out Rudy's memorium page. I can relate and no matter if it happened yesterday or a long time ago, the loss of a loved pet hurts like no other kind of pain. I just lost my cat Fifi last friday due to kidney problems too. It's painful to see them go but at least they are no longer in pain.
Karen Catalioto (Rudygirl)
2005-05-31 21:20:08

Just want to thank you all for your time & support. I made it passed Rudy's anniversary. I credit Brandy for acting as my therapist for a year so far. She, like Rudy, is a great cat- enjoys being my Furkid. I'd like to add that for those of you weary of getting another Persian due to PKD, please make sure to adopt from a source that screens for PKD and/or get a screening done on your own. And, whenever a breeder provides documentation that s/he had the ultrasound screening done by a vet specialist, be sure to contact that vet for extra verification. I certainly hope someday a wonderful treatment is found. PKD is a terrible terrible thing to witness and remember by, so true!

Karen Catalioto (Rudygirl)
2005-05-31 21:24:02

Typo correction:

From my 1st post: "Rud" -- I meant Rudy. He's never called "Rud" anyway! From my 2nd post: "passed" -- I meant "past". Thanks again, Rudygirl
Lisa Gilham (cougar11)
2005-06-03 17:45:13


I was in tears reading Rudy's memorial. I know how shocking it must be to lose your baby to such a cruel disease. Our Moose who was killed by a car lived to 3 years and 11 months. He struggled at the vet after surgery and didn't live past 4 days. It broke our heart and I still get upset all these years later at how such a great cat can be gone so young. It is a beautiful thing that you can remember him by memorial and I am glad that you have not been put off the Persian cat breed. I hope another baby can bring you as much joy as Rudy did, Lisa & Perry Lisa Gilham (cougar11)
2005-06-03 17:46:12

oops. I just noticed Brandy..what a fine girl.

Smoke-free home

arizonarepublic.com / Arizona Persian cats rescue

One of 74 thirsty, sick Persian cats is held down by an Arizona Humane Society rescue worker so it can be given IV fluids. The cats were taken to an animal hospital; their owner faces neglect charges.
Photo by Suzanne Starr

74 ill cats found in Phoenix home

By Carlos Miller

The Arizona Republic
Jan. 31, 2003

Police discovered 74 malnourished, infected and dehydrated cats Thursday in the north Phoenix home of a woman who described herself as a breeder of Persian cats.

"The cats were filthy," said Kim Noetzel, spokeswoman for the Arizona Humane Society. "They had urine and feces in their coats. In some cases, their furs were so tightly matted that it was cutting off their circulation."

The Humane Society removed the cats and placed them in an animal hospital, Noetzel said. All the Persian cats had upper-respiratory infections.

Police say they are seeking misdemeanor charges against the woman, whose name was not released.

"This is more of a neglect issue than a cruelty issue," Phoenix police Lt. Wallace Kemp said.

Police say a tile worker hired to work inside the woman's house in the 14400 block of North 58th Street called them after entering the house and finding the cats, most of which were held in filthy cages in the garage.

"She said she was a breeder, but I don't know how she could have sold the cats in that condition," Noetzel said.

from azhumane.org

AHS Rescues Cats from Deplorable Conditions

Jan 31, 2003, 9:00am


Pet Owner Could Face Numerous Animal Cruelty Counts

(PHOENIX) – The Arizona Humane Society today rescued 74 sick and injured cats from filthy cages in a Phoenix home.

The cats – all longhaired Persians – are now in protective custody in The AHS hospital.  They are receiving extensive veterinary treatment for a myriad of illnesses and injuries.  All of the cats are suffering from severe upper-respiratory infections; have matted coats caked with feces and urine; and are thin and dehydrated.  Several of the cats had untreated wounds.  In one case, a cat's eye was bulging out of his head.  Another cat had such severe matting of the fur that it had cut off circulation to his hind quarters and the tissue is necrotic.

"These cats are in terrible shape and the conditions in which they were forced to live were deplorable," said Frank Corvino, AHS Field Operations Manager.  "We don't know how long these cats suffered under these circumstances, but this certainly did not happen overnight."

The unidentified woman who lives in the home told AHS rescuers that the cats are hers.  She could now face 74 counts of animal cruelty.

Phoenix Police called AHS rescuers to the home in the 14000 block of 58th Street (just north of Thunderbird Road) at around noon today after finding the cats in the garage and bedroom of the home.  The cats were in filthy cages piled one on top of the other.  It took about three hours for rescuers to impound all of the cats.  Several of the cats required emergency care for dehydration and injuries at the scene.

Corvino said the cats will remain in protective custody pending the outcome of the case.

Neglected Persian Cats to Remain in AHS Protective Custody

Feb 12, 2003, 2:18pm

Neglected Persian Cats to Remain in AHS Protective Custody

(PHOENIX) – A Phoenix Municipal Court judge ruled today that The Arizona Humane Society can keep 72 sick and neglected Persian cats in protective custody, despite a bid by the cats' owner to get them back.

After hearing more than two hours of often-graphic testimony, The Honorable Francisca Cota ruled that Phoenix Police had reasonable grounds for seizing the cats from the north Phoenix home of breeder Jeana Amicarella.  Cota also said that evidence presented by police and The Arizona Humane Society supported the claim that the cats were being subjected to cruel mistreatment.  All of the cats will remain in The AHS Second Chance Animal Hospital™ pending a possible criminal case.

Amicarella could face multiple counts of animal cruelty.

In addition to being housed in dirty, rusty wire cages, most of the cats required medical treatment for various conditions including eye ulcerations, ringworm, skin lesions and severe upper-respiratory infections.  Several of the cats had infected, bleeding wounds in their ears; others were dehydrated and emaciated.  Still others were so terribly matted, and had so much dried feces impacted on their hindquarters, that they could not move.  Several of the cats had developed infections on their hindquarters and required treatment with antibiotics.

The Arizona Humane Society rescued the cats from Amicarella's home on January 30.  Approximately 55 cats were being housed in rusty cages coated with cat feces and urine in the garage; the remainder were found caged in Amicarella's bedroom and bathroom.

Phoenix Police Officer Walter Peeling testified that he was called to the home near 58th Street and Thunderbird by a contractor who observed the cats and feared they were not receiving appropriate care.  Peeling said that he could smell the strong odor of cat urine from as far as 30 feet away and, upon entering the garage, noticed several cats that appeared to be "in very bad shape."  The officer said that several of the cats looked dead.  He said the cats had pus oozing from their eyes, were extremely matted and filthy, and were living in cramped quarters.

"There was one cat in particular whose right eyeball looked like it had exploded," he said.

AHS Chief Veterinarian Kathleen Croteau testified that many of the cats would have lost their eyesight, and others could have developed pneumonia and died, if police and The AHS had not intervened.

"Over 90 percent (of the cats) were affected by some form of disease, and 40 percent were severely affected by those diseases," she said.  "Fifty to 60 percent needed emergency veterinary treatment."

One of the cats had such a severe, untreated eye ulceration that the eyeball was protruding from the socket.  AHS veterinarians later removed the eye during emergency surgery.  Croteau testified that the eye had been untreated for at least two weeks, despite Amicarella's statement to police that the condition happened sometime between midnight and 9 a.m. on January 30.

Attorney Thomas M. Hoidal, who represented Amicarella, argued that although some of the cats were in need of medical attention, there was not sufficient evidence to support the seizure of all 72.  Hoidal stated that the cats had food, water and shelter; had not been abandoned; and were not inflicted with serious physical injury by Amicarella or anyone else.  As such, he argued, there was no evidence of cruel mistreatment as defined by law.  Hoidal called no witnesses on his client's behalf.  Amicarella did not take the stand.

Cota ruled that the conditions did, in fact, fit the definition of cruel mistreatment, and ordered that all of the cats remain with The AHS.

"We applaud Judge Cota's decision, as well as the careful consideration that she gave to this matter," said AHS President and CEO Cheryl Naumann.  "This is a great day for animals in Phoenix – not only for these 72 cats who will continue receiving round-the-clock care under our supervision, but for all companion animals in the city of Phoenix.  Clearly, it is not acceptable to subject companion animals to this level of neglect, to deny them of the medical care they need, or to house them in such filthy conditions.  Needless to say, we are very pleased."

Cat Owner Faces More Than 100 Counts in Alleged Cruelty Case


Apr 10, 2003, 1:36pm

Cat Owner Faces More Than 100 Counts in Alleged Cruelty Case

Persian cats remain in custody of Arizona Humane Society following hearings

(PHOENIX) – City prosecutors today charged a Phoenix woman with 116 counts of animal cruelty, alleging that in addition to subjecting her 72 Persian cats to cruel neglect, she also failed to provide many of the cats with necessary medical care.

Jeana Amicarella, 51, pled not guilty.  She is scheduled to be back in Phoenix Municipal Court in May.

Prosecutors filed two complaints in a pre-trial hearing before The Honorable Michael K. Carroll.  The first complaint includes 72 counts of cruel neglect; the second includes 44 counts of intentionally, knowingly and recklessly failing to provide medical care for the cats, resulting in protracted suffering.  All of the counts are Class I misdemeanors.

On January 30th, The Arizona Humane Society and Phoenix Police responded to a call of possible animal neglect at Amicarella's home near 58th Street and Thunderbird Road.  AHS rescuers discovered 72 Persian cats – many of them sick, injured and severely matted – being housed in filthy wire cages.  Approximately 55 cats were found in the garage, confined to rusty cages coated with cat feces and urine.  Rescuers found the remainder of the cats caged in the bedroom and bathroom.

Phoenix Police Officer Walter Peeling, who was first on the scene, said that he could smell the strong odor of cat urine from as far away as 30 feet and, upon entering Amicarella's garage, noticed several cats that appeared to be "in very bad shape."  Some of the cats appeared as if they were dead, he said.  Others had pus oozing from their eyes; were extremely matted and filthy; and were living in cramped quarters.

According to AHS Chief Veterinarian Kathleen Croteau, more than 90 percent of the cats were affected by some form of disease and 40 percent were "severely affected" by those diseases.  At least 50 percent of the cats required emergency veterinary care, she said.

Seventy-one of the cats remain in custody of The AHS, where they continue to receive necessary veterinary care.

In a related matter, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Wednesday upheld an earlier ruling by a Phoenix city judge that AHS rescuers and Phoenix Police had the right to seize the 72 cats from Amicarella's home.  The judge also ruled that Amicarella could retain immediate custody of the cats by posting a $250,000 bond; having each of the cats examined by a veterinarian every month; and providing the court with written records of each of the veterinary examinations.

Rescued Persian Cats Ready for Adoption

Aug 4, 2003, 5:05pm

Accused Animal Abuser Settles Case; 41 Felines Need New Homes

(PHOENIX) – After spending six months in Protective Custody at the Arizona Humane Society, accruing more than $100,000 in care costs and receiving thousands of hours of attention, dozens of previously neglected Persian cats are ready for new homes.

Forty-one Persian cats rescued by the AHS and Phoenix Police in January will be available for adoption beginning at 10 a.m. this Friday, August 8th.  The cats will be at the AHS Sunnyslope Facility, 9226 N. 13th Ave., in Phoenix.  All cats will go home on "medical releases" and fees will range from zero to $55.  For adoption information, call (602) 997-7585, Ext. 2045.

AHS EAMT™ Guy Bell treats one of the severely neglected Persian cats rescued from the home of Jeana Amicarella on January 30.

The adoptions come on the heels of a settlement reached July 29 by the State of Arizona and defendant Jeana Amicarella, who was charged with 116 counts of animal cruelty.  Amicarella, 51, was accused of subjecting her 72 Persian cats to cruel neglect.

AHS rescuers and police found the cats in the garage, bedroom and bathroom of Amicarella's northeast Phoenix home on January 30.  The cats were housed in rusty wire cages coated with cat feces and urine.  Many of the cats were sick, injured and severely matted.  Amicarella was also accused of failing to provide veterinary care for the sick and injured cats – including one cat whose eye was so badly injured, it was infected and protruding from his skull; and several others who were so badly matted with feces that they could not walk.

Under the terms of the plea agreement Amicarella was placed on three years probation subject to the terms that follow (if she violates her probation, she could be jailed):

Amicarella must surrender custody of all but two of the cats to the AHS.  Regarding the two cats she was permitted to keep – she is NOT allowed to house them in cages. She must allow the AHS to conduct monthly welfare checks on the two cats and allow the AHS to inspect her home and property.  She must have the cats evaluated by a veterinarian every three months and provide the court with documentation of the examinations.

Amicarella may not have any more than the two returned cats at any time for any reason.  If the two cats that she retains produce kittens, she may not keep the kittens for more than 12 weeks.  In addition, she must notify the AHS if/when any kittens are born so the AHS can ensure that they are out of her house when they turn 12 weeks of age.

Amicarella may not own, shelter, feed, breed or house any other animals on her property or at any other location.

Amicarella must undergo court-ordered prescreening for possible psychiatric counseling.

Amicarella must appear in court every six months for a sentence review, and to ensure that she is complying with her probation.

"Ideally, we wanted her to sign over all of the cats to us," said AHS President & CEO Cheryl Naumann.  "However, the judge indicated that if the State continued to pursue this case and if it went to trial, Ms. Amicarella stood a good chance of getting back at least 10 of the cats, even if she were convicted.  Making matters worse, we would not have been able to conduct follow-up inspections on those cats."

  The issue stems from the State not being able to prove that at least 10 of the cats were in extremely poor health at the time they were impounded, Naumann explained.

"Ten of the cats were in fair health at the time of rescue," she added.  However, we firmly believe they would have succumbed to illness or injury if they would have remained in those terrible conditions much longer. A judge upheld the decision to impound all of the cats.

Nonetheless, those cats could have ended up right back where they came from -- without follow-up care.  That was a risk we could not take."

Initially, the AHS rescued 72 adult Persian cats from Amicarella's home.  Three of the females were pregnant at the time.  Thirteen kittens were born, but seven were stillborn, leaving six live kittens.  In addition, three of the adult cats had to be euthanized shortly after they were rescued due to severe medical conditions.  That left a total of 73 Persian cats/kittens in AHS care.  Of the 73, AHS veterinarians had to euthanize another 25 due to severe medical and temperament problems.

Seven cats that may have serious health problems in the future are being rescued by AHS staff and volunteers.  As such, 41 remaining cats (males and females ranging in age from 5 months to 10 years) will be available for adoption at the AHS beginning Friday.

"We had hoped to place all the cats up for adoption.  Unfortunately, many of them had been subjected to such horrific conditions for so long that their health was compromised," said Rob Miller, AHS hospital manager. "The conditions we diagnosed included chronic herpes virus which leads to re-occurring severe upper respiratory infection and severe chronic ringworm which can be transmitted to humans."

In addition, many of the cats had been caged for so long without human interaction that they exhibited aggression and fear around people, and were not deemed suitable for adoption.

Since January 30, the AHS has spent $100,556 on the cats and dedicated 2,553 staff and volunteer hours to their care.  In addition to extensive veterinary treatment, AHS staff and volunteers provided the cats with daily grooming, exercise and attention.

Of the 41 cats going up for adoption, Miller said some may be prone to medical problems because of their past living conditions, and could require specialized care.  As such, all of the cats will be sent home on a "medical release" and prospective adopters must agree to take on the responsibility of providing veterinary care in the future should it become necessary.  In addition:

All adopters will be carefully prescreened;

No one household may adopt more than two of the Persian cats;

All adopters must sign a document to verify they are not affiliated with Amicarella in any way.

© Copyright - azhumane.org

My "911: Afterthoughts" Site
[Read below from newyorkpost.com. Wow, a happy ending!]



D.J. Kerr thought her beloved Precious was a goner amid the Twin Towers collapse - but the feisty feline has nine lives.
- NYP: Michael Norcia

October 2, 2001 -- Meet the miracle kitty who survived 18 days without food amid the debris of ground zero.
Emergency workers rescued Precious the cat from the debris-covered roof of a damaged apartment building across from the World Trade Center.
The 9-pound Persian suffered eye injuries, burns to her paws and smoke and dust inhalation.
But the feisty feline was able to stay alive by lapping from puddles of contaminated rainwater.
"It's unbelievable. It's a miracle. I can't believe she's alive," said D.J. Kerr, who owns Precious.
She and her husband Steve were out of town when the Twin Towers collapsed, blowing out the windows in their loft and filling it with flying glass, metal, dust and smoke.
A house sitter had been due to arrive at 10 a.m. that morning to take care of Precious, who had never been outside before.
The Kerrs figured Precious was a goner - especially since their seven-story building at 114 Liberty St. was damaged and will be unfit for occupancy for at least nine months.
But Saturday night, rescuers, responding to a report of a cat crying, used a recovery dog to corner the injured and terrified animal on the cluttered rooftop.
They then brought her to the nearby Suffolk County SPCA van, which had been treating rescue and search dogs for exhaustion and exposure.
Suffolk SPCA chief Roy Gross called Precious' survival "miraculous."
"This is the first good story we've heard," said Gross. "She has sores on her mouth from drinking out of puddles. She's dirty and dehydrated and her eyes were injured, but she's going to be OK."
He said Precious is alive because she was apparently able to "drink dirty water out of puddles."
Kerr said Precious needs more treatment for her eyes but is expected to make a good recovery.
"She lost two pounds and her little paws are burnt on the bottom because the top of the building was so hot, but she's going to live," Kerr said with a smile.
"I gave her her favorite food - sliced turkey. She was eating so fast because she was starved to death and she's drinking a lot of water . . . but she's so happy, she's just purring," Kerr said.

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