That Darn Cat

Winners are strays no more

The felines of the That Darn Cat contest inspired hundreds of pet lovers to participate in our annual photo contest. Friendships were formed and networks stretched from Huntington Beach all the way to the Netherlands. In total, 1,450 cats participated, unwittingly, for sure.

They are special, our cats – aloof, playful, sneaky and affectionate. In the end, they all are winners because they are family.

Trouble and Bettie Page, the winners of That Darn Cat, both were rescued from the street and now live in the lap of cat luxury.

Trouble is a Maine coon "mutt," as described by his owner, Melissa Powers. He was found sick and scrawny outside a Bakersfield motel a year ago. Powers’ sister-in-law brought the ailing kitten to Powers and her family in Huntington Beach.

During Trouble’s sickest months – when infection threatened one blue eye and a virus wracked his tiny body – Powers created a forum thread at the James Randi Educational Foundation. Forum members from around the world read stories of Trouble’s illnesses, offered support, and ultimately celebrated the cat’s rebound.

When Powers decided to enter Trouble into The Register’s photo contest, she again sought help from her forum.

Powers says she only wanted to get Trouble’s photo in the newspaper, but her team had other ideas.

"They really took on Trouble as their own."

Team Trouble, as they are called, contributed the contest’s most votes: 372,550. The team also shared votes with several other contestants, including Cookie, a vote finalist in fourth place.

Powers, her three teenage sons and her husband, all "live for the comfort of our cats," she says. Trouble and three feline companions enjoy an outdoor cat run and lots of lap time with their family.

Not far from Trouble’s home is a curious cat that isn’t afraid to get her feet wet – at the beach.

Bettie Page, who has no fear of water or sand in her paws, was chosen as the contest’s second winner by a panel of judges at The Register.

The 3-year-old cat is the social feline in a family of three cats. Owner Dave DeMaio, a video producer who lives in Costa Mesa, spends a lot of time at the beach, and one day decided to take along his curious cat. It was off-season and the beach was empty. Bettie never ventured far from her owner and didn’t mind stepping through the salt water.

The setting and the cat all made for a picture perfect moment.

"Being a guy who works with images, the natural light and California lifestyle just said it all," DeMaio says of Bettie’s beach photo.

DeMaio went about 30 years without a cat before Milton, Bettie Page and Dottie Von Valentine came to live with him, all strays found or abandoned by other owners. He says he can’t imagine life without them now.

"It’s nice to have that unconditional love," he says, "That’s what I was missing."

Each winner claims a $100 cash card and both say they will buy food and treats for their cats.

Here are some photos of the other lucky, winning cats:






I hope you enjoyed this post.  I know there are lots of cat lovers out there.


I had a foot doctor appointment today and it went really well.  He took me off of the antibiotics and said I can begin using less dressings now.  Good!!!  It’s difficult wrapping your own foot!  I see him in a week.

Please take care and stay healthy,



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6 Responses to That Darn Cat

  1. Sue says:

    Wow, an article about CATS. Is this really Bob’s site???? Glad to see you are off the antibiotics and things seem to be improving. I just went off of mine too—had a sinus infection, what with all my allergy flare-ups. You know, it’s easier to wrap your own foot because of all the weight you lost! HA! It DOES make a difference!!!

  2. GreatGranny says:

    Loved this and there’s one here that looks like my Kassey. It’s so good that you’re getting off the antibiotics and your foot is healing.

  3. Jade says:

    Hey Bobbo!!! I am glad you are healing :)nice post !

  4. Stacy says:

    Hey Bob! Thanks for stopping by. I do still stop here once in a while. I am sorry to hear of your troubles and will pray for you. Take care friend and keep on blogging.

  5. Laoch says:

    Wow, that is a very fine looking feline!

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