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Monday 08 November 2010

No ordinary kitty

Posted in: Hall of Fame
By Jacqui Stanford - 8th August 2010

Ben and Andrew with Cruz
"He's the only pussy we'll ever love."

That may just be one of the most interesting quotes I've been given in my time as a journalist.

It came from a gay Aucklander who really is that passionate about his pussy. His pussy cat that is. Ben Limisella and his partner Andrew Shannon adore their cat Cruz so much they entered him into New Zealand's 2010 Next Top Cat Model – and the flashy feline has done his dads proud, making it through to the finals.

The couple adopted the purebred lilac Burmese a couple of years ago. "I'd always want to have a cat. And Andrew has always been a cat person. He had one when he was growing up back in Christchurch."

Like many gay and lesbian couples seem to, the pair treats Cruz much like a child. "We call ourselves his daddies," Limisella laughs. "He is kind of like a fur child, a fur baby and fur child. But really we are his. He's not really ours. We are his. He does what he likes and we just abide by him."


Cruz is no ordinary kitty. Not only does he enjoy showers and playing fetch and chase, he also loves going for rides in the car to visit Limisella's parents on the North Shore.

"We didn't want to put him in a cage so we took him one day and put him on my lap, not sure what to expect. He was a little bit funny to begin with . . . but after about five or ten minutes he gets bored and will just sit on your lap and pur."

Limisella says the pet has a bit of an attitude, as his previous owner was a little rough with him. "He's not a mild mannered and neat kind of cat. If he doesn't like you he's gonna play bite you and jump on you. And he's actually big, seven and a half kilos, so we call him the monster as well."

Cruz is raising money for the RNZSPCA and Lonely Miaow as part of his Next Top Cat Model campaign and if they win they will sell the prizes on Trade Me and donate the proceeds.Check out his page – the boys would love your vote!

"He's the only pussy we'll ever love, and the only pussy the gay community should vote for," giggles Limisella. When I point out that may make some in the lesbian community a little mad he says "even better - the lesbians should definitely vote for him!"

The competition closes at 5pm on Thursday and the winner will be announced on Friday.

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Jacqui Stanford - 8th August 2010