Cat Who Pets Dogs on Daily Walks Wins Pet of the Week

This week we’ve melted at a dog and a rabbit who look just like twins and have been amazed by a cat owner’s genius hack to calm down her excited kitten.

As well as some favorite viral pet moments, we’ve been delighted by Newsweek readers’ submissions of their pets.

If you want your pet to be part of our Newsweek Pet of the Week line-up next week, be sure to follow the details at the end of this story.

winner

Murray the cat
Murray the cat loves going on strollers with his owner and canine siblings. He even says hello to passing dogs.
Lisa Russell

Our winner this week is the rescue cat, Murray. Adopted by owner Lisa Russell in the fall of 2021, his owner told him Newsweek: “I was just supposed to foster him for a week or two…but we all know how that can go.”

He had been living in downtown San Diego until his owner was no longer able to care for him. A neighbor helped get the word out and asked on the Nextdoor app if anyone would be able to care for Murray while a permanent solution was found. Russell saw the message and went to help.

But as soon as she met Murray, she knew that this was not going to be a short foster placement: “It’s been permanent since I first set eyes on this handsome boy,” she said.

As well as Murray the cat, the family includes a Chihuahua mix named Lukas, a Maltese mix named Kai, and a Poodle mix Tica. Tica was 16 years old when Murray came to the household and having lost most of her sights, would go out for walks in a stroller.

“I had told Murray used to accompany his first human in a sling-type carrier on various outings, including popping into a tavern or two to socialize, so I thought perhaps Murray would enjoy accompanying the pups and me as well on our jaunts, ” said Russell. “I added Murray to the mix in the stroller with Tica and he loved it from the get-go.”

Sadly, Tica died aged 17 in 2022, but Murray’s adventures continue with the other dogs.

“When Murray hears me tell the dogs that it’s time to go to the park, he runs to the bottom of the stairs along with them. He’s rare to go,” said Russell. “I do put a collar and leash on him so that he is secure in the stroller. He is a very good boy, but I want to be safe and not worry about his reflexively hopping out to chase a lizard or bird.”

Living near a big park with lots of green space, Murray and his canine friends love to venture into the neighborhood.

“He hangs his little arm over the edge of the stroller like he’s driving a sports car,” said Russell. “On nippy days, he dons a scarf made by a neighbor—it’s blue to match his eyes, of course.”

A big fan of greeting people and dogs, Murray will interact with almost anyone who stops to say hello.

“Murray is very loving and is a great ambassador for felines everywhere. If someone was afraid of or misunderstood cats before, I hope that after they’ve met him, they have a change of heart,” said Russell. “He is an exceptional cat and I feel very blessed that we found each other. He brings a lot of happiness to the world.”

Finalists

Smokey the cat
Rescue cat Smokey lives with owner Margaret Garrett in Florida. Today, the once tiny kitten is a well-loved household pet who has truly made himself at home.
Margaret Garrett

The first finalist this week is the much-loved rescue cat Smokey who lives with owner Margaret Garrett in Florida.

“Smokey came to us as a rescue when we didn’t know we needed another pet. We actually went to look at a mobile home for sale and the people that had just bought it were debating on fixing it up or selling it as is, ” Garrett told Newsweek.

When they went to look at the mobile home though, they found a cat and kittens living in the house in horrible conditions.

“There were two kittens and horrible conditions,” said Garrett. “The litter box was overflowing and there was no food or water. So I told the guy I would take Smokey and take the momma cat and the other kitten to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).”

After catching the three cats, Garrett took the mother and one kitten to the local rescue and kept the second kitten—Smokey.

Today, the once tiny kitten is a well-loved household pet who has truly made himself at home.

“Now he weighs at least 26 lbs and is just a brute,” said Garrett. “At night, he lives to cuddle up on my chest, nose bumping me. He’s so huge and so crazy acting, but also sweet and always tries to act innocent.”

Maggie the dog
Maggie was rescued by her owners in 2012. She now lives full-time in an RV in Arizona.
Ray and Janetta Messmer

Our next finalist this week is Maggie who was adopted from a shelter in Conroe, Texas, in 2012. Now living in an RV in Arizona with owners Ray and Janetta Messmer, this 11-year-old pooch helped her owners take the plunge into a whole new life.

“Because she suffered from separation anxiety, we joked that she told us to quit our jobs, sell everything, buy an RV, and hit the road. And that’s exactly what we did,” Messmer told Newsweek.

“She loves traveling and follows all the rules at the different campgrounds we stay at,” said her loving owner.

Hunter the cat
3-year-old Hunter lives with owner Marie Baird in Minnesota. The three-year-old cat was born to a litter of four.
Marie Baird

Last, but definitely not least, is Hunter the cat who lives with owner Marie Baird in Minnesota.

The three-year-old cat was born to a litter of four, and he and his brother Boots and their mother Sasha still live together today.

Adorable Hunter loves the camera and will take any opportunity to drink from running water wherever possible.

“My favorite part of Hunter’s behavior is when greets me by looking directly into my eyes,” Baird told Newsweek. “It’s almost as if he is looking deep within me. He is very verbal all day. Sometimes I think I am speaking cat when I meow back to him because he always answers.”

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet that you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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