All felines are stars in our book, but a story featuring a cat’s climb up the ladder of fame is great. We are fortunate to feature an interview with Belle, Miss June for the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter 2013 calendar. Belle, ever the candid kitty, pulls no punches in this interview. This is a cat story you will definitely want to check out!
What Was Life Like Before You Became A Model?
My story started nine years ago as a mystery. My Grandparent’s neighbor, Mr. Basch, found me in his backyard when he went out to mow. It was a fenced yard and there weren’t any other kittens or cats around…..weird. Mom’s theory is that an angel dropped me off. Mr. Basch called my Grandparents since he and his wife weren’t cat people and didn’t know what to do with me. My Grandparents called mom knowing she could help. Her intention was to be a temporary foster but that lasted about two minutes. At two weeks old and weighing just 8 ounces, I was an adorable bundle of fur with the bluest eyes – she couldn’t resist me!
My sightseeing adventures started immediately since I had to be bottle fed every four hours. My mobile home was a cat carrier complete with wool fleece scraps. She took me with her everywhere until I was old enough to be weaned. What can I say, she was a bit overprotective! Now I know it was the star quality she saw in me even at a young age. She was trying to develop my fan base.
Frank and Liza, litter mates who were much older than me, helped raise me. As the baby of the family I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities until they passed over the rainbow bridge. After that, it was time to step up and run things. I considered myself the Master of the Household but mom vetoed that. The compromise was the title of Chief Clowder Kitty. With three cat siblings we are a group of cats also known as a clowder, so it fits. As the CCK, it’s my job to oversee just about everything that goes on in the house, including the antics of my three younger cat sisters; Mitzi, Xena, Gabby, and a Jack Russell terrier.
How Did You Get Started In Modeling?
My first photo session was the day mom brought me home. I was still wobbly on my feet so the poses weren’t planned, cute, but not planned. Over the years everyone told me how beautiful I was so it was a natural progression. I don’t have an agent yet but am considering hiring one.
What Were The High Points Of The Calendar Photo Shoot?
It was a beautiful day so mom let me and my sisters out in the backyard to explore longer than usual. They were busy hunting bugs and I was relaxing in the grass watching the clouds go by. Human models get paid with something called money, but I’m not quite sure what I would do with that. Instead I negotiated a contract with additional ‘it’s all about me time’, cat treats and more food than usual for dinner.
What Were The Low Points Of The Shoot?
The low point was having a camera shoved six inches from my face with that annoying flash popping at me. Mom’s an amateur photographer so she wanted to be and get the perfect shot, even if it took 20 times. I’m a cat so I can’t smile. Is it a look of wisdom on my face or annoyance? I’ll let you decide.
What Advice Do You Have For Cats Aspiring To Be Calendar Kitties?
Every kitten’s mom tells them they’re a princess and a model. If you really want to do this then you have to work hard. Don’t listen to the other cats who try to steal your calendar dreams. Meticulously groom yourself every day because you never know when a photo opportunity is going to happen. It really helps to flop down on the floor and strike a cute pose when a human walks by so they have to notice you.
When she’s not doing photo shoots, Belle supervises her mom, proof reads an occasional document, and keep papers from falling off the desk by laying on them. The dog sleeps a lot, so she’s also taken on the duties of official watch cat. In her leisure time Belle likes to eat, take sun baths, and hides out to whack unsuspecting humans when she’s feeling frisky. Belle also likes to read cat books and plays with her Paint for Cats iPad app.