Kitty Humbug: A shelter cat becomes a star, and benefits the Petfinder.com Foundation

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An effigy of Starsky, a former shelter cat, is being used to raise money to help other homeless pets.

The Petfinder.com Foundation is always hearing inspirational stories about how shelter pets change people’s lives. And we recently heard of one grumpy kitty who inspired an Arizona artist to make a difference in the lives of shelter pets.

Diana Madaras, a gallery owner in Tucson, AZ, recently came us with her whimsical character, Kitty Humbug, based on a real-life cat named Starsky who was adopted by a veterinary hospital from a local cat sanctuary.


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Starsky, the inspiration for Diana Madaras’ Kitty Humbug character, is a former shelter cat who lives at the River Road Pet Clinic in Tucson, AZ.

Starsky, a Persian-Himalayan mix at the Hermitage Cat Sanctuary in Tucson, had skin and eye issues and no one else wanted him. Despite his crabby appearance, Starsky became a beloved, free-roaming office cat at the nearby River Road Pet Clinic, greeting all clients and pets as they came into the office. With his body shaved as part of his treatment for a skin infection — except for his “poodle” tail, feet and face — he is one unforgettable feline! Diana decided to paint his portrait and now this once-abandoned shelter cat has morphed into Kitty Humbug, poodle-cat superstar. (Meet Kitty Humbug and the real cat, Starsky, here.)

Today Kitty Humbug has his own children’s book and stuffed toy and is featured on coffee mugs, holiday cards, ornaments and art tiles. His adventures have taken him around the country as fans take their stuffed Kitty Humbug toy from city to city and post their photos on Kitty Humbug’s Facebook page!

And now Diana Madaras, a longtime supporter of animal causes, is donating 10% of profits from the sale of Kitty Humbug items to the Petfinder.com Foundation. Click here to buy adorable gifts and help shelter pets like Starsky!


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