Cactus cat gets new home


by Catherine Holland

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 31 at 11:16 AM

PHOENIX and SUN CITY, Ariz. -- The kitty who used up a few of his nine lives in an unfortunate encounter with a cactus has a new home and a person to call his own.

Prickly Pete and Jean Mann fell in love with each other when they met at the Arizona Humane Society Wednesday.

"It seems to be a match made in heaven," ASH spokesman Bretta Nelson said.

Mann, a Sun City resident, went to AHS to help her son and granddaughter adopt a cat. After hearing Pete's story, Mann, who wasn't planning on taking home a feline companion, asked the family to meet him.

While her son and granddaughter searched for a cat who would bond with the girl, Mann did some bonding of her own -- with Prickly Pete.

It was a week ago that Pete was rescued by Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™.

First the unfortunate feline found himself stuck in a cactus. After working his way free, he managed to get stuck in a fence. The EAMTs, who followed a trail of cactus pods to the injured cat, took Pete to the AHS Second Chance Hospital, where vets spent two long hours painstakingly removing cactus spines, one by one, from Pete’s muzzle, eyelids and mouth.

AHS waited 72 hours for an owner to claim Pete, but nobody came forward. That turned out to be a good thing for Mann.

Pete's new guardian is not fond of cacti and has promised AHS staff that he will be a strictly indoor cat so that he won't tangle with a cactus ever again.

AHS staffers snapped a photo of Prickly Pete and his new mom (above), and it looks like they are going to be very happy together.

Pete isn't the first Arizona animal to find himself on the wrong side of those sharp cactus spines. Back in April an 8-week-old Yorkie/terrier mix, dubbed Cactus Jack, had an experience similar to Pete's.

A good Samaritan heard the puppy crying and called the AHS.

Like Prickly Pete, Jack was rescued by EAMTs, cared for by AHS staff and then adopted.