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Honorary Cat Ginny

Ginny was well-known in the cat world and when she passed away, she was eulogized at the Westchester Cat Show as well as being named "Cat of the Year". The only thing is that 17-year-old Ginny was a Schnauzer-Siberian Husky mix. How did a dog become "Cat of the Year"?

Ginny was known for her uncanny skill at finding and rescuing endangered felines. Her owner, Phillip Gonzalez of Long Beach, NY said that he had tried to train other dogs to perform cat rescues but none could do what Ginny could.

Once, Ginny threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it to reveal several kittens trapped inside. Another example of her bravery came when, ignoring the cuts on her paws, she continued to dig through a box of broken glass to find an injured cat inside. During her wonderful lifetime, Ginny rescued as many as 900 lost and homeless cats.

Although she was adopted from a shelter, she had never been around cats before. Ginny was never trained to perform cat rescues; it just came naturally. She just had a knack for knowing when a cat was in trouble which was based on her inherent love for cats.

Along with the Cat of the Year award, Ginny was also given the Lois Graboys Award, the Rover Dog Canine Endurance Hero of the Year, Certificate of Recognition by the Town of Hempstead, the Heart of Gold by the Animal Medical Center and the Humanitarian Award by the Long Island Cat Fancier, Inc.

Gonzalez still takes his other dogs out for walks at night where he feeds the local stray cats. They seem to miss Ginny a lot. "They want nothing to do with my other dogs", says Gonzalez. "They used to come up to Ginny and rub against her, even if I was putting food out for them".