September 19, 2006 11:57 PM by Joe Blackmon
American Idol judge Randy Jackson is teaming up with 9Lives icon Morris the Cat in a campaign to rescue one million homeless cats. Both Morris the Cat and Randy are leveraging their celebrity status to aid them in their rescue endeavor. Morris the Cat has adopted the very first cat in a million. The adopted cat is named Li’l Mo, and resembles a younger version of Morris. Morris and his new sidekick Li’l Mo will appear together for special events and media interviews, in 9Lives advertisements and online at http://www.9lives.com/.
Morris and Li’l Mo will also travel the country by bus to find homes for homeless cats in 34 cities nationwide, including New York, Chicago, Charlotte, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Houston, Cincinnati, Tampa and Pittsburgh.
"I love cats, and I’ve always admired Morris the Cat, who himself was a shelter cat," said Randy Jackson. "Morris asked me to help him spread the word about his Million Cat Rescue campaign and the importance of cat adoption, and I was happy to lend my support. Each year, millions of cats are never given the chance to find loving homes, and I wanted to encourage people to adopt a cat — they make such great pets! Morris and I have both adopted cats to kick off this incredible rescue effort. Morris, of course, selected the mirror image of his younger self and named him Li’l Mo. I named my little one "Dawg"!"
9Lives brand is also partnering with 3,600 shelters across the country to distribute Morris’ Million Cat Rescue Welcome Home Kits that will educate consumers on proper care for their cats at home. As a commitment to Morris’ efforts, 9Lives brand will donate a percentage of all sales, including the newly formulated 9Lives Daily Essentials and 9Lives Tender Cuts cat food, to animal rescue shelters nationwide.
"With the launch of the new 9Lives Daily Essentials cat food, a product that will help to keep millions of cats happy and healthy, we wanted to work with Morris to support a cause that is near and dear to our spokescat’s heart- cat adoption," said Ryan Thomas, 9Lives Brand Manager. "Through Morris’ Million Cat Rescue campaign, Morris, Li’l Mo and 9Lives are going to educate people about the importance of adoption, and give people the resources and opportunity to adopt a cat of their own."
A shocking 3 out of every 4 cats that enter shelters do not leave alive. The reality is that 5.5 million cats are euthanized each year, representing 71% of all cats that enter animal shelters. On the flip side, there are tremendous advantages for the entire family in owning a pet — for adults, pet ownership can decrease the risk of having a heart attack by up to 6%. Pet ownership can teach children about responsibility, compassion and loyalty — in addition, positive self-esteem is enhanced in children with pets. And pet ownership has been shown anecdotally to help children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to focus and concentrate.