Aug 28, 2008

Lester the Lion Kitty

If you want to do a frustrating exercise today, try researching the history of the Persian cat. You'll find a wonderful blend of contradictory information and outright falsehoods. Take this one, for instance: "The cats were introduced into Europe by the Phoenicians and Romans in the 1500s as highly valued items of trade." Wow, Romans and Phoenicians during the Renaissance? Wow. My history teachers had it all wrong.

Anyway, suffice it to say that the origins of this cat are shrouded in the depths of time (and beneath layers of shoddy research--mine own included). But all that does nothing to tarnish the reputation of this cat, for it remains the most popular breed on the planet.

Allow me to introduce Lester the Lion Kitty, Karen's pride and joy. This cat was a rescue kitty. He's the result of intense inbreeding, so he can't close his mouth, and he can't groom himself. But still, Karen loves her kitty. The sad thing with this breed, given its popularity, is that it is prone to breeding abuse (some would say that is the case with all pure breds). Thankfully, there are many worthy folks who operate persian rescue programs.

Enjoy Lester. He may be one of a kind, but his story isn't. Unfortunately.


Randy Elzinga said...

The description of your blog says
"We avoid the simply tragic, diseased, or maimed."

You could argue this cat fits all three categories, although you might say that this is a complex tragedy rather than a simple one.

Viewing ugly overload is otherwise a complex mix of being fascinated, grossed out, and amused by your offerings, but this is just plain sad. Hopefully the damage done by questionable breeding practices is superficial.

Via Crap Dogs, I found out about this story. It's not just cats.

niner said...

I wouldn't go as far as to say this is just plain sad. Although the practices, abuse, neglect, fighting, inbreeding issues of all animals are tragic and need to be stopped, Lester has a very loving owner and wasn't just dumped somewhere.

Thanks, Karen, for sharing Lester and opening your home to a special needs kitty.

kyrraven said...

Awww... poor guy. I bet his tongue gets dried out something awful.

I never did understand the popularity of squished-face animals... to me they don't look more attractive if their faces are more flat, and as I understand it, they often have breathing and smelling problems.

That said, massive kudos to Karen for taking in a "flawed" kitty.

Karen said...

Hi all! I'm Lester's new owner. He was actually rescued by my supervisor - he had spent first few years of his life in a cage with a crazy breeder - she patiently and compassionately took good care of him and handled all his sensory needs and really helped him thrive - he is actually a loving and sweet and happy kitty most of the time - it's unfortunate he has trouble because of his mooshy face, but he is a great cat and we have lots of fun together. I adore him. My supervisor let me have him because I loved him so much and because Lester was struggling with jealousy issues with her husband! LOL! It's just me and Lester for now. :)

Thanks Justin for posting him - he's so ugly he's cute.
He has his own blog at! And tons of Lester the Lion Kitty YouTube videos :)

Denita TwoDragons said...

The true mark of a compassionate person is their capacity to see past the imperfect surface, and find the potential for perfection that hides within all living animals and people.

Karen, you are a real saint for being able to do that for Lester. I can see that he is loved, and he knows he is too!

I think I understand why Wombat occasionally posts these stories, folks. While this site tries to avoid the tragic, diseased and maimed, there are times when it is necessary for such a story to be highlighted. To ignore the horrible reality that unscrupulous breeding tactics are rampant across the world is just as terrible as encouraging their practice. If exposing this behavior to the public causes people to become more aware of--and change for the better--these kinds of sick practices, then I heartily stand behind Wombat in his choice of posts like these. Keep up the good work!


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I'm in love with Lester the lion kitty :D
Yay, Karen. You rock!

Raging Wombat said...

Niner and Denita undestand me.

Anonymous said...

I am a proud kitty mom to three Persians, and I think Lester is lovely!

Anonymous said...

I have friends who rescued 3 of these unfortunate human abuse victims 11 years ago. It cost them a fortune to have all three Persians operated so they could at least breath properly. Never call a Persian cat breeder an animal lover... NEVER !!

Karen, bless you !
And yes, once in a while, RW, these "uglies" deserve attention. Thank you for that !


Raging Wombat said...

Thanks, Mollie.

SK said...

I don't know who you are, but I happened accidentally upon your ugly bugs pictures when looking for something to freak my girlfriend out with, then saw Lester's pictures out of the corner of my eye. I clicked and was hooked. On Lester, Karen, you, your blog... I can't leave! There goes my plans for dinner. ("Sorry, honey!")