Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pets, Paws and Santa Claws; There's a Touch of Animal Magic Surrounding the Festive Season. Marion McMullen Talks Turkey as She Looks Back on Some Critters of Christmas Past

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pets, Paws and Santa Claws; There's a Touch of Animal Magic Surrounding the Festive Season. Marion McMullen Talks Turkey as She Looks Back on Some Critters of Christmas Past

Article excerpt

Byline: Marion McMullen

MONTY the penguin's search for love is currently prime-time TV viewing as he stars in the million pound John Lewis Christmas advert.

But it used to be Arthur the cat who brought a smile to the faces of viewers at Christmas.

The distinctive white cat became famous for delicately dipping his paw into his can of cat food and eating it. Arthur was so popular he starred in hundreds of adverts between 1966 and 1975 and lived until just before his 17th birthday.

His picture appeared on merchandise and on advertising posters and pet food company Spillers even named the canned food Arthur's in his honour in 1992.

A second Arthur was introduced to the public at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1987 and also used his paw for eating. Arthur II retired after nine years - to write his memoirs - and was followed by an Arthur III.

It can also be a dog's life over the festive season and the Daily Mirror Pets Christmas Party was always a barking success for pups. The only problem with the 1958 bash was that it turned into a free-for-all with dogs going woof for the tasty treats.

Of course, you don't want to end up looking like a dog's dinner over the holidays and the contender for the best dressed dog in 1969 was six-month-old Borzoi Gold Dust who dressed for the Christmas party in a pink sequin shimmer suit.

Pippin the dog was left with six little bundles of Christmas joy in 1980 and 16-week-old mongrel pup Joey must have thought he was in Christmas heaven in 1995 when he caught sight of the turkey dinner at Glasgow's cat and dog home.

It wasn't a puss in boots in 1983, but an ocelot called Orlando. The eightweek-old cub had to be hand-reared at Kilverstone Wild Life Park, Norfolk, after being rejected by his mother, Borzoi Gold Dust for Christmas party pink sequin shimmer but staff made sure he had lots of TLC over the festive season. …

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