10/27/05 — Pikeville cat to appear on December page of calendar

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Pikeville cat to appear on December page of calendar

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 27, 2005 1:48 PM

A Pikeville cat named Runt will appear on the December page of a 2006 calendar coming out soon.

Runt's owner, Suzanne and Jeffrey Tyner of Pikeville, submitted a photo that was chosen for the 2006 edition of the Marley Fund Calendar. The calendar will appear at Wayne Veterinary Hospital, Eastwayne Veterinary Hospital, Goldsboro Veter-inary Hospital and Pet Supplies Plus for a $7.99 donation per calendar.

The calendar will also be available in the PETsMART stores throughout North Carolina and in the local Wal-Mart stores in November. Money raised from the sale of the calendars goes to a charity that saves the lives of cats.

Ms. Tyner is a volunteer with the Wayne County Humane Society. She said she was thrilled that Runt was chosen for the calendar.

"It is a great tool to get information to the public, and it is always the most beautiful calendar I lay my eyes on," she said.

She and the cat have won first place in the photograph category at the Wayne County Fair twice and first place in the Wayne County Humane Society's Pet Photo Contest. But Ms. Tyner said the most rewarding thing is the unconditional love she receives from Runt.

Marley Fund president Joy Eubanks created the first edition of the calendar for the year 2002 after her cat, Marley, died of feline leukemia in 2001.

Ms. Eubanks said she became determined to increase awareness of the disease. She founded a non-profit organization and named it the Marley Fund. The organization is based in Greenville and is the nation's only nonprofit dedicated to fighting feline leukemia and feline AIDS.

The calendar features full color photos submitted by cat owners from around the country and is printed each year to help educate the public about how to reduce the spread of deadly cat diseases.

Cat owners enter the contest by sending a photograph of their cat or cats. Each winning photo is assigned to a month and gets its own page in the calendar.

After contestants are selected to be featured in the calendar, Ms. Eubanks designs a mock-up, which includes researching all the latest facts on feline leukemia and feline AIDS, updating the mission statement and accomplishments, designing a new logo, and writing new captions for the winners' photos.

After the calendar is printed, Marley Fund retrieves boxes filled with calendars in September, and the volunteers distribute them to local shops, veterinarian offices and the campus at East Carolina University.

For information visit the organization's Web site at www.marleyfund.com.

Ms. Eubanks said she put a lot of effort into creating the calendar, but her main goal is that someone who previously did not know about feline leukemia will read the calendar and take their cat to be tested.

"It's always the people who didn't know about feline leukemia who lose a pet to the disease," she said. "If one life is saved, it all will be worth it."