Booming feline friendship business Connect-A-Cat, founded in 1999 by Willimantic, Connecticut couple Herman and Eleanor Bellhousing, is set to cut its Connecticut connections, writes Business & Repetitive Sound Effects Editor, Allie T Ration.
Connect-A-Cat was started in November 1999 after the Bellhousings befriended a stray Ginger Tom that had taken to sitting in their kitchen window and looking in.
"It was the looking in that did it for us", explained Eleanor Bellhousing, in an interview with Pet Pen Pals magazine. "Such a plaintive look. We were smitten. In no time we had named the cat 'Trump', and were feeding him on raw tripes and liquorice. He was good to go but he stayed."
Her husband, Herman "Flywheel" Bellhousing, takes up the story, in a separate interview with Cat Companions magazine. "Trump was named by my wife, on account of his cheeks which reminded her of Donald Trump. It was not the ginger hair. Everybody asks that. He was good to go but he stayed. For one month. The tripes he ate! But then one morning, there he was, gone, away across the Pomeroy State Park. I see him go, his tail in the air, all alone in the world. In Connecticut, anyway. He was good to go. He was a friendly little feller, as cats go, and as cats go, he went.
"We have so many sleepless nights in bed worrying about the cat - well, my wife does; me, I could care less already.
"So we - well, it is my wife's idea - we decide that, in honour of this lonely cat, we should start up our own business for cats. For cats, I ask you."
Thus Connect-A-Cat was born. Within a mere matter of months, Connect-A-Cat had burgeoned. The Bellhousings had countless cats, fathomless felines, on their books, at Pussy Haven House, Willimantic.
George's wife, Eleanor Bellhousing, expounded, in an interview with Paws For Thought: Philosophy For Feline-ophiles Magazine, upon the nature of the business that the Bellhousings' Connect-A-Cat business carries out as their daily business.
"What we do is try to bring happiness into the lives of cats", she told the interviewer, Rick Whittington. "We basically keep a database of felines. We make links, between them, based on their locality and their personality."
"A cat is basically a solitary individual", Herman Bellhousing chipped in. This was a remarkable feat, given that he was being interviewed by a quite different magazine, Furry Friendship Quarterly, but it goes to show the amazing connectivity enjoyed by all these periodicals and the furry friendship fanatics involved in them.
Herman continued (there was no pause in the interview, because my explanatory text did not appear there, but there is no getting away from it here, and it does pad out an otherwise desperately thin article, as I feel sure you will agree). "What we - well, my wife really; I could care less - what we wanted was to give these cats the chance of experiencing the joy of deep companionship and profound intimacy.
"It's easy to think that a cat is just an anti-social little bastard. But we know different.
"Well, my wife does. Me, I am not so certain. It's Eleanor that has the obsession. What else should you call it? We never had kids. Me, I am happy so long as I can work on an old Ford engine, but Eleanor, well, she needs these cats. If it makes her happy, who am I to stand in the way? Well, I am her husband who built this house with his bare hands and only asks to be left alone to enjoy Ford restoration projects, but what for does that amount to in today's post-Feminist milieu?"
Connect-A-Cat, the cat-coordination club, was soon putting pussies in touch with one another all over Connecticut as the new millenium lit up the dawn of a new era in feline friendship facilitation. Success built upon success, and by 2010, which was as recently as recently, Connect-A-Cat was the most prosperous pet pussy pal promotion set-up in Connecticut.
But, just when things seemed as if they couldn't get any better, they didn't get any better. They got worse.
An interview with Herman Bellhousing in Topical Tabby magazine was, in retrospect, ominous. "Yes, we love the cats, and we work hard to help them connect with new catty connections all over Connecticut.
"Well, Eleanor does. Me, I have had a bellyful of these pampered pussies. What do I get for linking these cats on a database all day - green stamps? I should be so lucky. If I never see another database of felines, it will be too soon, already. I have filed for divorce."
And there it was. A fatal schism in the Bellhousing set-up.
Something had to give. And it did. Thus, Eleanor Bellhousing is leaving Willimantic, Connecticut, and taking Connect-A-Cat with her to her new base in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
While it appears that Connect-A-Cat has landed on its paws and Eleanor Bellhousing will keep the business going, there are fears among the pet periodicals at the development. Persian Pinups, for example, has expressed concerns at the breaking of the Connect-A-Cat-Connecticut connection and the consequent loss of catchy headline possibilities.
But hope seems to be riding to the rescue like the Seventh Cavalry, for Eleanor Bellhousing has given a new interview to Chicken Chums, in which she speaks of her plans to start a second business at her new Rhode Island base, involving a certain red-hued breed of chickens, that is sure to feather her nest and not put any cats among any pigeons whatsoever.
The future seems Rhode Island Red-Rosy for Mrs Bellhousing and her pet pal activities, if a trifle disconnect-a-catted for Herman Bellhousing and many Connecticut cats.