(News-Press.com) - Li'l Lily has just become top cat for a national magazine. For the week, anyway.
Modern Cat magazine officially named Lily its "Cat of the Week" on April 28th. Her photo and bio appear on the magazine's website.
"I'm pretty darn excited!" says Lily's owner, Betty Hughes, treasurer for Fort Myers no-kill shelter Animal Refuge Center (ARC). "If I could still do a cartwheel, I'd do one. She's just so amazing!"
After a week of online voting, ARC's mascot ended up with 8,735 votes from cat lovers across the world. Runner-up orange tabby Gabe had 7,106 votes.
The 1-year-old, tri-colored calico was one of hundreds of cats competing in the weekly photo contest. Now she gets a chance to be selected as the cover cat for the magazine's print edition, too.
Hughes finds it heartwarming that so many people voted for her unique cat.
Lily has a medical condition called radial agenesis: She has no weight-bearing bones in her forearms. That forces her to stand and hop on her hind legs and walk around on her elbows.
Hughes calls Lily a spokes-cat for other animals that are "a little different."
"Just because you're different, that doesn't mean you don't have value," Hughes says. "She's adapted to her hardship, and people all over the world have fallen in love with her."
To see Lily's web page, visit http://moderncat.com/photocontest/entry/lily-5?thank_you=%2Fphotocontest.