By Jon Bishop
AYER — Consider it the culmination of a wonderful life.
Ivana Dobes’s cat Risha is on the Tuesday, Jan. 13, page of Workman Publishing’s 2015 edition of “365 Cats: America’s Favorite Cat Calendar,” and he’s depicted sitting on a shelf in the kitchen, playing with a spoon that’s protruding from a bowl of batter.
Below the picture is a quote from Walter Lionel George: “Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement and love without penalties.”
All of this certainly describes Risha, who recently succumbed to diabetes at the age of 11.
“I loved him very much,” Dobes said. He was a Christmas gift. Her kids were not ready to have grandchildren, and so they gave her Risha instead.
“I will always remember that Christmas,” she said.
Dobes now has four grandchildren, but Risha was always like a grandchild to her.
And he was a hero. A lit candle caused a fire at her home, and Risha woke her up to alert her.
“He actually saved my life,” she said. “There are not too many cats who have saved lives. (It’s) usually dogs.”
She didn’t expect Workman Publishing to chose Risha for the calendar.
“Well, I was shocked, of course,” she said. “I absolutely didn’t expect that my picture would be chosen.”
“It’s a cute calendar,” she said.
Justin Krasner, the former editor of 365 Cats, and Samantha O’Brien, editor of 365 Dogs, said that calendar customers submit pictures for consideration.
“We have an excellent photo editor,” Krasner said. “We go through them and choose the ones for (the) calendar.”
Krasner said they pick the most eye-catching shots.
O’Brien said, “We definitely want to be seasonably appropriate.” For instance, during the warmer months, they’ll look for beach shots. In the fall, they’ll look for pets playing in colorful leaves.
They also like rescue pets, pictures of pets misbehaving, funny ones and so on. They pick from a variety of breeds and locations, both national and international.
“We really look for things we can pair up with our editorial content,” Krasner said.
After making their picks, they contact the owners. They send them a free calendar and a discount sheet.
As for Dobes, she has a new cat and might make a new submission.
“I love cats,” she said.
Those who are interested in submitting to Workman’s calendar contest can visit this website: http://www.pageaday.com/contests/rules.