'Sassy' Nebelung Cat From California Wins Pet of the Week

This week we've been delighted by the news that a shelter's longest-serving resident found his "furever" home and amazed by the story of a pup whose owner said she sniffed out his brain cancer years before an official diagnosis.

But they're not the only pets to catch our eye this week as we've received super-cute submissions from our readers for the Newsweek Pet of the Week.

If you think your pet could be part of our lineup next week, scroll to the bottom of this story to see how you can get involved.


Rory the cat — reader sub
Pictures of Rory the cat relaxing at home. Rory is this week's Newsweek Pet of the Week. the_rory.story/Instagram

This week our winner is from the feline family. Nine-year-old Rory is a nebelung cat who lives in California with her owner Brenda and captured our hearts this week with her super fluffy coat and beautiful eyes.

"She is actually not a very large cat," Brenda told Newsweek. "She just has so much fur she looks it. I definitely get a kick out of her silhouette and we joke she looks potato-shaped rather than cat shaped."

Rory is a big fan of playing, chasing strings, and belly rubs. "Rory is—as most other cats are—unapologetically herself. She loves napping and leaving as much fur on my clothes as she can. Literally, one of her favorite places to nap is in a drawer filled with clothes."

With her very own Instagram account under the handle the_rory.story, Brenda has been sharing Rory's antics for some time: "Her Instagram account is what I'd like to think is going on in her head when I see her shenanigans around the house. I share reels and photos of Rory being her sassy self around the house, and occasionally feature our other cat Pablo."

Brenda said many of the reels are ongoing memes, like one of Rory demanding snacks at the top of the stairs, but others are "just videos that I find amusing (there is a video of the Star Wars theme song as the camera slowly pans over her, much like a Star Wars shot of the Millennium Falcon). It's all light-hearted content that many cat owners could probably relate to."


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Our first finalist this week is the much-loved Rigger the Jack Russell terrier. Rigger recently had to be put down at 16 years old as a result of ongoing kidney issues and chronic bronchitis, but her owner Judy who is from Edmonton, Alberta, wanted to share more about her beloved pup.

"I saw an ad in the newspaper with puppies for sale when she was 7 weeks old," Judy told Newsweek. "I went to see her and waited patiently until she was weened. We were together ever since."

A lover of squeaky toys and keeping an eye on the neighborhood through the front window, Rigger loved cuddles and sleeping on the bed with Judy.

"I love her disposition, her energy, and loyalty, and her intelligence—let's not forget her beauty and colors as well."

Judy recently had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to Rigger, but remembered happier times, sharing a picture of the pup sitting in a swing at the park.

"The photo was taken in the children's park in our neighborhood on a beautiful day," Judy said. "I looked at the swing and thought she would fit in nicely."

Also making our list this week are two finalists who are lucky enough to belong to the same owner. ChiChi aka Cheech and Biggie Pawlz are both rescue dogs who live in Beverly, Massachusetts, with owners Sean and Kerri.

"We adopted Cheech in 2018," Sean told Newsweek. "His pet finder ad said he was blind and never had a chance to be loved. We previously had a blind Shih Tzu so we felt we could take great care of him."

With eye drops for his glaucoma, Cheech is able to live a happy life with his family. "He gets around great. He finds toys, loves snacks and he loves to play," Sean said. "Cheech loves squeaky toys and getting butt scratches."

Just six weeks ago, Sean and Kerri added a new fluffy member to their family in the form of a three-legged rescue pup named Biggie Pawlz.

"They didn't know a lot about him except that he was mistreated," said Sean: "We were told he is about 3 and he has crazy puppy energy—we don't even think he knows he's missing a leg."

The dogs' sweet personalities constantly brighten their owners' lives. "The greetings we get coming home every day are guaranteed smiles," Sean said. "We can have the worst day outside but coming home and being shown so much love makes life great."

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.