NEW YORK, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Randy Jackson of FOX's
"American Idol" and Morris(R) the Cat, famed 9Lives(R) cat food icon,
announced today a campaign to rescue one million homeless cats. Morris and
Randy are leveraging their celebrity status, and Morris'(TM) own humble
beginnings as a shelter cat, in an effort to rescue one million of his
fellow felines. Morris has adopted the very first cat in a million -- Li'l
Mo(TM), who resembles a younger version of himself. Morris and his new
sidekick Li'l Mo will appear together for special events and media
interviews, in 9Lives advertisements and online at http://www.9Lives.com.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060919/NYTU097 )
Morris and Li'l Mo will also travel the country by bus to find homes
for homeless cats in 34 cities nationwide, including New York, Chicago,
Charlotte, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Phoenix, Houston, Cincinnati, Tampa and Pittsburgh. Check
http://www.9lives.com for a complete listing.
"I love cats, and I've always admired Morris the Cat, who himself was a
shelter cat," said Randy Jackson. "Morris asked me to help him spread the
word about his Million Cat Rescue campaign and the importance of cat
adoption, and I was happy to lend my support. Each year, millions of cats
are never given the chance to find loving homes, and I wanted to encourage
people to adopt a cat -- they make such great pets! Morris and I have both
adopted cats to kick off this incredible rescue effort. Morris, of course,
selected the mirror image of his younger self and named him Li'l Mo. I
named my little one "Dawg"!"
9Lives(R) brand is also partnering with 3,600 shelters across the
country to distribute Morris' Million Cat Rescue(TM) Welcome Home Kits that
will educate consumers on proper care for their cats at home. As a
commitment to Morris'(TM) efforts, 9Lives brand will donate a percentage of
all sales, including the newly formulated 9Lives Daily Essentials(TM) and
9Lives(R) Tender Cuts cat food, to animal rescue shelters nationwide.
"With the launch of the new 9Lives Daily Essentials cat food, a product
that will help to keep millions of cats happy and healthy, we wanted to
work with Morris to support a cause that is near and dear to our
spokescat's heart- cat adoption," said Ryan Thomas, 9Lives Brand Manager.
"Through Morris' Million Cat Rescue campaign, Morris, Li'l Mo and 9Lives
are going to educate people about the importance of adoption, and give
people the resources and opportunity to adopt a cat of their own."
A shocking 3 out of every 4 cats that enter shelters do not leave
alive. The reality is that 5.5 million cats are euthanized each year,
representing 71% of all cats that enter animal shelters. On the flip side,
there are tremendous advantages for the entire family in owning a pet --
for adults, pet ownership can decrease the risk of having a heart attack by
up to 6%. Pet ownership can teach children about responsibility, compassion
and loyalty -- in addition, positive self-esteem is enhanced in children
with pets. And pet ownership has been shown anecdotally to help children
diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to focus and
About Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson, a Grammy Award winning producer, is a twenty-year music
industry veteran. He started out at the age of 13 playing bass and got his
big break when he joined the band Journey. As a musician and producer he
also spent eight years, as the V.P. of A&R at Columbia Records followed by
four years as Senior V.P. of A&R at MCA Records. Jackson recently completed
his fifth season as one of the judges on FOX's hit television show
"American Idol" which once again garnered record breaking ratings. Randy
has recorded, toured and performed with the likes of Mariah Carey, Whitney
Houston, Celine Dion, *NSYNC, Madonna, Elton John, Destiny's Child and many
more. Randy has worked on over one thousand gold and multi-platinum albums.
His contributions have helped to sell over 200 million albums worldwide.
With his amazing talent, immense studio knowledge, performing, touring and
record company experience, Randy is one of today's highly coveted music
industry experts. Last fall, Jackson launched his own radio countdown show
"Randy Jackson's Hit List" for the Westwood One radio network.
About Morris(R) the Cat
In 1968, a street-wise orange tabby from a Hinsdale, Illinois shelter
was about to be put down when the shelter staff noticed something special
about the cat -- a certain "star quality." They quickly contacted Bob
Martwick, a professional animal handler quickly adopted him on the spot,
and-20 minutes from death-- Morris(R) the Cat got a second chance.
Recognizing his charisma, 9Lives(R) cat food quickly signed him up, and the
entire nation took notice of this new star of their television commercials.
From then on, Morris was to become the most recognizable cat in the world.
He was ubiquitous. He graced the covers of national magazines, he was a
darling of the national talk show circuit and even was cast in the major
motion picture "Shamus," with Burt Reynolds. Morris'(TM) fame continued to
grow over the years, and his accomplishments even include runs for the
presidency in both 1988 and 1992 on the Finicky Party platform. Despite all
of his accomplishments, it is important to mention that Morris never forgot
where he came from. Morris the Cat is currently in the running for Favorite
Advertising Icon at http://www.advertisingweek.com.
About Del Monte Pet Products
At Del Monte, our pet products nourish and enrich the lives of pets and
pet parents by providing great-tasting, high-quality and innovative
products for dogs and cats and by encouraging them to enjoy an active
With trusted brands including Meow Mix(R), Kibbles 'n Bits(R),
9Lives(R), Snausages(R), Pup-Peroni(R), Milk-Bone(R), Meaty Bone(R) and
Pounce(R), our products enrich the connection between people and the pets
As a premier provider of taste-oriented pet food and pet snacks, our
products play a key role in the lives of millions of pet families everyday.
About Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest and most well known
producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food and
pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3
billion in net sales in fiscal 2006. With a powerful portfolio of brands
including Del Monte(R), StarKist(R), S&W(R), Contadina(R), College Inn(R),
Meow Mix(R), Kibbles 'n Bits(R), 9Lives(R), Milk-Bone(R), Pup-Peroni(R),
Meaty Bone(R), Snausages(R) and Pounce(R), Del Monte products are found in
nine out of ten American households. The Company also produces, distributes
and markets private label food and pet products. For more information on
Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE: DLM), visit the Company's website at
Del Monte. Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives. Every Day.
SOURCE Del Monte Foods