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Rescued cartoon alley cat gets a new name -- Valley Cat West -- and a new home

By Zack Harold, Life editor

The Charleston Daily Mail’s favorite page-one punsters, the West family, have finally settled on a name for their new cat.

To celebrate the newspaper’s 100th birthday, Charley and Ginny West recently adopted a cat from the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.

“When we saw her there at the shelter, we couldn’t help but whisk-her away,” Ginny said.

They asked readers in February to help name the black-and-white kitty, which elicited a flood of response from readers.

Charley and Ginny combed through each of the suggestions and, while tempted to call it “Jerry” after West Virginia’s favorite NBA star, eventually settled on a name that reflects the local geography.

Say hello to “Valley Cat.”

You’ll see her on the front page every now and then, providing funny quips about the day’s news.

Charley noted he and Valley share many of the same interests. Namely, cat-napping.

“I think she’s a purr-fect addition to the family,” Charley said.

“I’m not sure Cap will agree,” Ginny said. “At least, not right meow.”

Front-runners in the naming contest were CeeCee (for “Capital City”), Misprint, Inky, Allie and Mary Lou Kitten.

Other notable entries were Rhododendron (Rhoda for short), Vandalia and Yeager.

“They were all pretty punny,” Charley said. “But the folks at the Daily Mail really seemed to rally behind Valley.”

Since arriving in the West household, Valley has spent most of her time grooming and lying on the newspaper while Charley attempts to read it.

She also has taken an interest in Charley’s hush puppies, which now feature some custom ventilation.

“That’s what I keep for keeping my shoes in the claws-it,” Charley said.

“Or maybe you should learn to close the ‘claws-it’ door,” Ginny suggested.

This isn’t the first time Charley and Ginny have adopted a pet. They got their dog, Cap, to celebrate Charley’s 40th birthday back in 1998.

Charley West first appeared on the front page of the Daily Mail on Aug. 11, 1958.

Ginny showed up in 1973 after gossipy readers began wondering whether Charley had a lady in his life.

The family disappeared from the front page for a few days in 1994, eliciting outrage from readers. More than a thousand people wrote in requesting the Wests be returned to their rightful place on the front page.

They returned a week later, but this time in color, and have never left again.

The couple have no children, and don’t have any plans to. They plan to eventually spend winters in Myrtle Beach...if they can ever escape from that little box.

Valley, meanwhile, seems pretty content with her new home.

“I’m happy to be part of the Daily Mail family, and they seem pretty excited to see me. Except that dog.” Valley said. “Methinks my arrival will give him...paws.”

Stay tuned Daily Mail reader, the fur could soon begin flying.

Calls and messages left for Cap West were not immediately returned.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-4830 or zack.harold@dailymailwv.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZackHarold.


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