A local cat celebrity and his loving owner appeared on a segment of “Cute as Fluff” on the Animal Planet last Thursday.
Dr. Cynthia Chambers, an associate professor in the Clemmer College of Education at East Tennessee State University, appeared on the show with her cat Lazarus, who was born with a cleft palate and does not have a nose or upper lip.
“Cute as Fluff” is not the first time Lazarus has been in front of the camera. He was previously part of a two-page spread in a cat magazine called Modern Cat back in 2014 after garnering over 82,000 votes in a month long contest. Lazarus’s story began when he was found roaming the streets of Johnson City with exposed bone above his mouth.
“When I initially saw Lazarus I didn’t want to become attached to him,” Chambers said. “I really felt like the vets were going to say this was a lost cause and that he needed to be put down.”
According to a news release from the office of communications, Chambers is active with the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter and has launched a number of community initiatives, including POP Arts, an inclusive theater program for persons with and without disabilities. The college student who approached her did so because of her work with animals and those with special needs.
“According to Chambers, the Animal Planet segment focuses on the service programs Lazarus has been part of and how he is making a difference,” the press release says.
According to the press release, the camera crew followed the two around as they attended a presentation called “unique is beautiful.”
“I’m always pretty excited to see how he’s showcased,” Chambers said in a Johnson City Press Article. “I know how powerful his story has been, and sometimes how he can change how people think of themselves and how the community thinks about disability.”
To stay up to date on all things animal planet you can check out their website at www.animalplanet.com. You can stay up to date on Lazarus by checking out his Facebook page called “Care for Lazarus.”