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Va. group caters to Siamese rescues and adoptions

Saturday - 2/23/2013, 12:40pm  ET

SiameseCat.jpg
A Siamese cat. One local group is helping this breed find homes. (Getty Images/Martial Colomb)

WASHINGTON - Millions of cats across the country desperately need homes, but one local rescue group is putting the spotlight on a particular breed: the Siamese.

Siri Zwemke of the Siamese Cat Rescue Center in Virginia says just like any other cat, Siamese cats can find themselves in need of homes due to an owner's illness, economic situation or relocation.

Zwemke says every cat deserves a home and organizations like hers can free up room in shelters for other cats.

However, Siamese do have a few obstacles to overcome. For example, the breed has obtained an evil reputation in pop culture, going all the way back to "Lady and the Tramp."

Remember that scene where the Siamese cats try to score a canary and then fish dinner, and make it look like Lady was to blame?

Zwemke says she often hears, "I got the impression from ‘Lady and the Tramp' that Siamese were mean."

Bu that is not the case. Some Siamese actually need a lot of attention and will even cry like babies when separated from your lap. The cats also possess distinctive markings. Due to the breed's variety, making a good match is critical.

Zwemke is happy to say the organization, which serves the eastern third of the country, has done well, placing more than 20,000 cats over 15 years.

If you don't have room for one of these masked charmers, Zwemke says you might be able to foster, or simply support the organization's work.

For more information on the Siamese Cat Rescue Center, visit the group's website and gaze into those crystal blue eyes.

This story has been modified to reflect correctly the area of the U.S. served by the center.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)