Top animal stories of 2019

Some readers care deeply about transit while others will click on crime.

But few can resist the lure of an animal. Here are the top animal stories for CBC Ottawa in 2019.

Smudge the cat

Jade Taylor-Ryan

Who knows why some social media images become viral memes. A hint may lie in the inscrutable eyes of Smudge, a Kanata cat whose sneering at salad made it an Instagram star.

Zoë the lab


Imagine being lost in Algonquin Park. Two 16-year-old girls went missing during a camping trip in July. The nation was gripped, fearing the worst until the girls were found safe and sound by a loveable, slobbery hero.

Drunk raccoons

Jason Parks/The Picton Gazette

Love 'em or loath 'em, everybody wanted to read about the accidental inebriation of Stittsville's trash pandas, after chowing down on fermented fruit.

Mercedes the tubby Thai puppy

Emily Rodgers

A dog is overfed by well-meaning street vendors in Thailand. At one point, Mercedes weighed 54 kilograms but after a major lifestyle change, it dropped down to 27 kilograms. But then its excess skin was the problem until an Ottawa vet offered to do a nip and tuck. 

Ed the cat


Ed the cat was featured in an irresistible TikTok video, made by a 17-year-old teenager in Barrhaven, to the tune of the 1954 hit, Mr. Sandman. Ed, named after another ginger, Ed Sheeran, seemed zen about his 10 million hits. 

Tiny turtles

Jade Taylor-Ryan

It was not only furry four-legged creatures that caught our readers' attention. Reptiles had their day, too.