August 27th, 2014 | Published in Pro Bowling
It should surprise exactly no one that Mark Roth, a 34-time PBA Tour champion, has a cat that bowls. And anyone familiar with Roth’s ferocious intensity on the lanes during his competitive career will find the name he gave her equally unsurprising: “Godzilla.”
“Her name is Serra, but Mark nicknamed her Godzilla because she’s strong and acts like a bull in a china shop,” Roth’s wife, Denise, said of the feline kegler. “He’s like a puddle of mush when it comes to that cat!”
“Godzilla” is a 15-year-old Russian blue that was rescued from a dumpster as a kitten. The Roths routinely set up small, plastic bowling pins and a ball for her to practice what she’s learned from her legendary owner. And judging from the results, Mark Roth is one heck of a coach. As you can hear in the video, he gets particularly excited when Godzilla packs a strike.
“Yeah! Godzilla throws a strike,” Roth cheers.
Godzilla tosses a couple gutter balls at first, but then she strikes, and sits up for a closer look after the pins have fallen as if to make sure she carried.
“Sometimes she comes right in and lays down when we get the ball and pins out, but other times when we get them out she runs upstairs, like, ‘I’m not bowling today!’” Denise explained.
“She also has diabetes, like Mark, so I think they understand each other,” Denise added.
Mark, who suffered a debilitating stroke in May, 2009, that partially paralyzed the left side of his body, also gets a little help from his furry friend.
“When Mark came back from the stroke, and even now, she positions her head underneath his left hand and pushes up against it constantly,” Denise said. “She never does that with his right hand. She makes him use that left hand. I guess it’s true that animals know, because I swear she’s rehabbing that left hand.”