We came home from our Christmas vacation to find my beloved Cheetara had died. She was a purebred and I feared she had kidney problems for a long time, but the vet said she was OK. I never felt great about that, but we weren’t in the position to deal with kitty dialysis, so I tried to hope for the best. She just ran out of best.
Downloading movies off the video camera I came across this oldie but goodie.
Sometimes the kitties want a little attention too.
Have you ever seen anything so ridiculous? Poor Cheetara. If you’re grossed out by facts of nature, you may want to stop reading here.
Over the last couple of heat cycles, Cheetara has started having, well, a period. It’s very common for in tact animals to emit drops of blood during estrus, but neither of our girls ever did until just now. We’re taking it as a sign that her breeding years are behind her and it’s time to get her fixed, but with the move and neverending heat cycles, we haven’t had a chance to do it yet.
Which means that I have a teenager having her period wandering unprotected through my house. And that is just not OK in my book. I know it’s just biology and this is how the miracle of life happens and all that, but seriously, ew.
Luckily she and Atti wear the same size.
I totally poached this little sculpture from my inlaw’s house.
Well, I couldn’t bring myself to outright swipe it, so I really just wandered around their house for a day saying, “Wow, I sure do like this sculpture! It was just sitting in a drawer in the guest room. It sure would look nice at my house….” Stopping just short of saying, “Hint. Hint.” Finally my mother in law just told me to take it. Most likely so I would shut up already.
It’s a metal casting with a really cool patina on it, and while I’m already so perilously close to crazy cat lady territory I really shouldn’t be bringing cat-themed knick-knacks into the equation, it was just too cool to resist.
When we lost our sweet Lobo last year, it was a major loss for our family. We hadn’t had him that long but he was such a good boy with Atticus we loved him twice as hard.
Back in July we bought our newest little Gizmo. We picked a brand new kitten because we knew that we would be asking a lot from this little cat, and we thought that if we started young, we may be able to train him. As much as a cat can ever really be trained.
When I look through the photos from 2009, it’s amazing how often some little part of Gizmo pops up in all the pictures I take of Atti. Particularly when a mess is involved. They seem to egg each other on somehow.
Gizmo never ventures far from his boy. He eats his table scraps, chases the balls Atti throws, sniffs at the robot Elmo while he wiggles, and supervises any therapists that come to the house. He’s very protective.
Atti’s often covered in cat scratches, but never anything painful. Just little warning jabs when he gets especially rowdy. This sweet cat puts up with an awful lot. When Atti starts to pull his fur too hard, Giz will reach out and put a paw on his forehead and push, just like a bigger kid on the playground saying, “Try and get me. I dare you try and get me” While Atti flails away getting nowhere.
People often ask me how I get so much done in a day, and the truth is that Gizmo handles most of Atti’s therapy. Atticus chases him from one end of the house to the other, and when he catches him, Gizmo just gets up and moves a few more feet away.
As much fun as last week was, I’m thrilled to be home goofing around with these little characters.
Everyone, meet Gizmo
He is a flame point Himalayan/Persian mix which is like a cousin breed to our Ragdolls.
We found him on Craigslist and the lady said he was eight weeks old. On the way home I saw a couple fleas on him, so we went straight to the vet’s to get him dipped. The vet took one look at him and said, “That cat is not eight weeks old. He is way too young for anything other than a bath and a flea comb.” So we did as we were told.
We felt strongly about getting a kitten instead of an older cat. This little guy has a big job ahead of him to fill the shoes of our sweet Lobo, and as a kitten we have the best chance of training him (as much as you can ever really train a cat) to be Atti’s best buddy and playmate.
Since Lobo died I’ve been so sad that he wasn’t here just as Atti started really discovering the cats. Now that he can commando crawl he’s been trying to chase them all over the house, shouting Kitty! Kitty! the whole way, but the older girls want nothing to do with him. Now he plays with little Gizmo and laughs his head off as the kitten frolics around him.
We’ve had more sadness around here for our kitties. Lobo’s been gone for just over a month, and we were really hoping that he’d managed to get one or both of the girls pregnant before we lost him.
I discovered he was successful by looking down at Cheetara in the middle of Atti’s therapy and seeing a paw and a tail on it’s way out. I started trying to get Cheetara comfortable but she wouldn’t stay still. Every other cat I’ve ever heard of goes off somewhere privately to have their litter, but Cheetara refused to be anywhere without me, even wandering around the house with the baby mid-delivery. I think she must have known something was wrong and wanted my comfort.
Seeing the paw and tail was a bad sign. The baby was breach, so it didn’t make it, and it was the only member of the litter. We called the baby Snarf (children of the 80′s will get that one), let her take a few deep sniffs of the little body, and when her animal instinct to eat it kicked in, we took the little guy away for a proper disposal.
In the week since then, Cheetara has never left my side. She’ll climb into my lap when I’m on the sewing machine, she’ll sit at my feet when I’m on the toilet, and at night she wants to sleep so close to me I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up with fur in my mouth. Jem has suddenly started showing a lot more tenderness towards her, nuzzling up together like they haven’t since they were kittens. I know that I shouldn’t ascribe human emotions to an animal, but if I didn’t know better I’d swear she was grieving her losses.
My sweet little boy cat Lobo died today. We have no idea what happened. About two weeks ago he started losing weight but we thought that was just in hair that came off in the bath. Then he stopped eating, he grew lethargic, and last night he started having spasms and didn’t have the strength to hold up his head. It just came out of nowhere.
Lobo came to us as a kitten the month before I had Atticus. The whole time Atti was in the hospital, Lobo would let me cradle him and pretend I was holding my baby. As soon as he heard that breast pump start whooshing, little Lobi would come running to sit in my lap and be my surrogate baby boy.
As soon as Atti did come home, Lobo immediately adopted him. He played the role of big brother and best buddy, always keeping Atti company during tummy time, sniffing out any therapist that came to the house, and letting Atti endlessly pull out his whiskers and fur.
I’m one of those crazy cat people who believe that our pets have a spiritual mission of their own. They come to us to be little fuzzy helpers, to teach us lessons, to support us and give us comfort during the hardships of life.
Lobo was here to help Atti. He helped me get through that awful hospital stay, and since then he has been right by his boy every minute, even sleeping on the changing table while Atti slept in his crib. He would perch himself just out of reach, being the motivation for Atti to make his little body move. The therapists started calling him The Therapy Cat.
We’ve tried to have Atti play with some other kids his age, but it doesn’t really work. He can’t run or even sit up, he can’t defend himself while everyone is learning to share, the other kid gets bored because Atti can’t really interact, it’s just not working out yet. But Atti always had a playmate in Lobo.
I’m just wrecked over this. I know he was a cat, not a person, and this kind of thing happens, but it’s just such a loss in our family. We’re going to miss this little guy so very much. But he was just the best cat while we had him.