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Happy Birthday Boys
Cats in General
Member Name: DaisyDuck
Cats in General
Date: 21/06/01, updated on 21/06/01 (44 review reads)
Advantages: Love, Fun, Companionship
Disadvantages: Illness, Mess, Bad Habits
My 'boys' as I usually refer to them have turned 17 this month, are they about to start work, take exams, well no, because they are a pair of now quite elderly moggies. With their birthdays being this month I have been thinking about all the happiness and heartaches owning a moggy can bring. If they were my children they would be embarking on an independent life but as cats they need me to look after them in their retirement years.
Tibby came from my parents who live on a farm, his mother Ping was a little black cat experienced in having kittens.His father was 'Tabby ' a stray who serviced most of the females cats on the farm. Tibby was one of six, I chose him because he had a solemn expression.
Cookie is a town cat. He came from my sister-in-laws cat Smartie. We do not know who his father is. This was Smarties first and only litter and I was called in to be midwife. As it turned out she coped well on her own, so the humans just stood around offering encouraging words like push and pant. We chose Cookie because he was an unusual pale ginger or biscuit colour, hence his name cookie.
Build and Temperament.
Tibby is a long coated dark grey tabby with a short legs. He likes his own company and treats any human other than the family with disdain. He is very much an independent farm cat. He actually looks very much like a Scottish Wildcat and certainly has a wild temper.
Cookie is a shortcoated,long legged and bicuit coloured with a Siamese shape to his face. He is the cat that likes company and will sit on your knee in the evenings.
When they were a few months old they were at their most playful. They would chase each other into the lounge, shin up the curtains, run along the curtain rail and down the other side, then back into the other room. All this was done at top speed.Another slower game was sitting facing each other with paws raised, each waiting for the other to strike, this could last
for several minutes until one of them finally hit out, there would be a blood curdling scream and then they would start a proper fight, rolling round the carpet as one angry ball of fur.
Cookie also had a little party piece where he would pretent to be a dog. We would throw a little ball of paper or sweet wrapper and say 'go fetch', he would run and retrieve it and then spit it out at your feet.
When they were about a year old Cookie dissapeared. I was distraught, ads were put in the local paper and notices in the shops. We had a couple of calls but it wasn't the right cat. Then one Sunday morning I was having a lie in feeling depressed because Cookie had been missing for over a week, my Husband came in with something tucked under his arm. It was Cookie safe and well and all I could do was cry with relief. Where had he been, well he was found tucked up asleep in the garden shed, whether he had been their all the time we will never know.
Sickness or don't feed your cat beansprouts.
We have always had the cats immunised against flu and feline enteritis, and luckily they have been fairly healthy over the years, but Tibby did have a nasty experience with a chinese meal.
We noticed that Tibby was drooling, and leaving pools of cat spit all over the place, yuk. We took him to the vet who found a small piece of vegetable matter stuck in his soft palate. He asked if Tibby had been eating anything unusual, no we replied ,but when we got out we realised what the vegetation was. Tibby had developed a liking for Chow Mein particularly beansprouts, but we were not going to admit that to the vet were we.So from then on no more take aways for Tibby.
While at the vets with Tibby's takeaway problem I mentioned to the vet that Cookie seemed to vomit quite often although he didn't appear to be ill. He thought that this was probably Cookie laying down the message that he was the dominant cat.
I wasn't entirely sure that his was the case but as he didn't seem ill I took it no further.
Some years later when my first child was born I finally became convinced of this diagnosis. For the first few weeks of Matthew's life Cookie would throw up his breakfast once a week. He usually did it over a blanket or toy belonging to Matthew.
Again when my daughter came along he did exactly the same thing, it was revolting clearing up this deliberately regurgitated cat food, but I knew it was only because he was jealous and was trying to reinstate himself as top cat, after all these little humans were drinking his milk.
Now they are old they don't do much. They try and get in at least 23 hours sleep a day, the rest of the time is feeding.
With old age some of the problems they caused as kittens seem to return. They have become a bit lazy with their toilet habits. If the soil in the garden is too wet or hard they come in to use the litter tray, and if the tray isn't spotless they do it on the floor.
Tibby has always needed weekly brushing because of his long coat, and even after all these years he still swears, growls ,spits and bites while I do his tummy.
But I have also found that now Cookie is older his fur becomes matted, I think this is because he grooms himself less now he is older.
Although both cats have been cared for and fed identically Tibby has good teeth whereas Cookie had to have some removed 18 months ago.
Cookies surgery was a little risky and very expensive, there are toothpastes and treats that are supposed to help keep teeth healthy but in the end I think a lot of it is genetic. The vet said it is very common for cats over 10 to have some tartar, gum disease or decay.
I hope my story will illustrate that when you choose a little fluffy kitten you are taking on a big responsibility and considerable expense. I have cared for my cats for as long as it w
ould take to prepare a baby for adult life.
If you are considering getting a cat remember...
Have it neutered.
Have it immunised.
It will need food,water , shelter and most of all love every day of it's life.
Arrangements will have to be made for care while you are on holiday.
It may be worth taking out insurance to pay for medical treatment.
If you love and care for your moggy it may well be with you for a very long time.
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