Layla Squashin' Time is a very real thing in our household. It just happens and no one knows why. The adorable marbled kitton will be sleeping peacefully and Malik will decide, out of nowhere, that it is clearly, most definitely, time to utterly squash the Layla.
This has happened since the beginning of time, and yes, he started small with nudges and cuddles and then, in mere weeks, the full-on squashing began. And as for poor Layla Beans, she is so sweet of temperament, that she just lets it continue. I can only hope she manages to not get flattened too much as this little boy continues to outgrow her.
When we went to pick up Malik from the breeders house, she gave us an awesome gift bag full of goodies (for him and for us). When I saw it though, I had to choke back tears because on the top was a large, stuffed white rat. She noticed me looking at it and said she likes for the Savannahs to have larger toys to play with. She didn't know I was reminded of Nimar at that moment, as he had that very same rat, but I was and my heart ached with both the loss we had and the joy of bringing a new baby home.
It was one of those rare toys that actually survived for quite some time in our house. I think he got it when he was 5 or so years old, and we still had it (missing feet, ears, face and tail, and covered with gross cat food) when he passed. He carried it around before his illness and it became victim of his excessive chewing habits after the tumor started to take over. But I can say he loved that thing
I readily admit that all cats are the Best Cat. I love my kittons fiercely and love my friends' cats and even friends' cats that I only see in photos on Facebook. I even love little cats that are sleeping on beds in 1600s English farm houses at museums.
I think what I most love though about our Savannah's is how incredibly affectionate they are, and how impressively they show it. These are not aloof feline's, who might or might not consider you worthy of their time. These are personable kittons who seek you out to shower you with their adoration.
Let us talk about the Princess herself first. She is definitely demanding, and bossy, as befitting her station. But she gives kisses to all the people. She even bestows her love on people when she first meets them (assuming they interest her, lol). She also will take up permanent residence on your lap or chest and keep you pinned for hours as you bask in her princessness and feel honored that she chose to make your furniture. She also absolutely loves to go to bed with me at night. She races me there and gets very animated over giving head rubs and cuddles and sometimes even gives up some belly. (This is also why we have a crate that can be on the bed with us at night while she is in recovery as it was clearly traumatizing her to not be able to sleep with her people.
Layla is a funny one. She loves her people (all people, really) and is happy to climb into any lap that is available. She will waller on the floor and let you get her marvelous belly (and unlike most felines, the belly is never, ever a trap). She is sweet, adorable and very sincere in her affections. She also cannot wait to give you a headbutt. This often results in her prematurely headbutting. She will see you approach, and she gets super excited and will headbutt the wall, the furniture, even the floor in her preemptive attempts to deliver affection.
Alas for her, she has even headbutted her way right off tables, stairs or the sofa before because she shares her love without thinking. Papa said recently that he hopes she never gets loose outside because if someone found her they would think she had a neurological condition the minute she started flipping her head over to headbutt the nearest item in her joy to see a person.
Alas, I have no videos of this little guy's quirks. But I can say that there is really nothing on this earth like the loving you get from an F1 Savannah boy. This little guy is like Nimar in that he is my constant shadow. He also, like the girls, loves to spend time in our laps.
He delivers his affection in two main forms. The first is headbutts. He has a rock hard skull and can be a little battering ram with that noggin. And, like Layla, he sometimes is premature in delivery and whack his head into a wall or the underside of a cabinet. The funniest form of his joy though, is his "humpsies" (this is when a cat arches its back and rubs on your legs). Malik delivers humpsies in several forms.
Several people have asked me how Siada is doing, so I thought I would give the lengthy answer here.
She is doing well. The 2 week follow-up went great. We had some concerns about a small bump about a centimeter from the incision, and the surgeon said that it was tissue over one of the pins. He said she is exactly where she should be in her recovery process. She walks with a heavy limp, but is finally putting a little weight on that limb. It is pretty crazy, actually, how quick she can still scoot around the room.
So the good thing is that she is going very well, but the bad is that we still have 6 more weeks of crating. She is allowed out twice a day for 5-10 minutes to walk around but otherwise, it's in the crate. We are doing our best to make sure that she doesn't left out, bored, lonely or sad over this. We have the stroller I mentioned previously at our house and use it to take her from room to room with us in the evenings. This allows her to sit with us while we play computer games or when I do the dishes or other work. She seems to enjoy it. The stroller is perfectly serviceable for our needs, but Papa decided that it was not sturdy enough for outside walks and for use while camping, so he ordered a more heavy duty one to take camping.
I bought the travel kit on a total whim and am so very glad I did. The crate is essentially a pop-up tent. It weighs nothing and folds completely flat. It is not super sturdy, but has so far survived a couple of wrestling matches between Malik and Layla (both on, or in, it). All of the accessories were a bonus (it has a tarp lined litter pan, a mat that has a vinyl side and an absorbent side, a collapsible water dish, toys and a carrying bag for the accessories. This would also be fantastic for a long road trip with a cat.
And because the world needs more cat pics, here are two of Malik and Layla playing in the camper and one of Siada getting some quality time sitting on Papa (which I am sure is helping with her recovery). Also, please note that yesterday was the Reeses-aversary! On October 24, 2004, she was adopted from Rude Ranch at the local Pet Smart. Alas, she preferred to nap on her holiday so the image at the far left below was the best I could get of her scrumpy little self.
'Siada had her surgery without complications last week. It was terrible not having her home that night (but they needed to make sure things were going well before releasing her into our care). For the first couple days she was very groggy and quite drugged. She had a hard time moving around (would not put any weight on the corrected knee) so she had a few spills in her confinement area, but nothing serious. I gave her lots of attention, special stinky cat food to get her to eat more (was worried about dehydration until she got more mobile), and I crawled into her Kitton Prison with her and watched many episodes of the Walking Dead this weekend while keeping her company. She gets up a few times a night and fusses/stresses and I get up to make sure she didn't empty the litter box into her cage (because she did once) or to make sure she wasn't standing on her back legs trying to jailbreak.
One of the major issues we are having is that she keeps taking the dang cone off. Even the cute little lion cone is getting removed with regularity (sigh). It is supposed to be on for 2 weeks when she is unsupervised, but she has removed it a number of times. She hasn't damaged her sutures though, which is good. She is mostly just interested in grooming her princessy butt. I am trying to rig a pair of infant leggings into a one legged hosen type thing to see if she will wear that rather than the cone. Will be testing out that theory tonight.
One of the good things though is that I have to say that the purchase of the stroller was rather brilliant on our part. It enables us to take her anywhere in the house with us, which allows her to get more social time and to be less bored (bored Savannahs are destructive Savannahs, lol). She is already trying to jail break (and actually made it past me and out of confinement once, but I nabbed her quickly and recontained her royal rump). Of course, her Papa decided that her stroller, while perfectly serviceable in the house, is not sturdy enough for walks at campgrounds or around the Cabin), so he ordered one with more substantial tires and more heft to it. When it comes in I will do a full comparison of the two here.
The stroller is also allowing the other cats to remember that she is still here, and to reacquaint themselves with her smells. And it provided the sweetest moment last night when Layla finally got over her fear of the new apparatus and gave her "sister" kisses.
Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the second week of recovery. The whole span is 8 weeks, and it will be a very long (sleepless) 8 weeks in my world!
I am also considering setting up a laptop so she can watch TV while we are at work, and making sure she has time sitting in the window or watching us work in various rooms when we are at home. A stroller might make that easier as well. And her Papa has a lapdesk ready so that he can sit in the room with her while he games in the evenings.
If anyone has additional tips on keeping the feline mind occupied, I would love to hear them!
Siada does in fact need knee surgery, on both legs. The first will be next week. I am stressed out and worried about how sad she will be being confined for 8 weeks. Fortunately, her containment area will actually be larger than I expected (I was guessing it would be a small crate, but instead we can use the Kitton Prisons we already have, which are octagonal and 52X52 inches).
The surgery has a 90% success rate, and the surgeon told us that even for the other 10% that they still tend to be better off before, with less of the knee slipping out of place. Hopefully once this is all over we can have the Princess streaking around the house and ruling once again with her iron paw!
I do have to say that we should have given Nimar's vet (who works at the ER/Specialist center) a heads up that we were coming in. When she saw us in the lobby I could see for a moment that she was worried that we were there for an emergency (she knew we got two new Savannahs), but we quickly told her that Siada was in the back (she rushed back to meet her) and then showed her more pictures of Layla and also of Malik. She (and all of the techs that had to deal with Nimar) were happy to hear that Malik is MUCH easier to handle.
The last month is somewhat of a blur, as I was sick for three weeks and after that it was fast-paced prep time for the camping trip this past weekend (the kittons, btw, loved being in the camper again). And overshadowing everything else is the fact that tomorrow Siada goes in for her appointment to have her knees x-rayed. She has luxating patellas on both knees (with one worse than the other). This causes her knee to slip out of alignment at times. She can pop it back in, but over time this will cause serious arthritis and we need to prevent that as best we can. The condition is congenital, but not necessarily hereditary. It is not particularly common in cats, but when it does show up it is usually lanky, leggy breeds.
The x-rays themselves are neither here nor there, it is the surgery that is stressing me. Recover is 6 weeks, and she will be crated most of that time. I feel so horrible over the very idea of having to do that. She loves to run and climb and jump and play so very much. I know this is the "right thing" but that doesn't mean it feels like it.
I love so very much that you want to sleep on me. I love even more that you are considerate enough to not try to sleep too close to Siada, because I do not need a nocturnal brawl on top of me. I do wish, however, that you would consider some other location that is not my throat. You are far too big now to drape safely across my windpipe.
I hope that you will take this into consideration if you want me to continue living long enough to feed you each morning.
Your favorite person
PS - I dont need your extra fluffy tail up my nose either.
Sweetheart, please give me warning the next time you decide to have the BEST DAY EVER and to try to make the leap onto the top shelf of the closet, while I am sitting on the floor under it looking for something. Your epic miss, and desperate attempt to save yourself, brought down the entire top shelf of winter clothes onto my head.
This was not my best Monday ever.
BEST MAMMA EVER
I think you need to go visit the sorting hat again. I am pretty sure you are a Slytherin.
The concerned Ravenclaw in your house
Today Layla is a year old! She opted for a pirate party and everyone had fun with the new birthday scratcher. Later there will be some lamb cat food and a yummy steak for the kittons to consume. Layla wants the world to know that yes, birthdays are indeed the BEST DAY EVER!
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.