Little Layla is a pig when it comes to her food, so we already had to make a trip to the Pet Valu to get more kitten food. We, of course, took Siada with us for her social hour and so that she could make many new friends (who would, of course, be members of her fan club).
Our girl is fearless, and she also knows exactly where the cat toys and cat food aisle are. She also loves to explore the dog section and is always curious about things like antlers and large chew bones. I think it is the adorable apex predator in her that is telling her she could totally have made that kill.
She does not flinch when she sees dogs there, and will walk right up to pretty much anyone and make introductions and ask for petting. I think at this point that dozens of new people know about the Savannah breed now because of her (and I have to say that they are all quite enchanted).
I hope that Layla can someday make these trips as well. She did fantastic at the vet's office, but that is a smaller facility, with much less bustle. She is a jumpy little thing, so might not do as well as Siada. We are, however, harness training her already (as it makes for better car travel if nothing else).
So little time to type while splitting my attention between two rambunctious Savannah kittens!
We picked up BK#2 - now Layla al-Hedima on Friday. She is adorable, and FAT! Total porker of a little kitten. though little might be the wrong term. She is 9 weeks old and 2.8lbs, which has her being a half pound heavier than Siada was at 10.5 weeks. Hedima means handmaiden (since Siada is the Princess), but with her little tank body, she might make a better body guard.
She is very friendly, but also jumpy. She poofs her tail when at everything, including when she is happy (something our F1 did regularly). She bounces rather than runs, and actually has a pretty stocky little bullddog body, rather than her cousin's sleek build. I think that once quarantine is over, they should love to race and romp (this baby seems to do nothing but hop around).
Actually, there is a good bit about her that reminds me of Nimar. She is hard as heck to catch (but still social, and is a purrmonster). Siada is all about stealth and opportune strikes, while this little bruiser just slams into everything.
I think we are in for a wild ride!
I previously mentioned that Siada's first harness was meant for a ferret, and that she eventually upgraded to a snazzy bit crafted by Hyendry. We have had a great deal more experience since then with walking her, and have learned a few things that I want to share.
With Nimar, we never got him to keep a harness on long enough to work with him. Heck, most of the time we could not even get near him with one. We tried with Isis, but if you even tied a bit of sewing thread, loosely, around her middle, she would fall down and, laying prone, would wail and moan about all of the injustices of her feline life. I did get a strap style small dog harness on Reeses once and took her in the front yard, but the first car that passed had her dancing in mid-air on the end of the leash like a forlorn kite in a storm. When she hit the ground, she bolted backwards and nearly out of the harness.
I thought at first that the difference here was just in Siada's very fearless personality, but I think now that that initial ferret harness had a great deal to do with it.
The ferret vest, a Kaytee Comfort Harness, is very light weight, being only a thin layer of nylon with very light weight strapping on it. The small sizes are cut high enough near the arms that a cat can still climb and jump in it (something that does not always happen with dog harnesses). Most cats react badly to a harness because they feel as if something is pushing down on them (or as if they were crawling through a tight spot). It freaks them out. I don't think this added enough weight to bother her. One note about this harness is that the D ring is a week spot. It is not solid metal (it has a seam on the flat side) and it opened up on us. We replaced it with a key ring to attach the leash and have had no issues with the harness at all after that.
The large size would fit Siada now, but does not really have the arms cut high enough to allow her full range of motion. I also feel much, much more secure with the Hyendry harnesses, which have heavier, wider and much longer velcro strips.
And now we are back to Hyendry. We LOVE the first one we had for her (a size small). So ordered the "tween" size for her (and it fits perfectly now). I also just ordered a Medium! I do want to note that when you purchase a Hyendry harness, that these are custom made. Look carefully at the site to see how long it will be before your item is ready, but it is very likely to take that long. You might need to order a size larger if you have a kitten and the lead time for production is four weeks.
These are solidly constructed, and I choose the additional options of a second ring and the additional straps (again, to soothe my paranoid). Siada struts around the house in her "clothes" as if she knows how amazing she really looks.
And the new skull patterned one we got for her? I was delighted to see the adorable pink crystal rivets that were used to accent it! We already had a pink cheetah-print lease so she is ready to go on social calls in style.
This new kitten cannot get here soon enough! Last night, was possibly the saddest moment ever in the history of Princess Siada and one can only hope that her new "sibling" will be a cure for this greatest of sorrows.
The background of this story is that Isis is a crotchety old gal. She does not at all care for spotted kitties, especially small ones that bounce all over her and bite her ankles Kenya-style (see bottom of the page, at the 30 second mark). She most definitely does not want to cuddle them, even though she regularly relents and lets Reeses cuddle her.
The fact remains that Isis simply does not really want the spotted ones near her. Sometimes they can sneak up on her as she sleeps... maybe even even get close enough to touch her (Nimar was pretty famous in our house for reaching out his paw and just barely touching her on her as she slept). But cuddles? Nope.
None of this, however, stops Siada for wanting her fair share of Isis time. The little girl tries so hard, but the moment that she gets close there is hissing and popping and growling and some other noise of discontent that can only be described as the enraged bleating of a very large sheep. And then Siada leaves, head hung down with great big kitton tears rolling down that long Savannah nose.
But relate the tale from last night, Isis was sleeping on my pillow, as she does every night. Actually, I have to have two pillows because Isis herself is a pillow-sized cat. So I arrange two pillows next to each other, one for me and one for her, and she curls up next to my head and purrs through the night.
At about 6am I was awakened, abruptly, by very loud growling and bleating, right next to my ear. I sat up, eyes full of sleep, trying to peer through the darkness to see what the issue could be.
Eventually it became clear. While Isis was blissfully snoozing on my pillow, Siada had crept in and curled up against her, much like Reeses in the photos above. Apparently Isis woke up to discover the infraction and, instead of moving away from the offender, chose to bellow instead. Siada only stared at me with wide open sorrowful eyes.
Big. Kitton. Tears.
So, I moved the little princess so that she could snuggle my arms, and quieted the mass of attitude on my pillow and tried to go back to sleep.
At least, I thought, it was not yet another Kenya incident. And oh yes, I hope that this new kitton can be a great cuddle pal for Siada.
This post is to announce Bitty Kitton #2! Yes, Siada is getting a sibling (well, technically it is a cousin...). Siada is active and LOVES to play and cuddle, and she is very sad that the big cats at home want less than nothing to do with her antics. We have chosen a little marbled F3 Savannah, also from Select Exotics, that shares the same Serval Great-Grandfather with Siada. I so very much look forward to welcoming the new little girl next weekend!
She told me she wants to grow up to be a cheetah, not a lion, but this is the closet costume that I had ;-)
I am very thankful to have a Savannah who is quite delighted to go camping with us. Nimar was the original camping cat in the house, but his journeys with us were a product of necessity, due to the rigid medication schedule we had to adhere to for him. In his younger, healthy, years, I do not think it would have worked. He was too hard-headed and big enough (and smart enough) to figure out how to get out of the RV... or possibly even swipe the keys and just drive off with everything. The last few years though, he was more mellow, and loved his trips in the camper. We decided to install a partition similar to that in a police car, separating the cab of the RV from the coach. This allowed us to use the truck doors as an entry point, so that we could get in, close the door and then enter the coach itself. This prevented any attempted cat escapes. It also allowed Nimar, and now Siada, to watch us as we drive.
We made sure that Siada was acclimated early to camping, with her first trip being to a friend's farm for a July 4th gathering. As usual, she had absolutely no fear, nor trepidation, over the adventure. She eagerly explored the camper, monitored folks on their outside activities, and made loads of new friends.
She went on another trip later this summer and we had our final outing this past weekend, to Charlottesville, VA. Here she got to take several walks in the campground to explore and she saw her first campfire.
I will note that Feral Kitten Mode is really something to behold in a tight space! You just need to get out of her way when she is dashing back and forth, and leaping from the floor to the dinette, to the bunk, to the floor again. She also discovered that she can get stuck inside the jack sofa (ugh).
Most amusing was our attempts to prep our dishes for our groups' 18th Century themed dinner one night during the trip. She has to be next to the sink if you are doing anything in it, and doesn't like being told she cannot watch you cut vegetables. And meat? Well, she thinks that is all hers. The most comical though, was my attempt to cut French bread on the dinette table. She bounced into the room, jumped to the back of the seat, grabbed the bread with both clawed paws and took a massive bite before I could wrestle the loaf from her.
And the newest trick learned on this outing? Well, as we were packing out Sunday, her papa was outside working and she needed to see what he was doing (as always). So I provided a box for her to stand on so that she could see out the window (as I hoped to prevent her from learning that you could climb the upholstered window frames). Well, she was adorable watching from the box, but also learned that climbing is a fun way to get a good vantage point too.
Someone on one of the online SV forums recently made a request to see progress photos of people's Savannah cats as they grow. I collected some images an am amazed to see how much little Siada has already grown!
Of course, I think this progression is even more adorable.
And while I have not gone back through photos to build out a life view of Nimar, I have to include these three. From the time we got him he loved to sit on that monitor... until he totally outgrew it!
I really have to credit the Suitical that we kept Siada in for 5 days following her spay. It not only kept her from licking the incision, but it kept her from jumping or doing too much running. She walked like Nathan Lane doing a John Wayne impression while in it, but over all, I would highly recommend the suit.
We were supposed to keep her calm for 10-14 days, as I mentioned before, but I think we made it till 8 before she was fully running again. Still chose not to jump too much, which made me stress less.
We kept her inside for more than 2 weeks though, but this weekend, I am excited to again take her for a walk in the woods. She loves pointing out the deer trails to me!