Siada has no fear. I think it might be genetic, or magic, or something. Nothing scares her. Layla, on the other hand, is a bit jumpy. She isn't skittish and she definitely is not one of those cats that disappears whenever company comes over, but she far is more cautious than her cousin. Malik is a bit somewhere in between the two. He doesn't charge in the way Siada does, and once confronted he will display his full kitton prowess to his enemy, but he does have reservations about certain situations.
Or about a presumed enemy, which in this case is The Snake.
The Snake originiates with Nimar, who used to go through toys at an alarming rate. We had to start buying large Tuffy toys meant for pitbulls and other big dogs. They were the strongest things we could find and he still went through an average of one a week. Days before we lost him, we found a snake made of fire hose and bought him that. He was feeling less playful at that point and only nipped at it once, but he seemed to like having it on his bed in the computer room and it has been laying there ever since. Siada wrestled it once or twice as a baby, but Layla and the big girls never gave it a second glance. Malik smacked it a few times when we first got him (see video below), but mostly it just sat there biding its time, just waiting to terrorize F1 kittons.
It is interesting to note that Malik's more recent reactions to The Snake entirely depend on its position. If the snake is flipped over onto its back, Malik pays it no heed. But it is looking at him, all bets are off. It gets the very best of serval smacks, as well as a few spits, hisses and growls. For the most part, The Snake just lays forlorn on its back on the floor and everyone walks past it and goes about their lives.
Well, recently Papa made the mistake of moving The Snake from the floor to the table and all hell broke loose. Apparently it looked at him funny and he went completely nuts. The fuzzy little guy saw it and sprang from his seat to my arm, to my leg and then he and his adversary hit the floor and the spitting and smacking began in earnest.
MALIK: It's looking at me!
SIADA: It's a toy, you derp.
MALIK: It's eyes, they are trying to steal my soul. I have never seen anything so horrible!
SIADA: You are 60% serval, act it.
MALIK: But it is LOOKING AT ME.
(Furious bout of serval smacks, followed by growls and Malik flees the room to sit at the far end of the next room staring, in horror, in the direction of the computer room.)
LAYLA: BEST DAY EVER, MALIK LEAVED ME ALONE!
(Papa hides the snake.)
MALIK: Not going back there. Ever.
SIADA: Your food is back there.
MALIK: Don't care.
LAYLA: BEST DAY EVER, MORE FOOD FOR ME!
SIADA: Your litter box is back there.
MALIK: Don't care. I will poop in the sink. I can NEVER go back.
Two days. It took TWO DAYS for me to reintroduce him to the back of the house. Heck, he didn't even want to leave the second floor for a day and would not even go in the computer room for one more beyond my coaxing him down the stairs. And when he finally made his way to the back of the house, he looked diligently under every piece of furniture for The Snake. Finally though, he was convinced the vile beast was eradicated and he could return to his normal evenings of perching on Papa as he plays computer games.
SIADA: This is why I am in charge...
Why has it been so quiet here? Well, we had to take delivery of Siada's new Princess Palace! The RV that we had was tight on space for active Savannah kittens, and given that the kitties enjoy camping it was prudent that we got a camper better suited to their antics.
After much research we opted for a 2019 Grand Design Imagine 2800BH. Thanks to a large slide-out, there is a great play area. The bunks, bed, and (sheesh, Siada, that is where the waffle iron goes) shelves, give them places to go rest or hide (not that this crew is prone to hiding). The storage area under the bunks is also pretty massive, and can easily house two litter boxes. There are also large windows that allow them ample view of wildlife (or, in our case, of the driveway because the campground we were taking a test trip at was flooded and we ended up testing out the camper at home instead).
And don't their fur coats match the camper interior exceedingly well? (No, that wasn't planned, but it is perfect!)
What I discovered as I was researching campers is that people love to make modifications to their mobile homes. I really did not think this is something that would appeal to me, but the idea of making a more cat friendly environment actually makes sense if we are going to travel more with our herd. (The camper did come with one fantastic built-in pet mod, with that being a drawer under the fridge that opens up and has in it trays for food and water for critters.)
Savannahs love to go high, and our cats all have claws (as they should), so we did need a scratching option for them inside the palace. I found a door mounted cat tree that is perfect. It is built for a regular house door, so we had to take the top piece, remove molding and the door hanger (they simply unscrew) and chop about 5 inches off the top, and then replace the molding and hanger. It took longer to work out the math (and triple check it) than it actually took to cut down the piece to make it work. I will need to take it back apart in the future and flip it so that the platforms face the other direction, as the second from the top bumps into the bunk a bit more than I would like, but even as is, the bathroom door is still functional and people can come and go easily.
Now I am very much looking forward to our next trip, and hope that the weather will not prevent us from taking the camping kittons out on new adventures!
Crazy busy here trying to get things prepped for more kitton camping trips. So much work to be done, but I wanted to to share some pics of the silly critters as they wait for their next big travel adventure!
Often people will talk about a feline singing the song of her people in the wee hours of the night. I believe that only cat owners can really understand what this is, and from personal experience, I can say that Isis might be the champion Singer of them all. MAWOW-WOOOOOW! Late at night, from a floor away, you can here the song swelling, rising, the volume, the crescendo!
What I have only learned just recently thought (despite more than a decade of Isis serenades) is that she is often bellowing her tale WITH A TOY IN HER MOUTH! Yes, she roams the darkened halls, moving toys from one spot to the next, all the while chanting the ancient refrain of her people. (For nearly a decade we were blaming the continued migration of toys from one floor to the next on Nimar, but his passing has revealed that he actually had a partner in this serious feline matter.)
Isis is a beauty, who, unfortunately, is a black hole when it comes to photography, so you really must witness her glory in person to appreciate her. She came from Rude Ranch Animal Rescue in 2003. I attended a cat show with the BigMan and the last thing he said was "I am not getting another cat, I am just here to look at the fancy cats". (BTW, "I am not getting another cat" seems to be code for "GETTING A CAT!" because every time he says that, he ends up with another furry companion in short order.) Well, we looked at fancy cats, and then, as we toured the rescue groups around the perimeter of the room, a black furry paw full of razor blades reached through the cage and nabbed the edge of my coat.
That of course meant we had to cuddle her, or, well, try to, as she was struggling to climb my head to reach the birds that were six stories up in the ceiling of the armory that was housing the show. This 6 month old black kitton was a total hellion, and they warned that she was a shredder. But we were going to move on and go look at cat trees when a family of small children stopped to look at her. You could tell this family was not ready for a scratchy, shredding, hellfire kitton like Isis, and so the BigMan turned back and declared he was going to take her.
But I digress. Isis is our bard, but she is also our nursemaid. Whenever anyone is sick, she is the one there providing support and comfort. She is the one that will sit with you as you hang over the toilet all night, or if you are soaked with fever on the sofa.
If I had to be honest, I would also say that for many years she also hated spotty cats. She was never impressed with Nimar (she was about 4 when we got him). She would hiss and pop when he came near, and growl if he got too close. (Ironically, this is how the previous cats had treated her, lol.) I really cant blame her though, as he ran her ragged the first few years. She dropped from a very fluffy 20lbs to a healthy 16 (she is a very big cat) on the Savannah Diet (i.e. being chased by a bat-crap crazy Nimar Kitton). When he got sick, she would finally start sleeping with him, cleaning his ears and letting him cuddle her. In his last few days, she was his constant companion. I think that had to mean something to him.
And then we go Siada and Isis was reminded that she hates spotty cats. Hissing, spitting and popping started all over again. Until Layla came along. Like every other living being, Isis seemed captivated by those big innocent eyes and she not only accepted Layla, but suddently Siada was ok as well (the jury is still out on Malik, lol).
I was going to post earlier this week, on Memorial Day, about the one year anniversary marking the passing of my beloved Nimar. I mentioned it on Facebook, but my heart was too heavy to compose something more formal. Instead, I opted to wait till today to post about Siada, who flew in to live with us on this day last year. I love this girl so very much, even if she rules her kingdom with an iron paw. She filled my heart with joy after the greatest of losses.
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.