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!
This weekend we finally got to take a real trip with the kittons in the new camper. The trip up there was interesting as Layla and Malik were a little unsettled for the ride. Siada has ridden in the truck before (and she was born fearless), so she was fine, but I had to take turns holding everyone for a bit until they calmed down for the rest of the journey.
The new Grand Designs Imagine camper proved to be as perfect for camping with feline companions as we had hoped. There was loads of room for them to romp and chase and even enough space for playing with feather wands with them.
We opted for this product over other available options as we always travel without own mobile internet source that stays in the RV at all times, that made this device ideal over those which typically cost more and require a monthly service contract.
It took only a few minutes and my iPhone to set up the Temp Stick. I now have an app that I can use to monitor the temperature and it is set to send me alerts if either the temperature reaches a certain point, or if the power goes out to our internet source. I checked the temp many times throughout today and am exceptionally pleased with my purchase. (The other item that I read great reviews for that I considered is the RV Pet Safe monitor. Had we not already had a hotspot, I would have purchased that model and their cellular plan.)
There was one thing I did not plan on, that was somewhat bizarre in close quarters, and that was Siada launching into Feral Kitton Mode at 4am. Her papa had gotten up for something briefly and it woke myself and her Princessness up as well. I saw it in her gaze and knew what was coming as she scanned around the room looking for a target.
ME: Siada, baby, no, not right now.
SIADA: Engage Feral Kitton Mode!
ME: No girl, you will wake everyone up.
SIADA: Must.... go.... feral..... (locks eyes with Malik)
MALIK: Oh crap (jumps onto the counters, followed by a wild-eyed Princess, off the counter again, over the dinette, behind the recliners where a WWE match ensued, leaping out onto the chairs, the top bunk, the bedroom)
ME: <sigh> (heaving my tired carcass out of bed to stop the rampage) Siada, you need to leave him alone, someday he will be bigger than you.
SIADA: I will go feral on your ankles!! (and she did)
ME: Come here little Malik, that girl is picking on you (rescues him from the blankets draping off the edge of the bed and then shove him under the blankets and give him a fuzzy blanket, he suckles on the, as a pacifier)
SIADA: (says nothing because she is already curled up asleep on the recliner)
LAYLA: BEST DAY EVER (as she jumps on and off the top bunk repeatedly for no apparent reason, shaking the entire trailer with each landing)
ME: And this was a good idea why???
No more fresh air for this kittons ever. Since five AM it's been a non-stop Savannah rampage. Everything that could be knocked over or knocked off has fallen victim to the herd. I have been pounced, attacked, abs even my blanket for was breeches by Siada, who was leading the raid in person.
I gave up on sleep when I heard a rumble and saw Malik perched on top of the bedroom door. I give up as they can apparently fly...
(ETA - As I was posting this Malik decided he did not like the smell of my coffee and serval smacked the liquid in the cup and now I am cleaning up the table, the stack of mail and my laptop...)
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!
Kittens grow quickly. Savannah kittons grow very, very quickly, especially early generation ones. We joke that you can actually watch them grow. Malik is no exception. He has put on over 2lbs in the 5 weeks we have had him. (He is 5.36lbs at 14 weeks old.)
Savannahs, like some other large breeds such as Maine Coons, can also often grow for three years. Just when you think they are done, they might have another growth spurt. I actually think that Siada, at almost 15 months, is probably pretty close to being done though. Her weight has stalled out at just under 9lbs. She will likely continue to fill out a bit, but I think she will continue to be the very leggy, yet petite princess that we have today. Layla is still growing a bit and at 8lbs is almost Siada's weight. She is so muscular though, and doesn't have the lean Savannah build that Siada shows off so well, but she is a powerhouse when it comes to leaping.
Malik, well, I am pretty sure Malik will surpass Nimar's size. At 18 weeks when we got Nimar, he weighted 4.5lbs. In less than two weeks, he was 5.5lbs and continued to grow for three years hitting his peak at 21lbs (he was up to 23lbs at one point, but was a bit, um, fluffy at that weight). People actually thought he weighted a lot more than he actually did, because he was so tall (something not uncommon with perception of size in Savannahs). Malik though, he is getting big. In about two more days he will outweigh Reeses...
I sometimes wonder if Nimar did not have the best diet as a baby. He, in theory, should have weighed more when we got him, though he did not seem too thin nor malnourished. Malik was raised on raw food with a good supplement, and he continues that as well as quality cat food (I will talk at length about diet in another post). He can shovel in the food like crazy and it is hard to keep up with him! You can see below that he is almost the size of Layla (who is well over 8lbs), even though he does not yet have her muscle mass. He is very nearly her height as well.
Someone unfamiliar with Savannahs recently asked me if I was sure Malik was really a first generation (because I keep posting pics of him cuddling with me). One look at him and you can see the serval traits like crazy. Those ears, the coat, the size! Yup, my little mostly-serval is absolutely what he is (and that is mostly a huge pain in my rump, lol).
I have a chart at home with weights for the cats over the last few months, mostly because I am tracking the weight of our older girls as they start to have old-cat problems. I might need to make a graph of Malik's growth just for fun ;-)
Of course this whole post reminds me of the meme that people love to share to my wall (and that is ok, as I laugh every time I see it).
It is really amazing how relatively easy it is to travel with these Savannahs. They absolutely love the new crates ( https://themerryrosette.weebly.com/blog/camping-crates ), and often settle right in for the ride with little fuss. I am able to take each of them out to clip their claws, give them some cuddle time, or toss one at the litter box if they start doing the potty dance in the crate, but for the most part, they travel fantastically.
That is a good thing, as they have many adventures ahead of them! This weekend, we took a very long detour home from the Cabin so that friends' could meet them all (and get some serious kitton-fever as a result). Malik especially loved running through a new-to-him house, playing with all the cat toys that belong to the older resident Bengals. He was a terrible guest though, as he did manage to gobble up all of their food!
Layla took a few more minutes to adjust but also came out of her crate to play, explore, dash upstairs and turn off one of the kid's consoles in mid-battle in a video game (we heard the shouts and wails from one kid and giggles from the other and found out that Layla was just being Layla).
Siada waited till the other two opted to nap before strolling our and really looking around. It was hard to explain to her that, no, other people's kitchen counters are NOT the place for her princessness, so I had to keep her leashed. But she walked around, met people and gave her Siada kisses to those she found worthy.
We plan well for long trips in the car, after our experiences with Nimar. Cats do not want to mess their environment, so we have a litter box handy in the car if both of us are there to manage getting an impatient cat to it. We keep Siada and Layla on leashes inside the crates that way I can just open the door and let them stroll out to the potty as needed. For travel, I prefer to use Feline pine that is just in a short, but heavy metal lasagna pan, that has a liner in it, and is seated in a cardboard box. I keep a bag of supplies handy to quickly deal with messes. The bag contains a clean-up kit with things like paper towels, trash bags, 2 gallon ziploc bags, additional litter liners, a ziploc of extra litter, and some baby friendly handy wipes. I am a pro at removing old litter and immediately replacing it in the event someone has a back-end explosion on the road (which Layla did given the length of this trip). Unfortunately, as I was dealing with her mess, I missed the signs of Malik pacing and the poor little guy did his business on the cushion in his crate. No big deal, as I have extra bags and was able to seal off that toxic waste before he could step in it (and the cushions are totally washable).
This weekend had much excitement as we took all three Savannah's camping with us. It was just a one-night trip to see if we actually could survive being locked up with them all in the RV. We did survive, though Siada and Malik were literally climbing the walls in there. It was Layla's first trip out camping, and she is our cautious kitty, so it took her a little longer to get settled, but then she seemed to be quite happy doing her thing in the camper.
There were certainly times when we were tripping over kittons, but the RV we have currently does have space for a couple of litter boxes and with the top bunk they can go vertical if they want. There is a hallway for playing fetch and they all absolutely love to look out the many windows. They also loved that so many people came in to meet them. I really am just overjoyed at how social this whole crew is. None of them are people-shy at all.
And that is actually one of the things that has me so overjoyed right now. When we got Nimar, he spent quite some time hiding. We would have to lure him out with toys and food. He eventually became our constant companion, always following us through the house and monitoring our activities. I believe I have mentioned before though that he was never one to cuddle. Malik, on the other hand, never hid from us, and will purr and give headbutts, and this weekend I got the best late-birthday-present of all. He cuddled me. He actually chose to curl up on me and nap. Not once, but twice!!! He even calmed down enough in the RV for Layla to cuddle him! (The girls love to play chase and other games with him, but he keeps trying to jump on them and ride them around like horses, and they don't much love that so there have not been many opportunities for him to get loving from these very affectional gals.)
We are trying to train our kittons to be Camping Kittons. Siada made three trips last year and was not in the slightest bit phased by her outings in the RV. She loved to climb around in it, and enjoyed her campground walks. We got Layla after camping season was over, so she has not been out yet, but we did use this past weekend as an opportunity to take out Malik. The three of them are still separated at night, so tossing them all in an enclosed space and expecting them to totally behave was likely not in our best interest in terms of sleep. We also used this as an opportunity to further bond with Malik.
I think it is save to say that he loved it. He also climbed all over the RV, tossed his toys around and had his first experiences walking on a leash. I wish I could say that I have some wonderful magical advice about how we acclimated our cats to the camping experience, but the fact is, they just came to us as fearless, adventurous critters. Malik also had his first opportunity to socialize with other people, and he had no issues just hopping up on laps or bouncing around people to play with them.
While folks were checking out the camper and our new baby kitton, several remarked on the new crate that we had for traveling with Malik. I initially got one for Siada, who has long since outgrown the very small hard-side kitton crate in which she was delivered to us. But after seeing these in person, I ordered two more in the other available colors. They are sturdy canvas and have the top and three sides in mesh (with doors that cover the mesh as well). We got the medium-large size with should be all Siada and Layla ever need, and even when Malik is full grown it should be comfortable for short rides.
Each crate also has a plush pillow/bed in it, as well as straps for carrying and clips that can be used to secure the crate in a car by using the seat belt. There is even the option of getting a folding stroller that holds the crate! (We did not yet get one of those, but I bet at some point we will!) One of the best features is that the crates very easily collapse (they use a spring bar technology for the top rails). This is perfect for traveling with all three of them, because once we get to our destination we can just pop the top rails and fold the crates flat. There is also a pocket on one end where we can store the harnesses and leashes when not in use.
There was no whining and bellowing when the cats were placed in these crates. I am not sure if this is due to them being roomier, or that they have enough visibility that they don't feel crated, or if they are just are coming to terms with the fact that yes, at some point during each trip, they will, in fact, be shoved in a crate.
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.