We very recently said farewell to our adorable little deaf gal, Reeses deBuggg.
She was adopted almost 15 years ago from Rude Ranch. She was taken in by a rescuer with several other ferals, but her personality, along with her super soft bunny fur, meant the BigMan would cave in to her grumpy little self and bring her home (even when he was supposedly NOT looking for another cat).
Even at a petite 6lbs, she was the one none of the other cats would mess with. Even Nimar swung a wide path around her if she leveled her tortietude stare in his direction.
She was also my sweet little lap cat when I played video games, and was Isis’s dearest companion.
For about 2 years now, kidney disease has been becoming more a problem for her, but she still kept on doing her thing in her own cute way. This summer a host of other issues crept up, including Horner's Syndrome and then earlier this month she lost most of the function in her hind legs. Eventually, she was just ready to go.
I hugged her right before I left town to visit my dad in the hospital, because I knew there was a chance she would not be home when I came back. I am broken hearted now, especially for the BigMan and the Isis who has need her constant companion for nearly 15 years.
There is never, ever enough time with our beloved furry companions.
The month started off with the Isisaversary! Yes, 16 years ago, a black kitton that looked a bit like a cartoon bat, followed the BigMan home from a cat show. This event was celebrated with an extra helping of her special food and an adorable little Kong rhino, that she now puts neatly on her plate after each meal.
This past weekend heralded Reeses deBuggg's 17th Birthday! Funny thing is that this girl looks exactly as she did the day she was was adopted. Very little has changed about her grumpy petite self. Her celebration was a trio of wicker balls with bells in them (she still loves to bat balls around), and an extra helping of her kidney food.
And as for what is coming next? Ms. Siada's birthday is tomorrow! We will be celebrating in style this weekend (pics will definitely happen). And as for how she is doing? Well, she was cleared by the doctor to start running and playing again. Now I just need to convince her that that still means no leaps off the fridge for awhile!
Things are not so bad right now in Kittonland. Isis is continuing to regain weight, which means that her meds and foods are helping deal with the lymphoma. She and Reeses now have a quiet space to hang out, look out the windows, sleep and not have Malik eat all their toys during the day. They look forward to us coming home from work so that they can get social time, but are pretty much ready to go back to the private suite at bedtime. I initially had great guilt about setting up the house like this, but they actually seem to prefer it, so all is well.
Siada had her two-week post-op check up last week. She is doing great, and everything is healing up well. She now gets to take 2 five minute walks a day (under strict supervision) and gets cuddle time with Papa. I think that is the thing that makes her most happy!
And then there is the knuckle head brigade. Malik and Layla pretty much act like little furry hurricanes that barrel through the house at random intervals. They knock over furniture, steal potatoes and crackers, and generally drive me nuts, but I love them. Layla Squashin, as you can see below, is still a very real event in our house, and even Isis gets her turn at the Squashin (I think she likes it less than Layla does, lol).
I am delighted to find out that my Savannah Scams page on this site has really taken off. I have now gotten several emails from folks regarding it, and how it helped them avoid scams (or emailing me to see if I think something is a scam). I will be posting more updates there this week.
I hope everyone is having a good 2019 so far!
Well, despite some unwelcome issues with our geriatric feline friends, the holiday season was mostly peaceful.
Reeses had a few out-of-litterbox incidents, which I initially thought was progression of her kidney disease (she is stage 3 CKD), but it turns out it was a UTI. We got her treated and she is back to being her excellent self (and is still holding her own against the CKD).
Isis, as I mentioned last month, has been dropping weight, barfing more than usual and has been exploding in the litterbox multiple times a day. She was referred from our regular vet to a specialist (who fortunately was also Nimar's doc), and is now being treated for small-cell Lymphoma. She is on special food and some medications and in just three weeks has gained a half pound! I am so very happy about that. Also, no more barfing and all else is also now functioning normally. For a 16+ year old lady, this is really good news. Her appetite and energy are great and she can even jump on the bed again without using the cat stairs. I have to count all of this as a blessing.
On the Kitton Front, Siada went in this morning for surgery on her other knee. The first one has healed fantastically, but the left knee is now much worse than it was on initial diagnosis (it slips out regularly), so we are getting that taken care of now. Of course, that means I am a total stress case today, but she is a Champion, and should be fully recovered in time for camping season.
And what about the rest of the crew? Well, I can say that the Kittons had a great holiday playing with their new Ripple Rug that Santa brought them. This thing is probably the best $40 I ever spent on a cat toy. The three Savannah's love darting in and out of it, rolling in it, and beating each other up on it. I think Layla even declared it the BEST DAY EVER when they unwrapped it!
And this is take two for this post because I just lost every bit of the lengthy piece I already typed up. Needless to say, this will now be much shorter and far less eloquent.
Siada blew her knee out (the one that had surgery) Sunday night. Not even sure how she did it. She was in her stroller, jumped about something and then was all wonked out after that. We gave her time to sort it out (prior to surgery she could stretch her leg and reseat it), but come Monday it was no better so off to the ER we went.
There was a steady stream of critical cases right after us that had priority (which is fine as I know Nimar was that critical case more than once and others got bumped down the list in his favor). After several hours of waiting, Siada was sitting on her Papa and leapt off. She landed wrong, which ended up "fixing" her knee. She proudly paraded (with a slight limp) around the facility after that. I guess not many people are used to seeing a princess kitton on a leash, based on the stares she got. We opted to return home rather that continue to wait at that point.
The next morning Papa called the surgeon and they said that if she was walking and the kneecap was in its proper spot that we could just wait till our appointment Friday to take her in. Yes, the girl made it almost the whole 8 weeks with zero issues and had to blow it at the very last moment!
As it was, Friday was a very exciting day for all of the kittons as they got to go visit the dentist. Not their dentist, but ours. We have seen the same dentist since before Nimar, and he knew someone at one time who had a pet serval so was always asking about Nimar and then his successors. He wanted to meet them and even blocked off time on the schedule for the kittons to visit him and staff (and his wife who came over as well to meet them). They had a wonderful time climbing all over the waiting room, eating the Christmas decor and making new friends. It was a bit of a shock though, I think, to the elderly client who arrived just as we were about to leave. I don't think he was expecting to see a giant Malik sitting there!
After that we went to the appointment with Siada's surgeon. Her x-rays were great and her luxation is reduced from a Grade 4 to Grade 1 and that might further improve once she uses the leg more and regains strength.
She gets lots of free time now, but is still heavily watched and is not allowed to do anything drastic for the next month. I don't think she was listening to any of that part because she tried to lead the Savannah 500 Friday night at the cabin. I wanted to get really cute photos of them all playing together this weekend, but, alas, they were all too excited to sit still for it and all I got was the blurry one I used with this post.
Now for the less pleasant news. The old gals, Isis and Reeses, had their senior appointment this past Wednesday. For having Stage 3 kidney failure, Reeses is still doing pretty good. Her numbers are up a little and she had a UTI (which has since been treated) but for a 16 year old lady, she is doing alright. She still has a great appetite and can still jump on the counters with no issues.
Isis, on the other hand, has been losing weight. She also still eats really well, and is happy to see us come home from work, and joins the Savannah parade that follows me from room to room, but her white cell count is up and she clearly has digestive issues. We have some special food for her and now have an appointment with Nimar's specialist. I have been worried about this girl a lot, lately, and am reminded that old cats will break your heart at some point. I am hoping that this appointment will give us some good forward direction for her continued care. Please keep the beautiful lady in your thoughts.
Cats have such diverse personalities that I am always amused that they seem to have a solid reputation as being aloof, or only wanting to be around people when they need fed. Every cat in my life has been different. They are different in their needs for interaction with both the people and with each other.
Isis and Reeses are well bonded to each other. I actually worry about the day we lose one of them, because I think the other will be quite forlorn (they had no interest in Nimar or the new Savannah clowder). They come to you on occasion for petting and purring, but are not as needful of people time as any of the Savannahs.
Siada is interesting. She loves having Layla as a playmate, but is possibly the most solidly "people oriented" cat I have ever met. She wants her people time, all the time. She likes to play chase with me as much as she does the other cats (maybe even more) and she plays very rough so they can try to avoid her when she gets amped up. Her quarantine for recovery from surgery has been very hard on her in this respect, but now that the incision is healed, we are giving her lots of lap time.
Malik and Layla on the other hand, HAVE to have companionship. It really doesn't matter who it is with, but neither of them like to be alone. For example, I was deveining shrimp last night and had to lock Malik in the back of the house because I would be fighting him off and likely losing half the shrimp. The old gals were in a room alone so they could eat their dinner in piece and Siada was still in quarantine till after we ate dinner. This meant Layla was running around the house with no cats, and Malik was in the back with no cats. It sounded for all the world like Malik was trying to rip the toilet off the wall while he wailed, whined and howled to get out.
Layla, on the other hand was running around as if possessed and slamming into the three doors where they other cats were (even the old cats, who she really has little interaction with). I eventually managed to catch her and toss her into confinement with Malik and I cooked (and we ate) in peace.
When we were first looking at getting Malik I had even said that we should get our boy sooner, rather than later, because Siada having surgery (which we knew was coming) would be hard on Layla. I had no idea at the time how correct that statement was.
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.