Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Well, friends, all that exercise does leave a body quite thirsty! The human doesn't call it exercise though. She really laughs when she puts an s in front of that word, cuz she says that's what I was doing. She even calls it my dirty weekend. Honestly! There's nothing dirty about, about, well, about the things that I was doing that a good ladycat doesn't talk about!

As you might have gathered, I'm home! The human came and got me very late Monday night so I couldn't write then, and yesterday Blogger wouldn't let her upload posts for some reason, so I'm sorry you've had to wait. Oh, I've missed you all so, so much! And I see my human has been causing mischief on here while I've been away. I've lost a commenter through it and everything. I've scolded her soundly, but she's asked me to reitterate to all involved that she really wasn't seeking to offend anyone or belittle their concern for rescue cats. She apologises all over again if it came across like she was doing that. I gave her a thwap just in case she did, whether she meant to or not! I also thwapped her for another reason, but I'll come to that in a minute. Let me tell you all about what happened.

It started innocently enough, well, innocent if you discount my mischief making. Do you remember us mentioning how disinterested I'd been in mancats this year? Except all of you out there, of course. Well, the human was watching and watching for the signs, so I thought I'd have a little fun with her. I started holding my tail a wee bit to one side. I gave her elevator bum when she stroked me. I even talked more to her and rolled around. I'd fooled her, and the very next day, she put me in the stinky PTU and took me to the house of a mancat. Except that it wasn't just one mancat! My friend lived with two other boys. They each had their own little house inside a bigger one. The human says that it was a big house divided into separate cat runs, all done so that everyone could see and talk to each other for company but not fight, but I say that my mancat owned his own house. It sounds better that way, doesn't it?

At the time, I didn't regard this upstart as my mancat, but just another idiot who wasn't going to milk and tuna me before he had his way! Every time he came close I spat at him and chased him off. I even thwapped him! The human left me there for two days, but I wasn't having any of it, and now that I'd had my fun with her, I wasn't holding my tail to one side or sticking my bum up either. She came to get me.

Now, as many of you will know, mancats who still have their manbits are very, very stinky. They spray a lot so that we ladycats can smell where they are and know they're interested in us. There were three boys in that house, and although they each had their own houses, I could still smell their stink. When I was at the show the week before, I was penned between two mancats who also made a stink for me. All that smell got me to thinking. I could have my pick of five boys, even though the one the human had chosen for me was the nicest. Five were interested in me. Wouldn't it be fun to make the other two that lived with my mancat jealous? If I was interested in him, wouldn't it make the other two work harder to get me, only to be disappointed? That's the way it should be, of course. Cat fans are just as important as judge fans! So, I set to work. I had a good bath (of my own design, not the human's). I made sure that I was extra floofy. Then I waited until Thursday night when the human was already super tired and needed a sleep before I showed my interest. I did this by making my own wee stink. I'm not as ill mannered as a mancat, so I only did this in my box. This had little effect on the sleeping human other than to make her mutter something about cystitis and a trip to the vet peoples. That was the last thing I wanted, so I upped my game. About once every second, I jumped on the bed, woke the human by shouting at her, then walked right across her and jumped down again. I was expecting her to jump up straight away and get me back to that mancat who I wanted badly now, but she slept on! It was only the next morning that she realised I was all the way interested, and even then, she didn't do the honourable thing and get me back up there.

The human says that you should always wait until the second or third day of a ladycat's interest, cuz that's when it's at its peak and she's most likely to let a strange male do the business. She made me wait, but I was so frantic that she didn't get hardly a wink of slepe Friday night. I even kept Dogman awake, and he was in another room with the door closed! It paid off though. First thing Saturday morning, I was put back in the PTU and taken to see my mancat. I was so desperate to get there that I didn't even sing on the way, except to call for him, of course.

But friends, when I got back, I had to put on a show. No self respecting ladycat would go willingly to a mancat, as he'd think he'd caught her too easily. In order to be appreciated, you must make them chase you and work hard, hard, hard to get you. It keeps their interest. So when he started to talk to me and be nice, when he came for a sniff and to make friends, I spat full in his face, then went right past him into his house, ate his food and did my own smelly spray right over his in his box. I was telling him that I was boss, and he'd better remember! The people that he owns said that he's very quick to get girls, and that he was already pacing behind me just waiting for his chance. When I heard this, I turned round quicker than you can say catnip and thwapped him good!

Even after the human left I continued this behaviour. It was worrying his people, and she said she didn't think i'd ever manage to be caught, but I knew better. Later that evening, when he was practically begging me to make friends and the other two boys were drooling with jealousy, I went in the box just to make it mine again, and when I came out, I allowed him to catch me. I put up a fight just to keep up the facade. I pretended I didn't see him sneaking up behind me, and when he got me, I struggled. He's much bigger than me though, so even if I hadn't wanted to be caught, I'd have had a hard time getting away. I'd positioned myself so that the other boys could watch and go green with envy that their friend had got such a catch, and then I let him get on with it.

Well, all that posturing worked, let me tell you. To say he appreciated me would be a grosse understatement. I also don't mind admitting that I appreciated him too. I did so several times over the next few days, actually, so many that I lost count. At one point we were just doing it for the fun of it. The people that he owns told the human she didn't think we were doing it for real cuz I didn't scream or roll, two classic signs that mating has been successful, but I just lay there and enjoyed it for a full ten minutes while they talked on the phone. i'm not telling whether it was for real or not, but when we were done, we both washed up as though it were. The human's friends say that some of their cats never screamed either, so who knows! I just didn't want to waste energy on screaming that time. What's the point when I could save it for some more appreciation? I did scream quite a few times when he was finished, partly to make sure the human knew that there were successful matings, but mostly because that pig of a mancat was leaving me after he'd had his jollies when I wasn't ready for it to be done yet! On the bright side though, he didn't stay away for too long.

When the human came to get me, she said I'd lost weight, and the other people told her that was normal after all the exercise I'd been getting. I stuffed my face when I got home, but not before I thwapped that human. When she came to get me, I wasn't quite done with my fun. She'd asked the people to separate us earlier that morning. She says that if you allow cats to mate for more than two days, it makes prediction of the date of kittening very difficult and this could lead to dangers for me if babies are left inside for too long, or if they're removed too early due to mis-calculation. She didn't come for me until that evening, so all that day I could see my mancat, but couldn't get to him. I called and called. He called and called, but that heartless people wouldn't let us together. When the human came, she took my mancat out for a cuddle and to say thank you. She put him down on his bed, and I sprang at the chance. That was a bit I could get to, so I jumped up beside him. This was to see him and make a fuss of the human, who I actuallly kinda missed. He showed her just how much he loved me. he was washing my face and everything while the human cuddled us both. The people says I was one of his favourite girls. He usually gets bored and won't do any more exercise after two days exactly, but not so with me! In fact, the human says if she hadn't been quick, we'd have mated again while she was there!

So when she put me in that horrid PTU, when she took me out of his house and put me in the car, I was less than pleased. I huffed the whole way home with her. I wouldn't speak to her. I didn't even sleep with her that night. I thwapped her to tell her that I wanted my mancat back, but she wasn't having any of it.

But friends, romance is short lived. The next morning, I crawled up in her lap for a cuddle. Mancats might be for weekends, but humans are a lifelong responsibility, and I made sure to tell her that I forgave her. I've been snuggling her ever since, oh, and washing the mancat wee smell off me. Even though he didn't wee on me, just being in his home made my furr all stink! The human encourages this. She says she'll give me a bath, but not yet. Not for a few days until I'm totally comfortable at home again. She says she might not even do it if I wash up good, cuz she doesn't want to stress me at all while I might be carrying babies in my tummy.

To answer a question, I don't know yet, Clowder. It will take three weeks from the first day of mating before I show any signs, and even then, the human may not be able to tell, which will necessitate a trip to the vet. My nipples will get larger and turn a very rosey pink colour, and the hair around them will thin out a bit. The human says the waiting is killing her. I'm not bothered though. We cats know the merrits of living each day for itself, do we not? And on the bright side, if there aren't any babies there, I can go back and see my lovely mancat again!

I will keep you updated on any progress made, have no fear!

To end, I would like to extend my well wishes to Paula, and my sorrow at losing a dear friend, Sweet Praline
She was one of the sweetest friends on the CB. If you haven't already done so, please stop by and let her know how much she was loved. Me and the human know she will be happier now, in no more pain, but it doesn't make dicisions here on earth any easier. We both send Paula as much strength and love as we can muster... And that's a lot! Sweet Praline was a true tortie right to the end, spitting at the vet people as he helped her pass peacefully with the needle. What a show of tortitude! I am proud to share colours with her!

Until next time, friends. Remind your peoples where that tuna is!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Further Update: Contraversy?

Friends, it's the human here again. I'm sorry it's been a while since I last wrote, but to be honest, I'd been putting it off as I didn't quite know how to respond to some of the comments left on the blog in a way that would get my point across without offending readers or making me seem too defensive. I wish to do neither. After Clowder succinctly summed up some of my thoughts this morning, I figured it was time to get back into writing again, regardless of whether or not I could handle the responses. Avoiding something doesn't make it go away, after all.

I won't say much to answer the comments left, as I feel that Clowder has already done that, but what I will say is that while I understand why some of you feel as you do, I'm going to highlight that I may actually be doing something good for cats. Let me explain. Please don't think that I don't appreciate the validity of your concerns. I agree that there are rescue cats needing homes, but...

For years, Persians have suffered with very severe, crippling health problems. Many have respiratory issues. Lots have trouble with something called tongue tipping which, in its more acute stages, is so desperate that the cat's tongue is constantly hanging out of its mouth because there physically isn't space for it in there. Many have incredibly leaky eyes because of their flat faces. The extreme types often need help to suckle from mum due to their face being too flat to latch on propperly.

Tia has none of these problems, and actually has what is termed as a doll face, or open type. While her nose is a tad too long for a true Persian, her facial structure means that she doesn't have any of the associated problems I've just spoken about. While she doesn't do as well as most Persians on the show bench, she has something to give to new kittens. Again, let me explain.

The typical Persian nose should have a break or stop at the end. This means that rather than rolling off at the tip in a smoothe curve, it should have a definite end point and be flat, rather like a little piggy's nose. Over the years, breeders have worked very hard to achieve this, but in the process, the nose has gotten shorter and shorter, and it is this rather than the stop at the end that causes the health problems.

A Persian's cheeks should also be very full, and are often described as apple cheeks. Again, breeders have worked hard to achieve this in their kittens, but as the cheeks broadened, so did the jaw, and this combined with a flat nose meant that the whole face changed shape so that the jaw and mouth became flat.

I thought long and hard about the boys that I considered for mating. Every one that she's gone to have been extremely typey, that is to say, flat faces, tiny noses. Why? Because by combining Tia's too long nose with a short one with a definite stop, genetics show that I am likely to end up with kittens who have a nose in between, who will most likely inherrit the stop at the end. This is perfect as it will mean a Persian with no health problems, but who conforms to the correct type that a Persian should. By breeding a doll face to an extreme boy, again we should get something in between, so we should have the massive apple cheeks but with a jaw which isn't so squashed, meaning that kittens can suckle and adults can pick up their food easier. Tia's eyes don't run a lot because of her face shape, and a kitten with a longer nose and a better face may avoid this problem also.

From this mating, I hope to establish a bloodline of kittens which are of superb Persian type, but without any of the problems that currently plague the cats who have been made this way by man's striving for a perfection which brings flaws by its very nature. Should I not do this because there's a cat somewhere in a rescue that wants a home? Should I limit myself through guilt even though I could make a massive difference to the lives of so many kittens? Or should I breed a line of cats that can be shown, still achieve titles and show status and consequently be highly desirable to other breeders who will breed from them and hopefully perpetuate the desirable traits in not only show kittens, but many, many pet ones as well? Should I let the people who are already on my waiting list, and others who are yet to come, go to another pedigree breeder and pick up a kitten with more health problems, or who may not have been as well loved as mine have been? When someone has decided they want a pedigree cat, very few of them will go to a rescue just because someone tells them they should, so my stopping will not achieve a thing. Yes, I've heard the arguments. If every breeder stopped, then we wouldn't have this problem. But let me pose two things against that. Firstly, every breeder will never stop, so by limiting one with good intentions, you limit improvements to a breed which will continue to exist because of customer demand (the hypothetical YOU here). Secondly, we actually need stray cats. There is a small island in the UK who ran a massive spay and neuter drive which was successful. Too successful in fact. They had no more strays, no unwanted kittens produced... And a massive rodent problem. This got so bad that they actually imported many ferals from the mainland to repopulate the island to keep it under control. So while it's not pretty, and doesn't sit easy with me to think of so many cats out there in the cold with hungry bellies, there is a need for them.

There, see? I told you I'd sound defensive, and that's not what I meant to do! I must leave the answering of the above questions and the thoughts on the last part to you, dear reader, and hope that you don't burn me at the stake for my herosy! Let me end my rant on one final note. I know that the CB has had at least one breeder of cats before who was well liked and well supported, and I know also that I would like to be received with the same open arms as she was. I hope that my reasons for breeding, having now been explained, are enough for those who worry so that they will be able to welcome my kittens with open arms and share the joy with me as they are born and grow. Please don't think I'm having a go at any commenter who expressed concerns. I'm not at all, which is why it took me so long to decide to post as I didn't want it coming across that way.

Now, on to other things. Tia's first trip out to stud was unsuccessful, but not because the boy wasn't interested. Madam just didn't come into full call, so I went to pick her up on Tuesday night. On Thursday evening, I took her into the bedroom with me, and took a litterbox in too so that I could shut my door and watch TV without keeping Dogman (he's staying with us over easter) awake. I took the cover off it though, as she's still got this problem of lying on top of it, and I'm still working to discourage her.

She seemed very unsettled all night, and made so many trips to the box that I was on the verge of making a very panicky call to my vet to demand she get out of bed and come treat my cat for a probable bladder blockage! However, she didn't seem in pain, wasn't squatting to try and wee anywhere else, and was happy in herself. I left her till the morning.

When I get up, the first thing I do is go and give miss Tia some good morning lovin', and she, it seemed was in the mood to give some back! As soon as I touched her back end, we had a terrible, prolonged case of elevator bum with the tail over to one side. So the mystery was solved. She didn't have cystitis, she was in call.

Many unspayed females spray when they reach sexual maturity. Tia has manners, and will only do this in her box, but only when the cover is on. As soon as I put it back in the morning, she went and liberally anointed both with what I call hormonal pee because it stinks so badly.

One should always leave a cat until she is in her second day of calling before bringing her to stud, so it wasn't until yesterday morning that I whipped her off for her dirty weekend! I wasn't hopeful, mind. She's been out quite a bit now, and has never let any boy near her, but then she'd not long left this particular man, so shouldn't have the same settling in stress. Indeed, as soon as I let her out of the carrier, she went for a sniff, and ate some of his food. Then she was straight in his tray for a spray, which was good on my end because it let the man know in no uncertain terms that she was in call. The owner said that usually he has her girls mated before she can fully set them down, and he started to pace Tia right away, waiting for his chance. But true to form, she wasn't having any of it, and spat at everything and everyone whenever she got close. Even me when I picked her up! So I got on the floor with the pair of them, and every time she ran to hide, I picked her back up, put her on my knee so that she was higher than him (this helps them feel more secure), and rubbed and rubbed the base of her tail. This gives them some relief when they're calling, and they like it a lot. Gradually, she began to associate seeing him with a pleasurable experience. She's always very wary of her back end being touched at all when she's at stud, and I didn't think I'd totally broken it yesterday.

When I left her, she was still spitting at him, but was also eating again, a sure sign that she wasn't stressed. I didn't think much would happen given her attitude problem, but the owner said she'd call me as soon as something happened.

Well, I waited and waited and forced myself to wait some more. I knew no news wasn't good news in this case, and I was too disheartened to phone her myself for my usual daily update, as I knew what she was going to say. Shortly after 8 last night, she rang me, and I figured that she wanted to get the worst off her chest.

Well, was it the worst thing that could have happened? Only you, dear reader, can decide. But I tell you something, I am very, very pleased to report that at 8 PM last night, miss Tia was mated for the first time! The poor boy had to grab her just as she came out of the litterbox because this was the only time he could get near enough to get hold of her. But he did it! The owner says that now that she's been mated once, she shouldnt' be so resistant to it any more. Tia will stay with the boy for two days, as this is how long he'll mate her for. They will do this quite a few times over the next little while. Well, they will if Tia doesn't continue to be a little monster!

So there you have it, my eggsellent news for today! See what I did there? Yeah, bad, I know, but we needed an egg reference in there somewhere!

Let me end by wishing you all a very happy and healthy easter. This year more than any other signifies the possibility of new life for me, and I can only hope that her little easter eggs are as fertile as the male's half of the equasion. Watch this space!

PS: Any and all comments welcome, even if they are only to tell me to stop being an idiot for being so defensive!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Quick Update

Quick Update

Hi there. The human here. I just wanted to give you an update on Tia, and why we haven't written for a while.

Tia, once again, is off to stud! I don't know if she was propperly in call, but it's the closest she'd gotten all year since her last one at Christmas, so hoping that aux the stud wee would help her on the way, I whipped her off to her man friend. As we've moved house, this was a new boy that she's gone to, as the old one was too far away. His set-up is lovely. He lives with two other boys, all separated of course, but in plain sight of each other for company, and all three have gorgeous indoor quarters. I wouldn't have minded living there myself they were so nice! She, of course, did her typical tortitude thing and spent most of her time hissing and spitting at the boy, but seemed to settle down quickly enough, well, stress-wise anyway. She had been reluctant to explore her surroundings, even though the sweet talking lad was doing everything in his power to coax her down. He brought her a catnip toy (no joke!) and then when she was reluctant to play, he lay below her on her perch on the scratching post, and rolled around so much that the owner actually thought it was her after mating!His coaxing didn't work though, that is until this morning. When they were allowed to run together again, she waltzed into his run as soon as his door was opened, and tucked straight into his food.

Neither me nor the owner are quite sure that she's in call yet, but we're hoping that she'll let him mate her today. Fingers crossed, all of you! We may have kittens soon!

I'll write more either as soon as I have anything exciting to tell, or as soon as Tia's home, as I'm sure you'd rather read her chatter than mine anyway! Have a great day all of you. Mine will involve a major de-furring effort while she's away. My sofas may just be hair free for an hour or two. Oh, the luxury!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Kitten Bananza

Friends, thank you so much for all stopping by yesterday to give me congratulations. Those were far better than any pretty ribbon I won on the day!

I promised you kitten updates, so that's what you're gonna get today. I'm sorry to say that this means I'll have to hand over a lot of the post to my human, as she was there and I wasn't. All I know is that I spent a restful day on Sunday catching up on the napping I'd missed the day before, and then on Monday morning, she got up, packed my PTU full of good things like ping pong balls and food, and left! I'll hand the rest of today over to her to tell you what happened, while I do exactly what I did all day Sunday! Happy napping, friends.

The Human's Story

I've been friends with a lady who lives close-ish to my mum's for quite a few months now, and I thought that as I was in London anyway, it would be a good chance for us to meet up. i wasn't motivated at all by the fact that she had six very cute five-week old kittens in her bedroom, I promise! We're both breeders, me of Persians and she of Burmese, but she's been doing this for many years, whereas I'm still waiting for my first litter, so she's sort of a mentor to me as well as a friend. I had some things to bring for her too, so the trip was convenient enough that it was perfect! I'd bought kitten food last year when I suspected tia was pregnant, but hadn't used it and it was about to go off. I'd also bought a big bag of a premium quality dried food that I wanted to shift Tia onto. She loved it, but it was making her vomit. This lady's cats all eat that particular food, so she got that as well. Then there were books to swap, and things like coloidal silver for bathing eyes and wounds that no breeder can be without... In short, I brought quite the bag of goodies, and left with the same when the visit was over!

It took quite a long time to get there on the trains, but boy was it worth it. when I finally got to her house, I didn't really know what to expect. She has Bengals and Burmese, not the calmest of cats in the universe, so I suspected I'd be attacked, used as a climbing post, stalked etc. nothing could be further from the truth. The cats were so well socialised that they simply came and climbed all over me for a fuss. I was surprised to say the least!

But on to more important stuff. you're really only reading to find out about the kittens, aren't you? Well, as I've said, there were6 in total, all of them boys, and most of them very squeaky and noisy. the mum was incredibly good with me handling them, and didn't seem upset in the slightest. They're just at the weaning and litter training stage, and while I was there, they took their first ever poo! Strange as it seems, I was as proud as if they were my own! Many people say that kittens scream when they poo for the first time, but this simply wasn't the case with this lot. They certainly announced to the world that they'd done one, but that was about all. This was something I'd worried about. I don't like hearing animals in distress, even less so little baby ones, and I wondered how I'd know the difference in real distress and first time poop distress. Seems this won't be a problem though.

Do you remember when they were first born that we thought the smallest wouldn't survive? Well, he has, thanks to diligent feeding by the owner. At five weeks old, they are mostly still suckling from mum, but the smallest still needs topping up. The owner has been so good at feeding that the baby is now heavier than his naturally fed smallest brother, so she's taken on the task of bumping him up too. That was my job on Monday. I'd never syringe fed before, and the lady is determined to teach me all she can before I get my own litter of kittens.

So off we went, squealing kitten in hand, to draw up some KMR (kitten milk replacer) and feed. It's easier to wrap a baby in a towel to do this so that waving paws are contained and can't grab hold of the syringe or the teat. These little ones were still small enough that a facecloth was big enough to swallow them whole.

Feeding, while being simple, is still a little tricky. For one, you need to get the syringe and the teat parallel to their mouths. Ideally, the teat should sit between the two front teeth. I say ideal because you never achieve this, not when the baby is moving his head from side to side trying to get more milk at once. you need to trickle feed them to prevent choking, but they're so greedy and desperate for the food that they feel this isn't enough. The second little lad was even chewing his teat to try and get more. I can only shudder to think what those teeth do to poor mum's nipples, and think it's no wonder she won't let him feed as readily as the others. he was really desperate for his feed though, so it's a good thing that he's being topped up. he almost swallowed his teat through managing to chew it off the syringe!

Feeding doesn't really take all that long. About five minutes was all that was needed for each kitten. They do suckle on mum for much longer, but seeing how quickly they drink, i suspect this is for comfort rather than anything else. I had a cuddle of two of the boys for a time after that while we talked about things in general. It's amazing how those little creatures seek out a warm spot and then curl up so trustingly. both preferred to sleep on the bare skin right on the top of my elbow, sort of in the crook of my arm, but lying on my forearm. There's nothing quite like the feeling something so tiny can give just by the slight pressure of its 300 or so grams of weight, and the warmth that little body gives off as it snuggles against you. I've never experienced this before, but hope to many, many times in the future.

That's all I have on kittens, I'm afraid. Sharing their first poo, feeding, snuggling; i think I learned a lot in one day, and that not all practical. Here's to Tia coming into call soon, and here's to healthy, happy kittens for all of us.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

the big day

Well, friends, it seems as though I've not written anything for eleventy zillion and twelve years! I'm sorry about that, but I've had an incredibly busy few days. They've been so busy in fact thatI'll probably take another few to update you! Today though, I'm gonna concentrate on the show.

When I left you, I was busy partying cuz it was my fourth Birthday. Thank you to all of you who stopped by to wish me a happy day! It wasn't too bad actually, despite the necessity of being bundled into a PTU. But more on that later.

The student who we were talking about before came back on Friday to take the last photographs she needed for her big project with me as the star! Before, she'd taken the photos of me having my show bath, but this day, she wanted to see how a ladycat with as much floof as me is groomed for the big day. When she arrived, the human showed her how it was done, while she took photos with one hand, and stopped me walking through talc with the other. You see, talc is used in the floof of very long-haired cats to keep each hair beautifully separate from the ones next to it. This gives the coat a very full, floaty look, and as the human uses baby powder, it won't even hurt me if I lick some of it off. There were some other things to do too, like a final brush, comb, fluff, eye and ear clean, nail clip etc, but they were over fairly quickly. Then came the part I don't like.

Friends, the PTU might have been about twice as big as it needed to be, yes. It might have been wire at the top and front so that I could see out. It may have had slits in the side so that I could see my human, but does that mean I have to like it? I think not. As soon as the human put me in there, I started my singing, and when I sing, boy can I sing for a long time! This wasn't to be though. As soon as they got in the car, the human took me out for a cuddle.

Now, I must admit to having trained my human that when we travel on trains together, she must give me my own seat. I expect this in a car too, so I fidgetted and thrashed in the human's lap. However, the car was small, so it was either sit on her knee or go back inside the PTU. I didn't want to do either, so ended up settling down squished between her fat leg and the PTU side. I did try and escape onto the floor and under the seats a few times, but that heartless wench said I couldn't go there cuz I'd get my beautiful floof all dirty and dusty. A ladycat needs her space, for goodness sake!

The drive wasn't too long, but when I got to the end, relief was short-lived. I was put back in the PTU and taken to a house that I'd never been in before. The human says this is the HG's house, but she didn't warn me that when I went through the door I'd find... Mr Big! I don't like him. Well, that's not true. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that he scares the brown stuff that a ladycat never talks about out of me. Why? He's never done anything to me except try and be my friend, but I have my reasons, and I don't care whether peoplekind understands them or not! There was also a stranger there. I went very, very quiet in my PTU, thinking that if I was very quiet, they wouldn't notice me. It must have worked, cuz a few minutes later, the human took my PTU upstairs to the bedroom we'd be using, and this before either of the peoples had managed to do something horrid like eat me up for lunch!

When I got parole from prison, there was already a litterbox and food and water down for me. The human gave me a cuddle, then left me alone to settle in and scope out my new territory. There was a lot of snoopervising to do. The room itself was pretty boring; a floor, some boxes, a bed to lie on, but it had an easily accessible window sill! I sat there for hours, well, when I wasn't snoozing on the towels that were so thoughtfully left on the end of the bed for my convenience. I could hear the human's voice coming from the floor below, so I was comforted enough to catch a quick nap.

The next thing I knew, the HG was opening the door and coming to give me a cuddle. I'm still not sure about her, so I backed off a bit, but soon consented to allow her to snuggle the floof. She seemed to like it. Me? I'm not telling.

Turns out that me and my human weren't the only ones using the bedroom though. When it was bedtime, the strange ladypeople came up to sleep too. She's strange though. She didn't look at me, or talk to me, or do anything to coax me out from my hiding spot under the bed that I darted to when I first heard her come in. This was very strange. I watched her for a long time, but she didn't give any sign that she knew I was in the room. Thinking it safe, I slunk out from underneath, but she still ignored me. I then went to sit by her feet, but still, she carried on doing her own stuff. I'd never had this reaction before, so I jumped on the bed, a lot away from her, mind you. Still, nothing. I crept a little closer. I nudged her a teeny bit just to see if she was actually a real people or not. Then she smiled, tickled my head, and said something to my human along the lines of the fact that it's better to let a scared cat choose to come to you, and that if you ignored them, they tend to do it quicker and got comfortable more quickly. She has me here. I can't even say she's wrong! That night, I wasn't afraid to get on the big bed to go to sleep. Well, she can't be a threat when she's snoring!

The human feels the need to tell you here about her own culture. She says she doesn't want peoples readers to think she jumps into bed with everyone. In Irish culture, it's fine for friends to share a sleeping place. She says that in English culture, if they do this it usually means that something naughty is going on, but not so with the Irish! Myself, I don't know what the problem is. We cat's aren't too choosy about who we sleep with, and it doesn't mean something naughty is happening. I'm pleased to see that she takes a leaf out of our book. Perhaps there's hope for her yet!

Anyway, back to me. I'd hardly closed my eyes when an alarm went off, causing my human to bounce out of bed and start manically doing things. Ok, that's perhaps a bit of a lie. The HG came in to help get her up though. When I say help, I mean that she walked in like a zombie,, flopped on the end of the bed, and almost begged, "Do we have to do this?" My human grunted something back at her, and it must have helped, cuz shortly after that, she was up. There followed a flurry of activity. Litter trays, food, water, bowls, litter, blankets, disinfectant gel, comb and brush all had to be packed, so the HG ran off to look for a bag to put it all in. I had to be floofed, but I felt that I'd much rather hide under the bed in the most inaccessible corner which meant the human had to crawl under there, bang her head hard and say a lot of nasty rude words before she hauled me out under the tummy. Then she had to change her clothes cuz of all the floof that came off me. We left, but we were late in starting out, and when we did get there, the queue of peoples holding their cats was so, sooooo long! We must have waited easily about 45 minutes before the vet lady people checked me over to make sure I wasn't sick and couldn't spread anything to other cats. They have to do this before they let you into the show. The whole time while in line, I talked to my human and the HG, and the stranger ladypeople who had come with us, and I talked to some other cats further down the line who were talking too. We had to shout to make ourselves heard above the peoples nonsensical babble, but we managed. Do you know, they actually had the nerve to shush us!

The vet lady people was nice and told me that I was a wriggle bum, but a good girl. Then we were in. We found the pen set aside for me, and you know what? It was full of goodies! I got two different types of food and some new litter to try, and the human got a tiny chocolate easter bunny. The human and the HG took this all out though, and spread my fluffy white blanket on the base of the pen. Then in went my litter tray, my water bowl, some water, and finally, me!

On my first show, I was very scared, so the human had no trouble keeping me in the pen while she got out her brush and comb and did the final floofing grooming in the show hall, but this time I wanted to come out and see everything that was going on. It took a lot of time to floof me just right while stopping me from making a bid for freedom. There was a handsome gentleman cat either side of me too, so can you blame me for wanting to get a better look? Eventually though, I was all set. Just as well too, as judging started shortly afterwards, and the human had to leave.

I was one of the first cats judged, and I was very well behaved. The judge didn't like the shape of my face though. She said it was too triangular, and that I had too much nose, so I didn't get my gold card, the CC that I need to get closer to being a champion. I did get first place though! As soon as the human could come back, she was straight in to give me a cuddle, and by this point, I was so confident that I actually growled good and hard at her whenever she tried to put me back in my pen! She says I've never done this before. I had lots of cuddles with different peoples during the afternoon, and although I didn't purr for all of them, I was comfortable enough that I didn't cry and scramble to get back to my human like I did on my first show. As long as I could see her, I was Ok. I had a really, really long cuddle with one of them too. The human says that the peoples at this show were the nicest yet. She got to cuddle lots of cats, and they even offered to help her out with doing the tipping of my ears, something she can't quite do due to her eyes. It's the first time anyone's actually offered.

The human left me from time to time to go see the stalls of things to buy, but I didn't mind too much, specially cuz the Hg bought me a nice new ribbon and feather toy! There was also nice food in my pen, which assuages the anxiety of losing a people somewhat, wouldn't you say? There was even more pleasure to come though. The human, thinking I'd not win much, had entered me in two extra classes, so that's six in total. She thought that we'd win first in the open class, that important one with the gold card, which we did, and then maybe first in one of the others. However, when she looked at the boards, she was in for a big surprise! not only had I won my open, but I'd been placed in every single one of the side classes I'd been entered for! In total, I got 3 firsts and 3 thirds, so at the end of the day, you could hardly see me for all the rosettes on my pen! That brings my total to 11 rosettes in 4 shows. Not bad, eh? My human says this is the first time a cat of hers has been placed in all classes, and she says she's super proud of me, as I must have been a real poppet for the judges. Just goes to show that I'm getting more comfortable with stranger peoples all the time!

She left the show on a high, but I was pretty tired. I was so tired in fact that I didn't even sing much on the way home. Consequently, I ended up staying in the PTU, but as it was big and had a comfy cushion on the bottom, I didn't mind all that much. Don't tell the human though!

I'm hoping the student has taken pictures of me on show day. If so, I'll be sure to post them when I get them!

Tomorrow I'll have even more exciting news. I'll tell you all about my human's trip to see a litter of six kittens. You remember those ones we told you about five weeks ago? The ones that were only born? Well, on Monday, the human got to snuggle them all! See you soon, I hope.

Friday, 8 April 2011

I'm 4!

Friends, today's the big day, oh yes it is! you know why? Cuz I'm 4 today!

After the ordeal I went through on Wednesday, I didn't even know if I'd make it out alive to my fourth Birthday, and after the embarrassment of seeing that my pictures of shame were posted, I was sure I wasn't! But, as before, I stayed away from the light at the end of the tunnel, and went for the treats the human offered instead... They helped.

But, friends, what does not help is the selfish human. Am I having a party? Nope. Am I having nice things happen to me? Cuddles and oodles of treats and attention and love don't count, so my answer is, nope. Do you know what I'm getting instead? I'm getting horrible powder in my coat again in preparation for the show tomorrow, then a comb through, then my ears cleaned, then shoved in a horrid PTU for a car trip to the HG's house where we'll both stay tonight before heading off to the show. What happened to HAPPY birthday!

In my pictures, you'll see how I look on the morning of the show. I'm putting this here today cuz we're not gonna have time to post tomorrow, and I wanted to show you the results of the show bath. Hopefully, I'll be too busy winning!

You'll also see that I like my treats. Ok, so perhaps something good did happen today... I got loads of these! If any of you would like to sneaky over and help me celebrate in style before I have to go in the PTU for my trip, then you'd be most welcome. I'm sorry it's a poor spread, but I do have Party Mix which I'll share. Hah, if I party real hard, I might even have bed head when I wake up tomorrow morning, and then I can have the fun of watching the human scramble frantically to sort out my beautiful floof! Sounds good if you ask me.

Wow, this being 4 is hard work! I'm going to walk around like a little old ladycat today as though my joints ache and I'm tired. Hopefully that'll have the human feeling sorry enough for me that she breaks out the tuna! See you all soon, friends.

After my bath

Getting Treats!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Showing a Ladycat

Friends, today is a day of necessary evils that I put up with firstly because I know I have to, and secondly because it means that I end up looking like the most beautifulest ladycat I possibly can be. Yep, today is the day I get prepared for show, and it takes such a very, very long time! I know I've told you about this before, but I also know I have new friends now who may not have seen those mewsings. This time though, even if you've read about preparation before, there's something new! I've got lots and lots of pictures to show you! So, here goes.

The human always follows a similar routine for getting me ready for show, and it usually starts a week before the actual date. This time though, it's going to be only four days before, as I'm going to show on Saturday. Incidentally, if any of you are closish to London and want to come see me, then let me know and I'll tell you how! Sorry, I can't reveal where I will be on here, cuz if a judge read it, they would disqualify me for identifying myself to them before the show started. I know some of you live relatively close though, and I'd love to meet you!

Anyway, back to my story. The show preparation starts normally with a bath. This used to be a relatively simple process before the human learned more about what she should have been doing. It used to be only a quick suds up and rinse in baby shampoo, but now? Oh for the return of those simpler times!

She wets me down with a shower while I sit in the tub. When you're bathing somebody with as much hair as me, you gotta make sure you get right down to the undercoat, and this isn't an easy job! Unfortunately, this means that all the floofiness leaves my fur and leaves me looking a little, well, there's no other word for it, bedraggled. I'm sure you can see this from the picture. I also get very cold, so the human has to make sure the water is nice and hot and that the house is well heated and free from drafts before I go in there, as otherwise, I'll shiver.

once I'm wet, she needs to de-grease my coat. Even though I don't look greasy, there's grime and dirt in my floof that even my eye can't see! There are a number of different things you can use for this, and all it takes is an application and a rinse. The human won't tell you what it is, as we don't want this blog to turn into a product recommendation type place!

After this step, she applies an anti-fungal shampoo to me. The smell of this lingers right down deep, and prevents any nasties from deciding I'd be good to live on whilst I'm at the show. It's more a preventative than anything, but the human feels better knowing that I'm less likely to pick anything up. unfortunately, this has to be left on for ten minutes. This is the worst part of the bath. I don't get cold, cuz the human puts me in a horrid PTU right by the radiator with a towel over it to keep in the heat. it actually gets quite steamy in there! I complain all the while though, as I always do at even the sight of a PTU. I hate the things, Ok? They're my excuse to sing!
Once I come out of there, it's back in the bath for another quick rinse. And this is where the fun starts. Do you remember a few days ago I asked if you'd ever seen a purple ladycat? Well, you're just about to! The next shampoo my human uses is a colour enhancer. It doesn't dye my coat or anything, but it does make the colours more dazzling to the eye. It makes my ivory white whiter and gives my seal tortie face, feed and tail lots more tortitude! At least, that's my excuse for showing tortitude later on that day. This stuff is purple! See? Doesn't it look weird? I wonder if I'd get points for being the only purple cat at the show!   This stuff rinces off real easy, and so does the last shampoo the human uses, which is a texturiser. This gives my floof loads of extra volume, and when it's all dry, much more floofiness for the judge peoples to fuss over! It smells nice to the human too, but I have to say, I don't care about it one way or the other.

When I'm done cuddling, the human unwraps me and spreads the dry part of the towel on her lap. Then it's time for the drying and the combing. This is the only part of the bath that I show an active dislike for, and the human knows it. She says if she had more moneys she'd buy me a cabinet dryer which is like a PTU with gentle blasts of air that come out from all over, but they cost a lot, so we don't have one. Instead, I get to be dried by an uber powerful hair dryer with that all important cool air setting. This dryer is so powerful that it literally blows the water out of my fur. The human combs my coat forward when she's drying it, just to add a little extra volume. I often give her a bitey during this bit, but it's just to remind her who's boss when she's trying to dry my back legs and my lady bits! I can't have her thinking she can do that unchallenged!

Drying takes about half an hour, and by the time that's done, I am hopefully looking floofy and glorious! That aside though, there's only one thing for a ladycat to do after enduring all of that torture... Eat treats! These are some of the yummy ones sent by everyone at House of Cats, and I ate loads and loads of them! Can you tell how much I'm enjoying them? I have my human trained to always give me treats after a bath, cuz I deserve them! Well, I deserve them all the time! Do you hear me, human?

As you can see, a lot goes into making me look my best, and while it's a pain in the proverbial, I understand the necessity. Later this week, the human will put talc in my fur to make it extra big and floofy, and will clip my nails so that they are looking their best on the day of the show. On Friday, I will show you a picture of me all floofed up and ready to go.

I hope you enjoyed my bath more than I did! Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Yummy Tummy Tuesday

Friends, in preparation for my upcoming show this week, I must be a good ladycat and allow every inch of me to be groomed. Can you see how good I am in this picture? I only bit the comb a zillion times as it groomed the floof on my yummy tummy!

My human says that I have really long whiskers that tickle her a lot when I put my face near hers, which I'm doing more and more of lately. In the shows, there's a class for the cat with the longest whiskers, but because I'm a pedigree ladycat and not shown as a household pet, I can't enter it. How much of a bummer is that! My human says I'd win that class. Do any of you have really long whiskers like me?

The human says that my show bath will be tomorrow now, which I'm relieved about. One more day without torture is a good day in my book! I slept on the bed a little with her last night, but she did have to coax me. She sat me down and had a good talk to me last night, so I thought i'd better give in a little. I didn't like the sound of her getting tough on me. When it comes to things like that, my human is surprisingly effective thanks to her thinking she knows all about cat behaviour. Why does she have to be smart in that sort of area, and so stupid when it comes to the simple things like giving out treats on demand and learning to use a litterbox propperly? Honestly, I don't think I'll ever totally work these creatures out!

I'm getting ready for my big party around here. The human says I can have some more of my new toys on that day, but get this, she says I can't have any stinky goodness! Apparently you shouldn't give it to a ladycat with as much floof as me right before a show unless you make them wear a bib, cuz it stains the fur of the ruff at the front. I'd rather not have stinky goodness than wear a bib, so I'll just wait till the next day and then eat loads of it! I'm not a humankitten, and I will not degrade myself enough to permit a bib to be put on me!

In other news, the human says that she gets to go see the babycats that we told you about a little while ago that were born to a friend's mummycat. They will be five weeks old, and thankfully, the six that were born alive all survived! They will still need some hand feeding as they don't like big cat food yet, so the human will even get to do that! She says she can't wait to have a lap full of babies, and she said it in a tone that demanded I listened. I just laughed at her. If she's hinting at me to get busy and start my elevator bum again, she'll have a long wait! i'll decide when I'm ready for my babies, thank you very much.

The human says she's going to go shopping during the day with her friend too, so she'd better bring me back something to justify me letting her go and see other cats, even if they are cute babies! What should I have in my list of demands?

Now, it's time to catch up on my napping before she gets me ready for the horrid bath! I hear in the grape vine that the Katnip Crew are being cruelly tortured by their peoples, so if any of you want to come nap with me in a house that loves you as you should be loved, then feel free to drop in!... Especially you mancats.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Monday Monday

Friends, just a quicky post from me today, as the human forgot to write for me until now, and now she's tired!

Since last I wrote, I haven't really done much except cuddle with the human and love on Dogman who went away again yesterday. Whenever he's here though, he takes the human away from me a lot. She says she goes walking with him, but I don't care. Her being anywhere other than by my side is not good, and so I've been less loving to Dogman than before jus to show my displeasure.

I continue to sleep by my litterboxes instead of with the human, but she took up the little bit of carpet that used to be in front of them, and put down a mat instead. Last night I spent more time with her than normal, so she's wondering if the carpet had something to do with me sleeping there. However, every chance I get I sneak off in there to hide. The human says she can't always chase me out cuz I now watch for her coming, and only get up to move when I know she's going to kick me out of my napping spot. The human says that if it was just me that was always going to live here, she'd put up with it, but as other cats are going to join us, she needs to help me kick this habit before it really sets in. She says I'm not allowed to do it when others come, cuz then they won't use the litterbox cuz I'm guarding it. She says that now that she's sure I'm not stressed, she's gonna get tougher on me... I don't like the sound of that one little bit!

The human's ears are also feeling much better today. She says they don't feel like they're under water any more, but I've been on her lap all day snuggling just to make sure. I'm certain it's been my diligent nursing that's pulled her through this last bad spell!

She says that I might get my show bath tomorrow, but maybe she'll do it on Wednesday. She hasn't decided yet. Either way, you'll get the pics as soon as my torture is complete!

Until then, keep those peoples guessing!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Saturday Stuff

Friends, I'm so ticked off that my human didn't write for me yesterday, cuz I had stuff to tell you. She says she wasn't up to it for ages, and then when she was, Dogman arrived as usual to stay with us for the weekend, so she had to talk to him. I say my mewsingsg are way more important than silly people talk, but she's so dumb that she won't even agree on that point! Let me tell you about my yesterday.

I ended up being on nurse duty for a lot of it. When she got up in the morning, the human said she'd be taking a trip to the human vet to have her ears sorted out. She said they were going to remove the wax build up by squirting lots of warm water into her ear so that it would get flushed out. I thought this was a pretty poor idea of having a good time, and she agreed. She says that it always is a massive struggle afterwards, cuz her hearing is so important to her, and that it's nasty and scary for her having it done. I offered to do some paw holding, but she says they don't allow cats into the human vet. how about that for double standards! Peoples are actually required to be with us at the cat vet! Unfair, unfair!

With the help of a friend, I managed to bundle her up in her human PTU, and then turned her security over to said friend to make sure she didn't escape on the way there. It must have been pretty awful, cuz when they brought her back, she was really wobbly and a bit white in the face. She said her ears were all funny, and when the friend had helped her back to the sofa, she didn't move for a long time. Friend said I was to cuddle her lots, and I did just that. I nursed her good!

A little while later, the door knocked, and the human dragged herself off to answer it. Guess what? it was my stuff from the auction that I bid on to help Shell! Let me start by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to the wonderful peoples that donated this stuff so that I could eventually end up with it, and help Shell in the process! I got a book all about babycats in their new homes which I will use to write up my advice for new kitten owners, and I also got the Harp of Hope CD. Now, let me tell you, this is something real, real special. When the human saw what it was, she packed herself straight off to bed to listen to it in the hopes her ears would feel better when she got up.

I haven't slept on the bed with the human for ages. Sure, I'll start off there for alittle while, but when she wakes in the morning, I'm usually out sleeping by my litter trays again. But when this CD went on, after about 20 minutes, I could stand it no longer, and crept up to cuddle the human. I've never slept so good in my life, and the human who normally doesn't have a hope of sleeping during the day slept for well over an hour! Her ears were still uncomfortable when she got up, but they'd gotten better a bit. What's more important to her though was the fact that we got some snuggle time on the bed. I don't really know why I'm hanging out so much by my smelly toilet trays, and why I'm only doing it at night instead of going to the comfy bed. I just do it.

The human had plans to scan in the book that we'd just been given so that the talking man in the computer box could read it to her, but she never did do it cuz a lot of shopping arrived just shortly after that. There was loads of peoples food, but was there anything for me? No! Not even cat treats! The human says I don't need any after the loads I got sent, but I simply don't agree with that. Every cat needs treats, don't they? And you can never have enough! All she got me was two bags of stinky litter for my boxes. As if that's exciting! I ask you!

By the time she had put all that away she was feeling pretty rough again, so went for another long sit down. Then Dogman arrived. He took the human for a walk, after making lots of fuss with me, of course. I advised him that fresh air might help clear her ears a bit, and even if it did nothing else, it'd take her out of my fur for a bit too. he agreed, and so off they went. I've never seen my human walk so slowly! Still, she says the outdoors did indeed help, and they ended up walking a few miles before they came back. She got to listen to the birdies as they went from full song into night time sleep, and she says that kind of thing is good for the soul. Good for the stomach, if you ask me, but hey, I'm not a people.

I spent all of last night keeping the human awake by playing with my toys, running around, and generally having a good time. Ah, it's good to be a cat! I was just punnishing her for not writing my blog, cuz there was something really special I wanted to tell you. Yesterday was my last Friday of being three years old. Yep, that's right, next Friday, only one day before I become a show cat again, is my Birthday and I will be four years old! I haven't decided what to do for my Birthday yet, and nor has the human. This is the first of my birthdays that she's been with me for. I can't go too mad cuz of my show the next day on accounta the fact that I gotta be well rested, so any ideas would be welcome. I'll be travelling to the HG's house that day too cuz we're staying over there the night before the show. Do you think she'll buy me lots of nice goodies cuz she'll see me on my Birthday? how do I make her do it! Should I throw a small house party? Help!

I plan to spend my last Saturday as a three-year-old napping to catch up on all the sleep I missed last night by keeping my human awake. She on the other hand, will have to stay awake. Did I mention it's good being a cat?

Update: I've just learned that miss Shell sadly left us to travel on to the rainbow bridge. I am sorry that it was her time to go. Please could you all send good thoughts to the ones she left behind? Shell, you will be missed so much. You fought so well for one who was so ill.

To read her story and leave your thoughts please Visit her blog.