Goodbye, Sid.

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It took me a while to write about this, but I think it is time.

I had mentioned in a previous post that my mother in law had gotten a ragdoll kitten of her own. His name? Sid.

The picture bellow is one of the first I ever took from Elvis and Einstein, the day we visited the breeder for the first time and chose our kittens. I had shown it before on my first post ever at this blog. On that post, however, that picture was cropped as to show only Elvis and Einstein, but the original image included a third kitten, Sid.

ImFrom left to right: Einstein, Elvis and Sidage

From left to right: Einstein, Elvis and Sid

He was a lovely cat from the beginning, cuddly and smart, everything you could wish for in a cat. My mother in law and her husband loved him with all their hearts and only wanted what was best for him, their special beautiful kitten.

Sid, a beautiful lilac ragdoll kitten

Sid, a beautiful lilac ragdoll kitten

However, they started to feel he might be lonely when they were not around and brought home a little friend for him, Mischka, another ragdoll kitten. Sid loved Mischka, and they were as close as possible, always together, but Sid still looked sad more often than not and kept eating less.

My mother in law took him to the vet everytime he needed, and more (to check everything really was ok). At last, a vet diagnosed what he had, a virus had mutated and became deadly. If Sid was lucky, he would have two weeks to live and would die a painful death. My mother in law was inconsolable, she went to another vet to get a second opinion and the diagnosis was the same.

After those awful news, she and her husband took the day off work to spend with Sid and say goodbye, as he would be put to sleep the next day.

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Sid looked tired, he welcomed the cuddles but didn’t have the energy to correspond. My husband and I spent some time with his mother, her husband, Sid and Mischka that day. Mischka was meowing like he knew something wasn’t right. People say cats are intuitive, I believe it.

Me, kissing Sid goodbye

Me, kissing Sid goodbye

The next day, Sid crossed the rainbow bridge, it was peaceful. He is now buried right in front of a tree that can be seen from my mother in law’s flat.

I will finish this post with one of the most beautiful poems I ever read. I guess anyone who ever lost a beloved pet may find solace reading it:

“By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,

Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

– Steve and Diane Bodofsky –”

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It is october, and it is snowing.

I feel like I stepped into a wardrobe and was transported to Narnia for the weekend, the trees were exhibiting beautiful shades of orange and yellow friday and saturday morning they were on their way to be completely covered in snow.

View from my balcony

Someone drew hearts in the snow in the street where I live

Someone drew hearts in the snow in the street where I live

The reason I am making this post is not just to share the weather in Germany, oh no! I am making this post to tell you Elvis and Einstein saw snow for the first time in their lives. And they didn’t seem to like it all that much.

I took them outside, one at a time, to feel the vast and cold white under their paws. They had the same reaction: they were looking up to the sky a lot, in what I am guessing was an attempt to find out where that cold drops that were getting to their fur were coming from. Elvis decided he had had enough quite soon and meowed for me to take him inside, Einstein, to my surprise, was a little more interested and easy-going.

Einstein

Einstein

Elvis

Elvis

Inside again, where is warm

Inside again, where is warm

I hope you all had delightful weekends, I really enjoyed mine. :D

 

Newsflash!

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Well, I have a couple of things to share. Let me give you some spoilers about what those news are, before you read the longer versions:

First – I found a vet for the kittens relatively nearby and took them there to get microchipped.

Second – My mother in law is getting a ragdoll kitten!

Elvis was sneezing a little bit. Nothing to worry about, and we were giving him the medicine the breeder gave us when we brought them home. But today when I woke up and went to him, he couldn’t open one of his eyes, due to some dry secretion keeping it close shut. I cleaned it slowly with warm water, until it opened. After it, he went back to his normal happy self. But I got a little worried and thought we should go to the vet anyway, just for peace of mind.

Google once again was a life-saver and we found a vet clinic rated with 5 stars. We decided to give it a try, so we called, made an appointment and went.

On the way there, they both cried. A big difference from the calm 4 and a half hours trip from the breeder to our house, when they didn’t cry at all. I opened the pet carrier door so they would relax more and it seemed to work, for Elvis at least. Einstein still cried a little and went to Elvis, that was sleeping, put one of his paws up Elvis’ chest and meowed, waking him up. Elvis looked at him, brought him closer for a cuddle and rest his little paw over Einstein, hugging him, as if he was saying “There, there. Everything is good, bro, I am here with you.”

Getting there, there were many dog owners, and not a cat on sight, apart from ours. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the place, they had an interesting painting of a cat and a dog inside, and a dog metal piece outside that may have even been a bench, but yours truly really can’t remember (and that is why I must take pictures so I won’t forget and you guys will see it as well). I promise I will take some when we go there the next time, though (yes, there will be a next time there).

We quickly filled in our informations and the kittens informations in a formulary and were redirected to another room. The vet had a really strong hand shake, the kind that almost hurts, but he turned out to be a really nice person, and not intimidating like his hand shake made he seem (it really was a strong hand shake). Both he and his assistant were in love with the kittens, and he laughed at Elvis, for being such a purring machine, even when being examined he wouldn’t stop purring! My boys steal the hearts of whoever comes in contact with them.

Thankfully, he said I had nothing to worry about and prescribed some medicine for Elvis. What a relief. Seriously.

The kittens didn’t come microchipped from the breeder, and it was something I wanted to do from the day they got here (Oh my, was it only less than a week ago?), but decided to wait a couple of days, so they wouldn’t get traumatized and think we were planning ways to torture them, by taking them to be poked at the vet with a needle. No, I want them to trust me, so I can be stroking them while planning to take over the world and, most importantly, planning ways to torture people that torture animals.

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I think the whole super villain look kind of suits me. But I would want a different outfit from the one in the picture above, obviously.

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My husband asked the vet if getting them microchipped would hurt, and the answer was “yes, but it is fast.”

The vet excused himself and went to the other room to pick up whatever it was he needed (I need to work on improving my memory, or maybe on my focus, or my german for complicated words vets use, or all of that…), my husband told me how he felt bad for the kittens for taking them there to feel pain and that he probably wouldn’t be able to watch. This made it clear I will be the bad cop whenever we have kids, as he won’t stand to watch them taking their vaccinations either. Let’s just hope the kids won’t be like their mommy used to be. As a kid I would run around the whole hospital, trying to escape the terrible fate of having a needle touching my skin, or, even worst, perforating it! I more than once needed a whole medical team to chase me and convince me to take a vaccination. I was terrified of needles, you see. Some years later and here I am, with some piercings and a couple of tattoos.

Back to the story, the vet came back and asked if we wanted to stay in the room while the kittens were being microchipped, and I of course said yes. My husband took him up on that offer and left the room.

Elvis was the first one, meanwhile I was cuddling Einstein on my arms. Elvis gave a little cry that broke my heart, but it was fast, as the vet said it would be. Einstein went next, and, to my surprise, didn’t cry! no sound came out of that adorable, brave little guy. But he did give the vet a bad look. A “what on earth do you think you are doing to me, insignificant human?” kind of look.

We really liked the place, though, and will be back the end of the month, to get their third dose of vaccinations (the first two were taken while they were still living at the breeder).

But they didn’t get traumatized, as I feared. Instead, they slept the whole way home, and when they arrived they played, ate, used the litter box and played some more. Finally, they took a nap.

Einstein playing with "da mouse"

Einstein playing with “da mouse”

Elvis attacking "da mouse"

Einstein attacking “da mouse”

You shall not survive, mouse!

“You shall not survive, mouse. Meet my paw of doom!”

Elvis behind and Einstein in the front

Elvis behind and Einstein in the front

Elvis approaches the camera, wondering what possibly could it be

Elvis approaches the camera, wondering what possibly could it be

Einstein, Santas kleiner Liebling

Einstein, Santas kleiner Liebling

Einstein, feeling comfy

Einstein, feeling comfy

"Look how I am beautiful from any angle, mommy!"

“Look how I am beautiful from any angle, mommy!”

Elvis and the hat

Elvis and the hat

The "boys" and the hat

The “boys” and the hat

Rawwwr

“Rawwwr”

Oh, hi there mommy! It was all him, I swear!

My lovely, lovely boys. And will you look at that little tongue?

Tired at last.

Tired at last.

My mother in law and her husband live two floors down from us on the same building, and love to come visit the kittens. They are as smitten as me and my husband. As I said, everybody that interacts with them, touches them, even sees them, falls in love. So no surprise there. But they have been talking about getting a kitten for themselves a lot. Since they laid eyes on our boys to be precise.

As I sometimes take them down with me when I go to her flat for a coffee, I bought my mother in law and her husband a cat lounge/scratcher as a gift, and my husband and I bought a cat tree as a gift for them (same as ours, but in black). I told her the news, and she said now she had no other choice, she needed to get a cat! She said it like a person that tries to keep a serious face, as someone that has no other choice besides surrendering, but she had a playful smile on the corner of her mouth. Not long after she didn’t even pretend to hide how happy she was anymore. We called the breeder and settled everything with her. The last male kitten available will come live nearby his brothers!

Now, I have to admit I had e-mailed the breeder about the male kitten left there (a beautiful lilac), as my mother in law was mentioning wanting a kitten herself, even before she said she really would get him. Ok, the gifts may have been a sort-of bribe to push her on the right direction as well. But how adorable would it be to have another ragdoll just two floors down from us, that would visit us all the time for play-dates? Well, we will find that out really soon, until the end of june the lilac boy will be here!

K-i-t-t-e-n-s!

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As I sit here typing this, I have two kittens running across my living room chasing a ball.

This may be a very boring post to read, because I have nothing but praises for those two little mischief makers. This saturday (second of june) we went to the breeder’s house in Cologne, with me on the edge of my sit the whole trip there, barely believing that I would come home with two cats. I had waited (what seemed to me, at least) a LONG time for them, you see.

Elvis and Einstein

Elvis and Einstein

We stayed at the breeder’s house for almost one hour, playing with them and the other cats, to get them a little used to our presence. We left the pet carrier opened so they wouldn’t see it as a threat and many of the grown cats took it as an invitation to go inside the carrier and sleep on the comfortable towels I put inside it (which was great, as they were leaving their scent in the towels by doing this, scent that is known to the kittens).

After much play, we left. And here is one of the parts that amazed me: They didn’t cry on the road, slept most part of the long 4 hours and a half that we took to arrive home, without any “accidents” on the towels!

At home already, they drank plenty of water,  ate their wet food (we bought the same the breeder gave them) and went to the litter box! Elvis went first, Einstein being more shy around those new surroundings and people, but followed his brother’s example after we removed the cover of the litter box (we have since put the cover back up, and he has no problems to find his way there anymore). Needless to say we were very relieved, and my husband was with a proud smile on his face, announcing out loud: “Those are my boys!!!”. Erhh, excuse me, Mister. Our boys!

I took them to the cat tree, and started to pass my nails up and down the scratching post, without putting their paws on it. It didn’t take long for them to be doing it themselves, those smart smart boys. The only problem was the next day, as I sat on the couch talking to my husband, I scratched my leg. Well, Elvis saw it, and went to help me… by scratching my leg as well, and looking at me all full of himself, like he was trying to tell me “See, see, I am a genius, you only have to do it once and I know how it works. You scratching somewhere means I need to scratch there as well”. I am so thankful he did it kindly, or my leg would be a mess right now. I guess no more scratching legs (or any other part of the body, for that matter) in this house in any place within eyesight of the kittens.

I am incredibly happy we brought two of them home. I can’t imagine how it would be if there was just one here, apart not only from the place he was born at and the only one he knew so far, but from all of his siblings and his mother. I think adapting will be way easier due to the fact they have each other. No human can compare to your litter mate, when it comes to helping you feel at home in a new place.

They play with ´Da bird´ and their other toys, they climb the cat tree and jump from it, they chase each other around the room. Overall, they seem to be adapting well in such a short amount of time. They also seem to agree the couch is a very comfortable place for a nap.

I took 1987628908 pictures of the kitties (estimated number), but only a few of them seem to show more than a white blur. They are really fast, I kid you not. But I also am in terrible need of a good camera (I want to be a photographer someday, and until the end of this year I will have the equipment to at least start walking towards this path).

As my husband told me today, things look and feel normal, but it isn’t normal, it is different, better. We have those two little guys at home now. I told him it just feels right, as if they were meant to be here all along. He nodded.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a litter box to clean and the two most adorable kittens in the whole world to entertain, so I will leave you with some videos:

The crazy ragdoll cat lady interviews Kelly Shumaker about declawing

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Kelly Shumaker has been a veterinary technician for 20 years. Most of her career was spent in shelter medicine, where she believed she could help animals the most, and has been extremely fortunate to be able to save many lives.Unfortunately she also witnessed the cruelty that man is capable of: Puppy mills, pit bull fighting rings and other abuses. Having seen all that, she said she still considers declawing to be the worst form of cruelty, because it is performed by those who have sworn to protect animals, never to harm them, the veterinarians. And, today, she was kind enough to find some time to answer some questions about declawing. Here is my interview with her (I hope you find it as interesting and enlightening as I did):

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: How is the procedure of declawing?

Kelly: Declawing ( or onychectomy) is performed one of three ways: scalpel, guiolltine method ( use of nail clippers) or a cO2 laser.

Many people are under the assumption that only the claw is removed, that is not the case. In order to prevent nail regrowth, the bone ( 3rd phalanx) must also be removed along with tendons and ligaments. It is literally “de-fingering” a cats toes.

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: What would be the human equivalent of declawing?

Kelly: Many people, including vets, like to compare declaw with removing the first joint of a human finger. I prefer to compare it to removing the first joint of a humans toes. Cats are digitigrade, which means they walk and balance on the toes..not the pads of the paw. Humans walk and balance on their feet, not their hands. If you removed the tips of a human beings toes, it would grossly affect the way you walk, creating stress on joints, inflammation, and spinal pain. The same is true of a cat that has been declawed.

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: How long does it take for the cat to recover physically from the surgery? And emotionally?

Kelly: Initial recovery period for decalwing is anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Excessive pain relief protocols are used before, during and after surgery. Including , but not limited to: Analgesic injections pre and post-operatively, bupivocaine nerve blocks in each paw, and fentanyl pain patches, and 2 weeks worth of pain medication to go home. No other procedure in verterinary medicine requires that amount of pain management. Cats never fully recover physically or emotionally form declawing.

While they may “seem like their old selves” several weeks post -op, changing a cats entire walking pattern puts pressure on joints and spine causing early onset arthritis, spinal inflammation and joint damage. While there are naysayers out there, I KNOW the difference between an intact cat and a declawed cat just by watching them walk. Emotionally, cats suffer depression, litter box avoidance, and many begin biting after their first line of defense ( their claws) are removed.

Due to a cats stoic nature, many owners wrongly believe that their cat is “ok”, because they are not aware of signs of pain in a cat. Hiding, sleeping many more hours ( and in one position) than normal, louder and more frequent vocalization and purring are just a few ways a cat can exhibit pain.

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: How likely is a cat that was declawed to end up in a shelter?

Kelly: The answer to this is staggering considering the number one reason vets give to continue the procedure is keeping cats in homes and avoiding shelters.

More than 70% of cats in shelters nationwide in the US are declawed. Reasons cited by owners upon surrender include:

* litterbox avoidance

* biting

* “no longer playful”…sleeping a lot or hiding

While working at the Humane Society, during a 4 week period, 137 cats were turned in to the shelter. Of those, 124 were declawed. To me, that is unacceptable.

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: Have you ever had any cat declawed? Or ever owned a declawed cat?

Kelly: Never. I have adopted a few that were turned into the shelter because I knew their chances of being adopted were slim to none. I would never intentionally inflict that kind of pain on any of my cats.

The crazy ragdoll cat lady: If someone reading this is thinking about having their cat declawed, what would you tell them before they made that decision?

Kelly: Simple…dont do it! Cats, contrary to pouplar belief, can be trained and there are many options available. The official stance of the AVMA ( American Veterinary Medical Board) is as follows:

“Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).

The AVMA believes it is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat owners with complete education with regard to feline onychectomy.”

There are also many great websites dedicated to teaching new cat parents how to control scratching behavior, such as http://cattressmattress.com/

It is my belief that declawing should be banned in the US and Canada as it is in over 32 countries worldwide as a cruel, unnecessary, and inhumane procedure.

Count down or count up?

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As anyone who read one of my previous posts here would know, I have been anxiously counting the days until dear husband and I will pick up the kittens. 8 more days now, according to that counting!

But there may be a turn of events. Dear husband is working on a project at work, even during weekends, and he may need to work next sunday as well. If that happens, we would need to postpone picking up the kittens for almost a week (6 days to be precise).

I completely understand that he needs to finish this project, as we had vacations in april to Paris and Amsterdam, while my mother and brother were visiting us, which meant he spent blissful days traveling around with me and my family, but also meant not working for that period of time, obviously, and having less time to finish whatever he would finish, if he hadn’t travelled.

Looking back, nothing would change had I known traveling would mean picking up the kittens almost a week after the original plan. I still wouldn’t want to give up on those days with my family. My husband works a lot, so he deserves to have fun when he has vacations. And it was our first family trip after getting married. My mother and brother live far away from me, and it was great to have them around, albeit for a short period of time.

So, be it 8 or be it 14 days, the kittens will be here, they will be very much loved and that is all that matters. Plus, I can only see the positive side of the possibility of the kittens spending one more week with their mother and siblings.

Meanwhile, I won’t leave you empty handed when it comes to cute kitten pictures:

Einstein

Einstein

Einstein is just so beautiful he makes me speechless. And I love his serene, almost blasé, expression. Like everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Also, he looks like a lap cat material to me! Let’s just hope I am right. (:

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis is an extremely curious kitten. When we visited them at the breeder, he would climb on our backs, jump all around us, and sleep on our laps. He is all you could wish for in a kitten and more.

They are made of everything nice, like the powerpuff girls.

About waiting.

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Ten days. In ten days the kittens will be here.

Whenever I am waiting for something I really want, it seems like two parallel realities collide, making time drag itself and pass incredibly fast, all at once.

I think the best way to explain it is through one of my favorite Doctor Who quotes:

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… timey wimey… stuff. – The Doctor “

First post, awkward but necessary.

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I never know where to start when introducing myself, and end up adding too many details on some parts, and extremely lacking it on others. So please bear with me for a moment or two, I will get to the point (eventually).

My husband and I got married in february of 2012, and moved flats shortly after, in april. We are both 20-something and live in Germany.

Because now we have more space, we decided it finally was time to welcome a pet (or two) into our lives and hearts.

I knew I wanted a cuddly pet, so I narrowed it down to the obvious choices: dogs or cats. Our new landlord doesn’t allow dogs, so the decision was made. Well, kinda. I still needed to decide what kind of cat to get.

So, off I went to google, to research cat breeds. Not long after, I stumbled upon a website talking about what would turn out to be the perfect breed of cat for me: The Ragdoll!

I am a home body,  and adore to have my pets following me around the house, or taking naps on my lap. It seemed like this breed and I were meant for each other. I found a breeder with the most amazing ragdoll kittens, and no red flags (she ticked all the right boxes: only lets the kittens go to their new homes after 12 weeks old, registered papers, she spends one on one time with each kitten, so on, so forth.)

Some weeks ago we (Dear Husband and I, that is) went to Cologne, where she lives, in a 3 hours trip to see the kittens. They are all I could expect, and more!

One of them wouldn’t go far from my husband, always going towards him to play, climbing on him, and sleeping on his lap when exhausted. I also found a little guy that was always there around me. They had made it easier on us, we didn’t need to choose the kittens, we were chosen by them! We signed the contracts and chose which names we wanted on their papers: Elvis and Einstein.

I know I am biased, as I chose the names (though with Dear Husband´s approval!), but those really are special names for special kittens. (I would say “at the risk of sounding cheesy”, but who am I trying to fool? I crossed that line already and I´m being full on cheesy! But so would you! Having  seen those kittens I bet anyone would be as smitten as I am.)

We took some pictures of them (not nearly enough!), and after went to enjoy the city a little, with it´s beautiful bridge with the love locks, and to add our own love lock to it.

the love locks at the "Deutzer Brücke" in Cologne

The love locks at the “Deutzer Brücke” in Cologne.

our love lock, added to the bridge.

Our love lock, added to the bridge.

After taking some more pictures, we enjoyed a good starbucks coffee and took the road for 3 more hours to arrive home.

The next day we paid the deposit for them. I had to be sure that no one would buy my kittens! 

It is past midnight here in Germany, so it is sunday already. Which means mother´s day, but also, most importantly (as I am not a mother yet, and my mother is far away from here, in Brazil, where I am from), means it is exactly 14 days for us to make the trip to visit the breeder again. Only, this time, we will come back with the twins ( I always knew I would have twins someday, I just didn’t know they would be from the feline species. ) to their new home, their forever home.

I want to do my best to provide them with everything I can to help them live long, healthy and happy lives. So far I already spent more hours on-line researching about ragdolls and cats in general than I can count. I see the look on my husbands´s face when I go talk to him about the kittens once again, or about a new toy I found, about the best diet for them, and I know he thinks I am already a crazy cat lady,  before the cats are even here.

So, I decided that if I am going to be a crazy (ragdoll) cat lady, I will do it my way, proudly and blogging about it.

As a reward if you read so far (scrolling down to the end of the post doesn’t count!), I will finish this introduction with the reason I am here writing, and you are here reading, my beautiful kittens:

Einstein, sleeping next to his brother, Elvis.

Einstein (sleeping) and Elvis.

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