Our No.1 is “SAM” who lost his battle with ill health late last year
Robyn’s first love Sam, was her constant companion for12 years.
Robyn saw him as a kitten in the pet shop at Carindale, and for a couple of weeks stopped to look in the window to see if he was still there. Just before Christmas 1999, not wanting to leave him there over Christmas, she paid for him and took him home.
One morning when Sam was five months old, just before she was heading out the door to work, she heard a scream and rushed downstairs to Sam’s cat enclosure to find a carpet snake had completely wrapped itself around Sam, and was attempting to squeeze the life out of him.
She grappled with the carpet snake, still wrapped around little Sam, until it finally let go, having bitten her several times on the arms (unbeknowns to her in the stress, physical and emotional, of trying to extricate Sam!). Both Sam and she required veterinary/medical treatment!!!
Over the years Sam developed ulcerated eyes and had several eye operations in an attempt to resolve the problem. He also developed asthma, and Robyn bought a special cat inhaler to give Sam his daily dose of asthma preventer, Flixotide (see attached photo).
As a 10 year old Sam developed diabetes as a result of having to have cortisone injections when his asthma was particularly bad, so Robyn would give Sam an insulin injection twice a day (as well as his asthma puffer – he was very patient!).
Unfortunately in late November 2012 he succumbed to diabetes severely for a third time and the heartbreaking decision was made, with the aid of our wonderful vet specialist at Carrara Vet Specialist Centre, to have him euthanased.
RIP our darling Sam!
Bob was actually a stray kitten who came to us at approximately four months of age from the Creek Road Cat Clinic. He looked rather scruffy as he’d obviously “escaped” from someone and had been living under cars.
The vet nurses had attempted to clean him up but he still had black greasy patches on his face. He had been living on scraps and was infested with intestinal worms, which the clinic had treated.
We initially resisted taking another cat, having just lost Keesha, our 16 year old Persian, but succumbed in the end and took him, naming him after Robyn’s father (his grandad!). He has turned out to be a beautiful white Chinchilla with a very bossy nature.
He and Sam were great mates and spend most nights in their cat enclosures, it took Bob a while to figure out that old Sam was gone. He now has Tiger to keep him company and “drive him nuts” on occasion! fun!
Our No.2 is “BOB” an 11 year old white Chinchilla and now our oldest
No.3 is “KATE” our only female, we adopted Kate six years ago
Kate is actually eight years old and came from the Cat Clinic at Paddington when she was a kitten. Her mother, Sparkle, had been handed in when she was pregnant and Kate was one of her kittens.
As a tiny kitten Kate used to run around with the big cats and growl like a dog. The first time we heard it and figured out it was coming from this tiny black kitten it was quite a shock. She also liked to uproot pot plants from their cat run, particularly when the soil was wet, and drag them in on the carpet!
Fortunately she’s grown out of that now and sticks to carting her pet mice around, yowling loudly even though she has a mouthful! Kate is a lady’s cat, and although she often keeps to herself, if any ladies come to visit she is there like a shot, demanding attention.
Kate loves her food and is no longer tiny, as can be seen from the photo!
Tom is seven years old and came to us as a stray kitten from the Albany Creek Vet Clinic. We used to take our two Chinchillas, Sam and Bob, for their yearly ‘flu injections at around Christmas time, and there were always kittens looking hopefully at us in the vet clinics – hence Kate and Tom!
Tom was a tiny little fellow when we took him home but is now a 7kg whopper! He has the ginger cat’s lovely temperament, but doesn’t take any nonsense from young Tiger. Having said that, fortunately for us, they all get on well together. Tom is very easygoing, enjoys his food, and likes to sleep. He likes a daily brush if he can get into the ensuite when Robyn is about to take her morning shower.
There’s usually a line-up as they all like to be brushed (except for Sam, who was very placid until you produced a brush, when he turned into a veritable tiger!!!) Tom likes to spend a lot of his time sleeping in the cat enclosure, usually in the full sun!.
From there he (and the others!) get a close-up view of the lorikeets when we feed them every afternoon, so the cat enclosure is a pretty popular spot! It’s a pretty good life all round!!!
Our No.4 is “THOMAS” we adopted him seven years ago
And lastly, Tiger, who is actually now 11 months old and very beautiful. Even though we had moved to Brisbane we went back to the AWL at Coombabah to get Tiger, having seen him on their internet listing.
He was named Flynn at that time but Tiger seemed more appropriate. He was a tiny little thing, 900 grams, at 3 months old, but has really grown. He’s now about 8kgs and has all the appearance of one of the “Forest” cats (Siberian, Norwegian Forest, Maine Coon). I don’t think anyone realised how he was going to turn out (we certainly didn’t) and he’s much admired by all who come to the house – particularly local cat lovers who are able to come and collect their enclosure kits!
Tiger has a wonderful nature. He’s very inquisitive and quite dog-like in that he picks up things and runs off with them – one of my pairs of specs, which I’ve never managed to find, as well. Fortunately he likes being brushed as he has lovely long silky fur, and we haven’t yet decided whether to get him clipped, as we do with Bob, in summer.
He gives old Bob a bit of a hard time, rolling around the floor with him, but Tom takes no nonsense from him if he’s not in the mood, but certainly isn’t unkind to him. Tiger has been a great joy to Robyn (we both enjoy him immensely!) as she was devastated when she lost her much loved Sam.
AN UPDATE ON OUR CAT FAMILY IN 2016
It’s been some time since we’ve updated “Our Cat Family”, so I’m now bringing things up to date.
We’ve had a couple of very sad losses this year. In January we had to make the decision to euthanase our beautiful 15 year old Chinchilla, Bob, whose back legs had become so weak and painful he was having great difficulty getting around.
Bob had also been diabetic for over three years, but we had been able to manage him really well thanks to the Creek Road Cat Clinic, who taught us how to do blood tests by pricking the vein in his ear. This is a really painless procedure, generally (unless you miss the first time!), and much less stressful than taking blood from a vein in his arm. It worked very well for him and enabled us to monitor his blood glucose without having to take him to the vet every other day or week.
However, with the combination of the diabetes, which became very hard to monitor in his last months, and his loss of mobility and obvious discomfort, even with the use of painkilling drugs, we made the extremely painful decision to euthanase him in January this year. We miss him dreadfully as he had been with us the whole time Ken and I have been together and he was a big part of our lives.
He was also missed by his mate Tiger, our four year old (we suspect Maine Coon), as he and Bob were great mates, and used to “work” the kitchen bench together with great success, having us running around on demand.
Unfortunately, only about eight weeks later we also had to euthanase our lovely 10 year old ginger, Tom. He had been very well, and happy, and then suddenly he started to lose weight and appetite. On having him tested we were informed that he was in the last stage of kidney failure, which was a surprise to the vet and us as he still seemed to be in reasonably good health. However, he failed very quickly from then on, and we again had to make the painful decision to euthanase him. That was in mid March, so it’s not been a good year for us and our cat family.
We still have 12 year old Kate, our little, very overweight, black cat, who mainly keeps to herself. The only time she really seems to interact is when she growls at Tiger and sometimes get into a squabble with him, which we’re quick to break up. Although Tiger is 8 ½ kg he’s very gentle, and I’m sure wouldn’t do her any harm, but he’s a bit of a handful when she provokes him into losing his temper!
Following our bad run of luck with our much loved cats we decided at the end of March we would like to give another “rescue” cat or kitten a home, so set off for the Bracken Ridge Animal Welfare League adoption centre at Bracken Ridge. There are so many lovely cats and kittens there, but of course we came home with another ginger, Tommy, who was then 5 ½ months old.
Tommy has proved to be a great success and has become Ken’s favourite. He’s very active and cheeky, and he and Tiger have also become great mates. It’s funny to watch them rolling around the floor, usually with Tommy hanging onto Tiger’s big fluffy head, and Tiger complaining bitterly. Finally, when Tiger gets tired of Tommy’s bad behaviour he just gets up and sits on him, and that’s the end of that!
Tommy is now 9 months old and has more than doubled in size and weight. He has lovely treacle coloured eyes and spots as well as stripes, so there’s a bit of a mix there. He’s also the best climber and jumper of any cat we’ve had.
We moved to the top of Buderim at the beginning of June into a large two storey house, and Ken has done a wonderful job enclosing the top 9m x 4m deck for the cats. They have a wonderful view from their four cat poles across to the Blackall Range. They also have two dear old dogs next door, who Tommy loves to annoy by walking along the rail on that side and climbing up the netting. However, they’re getting used to him now, though, so it’s not quite so much fun.
We’re very glad of our netting enclosure as we have a beautiful large back garden, full of trees, ginger plants, and all sorts of exotic things, including a lovely pond in which we intend to put some goldfish. We also have a very large possum with her baby on her back who feeds amongst the trees, and I guess sleeps somewhere there as well, as she’s not at risk from dogs or cats. We love it, and so do the cats.
Our large enclosure, of course, not only protects our cats, but also keeps all the wildlife safe as well. As we are also situated right beside Buderim Forest and the walking tracks to the falls this is an added bonus for us and the local wildlife.
He’s the last kitten we’re likely to have and he’s a real joy and a ton of fun!