This is the story of Oskar, also known as Ozzie, our latest, and last kitten – mind you, we have said that before, and we do have an 18 month old and 3 year old pair of gingers.
When we lost Tiger, our beautiful Maine Coon Ragdoll cross, I was passionate about getting a Maine Coon kitten, as Tiger had been such a wonderful cat. I duly put my name down with a breeder and waited three months, but that came to nothing, unfortunately.
In the meantime you’ll see from “Frankie’s story” that Ken went to Sydney and brought Frankie back to Buderim, as he needed a new home. Frankie has one eye – we don’t know how he lost the other eye – but is a great member of the family, and I am particularly fond of him. He’s a darling, very loving and much loved.
Anyway, I kept looking for this, I was beginning to think, mythical Maine Coon kitten. I had also visited a wonderful Siberian cat breeder, but decided I really wanted a Maine Coon. Siberians are beautiful cats, but not big like the Maine Coons, which is what I wanted.
Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cats. They are the gentle giants of the cat world, are very beautiful, and have wonderful natures. They are also great companions for both humans and other cats, and are very intelligent.
In the course of my searching we came across a wonderful lady, Margaret Sharpe, who lives at Bellmere and breeds Maine Coon cats and kittens under the banner of Yendor Maine Coons. Margaret really loves her cats, and that was very obvious when she took us around her “breeders”. She took Rapper and Jack Flash, two large breeding males, out of their pens to show us, and they were just like great big overgrown kittens, loving and looking for affection. We – particularly me – were smitten.
Margaret took us into her house and showed us some of her young females, and also a litter of gorgeous kittens, about six weeks old. We were able to look, but not touch them, which was good. They were obviously very healthy, beautiful kittens, but destined for other owners, which meant if we went on Margaret’s list (which we ultimately did) we would have to wait a number of months before we could have a kitten. I was thinking, if I get to my next birthday we might have to opt out – we’re getting too old!
I had said I would prefer a blue male, as I have found the males the easiest to get along with, and we already had three indoor male cats, the two young gingers and old Frankie (of indeterminate age!). However, I was getting a bit desperate and would have been happy with any of Margaret’s kittens.
As it turned out, Margaret rang me a few weeks later and offered us one of the kittens from the litter we had seen, a classic blue tabby named Oskar – which, incidentally, was the name I had decided I would give my next kitten, but spelt with a “c”. Apparently his sale had fallen through, so we were really lucky.
Of course we decided on the spot that we would take him, and five days later – Oskar having been desexed, microchipped, vet checked, etc, etc – we became the proud adoptive “parents” of three month old Oskar.
We were keen to bring young Oskar/Ozzie home and introduce him to our other cats. I had expected Frankie, being the eldest, to take him under his wing, so to speak. Not so. Frankie was a bit put out by this impertinent youngster and there was quite a bit of very impressive hissing, all totally ignored by the kitten, I have to say.
However, Tommy, our smaller ginger, who had carried on, swearing and cursing, when we’d introduced Riley and Frankie, immediately accepted young Ozzie, in spite of Ozzie hissing at him initially. Riley, the other ginger, is very easy going and accepted Ozzie on sight. We have progressed from there and they are all now good mates.
Ozzie is regularly subjected to some very serious face and ear washing, which he tolerates quite happily, though at times seems a bit put out at being firmly anchored by a paw on his neck to stop him moving. It’s funny to see, but I think he enjoys being the baby and getting all the attention.
Ozzie is now just eight months old and weighs over 5kg. He is very rapidly overtaking the adult cats in size, but is still regarded as a kitten by the adult cats, and they still wash his face and ears and roll around “pretend fighting” with him, which he thoroughly enjoys.
He has a love of “gardening”, and my beautiful large fern, which is in a tub at the end of our large deck, comes in for lots of “pruning”. He started “gardening” soon after he arrived and absolutely wrecked a lovely little palm I had in a pot. He also collects the dead stems and spreads them around the house. They give him endless pleasure. We think he must have been a gardener in another life.
Of course the “cat” food bill has gone up quite a bit since Ozzie’s arrival, and we now also drive down the hill to Forest Glen to get his “organic” lean roo mince, which he loves. Every cat food bargain is snapped up by Ken and I, and there is lots of good “stuff” around the place for them to eat – sachets, tins, and Royal Canin biscuits – two varieties, of course. Meal times are always eagerly awaited! And of course the litter tray bill has also increased! What goes in must come out!!
Ozzie also loves his tummy being brushed, and is presently lying on the carpet in the office here, as he expects me to get down on my hands and knees and brush him. He lies on his back with all his paws in the air and practically “grins” with pleasure, purring all the while. He is a delight, if rather spoilt!
He is really growing rapidly, and I will do updates on him as he grows. Apparently, I’m told, he will be growing for four years, so goodness knows how big he will be by then. Ken is just measuring him, as he’s lying stretched out on the carpet, and from tip of tail to top of head he is already 1070cm – quite a big kitten, but still very much a kitten behaviour-wise. He does have a magnificent long fluffy tail, and is developing a very grand ruff around his neck.
However, Ozzie still does all the things any kitten does – he plays with his toys, and gets into mischief. He gets into my wardrobe, and Ken’s, and pulls belts out of dressing gowns and shoe laces out of shoes. He doesn’t discriminate between every day and very good clothes either. It all gets the same treatment, much to my horror on occasions!
He does love getting into bed with me at night now that the nights are getting cooler, and it will be interesting to see how we manage when he’s fully grown. He already takes up lots of room in the bed.
We initially thought we were too old for a kitten, but he’s been a wonderful addition to the household. I, of course, am a “helicopter parent”, and poor Ken has had to climb ladders and crawl around the deck floor to put extra fixings on the cat netting – quite unnecessary, I’m sure, but good for my peace of mind.
I now envisage Ken and I hobbling around in nine or ten years’ time, being led along by our big Maine Coon, Ozzie, who will be on a lead, of course. We certainly don’t regret taking him and he’s a very much loved, very spoilt member of our family. We can recommend a Maine Coon as they have such lovely natures. We’re really enjoying watching his development, and look forward to many years together with all of our cats. We would not be without any single one of them!
Below are Oska’s dad Rapper and his mum Vivienne
Those of us who choose to provide a cat enclosure or enclosures (in our case) for our much loved felines are also doing a good deed for the wildlife.
We live on top of Buderim Mountain (really a plateau about 100 metres high) in a lovely spot beside Buderim Forest. We are actually surrounded by huge green trees and foliage, and our back garden, which drops away sharply, is full of Tiger Grass, trees, gingers, and all sorts of palms and plants. We also have a very large old, pine tree which is situated at the corner of our large back deck.
Our view is north to the Blackall Mountains, and it’s all green, with a view of only three or four houses in the distance.
It’s really lovely, and, of course, we have some wildlife living in our back garden, though thankfully we haven’t sighted any pythons – although I’m sure they’re there, as one of our neighbours had a duck taken by a large python at Christmas time. However, that’s unfortunate, but normal, in terms of wildlife.
Also at about Christmas time we had some new tenants move into the next door house – a lovely young couple with two little kids – and a big ginger cat. Unfortunately, for some reason, they decided to leave their cat out at night, rather than in the daytime, with a nasty consequence.
I have taken to sleeping in one of the downstairs back bedrooms for coolness as it’s been so hot lately. A couple of weeks ago I was woken by the screams (really!) of some poor little animal being attacked in our garden. This was at about 3 a.m., when I’m not at my best, I have to say.
At first we thought it was the young possum who lives on our roof at night with two other adult possums, but fortunately, I guess, that wasn’t the case, and it turned out to be a marsupial that Ken had sighted when wondering around the back garden one night. There are some burrows in the garden, which we now assume is where these little creatures – not tiny, like a large rat – but not a rat – live.
Anyway, I went out a couple of times but in the dark, but couldn’t locate the problem, and it went on for quite some time in different locations in the garden. Two of the possums came along the fence and onto the pine tree to me, as they were understandably upset by what was happening. They were making their upset possum noises into the bargain.
In hindsight, I doubt that I could have saved the little creature, but it died a very terrifying and painful death, and it upset me so much I couldn’t sleep in the room for a couple of weeks.
However, as that has never happened in the three and a half years we’ve lived here, and the only change was the cat next door (a very large fierce looking fellow), Ken approached the neighbours and requested that they keep him in at night.
So far so good, and we’ve had no incidents since then, but I keep a torch downstairs, and will try and do a better job if it happens again – hopefully not!
I merely relate this tale so that you responsible cat owners can give yourselves a pat on the back. You’re not only protecting your much loved cats, but you’re also protecting the wildlife, which, so far as Ken and I are concerned, is equally as important.
So thanks to all of you, and give your lovely cats a pat and a hug from me.
We have four indoor cats, and as all cat owners (servants!) know, what goes in must come out, in the form of filled litter trays. It all costs money – firstly, for their food (expensive, in our case) and for the litter needed for the “end result”.
About three months ago I (Robyn) got the bright idea that, if we built an extra side-of-house enclosure, we could put a couple of large “dirt boxes” in that enclosure, and the cats would hasten to use them – at least for their poos. This didn’t prove to be the case initially, but they’re slowly getting the idea, thus reducing the cost of our litter bill, and also reducing our indoor litter boxes from three to two. However, they still prefer to “piddle” in the garage rather than put their delicate bottoms in the soil outside to date. Apart from saving a few dollars, this also reduces the time that Ken takes to diligently clean out their litter boxes every morning. They usually wait for him to do this and then dive in to do their “pees”!
We decided on the area to enclose, which is between the house and the existing retaining wall/side timber fence.
The fence sits above a “staged” BRICK retaining wall, and Ken planned that the roof panel would go across to halfway up the fence. It has two end panels, one with a zip opening. But we were then faced with the problem of how to attach the side panels to the retaining wall, which was also covered in Singapore Daisy. However, we solved this problem by attaching another panel covering the retaining wall, up to the fence where the roof panel attaches, and Ken was then able to attach the two side panels to that panel, thus enclosing the area completely and safely.
It did take a little time to install as it was a bit more complicated, because of the retaining wall panel, than the usual side-of-house to fence enclosure, but Ken did complete it in record time – and I did the zip (not my favourite job, and rather out of practice!).
Ken then put a plank along the retaining wall, in amongst the greenery (which grows constantly!), and he also put together a rather “flash” shelf to cover the dirt boxes, which serves as something for the cats to sit on, but also keeps the dirt boxes dry in wet weather.
As the “floor” of the enclosure is BLUE METAL and our spoilt cats don’t like to walk on it with their delicate paws, we’ve bought three large pieces of “artificial grass” and placed them on the gravel for them to the walk, lie, and sit on. We’ve also placed a couple of plastic chairs in the enclosure for them to use as jumping blocks, and also for us to sit on while we clean “poo” out of their dirt boxes – which they are now using pretty well.
All in all the extra enclosure has been a great success. It’s also used as the “punishment” run if one of the gingers misbehaves, and they stay in there to contemplate their “sins” for an hour or so. This happens quite often as the smaller ginger, Tommy, likes to bully Riley (aka Skippy), who is a sook and hides under one of our, scratched, leather sofas. For this Tommy is banished downstairs for a short time in the hope that it will improve his manners. It hasn’t worked so far, I have to say.
Our large enclosed deck upstairs is still, of course, the favourite, as we spend a lot of time out there also – particularly late afternoon with a soothing drink in hand, having survived another hectic 4 p.m. feeding ritual.
I now get great pleasure from surveying Ken’s handiwork, both from the deck and from the downstairs garden/entertainment area. He’s done a great job and it was all worth it.
A big thank you to over 600 customers.
You have made Catsafe cat enclosures and cat runs into a well known and respected brand.
We pride ourselves in providing excellent products and excellent service at affordable prices.
This was our very first customer in August 2009
This is a current customer in 2019
Slight delay in sending pix. Here are a few, we are still getting around to a few cat friendly climbing steps on the walls but looking good.
The instructions were great, and it is just what we were looking for!
Will send some updated pix when 100% finished if you would like any more.
Our cat enclosures are affordable – no need to organise credit with all the attendant set-up costs & fees & ongoing interest charges!.
and for the month of May, take advantage of our 10% discount offer for all orders.
If we used traditional methods we would personally visit TO measure and quote for each cat enclosure or cat run. We would also make a return visit TO install each one.
HOWEVER, IF we did all that THE COST OF YOUR CAT ENCLOSURE OR CAT RUN WOULD BE GREATLY INCREASED, IN ORDER TO COVER WAGES, CAR EXPENSES AND FUEL. BUT, BECAUSE WE DON’T INCUR ALL THESE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES, THE COST OF OUR ENCLOSURES IS GREATLY REDUCED IN COMPARISON, OFTEN BY 50% OR MORE.
“Finally all finished!
It was a lot of work, especially cutting around the tress and getting the net tensions right.
I will leave the 2nd zip door for later.
Cleo now comes & goes via the bedroom window pet door and is a much happier cat.
Must say I’m VERY happy with how it turned out, and your kind support through out.”
2 Parle Crescent
Buderim Qld 4556
Home: 07 5477 0656
Mobile: 041 902 8883
Kentbowl Pty Ltd trading as Catsafe ABN: 66 010 810 278
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