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