June 2017

You never know who will leave first. All we have are assumptions and hopes for long life and health.
Our all cats here at home in Stockholm are well and alive, but some of dear people lost their beloved cats recently and I am very sad for them. But I was also happy to know how those cats were very much loved and had beautiful lives. ❤ We are thinking of you my dear ones ❤
Sorrow and grief are dark companions, and they are with us after loss because we loved someone dearly, making everything dark, but there is also so much love and beauty in the world, too. ❤

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Behind the curtain – Jossan (in the princess bed) and Leroy (on the sheep) in the west window.

My love Jossan shows no symptoms of being ill at all. I give her her cancer slowing medicine every evening after food and she licks it like candy.
She has an excellent apetite and is as happy as usual. We had a lot of rain in Stockholm recently, but when it was warm and dry she followed me to our garden.

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Jossan in the garden

The cats also go to the balcony sometimes.

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Jossan sharpening her claws on the balcony

In two weeks we will have a vacation and spend it here at home with our cats for the most of time. Staycations are good, if we are lucky we will have a fine summer here, do the gardening and relax.

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Stay safe

We live in Stockholm. You heard maybe on the news that our hometown was under a terrorist attack yesterday. It happened close to where I work, a place I hang around and eat lunch at 3 out of 5 days a week. Not yesterday.

We are safe. It just took us long time to get home yesterday because the police stopped the traffic in the central Stockholm so we were at our offices longer.

Our thoughts go out to all the innocent victims and their families and friends. ❤ Yesterday this happened in Stockholm, every day it happens somewhere else in the world. 😥

Evil people. Evil. But we will not let them make us scared and hurting for long. Because that is what they want. And we will not give it to them.

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Life goes on. Peaceful and friendly cats from Stockholm wish you a calm weekend. Stay safe. ❤

The blue, the lilac and the white Siamese – Miii, Jossan and Claire. And an invisible one, hopefully still breathing, Albert, in the 45° warm cave behind.

5 days after the call

I got a call at the airport, 5 days ago, 15 minutes before boarding the plane, I was about to be away from home for 2 days. Joakim took Jossan to the computer tomography that morning.
And there it was, they said what I dreaded, what they saw was metastases in the lungs. I stayed composed actually and asked how about the previous x-ray that actually looked similar to this new one before the computer tomography (they did not do it last time, thought it was only age-related changes). Yes, now they were not sure, now it was more, but maybe it was already last August she had metastases, just less. Maybe.
I thanked them, asked to send the detailed report to Jossan’s oncologist and said I understand that of course the operation is off. What does it help to remove a small lumps, when there are evil cells in the lungs.
I sat frozen and empty in my head. Joakim called then and was so sad. He hoped they would not call me, but only him, he told them specifically to call only him, he planned not to tell me the news if it was bad before I was back home. But they did call me anyway.
I said to Jocke, I will contact Patricio, ask for advice (Jossan’s oncologist). I PM:ed Patricio, and he answered very fast. I was waiting to board that plane. He was very nice and comforting and said he was sorry. I asked what can we do, is there some more medicines we can give her, but not so that it has bad side effects, she must have good life. I said also I do not understand, she looks like a picture of health, she was outside yesterday, took a walk with me in the garden. I was thinking – her coat is shiny, her eyes are clear, she is full of life, her muscles are perfect, her body is strong. I cannot comprehend it at all.

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Jossan on a short walk in our garden, late March 2017

Patricio asked me about the dose of Metacam (COX-2 inhibitor she is on), and I said 1,5 markings, she weighs 3,4 kg. He said, give her 2 markings. He said she can live a good life for some time longer, in spite of the metastases.
Then we exchanged virtual hugs, I thanked him and went to my flight.
I was very sad being away from Jossan for those two days and nights, I thought a lot about her, about life and death. Yes, Jossan is ‘just a cat’, but she has a soul that is equal to a human soul, I believe in that. And she is my soulmate. There is love and I have been lucky to love and be loved in my life, and then there is something a bit different, that special connection that transcends love, call it a soulmate or whatever.
And now my Jossan is dying. But aren’t we who are alive all both living and dying, we never know how much we have left. We are both living and approaching our end all the time. Now I just know that her end is closer than I hoped for.
We can make moments count. And even when you are not physically next to someone, you still are together in another way. I do not know if animals feel it that way, I barely know how other people feel it. But there must be more to connections between us than having them activated just when being close in space.

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Jossan and me, the evening I arrived back home

We live our lives, the spring is here, and we go to the garden when it is warm enough for that, otherwise, we are inside together when I am at home.
I hope for a long beautiful summer.

Lazy Sunday

A lazy Sunday afternoon, I am reading on the sofa, Jossan is under the blanket. This night and morning she was also under my blanket in the bed. My ❤

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She is feeling well and we hope for spring to come soon so that we can have walks in the garden together.
Next week on Wednesday, a cat dentist will pull out a tooth that seems to be bothering her (FORL). We got okay for that, since all her recent blood tests are good, the cancer is seemingly under control at the moment, and we of course do not want her to have a toothache! Fingers crossed on Wednesday that all goes well with our Queen.
A cat friend’s Siamese girl, with the same bad type of cancer as Jossan has, was put to sleep 10 days ago. 😥 It has spread and took over her lungs with metastases so she was tired and could not breath without problems. She was operated and was on the same medication as Jossan for a few months, which prolonged her life a bit. But then it could not be stopped anymore. So tragic. My heart goes out to my friend.
I hope we will have much more time with Jossan, but I do not think about that much, we chose not to grieve in advance. We take every day as a gift and are grateful for it. And we live in the present. Like cats do. ❤

Jossan and Claire playing

We are longing for spring, and in the meantime, enjoying the cosy life inside. Jossan is feeling great, playing, eating, cuddling and being happy. Here a video of her and Claire “hunting” each other this morning. 🙂

Merry Christmas!

In Sweden we (who celebrate Christmas) exchange presents on Christmas Eve. We celebrated Christmas this year at our home with Jocke’s mom. We bought presents for cats this year also (they get presents all the time, but I got them some for Christmas now too).

2016 has been a tough year, with struggle against Jossan’s cancer, failed pregnancy for Claire, phantom pregnancies for Electra and Funtes that is not eager to mate the girls (but it is getting better, he is maturing. The slowest maturing Siamese ever…).
I feel still deep sorrow and grief after LillMupp, I cannot and do not want to talk about that really. It’s been a year after we lost him, just before Christmas. It hurts.

It was a very successful year for Leroy on the cat shows and the health on our fur babies is mostly well now. Jossan is getting medicine against her cancer (a non-steroid anti inflammatory) and feels great. Her sister Miii is overweight and it is a struggle to get her down in weight. It started with special food good against cancer for Jossan that everyone also eats and Miii really liked and ate a lot… and skyrocketed in weight incredibly fast. 😦 So now we have to be clever and juggle feeding schedules and help Miii get back to her normal weight again.

We had a happy Christmas Eve this evening. Many things in our lives and the world around us are not great, but many are; we celebrate that and wish for better future for all the living beings who go through hard times now.

Our fur babies liked the presents. They got a catnip filled Yeeeww banana toy (they are crazy about those), and one easier and one harder puzzle (they get candy if they do the right thing or two-three things in a row). Leroy solved the easy one immediately.

Claire solved the harder one.

I can recommend http://www.nina-ottosson.com/ for puzzles (this is not an ad, I do not know Nina, but our cats enjoy the puzzles she makes).

Funtes did not care about puzzles much. He cuddled here and there and here again until he fell asleep in the middle of cuddling. 🙂 A love bug! The biggest baby in our mini lions pride.
We wish you a merry Christmas!

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Me and my love Jossan on our card this year (Jocke took the picture).

Leroy turns 10

Today we are celebrating Leroy turning 10 years old! It is hard to believe that our little baby is 10 years old already, feels like yesterday we got him home to Stockholm, from Forshaga, Joakim driving through icy dark landscapes, me holding 12 weeks old Leroy in my lap on the backseat (he yelled and cried in the cage, but the moment I let him come out and sit in my lap he calmed down).

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10 years and many memories. He was always there for us, to help bring up the kittens, to console us when sick or sad, to play with us, our visitors, grown ups and small ones, check and patrol our home. Leroy is the best Siamese ever.

Last week they removed 4 of his teeth (back ones, upper jaw). He had FORL in one of them, the other ones ached. Now we hope he will have no pain at all there! Our veterinary ran a complete health check on him recently, all is perfect, including kidneys. We hope for many more years with our precious Leroy!!!

About our other fur babies – so far so good with Jossan, no new tumours we could feel, we were at the control 9 days ago, seemingly all is okay. We do not know how and when it will go from here, but we are enjoying her being her with us and feeling great.

No kittens for us this year – Electra had a phantom pregnancy. 😦 We hope for better luck next year.

In November?

Life is full of surprises. We were focused on my darling Jossan and did not expect much from our (slow to become an adult, an eternal junior 🙂 ) boy Funtes.

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Funtes, summer 2016

Yes, both Electra and Claire were in heat (with 2 weeks apart, Electra first) and they both were given privacy with Funtes, but we did not notice a single mating. Well, maybe he prefers to date while his humans are at work.

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Electra, October 2016

Electra, Jossan’s daughter from her last litter, seems to be pregnant. I do not know for sure if it is a phantom pregnancy or a real one, but she should be about 5 weeks pregnant now, and went up about 350-400gr, so this could be for real! In that case, we will expect kittens between Funtes and Electra in the middle of November!

Jossan is perfectly well now on the outside, I am spoiling her to bits. Breakfast in bed and all she wants. She is tolerating her Metacam well, no side effects. I hope it works and that she will be around for many years to come.

We checked Leroy, Albert and Maven’s blood values recently. They also passed their yearly physical exam. They are well, and have no signs of arthritis or kidney failure or something bad. Good! Here are Leroy’s blood chemistry results, Albert and Maven hade similar values. Leroy is ground for our breeding, so I am happy that he is going strong, still. He is turning 10 this December.

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Miii was tested earlier this summer, also all well, but she is a bit overweight and we are struggling with that.

Not what we hoped for

Last Friday we got back the results from Jossan’s operation, and it was very bad. All three small tumours they removed were malign, two seemed to be removed in total, one not. And that one was in lymph nodes, which means that the cancer has metastasised. The tumor was very fast growing, also.

I felt completely shattered. It was Friday morning and I headed back to work after meeting the oncologist, Patricio Rivera, and getting the bad news, Jocke took Jossan back home. She was just happy and as usual.

She has no symptoms, since the cancer did not spread yet to her lungs or inner organs (well, not according to the recent x-ray, anyway). When it spreads there and grows, when she gets symptoms maybe like coughing and being tired and not her usual self, that when it starts getting bad, and that is when I will have to let her go, before she starts to suffer. Not now. But my baby will never suffer. I own her that final grace. But I will not think about that now. We will get her regular checkups to see how it progresses and hope for the best.

My working day was not great, I cried and worked, cried and worked. I was so sad. We did not get or asked for any prognoses, since no one can tell really what will happen now. She will not get chemo, since there is no chemo that can preserve her good life quality, and cure her. Only maybe prolong her life a little, but worsen life quality. Still, she will get this COX2 inhibitor, an anti-inflammatory medicine, Metacam, which is good for her, and can stop or slow down the progress of cancer. She will also get special food for cancer patients – a lot of fat and good protein, minimal carbs. One of the dry food that are best in that composition is Royal Canin Intestinal, according to Patricio, we got her that. I’ve also ordered wet food of same kind, and she also eats Bozita and Sheba chicken file and egg yolk at times. We will not give carbs to the cancer!!!

(Yes, she gets food served in bed. Leroy is helping her)

I woke up very late at Saturday, but I was not as sad anymore, I was determined to spend this time we have left together the best we can. Jossan is my big love. We may have weeks or months or years left together, I do not know. No one knows. And you actually never know for anyone how much you have left. We live now, in present and I am happy to have her in my life. I love her so much. ❤

No kittens (this time), but 4 newly scanned perfect hearts.

For a breeder without a litter in 2,5 years, I have a very intense and turbulent life. That is because I am a cat Mom, and because breeding is not just about putting two unaltered cats of opposite sex into same room and getting kittens out of that rendezvous 9 weeks later…

Bad, very bad news first – Claire had no kittens this time. 😥
She went down in weight after 7 weeks of pregnancy, little by little, but still carried what turned out to be empty amniotic sacs to the term. Sleepless nights before we knew she has no kittens in, her started bleeding a bit, urgent visits to veterinary clinics, worries and tears. Claire is a tough cookie, she already started resorbing the stuff in her uterus. No signs of infection or inflammation. She got a medicin (Alizine)e to help her expel the contents and they sampled the fluid coming out. We will take her to a new ultrasound exam now on Monday, see if all got out, and in 10 days we will see a specialist in gynaecology/fertility for cats to discuss why this happened.

Good news – Jossan, Electra and Claire got heart scanned by a cardiologist at Albano and all three girls have perfect hearts. ❤ ❤ ❤
I was worried about Claire being scanned, she was there to get another injection of Alizin only, and had her heart scan booked in 2 weeks, but the veterinary thought she was well enough and that her condition would not influence her heart scan, so they scanned her as well as her mom and half sister.

And the best news 🙂 ❤ 🙂 – Funtes has a healthy heart, and is absolutely approved for breeding!
We went to see a cardiology specialist today (previously Funtes was scanned by a consultant within cardiology, whom I guess is good, but matters of heart are difficult, in every sense, and in Funtes case we needed what we were told by some of the other breeders was one of the best teams in Sweden. Ultuna cardiologist team).

Ultuna was informed about the previous scan and what I was told.
Well, it turned out that what Funtes has, is not an aberration or thickening, it is something called a ‘false tendon’! (I must admit I’ve never heard of the term before). It is some kind of fibrous tissue/bands and is an anatomic variation, not a pathology.

Other thing that was noticed on the first scan – turbulence on Doppler when Funtes yelled and struggled (poor him hates to be held by force, it was much easier to scan the girls, they just were lying calmly, protesting very little) were not considered a pathology by the expert today, it was normal “bubbling” that Doppler showed. All the measured parameters fall within limits for a normal, healthy heart! He was absolutely approved for breeding and his heart was declared healthy today!

We are very happy. First and foremost because his heart is perfect (which in a way we never doubted), and then because I got so much support and good advice after being open and writing about Funtes on Facebook also, which prompted my breeder colleagues and friends to give me good advice and pushed me to look for a second opinion, which led us to where we are today.

Openness puts us out there with all the bad but also good things that come back to you.
I am grateful and believe that if we ask for help when confused and sad, we will get help and ultimately together we will do the best for our cats and the whole race we work with.

It was the same with TF, I got helped the most, by absolutely by far the most by people that had read this blog and mailed me. I am grateful to them forever.

So that is a lot lately – our expectation of kittens led us to a heartbreak for Claire and the loss, the girls hearts are scanned, and Funtes is back to being perfect hearted and kicking. 🙂 So much to take in, so much!

Next station – checking why this happened to Claire and trying to fix it if possible, and then attempting to mate Claire (if she is ok) and Funtes and Funtes and Electra.

Hug cats. Sleep. Try to enjoy the other half of my vacation. I love my cats. So much.

Funtes heart scan

I am grateful for having amazing Siamese cats in my life, they made it so much better.
But I never thought that I will experience so much heartache as a breeder and owner.

Me and my husband always wanted to own and breed healthy cats. Which breeder doesn’t?

I deeply believed that Siamese and Orientals are a healthy race. And it is and it should be. But we have to do more. How much do we check? Can we possibly check for all? No. Only for the things we know may be an issue.

I tested for PRA, as soon as knowledge about it become available, before it was obligatory. I was lucky that my cats and kittens I bred did not have double set of faulty chromosomes and would never get blind. I tested liver, kidneys, viruses. All I knew or heard could go wrong or was recommended.

Years ago I’ve only heard remotely about TF (tritrichomonas foetus) and giardia (it always happened to someone else, you know, in some other country…) when we got TF! I was open with our struggles here on my blog and, while I had support from the most, I’ve actually also had potential buyers saying – oh, great you are open, I appreciate that, but then they went to buy kittens from people who had TF in their catteries, gave it to others while knowing that they might, sold the kittens with TF  and did not care to say that!

Our kitten buyers trust us what we say. If we are silent, they still trust us that we sell them healthy cats. They cannot know about all that can be wrong.

Well, that war on TF we won. Got all clear. A new page, clean cattery, healthy cats, my new import, he and all others scanned four-five times for parasites, healthy, no viruses, nothing. Picture perfect.

Last December I had a young cat who died in a total heart failure. Heard only whispers about cats dying, but no – no heart disease in our race. Pretty cats winning the shows; some have TF, some get put to sleep for heart issues, kidneys or something, it is all silenced down. Now you see them, now you don’t.

A fellow Oriental cat owner had her heart broken recently when her cat died from heart failure. Another one got the sister cat from the first one scanned last week – the same, genetic issue. I really hope that the parents, siblings, half siblings etc get scanned.

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I took my Funtes to an ultrasound specialist today, after learning more and more about the heart issues in our race. The issues I did not think were a problem at all. Maybe minor thing, here and there.

And Funtes beautiful heart, sounds amazingly well – picture perfect health, but then, on the screen – just this little thing (I cannot see it, I have no clue how to interpret ultrasound of the heart) – a tiny little thicker tissue, or was it – a thread. Almost nonexistent. No, no stenosis, but it is there! It is there. Almost perfect, but not.

He will never get worse, he will never get sick or unwell, he will never need medicines. He will always be perfectly healthy heart wise. He does not have HCM, or any cardiomyopathy he has a little extra something that will not get worse. That is his diagnose.

But – according to the ultrasound specialist, it is a common thing on Siamese and Oriental, and it is genetic, and it can be worse than in his case. Can I breed on him!? The veterinary was hesitating. No definite no. But no yes either. He would probably not breed on him if he was his cat. It depends on who Funtes is mated with. We talked about how we should scan our race more, breed away the defects! Not be silent about it, raise the awareness!

But we have a litter in Claire’s belly where Funtes is father that is due in 3,5 weeks. I talked to the veterinary and we will take them all to him for a complete heart scan when they are 12 weeks old. You can see already then if they have something or not!

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Funtes and Claire are expecting kittens.

If we are lucky, they will not have anything and if healthy otherwise, can be used in breeding. If not, I hope the little fault is as little as on their father and can be a long lived pets with no influence on their lives.

We should heart scan our breeding Siamese and Orientals. We do not have HCM in our race, it is almost non-existing on Siamese and Orientals, but dilated cardiomyopathy that my fellow Siamese/Oriental owners had on their cats is common, and what Funtes has is common. If one in the litter has something, and we know it, we should scan the siblings, offspring, parents, used in breeding. It should become a practice.

And we should always select on health before type. Ethical breeding – we are responsible for the health of our animals and their offspring. We do not know all, but as soon as we learn about the possible problems, it is unacceptable to just close our eyes.

This on Funtes is no one’s fault! And luckily it will not influence his life or health. But it made me more aware of the possible heart problems in our race.

When you know there is something in the lines, or in your cattery – an infection, a virus, a parasite, a disease and you breed on that without curing the cats, or scanning them and just close your eyes and continue – it becomes your fault.

A new test for kidney function

We sometimes organize events or presentations in my cat club (Siameslinjen), and last Saturday we had a guest veterinary Linnéa Brandt who held an excellent presentation on a subject of older cats (on a cell level cats start aging from about 7 years of age, so in a way, all cats older than 7 years are – older cats). One of the leading death causes in older cats (more than one third) is a chronic kidney disease (CKD).

During the presentation I learned about one thing I did not know before – there is a new test available that can help us discover the scary kidney disease earlier than before, during an annual control of our senior furry family members – the IDEXX SDMA blood test.

SDMA typically increases when there is on average a 40% decrease in kidney function. This occurs earlier than creatinine, which doesn’t increase until there is up to 75% loss of kidney function!

We have tested our older cats (most recently Leroy a few months ago, Leroy is 9,5 years old now), and their urea and creatinine were fine, but – they would be fine until 75% of kidney function is already gone! I want to catch this bad condition early, if it is bound to happen, and adjust their diets in time and have them live long and good quality lives! I have mailed one of our veterinaries about the tests, asked if they perform it. I know it is not done readily in Sweden yet, but some veterinaries send it to Idexx laboratory in Germany.

I just wanted to share this with you who may read, to know about this great new test! You may read more here.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter and greetings from us and our cat family!

The spring is almost here (we had some snow last week in Stockholm). All the cats are healthy, and we hope that this year we will have some kittens during the summer. Nothing yet, but we have the plans. That will be so exciting, we did not have kittens since winter 2013/2014.

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Jossan is eating some of the cat grass we grow for our furry friends in the flower pot, and then kindly poses for her yearly ‘cat with an Easter hat’ picture, with a half of one Easter egg-shaped metal candy box acting as a hat.

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Happy Easter!

 

 

7 weeks; gremlins

The kittens are turning into gremlins. They are adorable, but their ears are in that unfortunate bunny phase. They also move around in large numbers and attack various moving and still objects.

We have decided upon the names for the kittens. The girls will be called: Chloé (seal point) and Claire (white). We picked French girls’ names we liked most for them and thought suited them.

The boys will be caled: Corto (lilac point), and the white boys: Casper, Calvin and Charlie, as in: Corto Maltese (Jelena’s favorite comic), Casper the friendly ghost, Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, and Charlie as Charlie Brown.

The white brothers – “The monster must die!”

Casper – “Hmmm, this room is new for me.”

Charlie – “Do I look like I have time for posing? I must run!”

Corto to Chloé: “My toy!”

Another time, another place… Again – MY TOY!

Claire – “Gracious? Who, me?! Always!”

Calvin as Dr Jekyll

and – as Mr Hyde

Love between a cat and her human

Jocke took this picture last summer. He took a photo while I was talking to Jossan, and she was looking at me, occasionally meowing back.

There is so much love between us; she is my cat and I am her human, and I really feel that that love got captured on this photo – you can see it in her eyes, in the angle of my head when I am talking to her, in her whole body posture.

I miss Jossan a lot today. We left her at Flippen’s place again. Their dating did not work out that well last autumn. She did not allow him to approach her at all, and the poor guy lost his interest after a few days of trying hard. But, now Jossan is in heat again, and we’ll see if she accepts the handsome boy this time.

Please help stop the killing of wolves in Sweden

I love animals so much. My heart is breaking because of killing of wolves in Sweden that started two days ago when 12 000 hunters went out to kill supposedly 27 out of 150-200 wolves we have left in our entire country, where we can house many more of those beautiful and endangered animals.

Please sign the petition here if you think that it may help. I believe it can and I have signed it. I do not know what else I can do; I tweeted the url to the petition and put it on Facebook. I can just go out in the cold and cry, but that won’t help. I am crying inside instead.

Many more than 27 of those wonderful animals (and there is no justification even for those 27 that the Swedish government and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency allowed to be killed) are already killed, and bloodthirsty men won’t stop easily.

Edited on Jan 15, 2010: Enough signatures are collected and the petition is closed. Thank you all that support the cause!

Jossan is tested

We tested Jossan for FeLV/FIV and checked creatinine and urea (BUN) blood values. Everything is as expected; she is FeLV/FIV free and the kidney function parameters are within the normal range.

She is very slim, though. Jossan eats like an elephant, but in spite of that she is the leanest Siamese we’ve seen. Except maybe for her grandmother Aisha, Leroy’s mom. A veterinary that checked Jossan earlier said that her weight was fine, but still, I would prefer her to go up in weight a bit.

Jossan is not skinny; she is very muscular, but somehow – tiny. Maybe she needs some more fat. Hm.