Video

Kittens

Here is a glimpse into their everyday activities!

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Merry Christmas!

This year we got no snow for Christmas in Stockholm, and it is unusually warm for December here, so I did not realize that the holidays were approaching so fast. We usually have kittens during the summer, this is the first time we have litters in  winter. Now it is all about them, besides our work. I did not make Christmas cards this year either, but today I realized that it is okay – we are like parents with small childen, they come first, and other things can wait. I should stop stressing about all the other things that much.

All the kittens feel great, Jossan’s five, and LillMupp, or Dexter, Claire’s son. When it comes to TF, they probably did not get it yet. We separated the litter boxes and are trying to keep them uninfected. How much that is possible, I do not know. They feel good, have good stools and I do not notice any odd symptoms. Our big cats feel good too. The medicines are ordered from abroad via our veterinary, and we are a part of the study within SVA (Swedish Veterinary Institute), where our cats will be tested 5 times, once before, and 4 times after the treatment. It all feels good.

I did make one e-card, with little Dexter, or LillMupp, which is his nickname. The photoshoot itself took about one hour, with the most of the pictures looking like this:

Merry Christmas according to LillMupp

Merry Christmas according to LillMupp

and then we got this one, which is our ‘official’ Merry Christmas card this year:

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Also, here are the portraits of Dexter (LillMupp), 7 weeks old, and Jossans kittens, 6 weeks old:

Etsuko, 6 weeks old

Etsuko, 5 weeks old

Electra, 6 weeks old

Electra, 5 weeks old

Elric, 6 weeks old

Elric, 5 weeks old

Eleonora, 6 weeks old

Eleonora, 5 weeks old

Ender, 6 weeks old

Ender, 5 weeks old

Dexter, 7 weeks old

Dexter, 6 weeks old

The Fat Siamese strikes back

Leroy, The King (Lilac point Siamese)

Leroy, The King

#1 Leroy’s Diary, March 2013

One Sunday after lunch, a very secret location somewhere in Sweden

“Can he go from the chair in the corner slowly diagonally over the floor to the left edge of the table and stretch his left, no, wait – his right paw, slowly and lift it here in the air, put it against the table and turn his head towards the camera? Like this?”, said the guy with a funny hat. He was talking about me and asking Mom and Dad.

Of course I could do that. But why should I?

“Ahm, no…”, Mom answered. She and Dad exchanged nervous looks.

“Mauuu”, I said.

“But, Nisse*, Leroy is a family pet, not a circus cat. He cannot do tricks”, said a lady with long hair.

Of course I could do tricks. But, why should I?

“No, he cannot do tricks. But he can do anything if he wants to, and if he gets candy”, Mom said.

Of course I could do anything, but why should I? Wait, did Mom just mention candy?

“Maaaaauuuu”, I said.

Everyone was looking at me, a whole bunch of people I’ve met for the first time today. Dad got out a bag of Dreamies and showed me the candy. Everyone got excited and stared at me.

Let me tell you something – if you already haven’t figured that out yourselves – I love being the center of attention. I deserve everyone’s attention. What I do not necessarily like is to do as I am told. So I jumped from Mom’s lap and ran towards the closest tunnel and crawled in. Ha, humans, eat your candy yourselves!

There is a whole world of new 1000sqm I have to explore. I see you when I see you!

***

Three hours and two shooting sessions later. Take #3.

I think that we are clear on who is the King now. Give me that candy, and I’ll do the walk better than Nisse could ever dream of.  Just because I want that.

Heidi Klum, watch and learn, this is how you do it!

Humans are an inferior species.

#2 Mom’s diary, March 2013.

Sunday evening

We came back from the photo session about an hour ago. We did not take any photos ourselves, everything was sort of secret. New IKEA kitchen, six different ones, the adds will be out in June, I think they said. If they do not photoshop away Leroy, he’ll be a star!!!

Leroy was really cool in an enormously big studio with many new smells. The crew did one photo session at first during which we did not get him to do what we wanted, or go where we decided. No amount of candy or petting helped. The photographer decided that we all should take a break, and let the star rest a bit. She seemed nice, and worked with animals before. Cats are the hardest to film or capture on pictures in arranged situations, they do as they want. 🙂 And Siamese and Orientals even more so than others.

The second shot got much better, Leroy started exploring the main set, not only all the tunnels and the dark parts of the studio. We got to rest for 30 more minutes.

Leroy was completely relaxed during he third attempt. He went everywhere we wanted, looked for candy and was as cool as he is at home. He is not a trained cat that knows tricks and so, but he is a very clever and stable cat with a lot of charisma. The crew was happy with his body language and we wrapped the shoot. It took us half a day! It is not easy becoming a star.

Jocke and I were happy with “Leroy’s” new kitchen. It was elegant, a bit Japanese in style, minimalistic and the colors matched our Leroy perfectly (or the other way round).

Leroy is not a tiny Siamese, but maybe that is why he was cast? Who wants a skinny cat in a kitchen commercial?! 🙂 I hope that they got some good photo today, and that they do not remove him completely from the photo. The ad’s working name is called ‘Minimalisten; walk in kitchen’.

Leroy, the King!

Leroy, the cutest King ever!

#3 Leroy, May 2013

Mom is leaving the Green Room open all the time now during the summer. Sometimes I get to follow with her outside, and run around with her and Miii and Maven. I do not want to run, but I have to, there are butterflies and grass and flowers, and bushes in the backyard.

Mom and Dad are vicious people. Just when I thought that torturing me with Da Bird is the worst that could happen, they let me follow outside. I feel how the outside world is draining my energy with all it has to offer. My body is getting smaller every day. I am disappearing. I’ll melt before the autumn comes.

#4 Leroy, June 2013

Mom and Dad are ridiculous. They called me a star, got home a picture of me from IKEA for their personal use, they were happy. The picture of me that is online, in some commercial.

Leroy, ego surfing

Leroy, ego surfing

I like IKEA. They make good mouse toys. I like the white ones the most.

Other Siamese owners must be envious of Mom and Dad. Well, it is their fault they have strong characters and no heart and starve their cats. Mom and Dad are easily broken, and why would IKEA ever hire a skinny Siamese for the kitchen commercial. Hello? Of course it had to be me.

IKEA took over the world and stayed on top for many decades. They know a star when they see one. The next stop – Hollywood!

Again, Heidi Klum, watch and learn; here I come!

P.S. I wonder if Mom got paid and what did she do with all that money. If she bought more Tasteless Mud for it, I’ll stare at her until she starts crying. Bad Mom. Where is my Tasty Crap?! My star tummy needs its Tasty Crap!!! Humans are impossible to teach and train! Arrrgh.

P.P.S. Nisse* is not called Nisse, I forgot his real name.

***

Leroy’s picture online at Ikea’s site can be seen here:

IKEA, kök

Previous parts of Leroy’s diary can be found here:

The fat Siamese diary – week #1

The fat Siamese diary – part #2

The fat Siamese diary – part #3 (Exhibition)

56 days

Today is 56 days since Claire was mated. There is about 7-10 days only left until Claire’s kittens arrive, and 10 days after that Jossan’s. We saw movements in both of their bellies. So exciting! We are getting more nervous.

Claire has gained a lot of weight since the mating – 950gr, but that is hard to see. Siamese are very long cats and somehow they manage to distribute all that newly gained weight so that it is not that visible. 🙂 Her tummy was pretty prominent and looked big until about 1-2 weeks ago, when the babies seem to have moved down in a way. Jossans seems to be carrying more kittens than Claire.

20131019Jossan

Jossan, resting. About 17-20 days to go

Claire, balancing on the chair

Claire, balancing on the chair, 7-10 days to delivery

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Claire, bombing the picture and stealing the candy from Jossan

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Jossan, geting another candy

Here is also a video of the Siamese from this morning. Sorry about the mess in the background. 😦

Jossan is picking the food and candy from one of her favorite toys, and at the same time Jocke is trying to take a good photo of Leroy. He calls him ‘Tjockis’ which in Swedish means something like ‘fatso’ and Leroy understands the word and gets offended! Look at his tail! He gets really upset when someone calls him ‘tjockis’. Well, who wouldn’t? I sound silly, since my voice gets ridicilous when I talk to cats and I tell Leroy that he is cute and handsome, not a ‘fatso’.

You can also see a bit better how Claire’s and Jossan’s tummies look like!

The cats seem to feel great. They eat more of the Queens RC food which has high fat and protein content which Leroy finds irresistible and he started to put on some extra weight again! :/

About TF, the parasite which I wrote about previously, we have nothing dramatic to say. The cats feel great and if we did not have them tested we would not notice much of a difference now. The smell of their stool is still foul, but the consistency is ok, most of the time. No irritation, no problems at all. They are happy and healthy, eat well and show nothing out of order.

I’ve been reading for days and weeks all I could find and am still reading more about TF, treatments, symptoms, medications and so on. I’ve talked to helpful people whose cats had TF and who cured them. I am optimistic and not too worried. This parasite is less troublesome or damaging than many other things cats can get. It is treatable and often cats can even get rid of it themselves.

Knowledge and science FTW! Only the best care is good enough for our beloved fur babies. And I wish that for all other pets, all of them deserve love and care.

In the shadows

What I will write about today is something that a few of other cat owners experience as well, but not all are open about it. Some rather go through that in silence and I understand why. But I want to tell about what we are going through and if possible help others with our story.

Claire was mated just a little bit before our story begins and we  were not sure yet if she stayed pregnant.  Jossan had a date that we drove back to his Mom the previous day. The day the story starts, I came home from work and went to the litter boxes to clean them. Claire followed me, and she went on one of the litter boxes in front of me and did #2. Her stool did not look as usual; it was softer, shinier, and there was a little red streak in it. It smelled bad. I felt dizzy and my heart started racing when I saw that particular streak, and I got so scared. What I saw was blood, I understood that.

Joakim had just entered the house, and I showed him what I saw. Claire stared at us with her beautiful blue eyes, wondering why we look so upset and then she happilly ran away hunting for a toy.

I followed her to the upper floor, got to my computer and started googling for the symptoms while calling a veterinary. Our vet had already closed for the day so I called another clinic that is also pretty good. While waiting to talk to the veterinary, I managed to google that the blood in the stool that looked as Claire’s did, light and almost transparent, was just an irritation in the large intestine, and usually not a sign off something serious. OK, that was not bad.

The veterinary was not too worried, cat diarrhea is the most common cause for a veterinary visit, and often there is not a serious cause behind it (in 80% of cases). I said that Claire was pregnant and, sure, if she gets fine by tomorrow, I can accept it as a one time thing, but if it continues, I want to book a time for a checkup. And so we booked the first available time they had, two days later, and I would call and cancel it if Claire got well.

She did not get better. We ran to another clinic the same night and bought special food for cats with diarrhea, gave her probiotics and extra nutrients in a concentrated paste.

Then Leroy got bad. He ate a lot of grass the previous day, so I thought that that is why, but his stool smelled so bad and now we had two cats that were bad in tummy and I started feeling very anxious. Our cats are almost never sick. They can eat whatever, their tummies are fine. And that smell, you just know that something is wrong.

The next day we took both Leroy and Claire to the veterinary to a booked visit. Our furry babies were very cute and cuddly, a picture perfect clinically healthy cats. No fever, happy, good appetite, clear eyes and all. She took a smear from their bottoms (not appreciated!) and looked under the microscope (we knew before and she mentioned that it is not a 100% certain she will find something that way, even if it is there). No, nothing.

But I knew something was wrong.  Although our cats behaved as always, did not go down at all in weight and ate well, that smell and feeling something is wrong was enough. We agreed to collect samples of their stool for some time and send it to SVA (Swedish Veterinary Institute).

I googled and read studies and other sites and discussion boards frenetically. I was certain what it was. Tritrichomonas Foetus, the odd parasite that came to the cat population around 1999, and no one knows how; before it was something that mostly plagued cows. I mailed Casper’s mom Désirée that is a veterinary and researcher also at SVA, but works with birds, and she gave me advice and support and told me for which tests to ask for TF; it was a so called PCR test. We also would test for Giardia and other parasites.And so we sent the collected samples.

As the days went by, all of our cats occasionally got bad stool. The veterinary said that it was too late to separate them anyway, they already were all probably infected with whatever they might have had. What we should focus on was to keep them happy and healthy and not stress them. I called and informed the owner of the guys our girls dated what I worried about and the tests I sent for. She was very worried as well. Her cats were symptom free, but there are symptom-free carriers of TF.

A week later, even before the results came back, I was completely certain that our cats had TF. I read many many things about it, and exchanged plenty of mails with Des, Casper’s Mom, and Jossan’s breeder, my friend Monica. The cats felt absolutely fine, except that it smelled awful in their litter boxes and they sometimes had bad consistency of their poo. Not all the time, maybe 50% in average, it was all good. But not all the same cats all the time had bad stool; it varied. But they played, Claire went up in weight (we weighed the cats every day) and started eating more and more. They slept and ate as before and all was as before. Except for the litter box thing. I checked their bottoms every day to see if they got irritated or swollen, but they were fine.

And then the results came. The veterinary called and said that she was sorry, but it was TF, as I thought. I felt terrible and at the same time relieved. The thing is that Joakim and I were very worried, we did not not sleep or eat well all that time. I could have been wrong about TF, and something else could have been the culprit of the foul smell and the bad tummies. A virus or a bacteria that could kill the unborn kittens and make our cats really sick. Or not kill the kittens, but give them all kind of deformities. Or something that could kill the moms to be, give them inflammation of the uterus etc… I am a breeder and know other breeders, I heard all kind of things that other experienced during their years as breeders. You see pictures of fluffy cute kittens in all these catteries, including ours, and that is true, breeding is an amazing experience, but then, there is that other side of the coin; cats can get sick and bad things can happen. And we must do our best to help them stay healthy and recover fast when sick!

Let me tell you a little about TF.

Tritrichomonas Foetus is a small parasite, it is a single-celled protozoa, flagellate. It looks pretty nasty when enlarged, but it is very small.

The fact is that TF does not actually make cats go down in condition. The parasite lives in the large intestine and causes diarrhea or actually soft poo at times. It smells really bad. At some cats it gives no symptoms at all! All the nutrition from food is already taken and absorbed in the small intestine before it gets to the region where TF resides. That is why cats do not get sick or lose weight. TF does not affect unborn kittens or cats’ condition. Our cats do not go to the toilet more often either. It is the consistency that is sometimes different. And that smell. It is awful.

TF is not contagious for humans.

There are studies in Britain and Norway that were done on taking samples from all the cats on cat shows and it turns out that between 20% and 31% of all the cats had TF! Some had other parasites as well, as for example Giardia.

I think that it is a responsible behavior to treat it, sell only TF -free cats and stop spreading of TF. We could sell a seemingly healthy kittens with TF, but it could give it to other cats and occasional (or in some cases – everyday) diarrhea is not fun to deal with. Our cats have very mild symptoms, but some cats get worse; it depends on their overall health, I guess.

I think that it is not acceptable to sell the cats that are sick or even symptom-free carriers of parasites. Not only  that by selling kittens with problems you would give a lot of emotional and economical stress to the new owners, it is also that we love our cats and kittens with all of our hearts, and we would never give them such a bad start in life that would lead into continued illness and possible misery. TF usually heals on its own on 90% of cats even without medications in average of 9 months. In two years the most of them are fine; about 60% are parasite-free. About 40% are suspected to stay symptom free carriers for longer.

There is a bit of hysteria about TF (when we do not know much about something, we get scared, and sometimes even worse than scared). I read that some claim that TF kills cats, kittens etc. TF does not kill kittens. To quote one of the experts on TF, professor Danielle Gunn-Moore, it is unlikely that kittens with TF die from TF or the diarrhea caused by it. It is much more likely that Giardia or another bacterial, viral or parasitic condition was also present in the kittens if they died, and that it was one of those that were as yet undetected that kills the kittens.

This was confirmed by one of our  veterinaries, Katharina (she works with Buba and she is also an excellent veterinary). I talked today with her, and told her what we have and that we will have kittens soon. We will be able to run to them immediately if the kittens get dehydrated and need some extra liquid under their skin or vitamins, if it comes to that. Although, we tested for other things, and we do not have anything but TF, so the kittens will most likely be fine even if they get TF from the big cats. But it feels good to have  veterinary support even before the kittens turn 12 weeks and all the cats can be medicated and cured. We will try to prevent the kittens from getting TF by separating their litter box from moms’ litter boxes.

We are also in contact with other veterinaries (the cats will be treated when the kittens are big enough at the first clinic we went to, Linnea is also very good veterinary and they will help us get the medicine from abroad, on a licence) and the SVA’s parasitic laboratory and I am mailing some more of the world experts on TF, since abroad  (especially in the US) people have more experience with TF than we in Sweden. Plenty of knowledgable people are involved!

Our cats and kittens to come will be taken care of and treated and move to their new homes when they are tested and given a clean bill of health.

This may be a hard few months ahead of us, but we will do our best.

Informative links about TF:

http://www.icatcare.org/advice-centre/cat-health/tritrichomonas-foetus-infection-cats
http://www.catplanet.co.uk/index.php/magazine/articles/303-tritrichomonas-foetus-tritrix
http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/docs/documents/ownersguide_tfoetus_revised_122009_final.pdf
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_tritrichomonas_foetus.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC427826/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19653162

In Swedish, about both Giardia and TF:

http://www.sogrupp.se/2012/06/tritrichomonas-foetus-giardia/

Waiting

If all goes well, in three weeks Claire will get her first litter, and ten days after that Jossan will get her kittens. We are excited, but also a bit worried, hoping that all will go well.

This is Claire’s first litter, and we still do not know if she will be a good mom, if she will have milk for the kittens, if she will have an easy time delivering the kittens…. that is part of the reason why we tried to time Jossan’s kittens close to Claire’s, if something goes wrong, Jossan can help out. Albert and Leroy can of course help with almost everything, but they cannot nurse the kittens if Claire does not have milk, or has problems with it. We would have to do it, but a cat mom is always the best option.

We got to borrow two really gorgeous Siamese boys with exciting pedigrees; their pet names are Sigge and Jack.  Jack is seal point, and Sigge is a seal point tabby (lynx) Siamese.

Jack is actually Sigge’s son.  Sigge dated Jossan, and Jack dated Claire. Bellow are their pictures. And here is one picture from this afternoon; moms to be are resting on a soft blanket, and Albert is also there, cool and loving as always. He will soon be both hands-on uncle and big brother, and we know that he will be so happy about it. There are no better nannies in the world than him and Leroy! See, Claire’s belly is a bit bigger than Jossan’s, since she is 10 days ahead in her pregnancy. She maybe also carries more kittens, we do not know.

Claire, Jossan and Albert, taking a nap

Claire, Jossan and Albert, taking a nap

Here are the pictures of the parents to be:

La Bell Jumping Jack, SIA n

SE*La Voix Claire, SIA w67

Jack & Claire, pedigree on Pawpeds

Sirius Naryschkina*D, SIA n21 (photo by Heide Petersen)

S*Me-Na-Yak Call Me Josephine Brown, SIA c

Sirius & Jossan, pedigree on Pawpeds

Summer on the balcony

Image

Claire: “Mini pelargoniums! Let’s go for the red one, it looks juicy.”

"No, that is so main stream. I say we go for this one."

Albert: “No, red pelargoniums are so mainstream. I say we go for this one.”

Yes, our Albert is a cat with a discerning palate. Let’s have a close up of what he is trying to eat:

Albert is a gourmet

Albert is a gourmet

A cactus? Yes, a cactus!

Luckily, no cat or plant was hurt during this photo session!

Did Albert learn something today? I hope he did! He did not bleed or seemed hurt, but he looked very surprised after gently trying to taste the little cactus.

Sleeping in style

There are several sofas, cat beds and various pillows spread through the house to choose from, but Jossan wants to sleep on the very sheep that Claire occupied first. Claire will of course not move and leave her sheep.

So what happens is that everyone sleeps on the sheep. But – there is place only for one cat there, or so I thought. And I was wrong.

Jossan: "I will sleep here". Claire: "I am not moving." Everyone is happy.

Jossan: “I will sleep here”. Claire: “I am not moving.” Everyone is happy.

20130623ClaireJossan1

Half an hour later; everyone is still happy, sleeping.

The True Jungle King (or Mr Sung if you prefer)

We got a few pictures of Sung (Alessandro), Albert’s blue brother from the A-litter who lives in Malmö with his humans and Skeletor. He and his furry friend spend the days in the sun on their balcony.

20130504Sung3

Skeletor and Sung, May 2013

And look how stylish he is. Who is tougher? Mr Phantom or Mr Sung? The answer is kind of obvious if you only count how many little skulls each of them wears.

phantomSkull

Mr Phantom

plenty of skulls

Mr Sung

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The True Jungle King

 

On the balcony

The spring is very much here in Stockholm! The weather is lovely and we are planting the flowers and working in the garden and on our balcony when we can.

The cats are helping us (according to them).

Jossan sniffing campanula

Jossan sniffing campanula

But, this is not how it is supposed to be!  Jossan is my angel, she only sniffs at little campanula flowers.

Claire and her salad choice

Claire and her salad choice

Albert eats them as salad! Which is what Claire does with my small pelargonium plants that are ready to be planted in the big pots.

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

But, the worst of all – look where Leroy is sitting!

Leroy, Albert and Claire; all doing the things they are not supposed to.

Leroy, Albert and Claire; doing the things they are not supposed to.

The net must go up soon!

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air! What? Spring, on the March 1, in Stockholm? No, of course not! There is at least a month or two of winter ahead of us, but – we got tulips in our stores, plenty of them!

Anders who is Dad to Corto and Calvin, got the prettiest bouquet of tulips and I can only imagine how happy he was when he realized that his fur babies like flowers in vases, they find them so decorative… a sort of Morticia Addams decorative:

Morticia trims the roses; on the other end

Morticia trims the roses; not in the most usual way (for humans). But, if you are a cat, Morticia’s way is perfectly logical.

These are a few pictures that I borrowed from Anders. The boys are not eating tulips, they just trim them a bit and play football with the crowns. (Tulips are not poisonous for cats, but they can get bad tummies if they eat too much of them).

Calvin and Corto: "We'll help you trim those, Dad!"

Calvin and Corto: “We’ll help you trim those, Dad!”

Corto

Corto

Calvin

Calvin

The game is on!

The game is on!

Thank you Anders, for the lovely pictures! 🙂

Albert got a prize – Food maze

There was a competition on Siames i fokus for the best Christmas photo, and Albert came second (with the picture of him in the Christmas tree), and we got a prize! 🙂 It was this picture that came second:

Albert the White Squirell

Albert the White Squirrel

We got Catit Senses Food Maze for our cats!

The Food Maze has one design flow (whoever made it did not have Siamese and their loooong noses in mind) – our Siamese can get their heads right into the top level and simply eat the food from there. But, we put a lid from one cookie-box on the top and now it works perfectly!

I filmed the cats eating Siamese 38 dry food from Royal Canin, which, according to the independent Swedish veterinary institute test, is not such a great quality food (our cats eat dry food from Eukanuba and James Wellbeloved and also Bozita and Mjau wet food – those two are Swedish brands), but it tastes great, so they get it instead of candy sometimes.

Claire is crazy about cat candy, and also, other cats let her get it first since she is the youngest. Albert does not care about candy that much (accept for Dreamies, and I am always strict there – everyone gets Dreamies from my hand, so there is no stealing). Albert likes lettuce. He is a special cat.

When we want other cats to play with Food Maze, we play with Claire in another room. And here is why:

A painting of Jossan

I am done with a small painting of Jossan. I cannot take a good picture of it though; it looks better IRL, the dreaded orange heart is coral actually and everything is a bit different. I used a silver pigment on the painting which makes it hard to take a good photo of it, especially with flash (this picture is taken without flash).
I think it looks like Jossan. 🙂

Josephine Brown

Josephine Brown

Edited:

Here is a better photo of the painting, taken in the daylight. 🙂 The colors are more correct. The painting has more depth in reality.

Jossan daylight

Jossan daylight

And one more with Leroy, interested in my work. 🙂

Leroy

Leroy and a painting of his daughter

Merry Christmas!

MerryXmas2012a2

The cats, Joakim and I wish you a merry Christmas! I like to draw/make my own Christmas cards, and this one is a combination of the one I drew in real life, and then fixed it a bit in Gimp. I am not that good with image editing and photoshopping, but I am happy with the result.

This one is unedited. Look, our little White Squirrel is back! Albert is having fun in the Christmas tree. Every morning the branches are bending towards the floor, and some of the ornaments are missing. The fluffy ones (look at that heart! It is from Ikea :)) can be found here and there in the house, often in our bed. Presents! 🙂

20121220AlbertSquirell1

The return of The White Squirrel

Claire opens hunting season

A hunt? On what? TOYS! Except that those are not toys, but Christmas ornaments! Or, well, that depends – if you are a cat the world is your playground and all the items lying around (or arranged in a silly manner by humans) are certainly left there for your pleasure and entertainment.

I was strategically placing our beloved figurines of bearded tomtar (pl from tomte) on the highest shelves so that the cats cannot get them (oh, those lovelly beards made of wool from sheep from Öland, nom nom!) when Claire started running around with a little angel doll I got from Jocke’s mom!

"Look what I found! A toy!"

“Look what I found! A toy!”

She did not destroy it, she just carried it all over the house, but it was hard to get it back from her. “MINE!”. First she teased Albert who got to follow her around, but no, he did not get to touch the angel doll.

"Albert, won't you come and see what I have here?"

“Albert, won’t you come and see what I have here?”

"Look, it is so pretty!"

“Look, it is so pretty!”

"Don't touch! Only I can touch it."

“Don’t touch! Only I may touch it.”

Jocke took a few pictures and then I rescued the lovely angel doll from Claire who was NOT HAPPY! That little cat is so cute and cuddly, but very obstinate. A cat; obstinate? No! 😉

Rescued angel doll

Rescued angel doll

Sleeping sacks

I wanted sleeping sacks for our cats since I saw the pink one on the pictures that Casper’s new Mom sent me. Casper is called Imre now and he lives with two Burmese ladies, Daphne and Octavia and one Cornish Rex boy, Matteo. 🙂

Matteo, Daphne and Imre (ex Casper) curled up in their sleeping sack. Pictures by their Mom Désirée

Looong legs!

Yesterday they finally arrived, our own sleeping sacks from Germany, http://www.katzen-deko.de/ , our favorite place for buying cat furniture! At first the cats were skeptical and more interested in a cardboard package than the sacks themselves. But today when I woke up, I found them in the blue room, sleeping like this:

Jossan and Miii

The Siamese pile; Leroy, Albert, Miii and Jossan. Claire is in my arms, ‘helping’ me hold the phone and take pictures. Maven is sleeping upstairs, she is not too fond of cat piles.

I waited for about a month for the sacks to arrive! That was pretty long. :/ I ordered those two (the first one is on the pictures): big sleeping bag and shell shaped tipi

Miii in particular is very fond of hiding under blankets, and I guessed correctly she will be the one most pleased with the sacks. And she is! The other (mussel shaped) tipi could easily hold two cats, but she kicks out the other ones out. Bad Miii! She really likes the new beds.

The fat Siamese diary – part #3 (Exhibition)

Leroy’s story:

Week #3

It seems that Mom gave up on torturing me.

There is always this new, really tasty food out, and I can eat as much as I want! Yum, yum! I still get Tasteless Mud few times a day as well, but it is actually not that bad (or I got used to it). I love my Mom and Dad, they are not that unreasonable after all.

Week #4

Mom said that I am the best cat in the world and such a good example for The Little One. Then she put me and the baby in the cage and Dad drove us to a place I had never visited before. It was a huge hall with hundreds of other cats and even more people. The Little One was scared, but I was just curious. I wanted to walk around and inspect the place. Mom put me and the baby in one big cage, arranged everything like a little room for cats, with a cat house and curtains and a litter box. We got food and water, too. It was good. I could see many other cats from there and when I told my humans to take me out and carry me around so I could see more, they obeyed.

I liked being there. People came to me and admired my beautiful face and eyes, said how pretty and cool I was. I liked that not many stupid people were there. Mom took me to a lady with white hair that called me ‘Big Boy’ and everyone laughed. She said many good and true things about me, except for one – that my head could be bigger. Mom petted me later and told Dad that that was a nice way to say that I was fat: “He is not big, it is his head that is small”. I do not care, small head or not, I am the King.

In the afternoon we went home just to go back to the same place the next day.

The Little One was less scared the next day. She looked at me, and also, at her Dad who was there as well, and imitated my royal posture and utter coolness. A new lady judged our good looks this time, and she also called me ‘Big Boy’. She did not complain about my head (except for my ‘somewhat flat forehead’. Ha! SHE had a flat forehead!), and she also told me many nice things. My humans carried me around again and I saw many cats of different races I never saw before. People came to Mom and asked about me and were surprised that it was my first time on a cat exhibition ever; I was so relaxed and cool. Yes, what did they think. I am cool. Like, the coolest cat ever.

Leroy: “Carry me around! Show me the world!”

Cat exhibition – our story:

We were never that interested in exhibiting our cats; that takes a lot of time and also, cat shows are beauty pageants and for us our cats were already the prettiest in the world anyway! Our kittens’ dad Goofy has a title, he is a GIC (Grand International Champion, which is high title), but we would have liked him all the same even if he was not.

Until a few years ago, and even now sometimes, there have been cats that got sick on exhibitions and some of the breeders had to stop with breeding completely after getting cats sick for life. I was very scared of that. But now, everyone is cleaning tables, cages and hands with alcohol and the cats are handled very cautiously, so the risk of getting some bug is very small. And of course, you cannot exhibit a sick cat and there is an obligatory veterinary check when entering the cat show. The infections are not that bad for big cats, but if you have small kittens at home, they can get really sick.

We did not plan to have any litter soon, so we decided to exhibit Claire, since white Siamese are rare, and that way people can get to see her.

When it comes to beauty – Albert and Jossan are our prettiest cats, but Albert is not fond of being lifted after his injury (I hope he forgets about it now when he is operated and fine), and Jossan is fertile and can get upset and nervous if she is close to male fertile cats, so I do not want to stress them.

Leroy is chubby, and Miii is caramel blue, not ‘ordinary’ blue (caramel is recognized in England, but not here in Sweden, so she would have to compete with the “true” blue Siamese and she would get low points for her fur color, which is not fair. They are not even the same color! Jossan and Miii’s grandfather was an import from England and had the same, amazing fur color, which is not that appreciated in Sweden). Maven cannot be exhibited, not because she is a mixed breed – there is a class for them, too; the reason is that she has a tail kink.

But, we did not want to take little Claire there alone!

And so we thought – Leroy, although chubby, is such a cool cat, and has a lot of charisma. That counts for something, right? So, we decided to take Leroy as a company for small Claire, and since he already was going to be there, he could compete in his class as well (class 10, neuters). And so we went to Birka cat club’s two-day exhibition last weekend.

Leroy: “I am watching you!”

It went really great! Leroy got his first two certificates, CAP (Certificat d’Aptitude de Premier )! Wow!

Claire; a loooong kitten.

And Claire got two Ex1, which is the best she can get in her class, since she is only a junior. 🙂

Both judges said (in a very polite and nice way) that Leroy is a bit chubby, but also, that he is neuter and almost 6 years old, so some extra weight is not unexpected. Well, I am trying (still, in spite what he may be thinking) to get him slimmer! And not for the beauty reasons, but for his health.

Anyway, this is what they got as evaluation from the judges, on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll see, it is good! “Exc” and “Ex” stands for “excellent”. The ladies that judged our cats were very nice to them. Thank you! What matters the most to us is that the cats took being there pretty well, especially Leroy who enjoyed all the attention and was curious about the other cats.

Sat, Leroy, judge Steph Bruin:
Type: Big boy. Exc body length.
Head: Head could be a bit more ‘edgy’ as to details.
Eyes: Good blue.
Ears: Fair size/set.
Coat: Exc lilac points. Exc structure
Tail: Good length.
Condition: Exc.
General impression: Charming. Calm boy.
Sun, Leroy, judge Anna Wilczek:
Type: Ex strong & svelte, quite long but could be more elegant
Head: ex wedge, nice profile, but forehead too flat
Eyes: Ex blue, but too dominant.
Ears: Ex placement, medium size
Coat: Ex short, ex close lying with some shades on corpus.
Tail: Ex, long and tapering
Condition: Ex
General impression: Lovely temperament.
Sat, Claire, judge Steph Bruin:
Type: Well developed, exc overall type
Head: Nice long straight wedge
Eyes: A bit ‘full’, but nice blue
Ears: Nice ears, relatively large
Coat: lovely pure white. Close lying texture is exc
Tail: Fitting with body length. Exc!
Condition: Top. My compliments!
General impression: Charming, happy cat.
Sun, Claire, judge Anna Wilczek:
Type: Ex elegant, slender & long, ex built
Head: Ex wedge, ex profile, nice chin
Eyes: Ex blue, good size and shape
Ears: Could be larger in size, but set well
Coat: Ex short, ex texture, ex white
Tail: Ex tapering
Condition: Ex
General impression: Lovely junior.

Claire’s dad, Goofy, was also there and took two certificates (he is a neuter now). Claire met her dad for the first time and they sniffed each other and he also ‘petted’ her gently with the paw on her head. It was so nice to see that! They are similar in behavior and very friendly cats. 🙂

Goofy, a friendly cat!

The fat Siamese diary – part #2

Leroy

The story of Leroy on a diet continues. Told as Leroy would probably tell it:

Day #8

I spent last night sleeping under the duvet between Mom and Dad, not moving at all (except for my ribcage, but only as much as necessary for breathing).

It was snowing outside and I must preserve all the heat I can. Dad says it is warm in our house, but hey, he’s a Swede, ‘warm’ is just a word to him. All of my ancestors, 20 generations back originate from Thailand. Hello – Thailand! A tropical country with 23°C minimal daily temperature in January! When was the last time we had 23°C in Stockholm? The hot summer of 1964?

I am looking forward to global warming. Yeah, yeah, people are against it, being worried about the survival of polar bears and Swedes. And what about me? What about ME?! 😦

The kitten food. I need it back for my insulation layer. The global warming is not here yet.

Day #10

Until today the best day of my life was when I got my beloved daughter Jossan as a personal present from Mom’s friend Monica. But, that was UNTIL today. Because – today – I am having the best day ever.

I am so full that I cannot move, lying like a big seal on the sofa. I might be a bit sick, but I am so happy that it does not matter that I might throw up soon. The soft white carpet is close, so I’ll be fine (I prefer throwing up my hair balls on white carpets and cashmere sweaters. Class matters).

Poor Mom. She is almost crying, showing the numbers on the scale to Dad who keeps on swearing that I must have gotten invisible and that it is not his fault that I am so fast and sneaky.

Mom is right, I am neither tiny nor fast and Dad is, well, the best Dad ever!

Earlier today he was about to let the Little One into the Green Room when for once the baby was useful. The Little One was all cute and purring so that Dad focused on cuddling with her while I crawled behind him from the corridor into the room and slid under the sofa where I kept silent and hidden until he left and closed the door behind him… leaving me with Bowl#1 and Bowl#2!!!

I ate so much that I could barely call someone to let me out when I was done.

So sick, but it was worth it… burp. :

Life is good again.

To be continued

The fat Siamese diary – week #1

Leroy, The King (lilac point Siamese)

Leroy went up in weight while we had kittens and he weighs at least 0,5-0,8kg more than he should.  That is not good for him, and it is easier to get him to go down in weight sooner than later. He loves food, and also, especially tasty, high in calories and fat kitten food that Claire eats (she is growing and has different needs than our other cats). He just sucks it in like a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes it takes only 3 minutes, and half of the bowl content is gone.

So, we have 4 cats in excellent shape, one growing kitten, and one overweight Leroy. Hm. How to feed them all in the most optimal way?

We are trying our best to help our beloved chubby Leroy get down in weight. We observed carefully his behavior and I wrote a short diary of the previous week, seen through his eyes. What I wrote is rather toned down, since Siamese are cats with love for drama and it is hard to get even close to how they actually feel.

“I am not fat, I’m big boned!”

Leroy’s diary – week one

Day #1, afternoon

I was sleeping in my bed for hours. Got up, looked through the window. Rain. No birds. The other cats were sleeping.

Eat, I could eat.

Whaaat?! Bowl #1 with my favorite food (that humans oddly enough keep calling “kitten” food) is gone. Bowl #2 with my second favorite (again – “kitten” food!) is also gone. Only Bowl #3, with boring, yucky food is left.

I don’t get it! It must be a mistake.

I’ll go back to sleep.

Day #1, evening

We got our wet food as usual, before humans went to sleep, but it was not my favorite (which humans claim is just ‘smaksatt skit’, or in plain English – tasty crap). We got ‘quality food’ instead. Let me tell you something – THAT is tasteless crap! And it looks like plain mud.

Bad humans. 😦

I ate some, though, since I hate Bowl #3 even more than Tasteless Mud. 😦

Day #1, night

I spent the night playing, lying next to my humans and thinking. I worked so hard last year on my insulation layer, since yet another long Swedish winter is coming. I wonder if Bowl #3 can keep my safety layer intact.

Where are my Bowls #1 and #2?! And my beloved Tasty Crap?

Not happy. 😦

Day #2, morning

I ate from Bowl#3. My Mom talked to me a lot and praised me when she saw me eating that crap. What could I do? Better that than certain death.

Day #2, evening

This is getting really weird. Only Bowl #3 and Tasteless Mud get served, but The Little One and the rest of the cats occasionally smell like Tasty Crap and kitten food. I must be hallucinating. #3 probably contains nothing nutritious for my brain and body. My little neurons are starving! I will be as clever as Maven soon.

Damn it humans, what have I ever done to you? 😦

Day #2, night

I sat next to my Mom while she slept and tried to beam my thoughts to her. She must understand that I need food that tastes good. She woke up and petted me, but I got no food. Damn! She fell back to sleep really fast and I realized that I am losing my mental powers for sure. You are what you eat. My mental energy is vanishing as you are reading this.

Day #4

Oh, my horrible destiny! Animal cruelty! Betrayal! Horror!

I discovered that the humans keep the Tasty Crap and the kitten food in the Green Room! I noticed the pattern. I was not imagining – the other cats get to go in there regularly, everyone except me is allowed. They just come and call the humans and they get let in. When they scratch or call, they get let out. And – when they come out of the Green Room, they smell like heaven!

Oh, that is where my food went!

To hell with Bowl#3 and Tasteless Mud, I want my Tasty Crap back!

Day #5

I cried and cried standing next to Bowl #3 and when I got the humans’ attention I bit The Little One on her neck and demonstratively held her like that. Dad commented that I seem to be so hungry that I am trying to kill and eat The Little One.

Yes, exactly, what do you say now? Give me my Tasty Crap back or The Little One gets it!

But no – Mom just took away The Little One (who showed no fear, which took the edge off my performance. Stupid kitten, not scared of anything!). They cuddled a bit, and Mom cuddled with me as well, saying that everything will be okay, I just have to lose some weight.

WHAT? But that is so NOT OK!

What is wrong with my humans? They loved me so much until recently. 😦

They must have gotten brain damage.

Day #7

Mom is still not happy with me. She puts me on the scales every day and today she complained to Dad that I eat everything in huge amounts, no matter how bad it tastes and that I’ll never lose weight this way. She said that they must ‘portionera‘ my food. I do not understand what she meant, but even my Bowl #3 is gone now.

The Mayans were right. The world is coming to an end in 2012! My world definitely is. 😦

To be continued

“Bowl #3!”

The first week of changed feeding we came to the conclusion that Leroy sucks everything in like a vacuum cleaner, not only the kitten food. Now he has access only to quality food that contains no grains and a high percent of meat, but the thing is that he eats very often.

Also, he is not going out since it got cold here and although we activate him more than during the summer, it seems like he eats when he is bored or just does not know what else to do. Another thing – he is almost 6 years old now and although he still is a young cat, maybe his metabolism has changed a bit. We will give him food in portions now (so Bowl #3 will not always be full) and play with him even more.

Leroy got a bit chubby after every litter, but so did Jossan and Miii. The girls went down in weight fast this time, as usual, spontaneously, but he did not. We’ll help our Leroy to get fit again!

The Siamese tree

Saturday afternoon at our home. It has been raining all day and it is already dark outside (it is 6 PM here). There is a whole 2 months left until Christmas but it already feels like the holidays are around the corner!

The heating is on, and our ‘furry lizards’, how Jocke called them, the pride of Siamese, are lying close to the radiator, the beloved source of warmth. 🙂 Maven with her fluffy semi-long fur does not feel the cold, she is lying in another window, looking at the street.

The Siamese tree. Up – Jossan, Claire, Leroy. Down – Albert, Miii.

 

Summer in Stockholm

Our summers are short, and not too warm. When there is sun, they are perfect (although still – short). Maven and Miii are going outside when we wake up (the cats go to sleep and wake up when we do, almost always), and run around on our lot. Leroy joins them a bit later and stays out shorter.

I took this picture yesterday, close to sunset. Leroy in one of the old apple trees behind our house.

Leroy up in the apple tree

Our cats are not outside cats, but they go out during the summer, when it is sunny. Albert never went out, he goes only to the balcony (only recently he started showing some interest for the outside world. I hope to be able to take him out, on a cat-leash when he heals and I can put a little vest on him). Miii and Leroy do not go to strangers and they stay close to us. I did not teach them to do that, that is just how they are. Maven, on the other hand, is flirty and cuddly even with strangers. I am against letting cats go out and roam freely, in principle, there are so many dangers out there, before all – cars, other cats etc, but – under controlled forms, going out is very good for their well being and immune system.

In the living room

Jocke took beautiful pictures of the kittens today. Their individual portraits are here (today they are 10,5 weeks old). Here are some of the rest of the photos.

When they are sleeping, the kittens look like angels!

A white Siamese kitten, sleeping

The same story is when they are tired (that is the only way to get portrait pictures, if we are lucky):

Claire, sleepy

This is an attempt to take a portrait picture gone wrong. Charlie woke up totally and started jumping around:

Charlie: “Oh, look, a tail!”

Charlie: “I must fly!” (Look at that lovely baby tummy!)

Corto, waking up…

White siblings, trying to kill each other

Charlie, trying to kill Chloé

Chloé and Charlie, again, this time not fighting.

Albert, “the floating head”, peeking from behind the curtain, discreetly watching the small ones.

Albert is going to have surgery tomorrow at Buba’s. The bone he dislocated in April did not jump back and it is risky to have it stay that way; he risks a possibly serious injury if he runs into something with his chest. Also, he is not comfortable (even less than usual) being lifted. We hope the surgery goes well.