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Farewell Ananda (Mullycoonz Eowyn) – 2014-2017 … Outstanding Mother and Cat

19 January, 2017
Ananda (aka Mullycoonz Eowyn) with one of her kittens, Pola

Ananda (aka Mullycoonz Eowyn) with one of her kittens from the first litter

My mother cat, Ananda, passed away early January this year, 2017.

Ananda was the gentlest and sweetest cat I have ever had.  She put up with Maya (the Thuggy Bengal) pushing her around, and only in her later years did she start hissing and retaliating.  After Maya died in March 2015, I used to tease Ananda that she had outlived the “Enemy” and looked forward to more years of loving Ananda.  And then Teddy, her first-born kitten, died in November 2015 and Ananda became even more precious to me, the last vestige of happy times with kittens and mothering.   She was there for me through a divorce, medical challenges, life challenges.  Her furry love was the one constant I could count on.

Late 2016, she started having issues with her mouth and wasn’t eating properly, but the vet (Happy Pet Veterinary Surgery, Southgate, London) said it was caused by inflammed gums from bad teeth.  So she had four teeth taken out.  The day she returned from surgery she ate two pouches of cat food.  I breathed a sigh of relief and thought she was on the way to healing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Farewell Teddy Bumbledore: 13 April 2005 – 28 November 2015 … and Metacam kills cats

29 November, 2015

TeddySunshine

TEDDY BUMBLEDORE
13 April 2005 – 28 November 2015
Soulmate, Outstanding Cat, Angel in Fur Coat

Teddy Bumbledore was my first-born kitten from Ananda’s first litter.  I helped to deliver him.

When he opened his eyes, I was there.

When I slept at night, he would put his soft paw on my hand.

Teddy had to be put to sleep yesterday.

The cause of death was chronic renal failure, i.e. kidney failure.

The kidney failure was caused by Metacam, a popular pain-killer used for cats.

Read the rest of this entry »

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For sale: Cat Palace cat tree – Rolls-Royce of cat trees!

13 August, 2013

cat-post-thumbI am selling my Cat Palace cat tree to help a friend raise money for overseas medical treatment.

Cat Palace are the Rolls-Royce of cat trees.

The price of this cat tree, brand new, is Euro 1,245 (approx. £1,080).

I am asking for GBP£600 (or nearest offer).  It is in very good condition.

For sale only to UK-based customers as it’s pick-up only!

Cash or bank transfers accepted.

Please contact me by sending an e-mail to:

catswhiskers.uk AT btinternet.com or

text/phone on:  zero777one six33five47.

Why am I selling it?

I bought it in 2007 and it has only been really been used when I had kittens.  The kittens and cats made it their home and learned to climb on it.  After I stopped having kittens in 2010, I allowed my adult cats into the bedroom and they prefer the bed (and there’s no going back!).  So it’s only been lightly-used as I only had one litter of kittens every year.

I am selling it to help a friend raise funds for overseas medical treatment.

kittens-on-post-thumb
This Cat Palace cat tree is a model F2.XAS, in light-blue.  F2.XAS means it has been customised with extra-strong plush (Maine Coon sturdy) carpet, with artificial ficus leaves, a little inset heart and a sisal scratching post.  It has three tiers.  What makes it special is the top tier is a pagoda with a curved roof, so cats can sleep on either side of the roof.  Having a pagoda means that more than one cat can play at top cat by getting the highest perch – it’s good cat psychology.
I paid over £1000 for it new.  It is in very good condition, no kitten accidents, no obvious scratches, some of the bark has come off (but most of it is intact).  The sisal scratching post is in very good condition.
It will make a fantastic centrepiece.  I will steam clean it before pick-up.  It’s local pick-up only from London – you will need a trolley and a man with a van or a car rack.
Why buy Cat-Palace
Each tree is custom-balanced so as to prevent tipping and has actually been designed to sustain the weight of adult humans weighing 200 pounds.
Five current San Francisco customers called reported that during an earthquake, the only thing in their houses that did not fall over was their Cat Palace cat furniture. One customer said: “As soon as the ground started shaking, my cats actually ran for the tree and rode out the entire tremor in the tree”.
My Cat Palace cat tree weighs 65kg and my big Maine Coon boy weighing over 15lbs has thrown himself up and down and never once budged it!  It has held 2 Adult Maine Coons and 6 kittens without any problems.  All my kitten owners loved seeing the cat tree which looked like a Christmas tree decorated with kittens!  Imagine the impression you’ll make on your potential kitten owners!
******
Specifications:
Cat Palace model F2.XAS (used – in very good condition).
RRP Brand new = Euro 1,245 (approx. £1,080).
Measurements (approximate):  Weight = 65kg.  Height = 180cm.  Base footprint = 63cm x 63cm.
Description:  3-tiers.  Pagoda.  Extra-strong light-blue plush carpet.  1 sisal scratching post. Ficus branches.
Location: North London (not far from North Circular)
Delivery:  Pick-up only.
Terms: Cash or Bank Transfer
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Maine Coon Notebook – a fantastic gift for cat lovers!

10 November, 2012

TeddyInstagram1

Maine Coon Notebook from The Painted Cat with 17 paintings and sketches of Maine Coons

My Maine Coon boy, Teddy, is the cover of a Maine Coon Notebook from The Painted Cat!

And you can enjoy not just Teddy, but 14 paintings and sketches of Maine Coons (and 3 long-haired friends) from the wonderful collection of animal artist, Denise Laurent.

There’s plenty of space too, for notes and drawings on plain and ruled pages.

Teddy loves them and says it deserves his loudest purr and a 5-paw star rating.  (And don’t tell Teddy) There are also Siamese, Bengal and Black Cat Note Books.

Don’t wait — buy your copy here.

Also, don’t forget to check out Denise’s The Painted Cat website for other treasures and gifts.

 

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Mungo and Felix – raw fed cats and full of health!

13 June, 2012

Margaret, cat parent to Mungo and Felix sent me this amazing comment recently.  Mungo who’s 15-years-old, had IBD and pancreatis.  He was getting skinnier and skinnier everyday.  In desperation, Margaret decided to switch Mungo to a raw diet. 

The result?  Mungo is now in good health and his companion, Felix is also enjoying being on a raw diet.

Thank you Margaret for having the courage to switch to raw, and thank you Mungo and Felix for being part of this blog post.  As you can see from their photos, they’re looking fantastic!

“Hello,

It was from reading this page that I decided to raw feed my 15 year old long haired neutered male moggie [Mungo] who has been suffering from IBD and pancreatitis for 18 months. Seemed incurable and he was in terminal decline, skinny to emaciation despite being fed the Vet’s recommended gastrointestinal diet, which he loathed and refused to eat, apart from some of the dried food.

In desperation I started my own research into feline nutrition and decided that commercial food off the supermarket shelves is at the root of the poor health. 

Mungo

Mungo basks in the sun. Aged 15, after a raw meat diet for two months, having gained 3 pounds in weight, his coat back to full glory, eyes bright, and alert and playful.

Started him and his companion cat, who had a bout of pancreatitis, on Woldsway rabbit and chicken bone in mince, but supplemented with Lilly’s Kitchen organic cat food for the vitamins and minerals and herb content, and on Orijen Dried cat food, none of which contain carbohydrates. Both cats ate all with gusto.

The difference in the health of my two cats is remarkable.

The 15 year old has gained a kilo and his coat has returned to its former glory, his eyes are bright and he no longer complains all day. He chases leaves and is loving and affectionate again.

His 7 year old companion [Felix] now has such a taste for wild raw food that he goes out hunting for his own raw food and we believe he is killing and consuming mostly feral London pigeons and rodents, maybe rabbits, too. We live on the edge of a wood.

Felix

Felix is 7 years-old and the terror of the neighbourhood mice. Look at the size of those paws!

Felix goes out at about eleven at night and comes home in the early hours with a grossly bulging belly, nibbles lightly at the food offered in the morning, then sleeps like the dead for the entire day!

Thank you,
Margaret
(cat mum to Mungo and Felix)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fleas (3) – Flea Traps: do they work?

6 July, 2011

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but if your cat has fleas, those fleas will also have infested the rest of your house.  So not only do you have to treat the cat, you have to treat the house.

An easy way to confirm the flea invasion is to use a flea trap. 

They can also be a way of monitoring the status of the flea infestation.  There are commercial flea traps, but you can make your own homemade flea trap.

All flea traps work on the principle:  Fleas are attracted to heat.

Commercial flea traps are made up of a small lamp bulb in a small trap with a sticky disc.  The trap is placed on the floor in a corner of the room.  The fleas are attracted to the warmth of the lamp.   They jump onto the sticky disc and can’t escape and die.

How to make your own flea-trap:  Get a shallow bowl and fill with soapy water.  Place a small gooseneck reading lamp above the bowl, preferably with a high-intensity bulb.  The bulb will warm the water, and that together with the light will attract fleas.  The fleas jump into the bowl of water and drown.

I have used a commercial flea trap like the one in the photo and it does work.  It is very satisfying to check the discs and see the little bodies of fleas stuck on them, never to rise again.  However, the light also attracts other insects.  One year I had a daddy-long-leg invasion and it was really sad to see those elegant insects stuck on the discs.

However, the commercial flea trap had one huge disadvantage:  the lamp socket was very sensitive and caused the bulbs to blow very quickly.  I must have spent a fortune on replacement bulbs.

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Fleas (2) – Face-to-face with the enemy

5 July, 2011

Photo: thefullwiki.org/Flea

Cat fleas measure from 1mm to 3mm.  That’s smaller than a grain of rice.  They are quite flat too, which makes them hard to detect.  In fact, they’re easy to overlook because they look like bits of dirt.

However, once you’ve encountered a flea, you’ll never mistake it for anything else again.

As you can see from the close-up, cat fleas have 3 pairs of legs.  Their hind legs are super-sized, which allow them to jump as high as 18 cm (7 inches) and leap up to 32 cm (1 foot) horizontally.  (And boy, can they move fast and jump multiple times, making them impossible to catch.)

Fleas have legs with spines  that slant backwards.  These help them to move quickly and cling to surfaces and also makes them harder to remove.

The first time I saw a cat flea I thought the cat had picked up some specks of dust.  That’s how small they are.  Until the speck moved.  And the specks can move very fast too, crawling in between the strands of fur on a cat, or on the grooming brush.

And I still wasn’t sure what it was because I didn’t have a microscope on me, and I wear glasses.  Until it jumped straight in the air and landed on my arm.

[I don’t know if you’ve ever watched one of those martial arts films in which they catch flies with chopsticks?  Well, I don’t think those warriors had anything in terms of speed compared to a cat breeder out to get fleas.]

There’s a chance that you may not see the fleas because they have a clever habit of hiding in the fur.  However, they do tend to cluster in areas like the groin and bum area of a cat.  And if your cat suddenly develops a scratching habit, chances are it has fleas.

There’s another way to tell if your cat has fleas by checking the fur on the grooming brush.  If there are little black specks on the fur, drop them onto a piece of damp paper.  The specks will turn red because they are flea faeces containing digested blood.

And finally, if your legs start itching (especially above the sock line) and there are little spots on your legs, then, yep – fleas.

What can you do if you spot a flea?  Well, unless you’re planning on starting a flea circus, it might be a good idea to get rid of them.

Fleas can be drowned in a bowl of water.  Or if you’re not squeamish, crush them between your fingernails.  I can assure you that there’s nothing more satisfying then crushing fleas after a bad day in the office.

However, such manual intervention won’t be enough to get rid of the fleas on the cat and in the house.  More to follow.

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Fleas (1) – the Holistic vs Conventional approach

30 May, 2011

Image taken from http://www.hanklee.org

Summer is on its way, and with the warm weather, one of our least favourite visitors:  fleas.

I hesitated to write this post because as a cat breeder, fleas are one of those things that you shouldn’t admit to having.  But in the interests of cat owners out there who’ve been plagued by fleas, hopefully my experiences will help.

I’ve prided myself on a flea-free household.  Because of that, I’d never had to use flea repellents, or flea killers and this meant I could rear cats as holistically possible, with a minimum of medication and a natural diet.  It was part of my holistic approach to rearing cats.  I’d read that the best flea repellent was to feed a raw diet.  Maybe that’s true for a lot of raw feeders, in which case I was the unlucky exception.

Many years ago, when I was grooming one of my cats, a small black speck moved in the fur on the brush and yep … to my horror, it was a flea.

I can say, hand on my heart, that it was the first flea I’d seen since my moggy, Sophie died some 5 years previously.  (After she died, I spent months steam-cleaning the house and it was flea-free when my new cats arrived. )

I knew that it probably wasn’t the only flea around.  It could have come from any number of sources: hopped in from the neighbour’s garden, from a visitor’s clothes, from a visit to the vet … who knows.

But the fact is, by the time you find one flea, it probably means the house is infested and full of fleas in various stages of egg laying and adulthood.

And to my horror … I spotted something jumping out of the carpets.  And what was that itch on my ankles …

So, how did I get rid of the fleas? 

I did a lot of research on the internet on flea eradication.  If done the holistic way, it would be through baths (the cat, not myself!), vacuuming twice a day etc. 

However, vacuuming only gets rid of existing fleas, not the eggs that hatch into more fleas that would jump onto the cats and feed then drop off and hatch again.  And you can imagine how much time vacuuming the entire house, including all the nooks and crannies would take. 

The faster way would be to medicate using Frontline or Advantage and chemical sprays.  There’s no need to tell you that these are non-holistic remedies. 

Both Frontline and Advantage work by entering the bloodstream of the cat and poisoning the fleas who drop off and die.  Frontline and Advantage are supposedly toxic to fleas, and not to mammals.  But there are many articles on the net with examples of cats which have experienced bad side-effects from these neurotoxins.

So, a quandry. 

The holistic way which would take a long time and may not work. 

Or the non-holistic way that could have long-term health consquences for my cats.

I hate having to make decisions like that.  Of course my vet recommended the latter method.  He pointed out that at least with Frontline I could be sure that any fleas landing on my cats would die.  And in the meantime, I’d have bought myself some time and could try other methods in getting those blasted fleas out of the house.

More later.

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Part 13 – So you want to be a Cat Breeder – The Birth

15 May, 2011

It’s the Big Day!

For the past few days your queen has been checking out the kitten box and pulling out all the newspaper and towels that you lovingly-prepared for her. 

If all goes well, then you’ll hopefully have a boxful of kittens nursing and a purring mum. 

However, if there are complications then you may need a visit to the vet.

(I’m sorry if I keep making it sound like a horror story, but I want you to go into cat breeding with your eyes open.)

If a queen is showing distress and can’t kitten … and it’s 3am on a Sunday morning (and it will always be in the middle of the night because that’s cats for you) … and you’ve had to rush her to the vet … and the out-of-hours vet examines her … and decides she needs a caesarian … which means general anaesthesia … then be prepared to hand him your credit card.

An out-of-hours caesarian can cost up to £2,000.  (Bye-bye holiday and new clothes for the whole family.)

And don’t forget that you may have to hand-rear the kittens if your queen is too weak from the surgery to nurse the kittens.  That means feeding every two hours on-the-hour night-and-day.  That’s why as a precaution I always took two weeks off work around the time of the birth.  Fortunately I had bosses who thought I was a mad cat lady, so that’s all right then.  Fortunately I never had to hand feed.

You’ll also have to watch your queen because she may decide to take out the stitches herself.  It happened to the mother of my Bengal cat.  Twice.  Each time she had to be rushed to the vet.  She and her husband enjoyed two sleepless weeks feeding the kittens. 

But if all goes well … a box full of warm bundles of … what looks like little blind mice, but are actually kittens.  And the promise of loads of funny moments in the weeks to come.

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Meet the Breeder – Molly Barr of Mythicbells Persians

8 April, 2011

A little peek at Mythicbells Persians

This is the first in a series of interviews with cat breeders. I met Molly through my blog. It turned out that she also fed her cats raw. I was thrilled and impressed by her dedication because she’s got more cats and has multiple litters than I do so it must have been hard work.

Molly breeds Persians that have a more traditional look – they have a ‘bit more’ nose. You can catch up with Molly and her cats on her own Mythicbells Persians website and blog.

http://www.mythicbells.com/index.htm

http://mythicbells.wordpress.com/

Question: Why did you become a breeder?

Molly:  I’d always had the intention to breed cats. About 7 years ago, several things came together in my life more or less at the same time:

I’d been retired for quite a few years and realized one day that if I wanted to breed cats, I now had the time to do it.

I also had 3 elderly Persians, all with health issues and this factored in heavily.

First, I knew “my” breed — it had to be Persians.

Second, my beloved cats were so important to me that I was very fearful of how I was going to handle losing them.

(One cat had just had surgery for intestinal lymphoma, one had just been diagnosed with heart disease, and I’d been fighting inflammatory bowel disease in the third cat for years. I wanted the distraction of a younger generation of kitties coming into my life. Breeding would allow me to do that.)

The third reason I wanted to try breeding was feline nutrition. I’d raised my 3 older Persians on the usual — dry kibble.

When it finally became obvious to me that the vet wasn’t going to figure out a way to help my cat with the IBD, nor were any of the medications working, nor any of the prescription diets, I took the plunge into (GULP) raw feeding.

Over the next few months I began to feel so strongly about it, I felt that I wanted my next cats to be raised on a species-appropriate diet.

I felt that kittens born to such cats and started out with good nutrition would also be healthier overall.

Question: How did you get started?

Molly: The general plan was to get one kitten with breeding rights and have a litter every year.

(Looking back, that was a terribly naive plan, but there you have it.)

However before I made my move I researched for several months, so was a bit more tuned in when I actually did approach a breeder for a kitten. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of the many things I was to learn in the next few years.

I wanted to do it right, so registered a cattery name with CFA and began my search for registered kittens from a reputable source.

I purchased 2 female kittens with breeding rights, and arranged for stud service with the breeder.



Simba Khan, the majestic studcat

Question: What was your happiest moment?

Molly: I don’t recall a happiest moment, but the kittens a so incredibly precious, I enjoy every second they are with me.

Question: What was your saddest moment?

Molly: My saddest moment was the loss of a kitten in an accident here at home. She was six weeks old and had a family waiting for her.

No matter how careful you are, most breeders are eventually going to experience this, and it’s very difficult.

Question: Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of breeding cats?

Molly

1. Have a mentor if you can find one. Someone experienced you can call.

2. Do your research…. and I would like to tell you to “do it right,” but I know many of you won’t listen.

By “do it right”, I mean breed only from registered cats.

I KNOW that your undocumented [i.e. not officially registered with a cat registry for breeding] boy (or girl) is the most precious cat in the world and you’re probably thinking: what a pity that his or her genes won’t go on.

Well, I don’t know how many times I’ve had this conversation with someone wanting a kitten to breed. Though I can understand people who want to have some pretty kittens to play with and, yes, I know many do it without undue consequences or heartaches, but many do not.

3. You will also want to consider these questions:

  • Who are you giving (or selling) these cats to?
  • Do you know the health consequences to your queen and stud?
  • When your stud starts spraying, then what?

… the list goes on!

4. Do not breed unless you can find quality homes for your kittens and do not breed unless you can be a source of support and information to the families who adopt your kittens.

5. Many breeders will tell you to not breed unless you show your cats. I don’t show my cats and I do breed. I’m not listening either. You’ve got to follow your heart.

6. Never stop learning. Your kittens depend on you.

7. The business end of breeding cats is tough. I’m in the United States, so I know it may be different in other countries, but you will need a good website.

Do not trust your kittens to ads in the paper. You should have a contract and be able to guarantee your kitten buyers various things as far as the health and pedigree of your kittens.

Sirocco, one of the queens at Mythicbells Persians

Question: What advice do you have on how to sell kittens?

Molly: If you are breeding unpedigree kittens and plan to sell them cheaply or give them away, I want you to think of how you are going to feel when a perfect stranger arrives on your doorstep, hands you a couple hundred bucks and walks off with a kitten you’ve raised and treasured. If you give the kittens away, same thing.

I’ll never forget the adoption of my first litter. I vetted the people carefully and felt that they were good homes, but when they drove off with those kittens, I felt that nothing short of full FBI and CIA profiles on them as well as their extended family would suit.

1. I now have an extensive questionnaire that must be filled out in detail and I pour over them weighing the pros and cons of each family.
2. Also, I charge a good price for my kittens to weed out that young kid who is going to buy his girl friend a cat, or the impulse buyer.

3. I like my kittens spoken for early so that by the time the family arrives to pick up the kitten, I know them pretty well. There are no guarantees, but you have to try.

Question: What cat breeding books would you recommend?

Molly: There are many fine books on breeding cats. I wouldn’t choose any one over another, I would have them all.

Your greatest resource for information, however, is the internet. Make sure you find the cat breeder forums and particularly a few of the ongoing Yahoo lists regarding feline health. Breeders from all of the world participate in these. You will find over time that you will know more about some the latest developments in feline reproduction than your vet.

One book I strongly recommend to anyone who has a cat and wants it to live a long and healthy life is: “Your Cat” by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, DVM.

All photos copyright Molly Barr of Mythicbells Persians