Archive for December, 2007

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How large is a Maine Coon?

6 December, 2007

The other day I was chopping up liver and kidney in the kitchen for the cats.  Teddy was obviously ravenous because he started by head-butting me as if to say hurry-hurry-hurry, and when I didn’t respond, he rose on his hind legs, and suddenly I felt these two paws grasp me on either side of my waist.

I’m about average height – 5 ft 4 – which is not short.  This was the first time I’ve had a cat large enough and long enough to grab me around the waist.  It was pretty unnerving.

Maine Coons are long cats, that’s part of the breed standard, a kind of rectangular-shaped body.  My husband calls them the bendy buses of the cat world.  Their length is deceptive.  They look quite compact until they stretch up to use the scratching post, or when they run.  Suddenly it’s like an accordion has unfolded and they look really elongated.  Where did all that cat suddenly come from, you think.

They’re also one of the larger breeds of cats.  A fully-grown male Maine Coon can weigh from 12 to 20 pounds.  A female from 10 to 15 pounds.  At the recent Supreme Cat show, I saw a Maine Coon male who weighed 25 pounds!  Not a cat you’d want to invite onto your lap!

One of the kittens in a previous litter went to a home with a Yorkshire Terrier.  I found out later that by six months old, the kitten had caught up with, and was outstripping the Yorkie in terms of size!

Another interesting trait of Maine Coons is that they’re a slow-maturing breed.  They take up to four years to attain their full size.  I’ve noticed that they grow in spurts.   Sometimes they look really long and lanky, and you wonder if you’ve got a Maine Coon or some sort of reptile hybrid, and then suddenly they decide to grow width-wise and look more proportionate again.

Teddy is 2 years old.  If he can grab me by the waist now, what will he be doing when he reaches 4 years?  Putting his paws on my shoulder and looking me in the eye?  It’s a good thing that Maine Coons are known as gentle giants of the cat world!

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Cruel cat video

5 December, 2007

I came across a video clip today that made me angry.

The video clip was on the metro.co.uk site – it’s a new service where readers can upload video clips and get paid when viewers download them.

The clip showed a cat on a table watching a ceiling fan revolve above it.  After a few seconds, the cat leapt and somehow one of its claws caught on one of the fan’s blades.  The cat was whirled round by the fan until it was thrown forcibly off into the corner.  There was laughter after this happened.

I was horrified.  I wrote to the moderators of the site and said that it was offensive, could encourage people to try the same with their cats and in short was cruel to the cat in the clip.

The moderators replied and refused to remove the clip on the basis of my complaint.

So I wrote back and said that I would report them to the RSPCA and Celia Hammond.

Finally got a reply back – they would remove the clip.

Was I overreacting?  I think not.  It’s not just the clip in question, but the idiots out there who would find something like this funny and subject a cat to the same.  There must be loads of video clips out there with similar scenarios.  Please don’t hesitate – report them to the moderator and get them removed from the site.  If the moderators refuse to do so, report them to the RSPCA.  You could be saving the life of a loving cat or dog.

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When a female cat sprays

5 December, 2007

I caught Maya in the act of spraying yesterday.

(for the unintiated – you lucky things! – spraying is when a cat urinates standing up, usually not in a litter tray)

Maya is my Bengal neuter girl.  Neuters aren’t supposed to spray.  So I wasn’t sure what was going on in her mind.  Suddenly I heard this pattering sound like rain drizzling against a window and when I looked for its source, there was Maya, her tail stiff in the air, watering the bag of coal in the living room.  She even managed to trickle some on the fire irons.

There was nothing I could do but clean it up and douse the whole area with cat urine remover.

I’m not sure why she did it.  I’m sure she doesn’t have cystitis.  She could be stressed and perhaps marking her territory, but why?

Then today I caught Ananda cocking her tail against the sofa.  Ohno … ohno.  Out came the cleaning stuff again.

I don’t know what’s going on.

I’m hoping it’s not, but it could be that … she’s on heat.  In the middle of winter?  Cats usually go off heat when the days go shorter.  I’m praying she’s not on heat.  She’s been meowing a lot today.  I’ve tried scratching the base of her tail to see if she crouches which she does when she’s on heat, but it could be too early to tell.

If anyone is contemplating letting their female cat have just one litter because it’s educational/fun, please would you read this and think again.  A cat on heat is a spraying machine.  You will spend more time on your knees sniffing around furniture and cleaning up then anything else.  Save yourself the hassle and don’t become a mad cat breeder!