Archive for the ‘Bengal cats’ Category

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Why a Bengal is not a cat …

26 September, 2010

 Readers of this blog will know that I am owned by a Bengal cat, Maya.  She is both a delight and a pain.  She’s got a larger-than-life personality and is also fiercely boss cat.  She hates other cats, but she loves humans.  She’s also highly-intelligent, and un-cat-like, as this post will show.

The other night I popped over to my neighbours for a quick chat.

I got to my neighbour’s and rang the doorbell. Because I don’t know them very well I had to give a spiel about why I was there. In the end I was invited indoors.

While I was chatting to them, there was a series of very loud and piercing meows. Meows on an increasing pitch of enquiry and urgency. I recognised those meows only too well. My heart sank. Maya had only followed me to the house and was standing outside the house and calling for me!

I told the neighbour to ignore her, but the wife was curious and opened the door.

“Oh,” she said “she’s waiting for you.”

And then she added “oh, c’mon then,” and Maya proceeded to sashay into the house as if she had issued the invitation and not the other way round. She then ran in and out of the house before wandering around the rooms downstairs, all big eyes and puffy whisker pads.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Maya looking at the staircase. Before I could open my mouth and shout at her, she went upstairs.

Suddenly I heard a little lost “mew”.

“Er … I think my cat has gone upstairs,” I mumbled wishing she had never been born.

“Oh no, I think she’s gone out,” the neighbour said, but she sent her daughter upstairs just in case.

Next thing her daughter shouted that she’d found the cat. Before I could warn her, she was coming downstairs with Maya in her arms! You should have seen the expression on Maya’s face, a mixture of shock and horror. She was so surprised that she didn’t fight against being carried as she normally would.

I told the neighbour that Maya would normally not allow herself to be picked up by a stranger and the neighbour said that all children and animals loved her daughter.

Well, it looks as if Maya’s got herself a fan. And I have a horrible suspicion that she was casing the joint and the neighbour might be seeing more of Maya in the future!

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Merry Christmas from Maya and all at Catswhiskers!

30 December, 2008

Maya my Bengal girl is famous this Christmas!  Denise Laurent,  the well-known cat artist, used Maya as a model for a Christmas card, aptly titled “The Bell Ringer”. 

Now Bengals Illustrated, the best magazine devoted to Bengals, have chosen “The Bell Ringer” as their front cover festive issue:

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Photo used by kind permission of Denise Laurent of www.thepaintedcat.co.uk. Copyright Denise Laurent.

Doesn’t Maya look great?  I must say that the painting makes her look suspiciously innocent – Den has captured her playfulness and that wonderful butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth expression that Bengals are known for.  Angelic is not a word I would use to describe my little Bengal rascal!

I asked Maya how she felt about being a pin-up for Bengals.  Her reply was unprintable as she was busy tucking into festive turkey and not in the least interested in making small-talk!

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Cats – why I love Bengals too

10 August, 2006

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I am sitting here tap-tap-tapping away and my Bengal neuter girl, Maya, is sitting on my lap, purring away, sensuously flexing her throat so that I can scratch at those erogenous cat zones, and flexing her claws in ecstasy when I run my hand firmly down her muscular body.

I’ve just read what I’ve written and it reads like porn, cat porn, in this case.

But there’s something sexy and sensuous about a Bengal cat and I’m besotted. It could be her musculature, or her rippling haunches that sway as she walks, or her sleek brown-spotted velvet pelt, or just the way she loves it when I stroke her – she lives very much in the present, and is a total sybarite when it comes to cat pleasures of the flesh.

Maya2 She is the ultimate athlete. I play with her in the garden with a Da Bird cat toy (a wand with a feather attachment) and she spends more time in the air on the ground, throwing backward flips and sometimes double flips in a way that makes me catch my breath in case she lands on her head. If you want a cat who’s tough, game for anything and thick-skinned, then a Bengal is for you.Maya3

Maya is also highly-intelligent, and I hate to admit it, probably more intelligent than my Maine Coons.

I sometimes get the impression that she despises my Maine Coon girl for being so unassuming and gentle. Bengals don’t do unassuming. Humility isn’t in their genes. What Maya wants, she gets, whether by screaming at the top of her voice, or by bully tactics.

Maya4 I suspect what Maya wants is to be the only cat in the household. A good number of Bengals end up being rehomed because they are so territorial and don’t do well in multi-cat households.

Indeed, until just before the birth of the kittens, Maya gave my Maine Coon queen grief. She would tree Ananda, she would pounce on her, she would corner her and the fur would fly. The bullying got so bad I consulted Vicky Hall, cat behaviourist. The verdict was that Bengals, along with Siamese and Burmese are the top three offenders where being aggressive and defensive of their territory are concerned. I was on the verge of rehoming Maya.

Happily, the bullying stopped shortly before the birth of the kittens, so maybe my Maine Coon girl was giving off smells that drove the Bengal to psychotic behaviour.

I don’t think they’ll ever be friends, my Bengal and Maine Coon, but to date apart from one or two pounces, Maya pretends that the Maine Coon doesn’t really exist. That’s good enough for me. I think she’s feeling displaced by the kittens, so I try to spend time with her, just her and me.

(with thanks to Denise Laurent www.thepaintedcat.co.uk for these wonderful photos of Maya, taken in my garden last year.  Photos copyright Denise Laurent www.thepaintedcat.co.uk)

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Kittens – the third week – socialising

5 August, 2006

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All too soon my lazy time being at home ended. It was back to work time.

While I was at home, I could keep an eye on Maya, my Bengal neuter girl, to make sure she didn’t bully Ananda, my Maine Coon queen. Actually, I’d been pleasantly surprised – she was only a fraction as tyrannical as she normally was. She pounced Ananda twice, and each time it didn’t end up in a fur fight as on previous occasions.

So it meant that I wasn’t too worried when I had to go back to work.

Another thing that worried me was feeding. When I was on holiday, I wasn’t too concerned about getting up at 4am in the morning to feed Ananda. Also, Ananda was used to getting food every two hours. She would amble up to me and chirrrup and trill in the way Maine Coons do. It’s sometimes an oooh-oooh-ooh sound (delivered in an up-and-down register) and sometimes it’s like a rrr-rrr-rrr. Hard to describe unless you’ve heard it.

But what was I going to do when I went back to work?

Cue Hubby. If Hubby was working from home he was instructed to make sure that Ananda got enough food.

And strangely enough, Maya seemed to sense something had changed in the dynamics between her and Ananda because she left Ananda alone most of the time.

The interesting event of the second and third weeks was the gradual introduction of the other two adult cats to the kittens. Some breeders don’t allow kittens to mix with adult cats for health reasons, but I found it physically impossible to separate them unless I kept the bedroom door shut all the time. And during the heatwave with the door shut the room was like an oven.

I figured that it was better for the adult cats to get used to the cats in a natural way. If they met the kittens, I would be there to supervise, but I didn’t want them to stop them from seeing the kittens which could lead to awkward tension when then kittens started running all over the house.

Maya’s curiosity meant that she’d been in to investigate the source of the squeaking. Ananda had hissed at her and Maya walked out of the room, pretending she didn’t care, but her tail was twitching, a sign of agitation. So I was careful to make sure she was never left alone with the kittens.

Teddy, my ginger neuter boy who’s less than a year old also paid a visit. His eyes bulged as he looked at the kittens, little analogues of himself. He sniffed one of them, a little cream kitten and even though his paw was the size of its head, it turned right round and hissed at him! Is that courage or what? I mean, it would have been a little mouthful for Teddy if he’d fancied a snack!

Something else I had been doing to accustom the kittens to being socialised and handled was to put mum cat on the bed and let them suckle there. I do this so they get used to human smells and human sights, not just the walls of a pen or box. Mum cat loves it – the bed’s comfy and there’s humans around to watch her kittens. I box mum and kittens in with pillows and keep a close eye on them. Me and Hubby pick them up and stoke them and kiss their tummies to get them used to being handled.

I think the kittens enjoy being on the bed. They couldn’t get round much in the first two weeks, but in the third week they started climbing the pillows. Yesterday, the little tortie scrambled squealing after me, and started falling over the edge of the bed, but I stopped it in time.

I think they’re discovering the use of their claws as a tool for climbing and scaling obstacles like pillows. At present they’re in a box which is in a pen made of mesh which I’ve covered with a blanket so they don’t get their paws stuck in the mesh. They’ve started trying to climb up the blanket. So far they’ve not got far – they just don’t have the strength yet. But when they do, I’m going to have to put them somewhere safer.