Likes: Playing fetch (she often catches the toy in the air, then throws and chases it, see her video), playing with heat shrink tubing, begging for kitty treats, sleeping curled up in bed with us, chin scratches, new fuzzy mouse toys, playing with Viola
Pet-Peeves: Being told "NO", she understands that word. Being picked up. Strangers, especially loud ones. Being left alone, she knows when we are getting ready to leave and meows in protest. Hates catnip, runs away if you offer it to her.
Favorite Toy: Fuzzy mouse (for playing fetch), her tail, heat shrink tubing, empty wrappers. She also like to play "capture and nibble on the hand" (very gentle nibbling!), her kitty tunnel with kitty cubes at the ends, VIOLA!
Favorite Nap Spot: Cat tree, with us on our heated waterbed, living and family room couches, bed in daughter's room, daddy's lap, chair in den near computer, any window
Favorite Food: Kitty treats, she sits up on her hind legs to beg for them, then grabs my hand in her paws and brings it down to her mouth. For normal food, she gets primarily grain free Fancy Feast, a little bit of grain free dry food. She ignores the good canned food.
Skills: Total cuteness, catching toys thrown to her, acrobatic leaps, following me around the house, minding pretty well. One she needs to work on is purring! When she does it, so quiet as to be inaudible.
Arrival Story: Christmas of 2011 I opened a package from our youngest daughter, inside I found a framed copy of first the photo on this profile. When I looked up at her, maybe a bit confused, she said, "Oh, your present is not the photo, it's the cat!" It turns out that she and her middle sister had been conspiring to end mom and dad's feline free spell. They knew that we had a fondness for Egyptian Maus, having been owned by two of them over the years. Maus being pretty hard to come by, an Ocicat is of course also spotted, and seemed a likely alternative. A few days later Saphira joined our household, and to say the least, things have not been the same since! Anyone lucky enough to be owned by an Ocicat will understand this!
Bio: A note about her pictures - The three studio shots (the ones with the blue background) were from the breeder's website, and were obviously taken when she was still pretty young. She has since grown into her ears! All the others were taken by daddy after her arrival here at her forever home.
She was adopted from a breeder (House of Oci) who was retiring her from breeding. He really was attached to her, and it was hard for him to part with her. A few months after she joined us, I emailed him about how well she has settled in here and how much we loved her. He ended his reply with, "If at any time you find that you need to re-home her for any reason, please please please send her back to me." Saphira has that effect on people. Thank you Jesse, and I understand how you miss her, but be content that she is happy in her new home and well loved and cared for.
Saphira is by no means our first kitty, we have been owned by at least sixteen kitties, going back thirty-eight years, even before our marriage. Purebreds, shelter rescues, and strays that stayed, all kinds. Two of those were Egyptian Maus, and were probably our favorites - beautiful spotted coats, playful and very loyal to their humans and we loved them to pieces. Our first, Nonsense, has a page here, you might check it out, the story of how she came to join our family is kind of funny. We had not had any felines in our household for the last five years or so, until our daughters decided mom and dad needed a feline friend. They were unable to find another Mau for us, surprised us last Christmas with another breed of spotted cat, our wonderful Ocicat Saphira. Of all the cats we have ever served under, she is without a doubt the best behaved, ALWAYS uses her kitty box, NEVER jumps on kitchen or bathroom counters, rarely scratches furniture, comes when called and understands NO. She rarely wakes us up at night, and in the morning waits for us to get up. She is the most undemanding cat ever when it comes to feeding, she never really bothers us to feed her, although she is a bit picky at times. Almost perfect, and a great companion, playing fetch with her is a real trip. She also has a kitty tunnel with kitty cubes at the ends. She loves to curl up in the cubes, looking totally cute. She also tears through the tunnel at high speed, usually totally disrupting it, as her tail is always held high when she is happy, and it catches on various parts of the tunnel. She is just so entertaining!
In November of 2012 we adopted another Oci, from the same breeder where our daughters found Saphira. Viola is a beautiful Chocolate Spotted Ocicat, about eighteen months old when we got her. Just beautiful, described by Jesse (her breeder) as, "the sweetest cat I ever met." That she is! Even though they used to sleep together before Saphira joined us, initially Saphira was pretty hostile toward Viola, hissing and growling whenever she got within about ten feet of her new sisfur. We introduced them to each other pretty gradually, and now they both sleep in the same bed with us (supposed to be 16 degrees here tonight, they love sharing our heated waterbed!) One (usually Saphira) curls up by my wife and the other (usually Viola) with me. They chase each other all over the house at warp speed, often failing to notice when humans are in the way. They are now both much loved members of our family!
Lives Remaining: 8 of 9
Forums Motto: Yes, I really want to play fetch AGAIN!
I was a champion kitty!: Update 7/19/2013: While researching some information about Viola's dad Giovanni, a champion show cat, I was surprised, almost stunned, to find that Saphira was too! On the TICA list of top Ocicats for 2011, Saphira is number 21! With her pretty strong "four on the floor" personality (she hates being picked up), I had just assumed that she did not have the temperament for the show ring, although we always knew of course that she is beautiful, playful, and intelligent. Now we know that she is a famous show kitty as well!
Another one from her dad: As I may have mentioned somewhere on here, one thing Saphira HATES is being put into her kitty jail (AKA cat carrier) for trips to the vet and claw trimmings and such, and I have the scars to prove it! We took to leaving it in our bedroom, where she spends a lot of her time, so she would at least be used to seeing it around. Before we did that, she would run and hide any time I took it from its hiding place. She is way overdue for a trim, so one morning a week or two ago when I noticed her INSIDE the carrier, I quickly shut the door and meowmy and I quickly dressed and it was off for her trim, no trauma for either of us. That is not the really strange part! A day or two later I was feeding them (I have mentioned that they are very undemanding about feeding and we often have to call them to eat), Viola showed up as usual when called to eat, but Saphira was nowhere to be found, a bit unusual for her. FINALLY after a few minutes we see her... Walking our of her kitty jail, she had been napping inside! Since then she often curls up inside of it for a rest. I would have thought that with her early bad experiences with it, she would avoid the darn thing at all costs, but hey, it is little surprises like this that make being owned by cats so interesting. Have to put in a little plug from daddy, since we celebrated Viola's first gotcha anniversary day earlier this month and Saphira's second will be right after Catmus: They are still she best behaved and most entertaining kitties we have ever served under, both are just absolute joys, and we feel so lucky that our daughters decided that Saphira would make a great Catmus present for us two years ago!
Anyone familiar with Saphira's story knows that while she is a unique and delightful feline and an absolute joy to have around, she has one un-feline characteristic: She hardly ever purrs audibly! In the almost two years she has graced our furmily, she has actually been heard to purr maybe five or six times, and most of those have been very quiet gentle almost inaudible purrs. We have always accepted the infrequent purrs as just part of who she is, and since in every other way she is almost purrfect (sorry about the pun!) we never let this bother us.
One of the things that Saphira LOVES is being groomed, if she sees me putting on her grooming glove she will run over to me to have her spots "polished up". I had managed to hide the glove from myself for a couple of months, so when I found it last week (I had hidden it under an astronomy magazine), I immediately went into the living room, where both of our Oci girls love to nap during the day, lots of sunlight through a big bay window and nice comfortable sofa, love seat, and easy chair. Saphira was curled up on the big sofa as usual, so I sat down beside her and started stroking her, and she sure seemed to have missed her grooming sessions, arching her back into the glove as I stroked. Then it happened! That rarely heard sound of Saphira purring! And not just the quiet gentle almost inaudible ones we usually hear, but a nice moderately loud motor revving up! Clearly, her purring systems are working fine, she is just very selective about when she chooses to use them. Why she does not do it more often remains a mystery, as she seems such a contented kitty most of the time and like most Ocis she just loves being around her humans.
Just one more delightful enigma about this most wonderful feline companion and family member!
Yesterday we received the sad news that our sweet orange furiend Kaci Sunshine took a turn for the worse and sadly meowmy had to let her go. If anyone feels like leaving her a message of support or a prezzie, her Catster page is Kaci Sunshine.