November 14th 2013 7:11 am
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We have not been around much recently. My sister is now at university full-time so it is hard for her to come here but today is a big day! I am 10 years old! I came to my forever home in January 2003, at 2 months. It was my sister's 13th birthday. Now she's nearly 23 and has flown the nest (but comes home every weekend to see me) :)
The day is tinged with sadness, of course, that my brother Jet is not here to celebrate with me. He was too good for this world and earned his wings at just 11 months old. It is hard to imagine what kind of cat he would be today. Handsome, I'm sure. Quiet. He was the quietest cat my family had ever had. And totally black, hence his name, except for brown paw pads and six white hairs under his chin. If only there were no cars....
But today my family are grateful that, despite also being hit by a car at 6 months, due to the good luck that I ended up on my own side of the road and was able to get myself home for help and a fast response from an excellent team of vets, I am here to tell the tale. The full tale you can find in my very first diary entry, if you care to take a trip down memory lane...
Lots of love,
May 12th 2012 7:29 am
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Do you like my new diary title, Royal Reflections? We are celebrating being a Daily Diary Pick for the second time in two weeks! Thank you Catster HQ. We will also be celebrating our third Catster-versary next Friday. We joined Catster on 18th May 2009 after my sister read about Dogster in a newspaper. I don't think there will be a 'year in review' from me this year though as I haven't written much this year.
Tidge had his 7 day post-op check yesterday and the news is all good. His mouth is healing well and there is no sign of any infection. Tidge also appears not to be in pain anymore. The vet had mentioned removing the thread which is connecting the two slivers of Tidge's jaw bone (see the awesome yawning pic on his page) to support his jaw, but decided not to. It doesn't seem to be bothering Tidge at all and he is still adapting to eating so we think he needs it for longer. We'll see what happens when he goes back in June for his six-week check. Before I forget, the insurance have also sorted out everything to do with Tidge's surgery with the vet.
As for my eyes, the problem has not gone away and intermittently my third eyelid is quite visible, especially in my left eye. Even when it isn't, I still appear to be looking to the side with one eye sometimes so it looks like I am squinting. I don't have any more vet appointments scheduled but there is still some of the conjunctivitis cream I was given left. Mum and I both find putting the cream in very unpleasant and sometimes, my eyes seem worse for a while afterwards so we are considering taking a few days off the cream and just watching the situation. My family knows I can see and I don't appear to be in pain so the problem is affecting my life at the moment.
We wonder if rather than an infection, it might just be a muscular thing. Is it a muscle which controls retracting the third eyelid? If it is just not retracting properly then there doesn't seem to be much to do about it. For now, we're monitoring things.
Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us.
King Simba XXX
May 4th 2012 4:15 pm
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First of all, my family and I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you lovely Catsters for your comments, messages and gifts of support and your continued purrs for our speedy recoveries. Special thanks to Big Harry and Smiley for spreading the word about Tidge having surgery today.
The good news is that everything went really really well! Of course, it was a very confusing morning in our house as we were all nil by mouth. As Tidge couldn't eat, I couldn't eat, until Mum had got Tidge in his basket and was just about to leave for the vets. Then Mum set off and Tidge was first of all taken for his pre-op checks.The lovely vet talked Mum through how she would do the surgery, actually it is not wire she has inserted, it is a special type of thread similiar to nylon, which will slowly work its way out.
Then she gave Tidge 4 (yes, 4!) shots- including another antibiotic for the infection, a painkiller to help his sore mouth and a sedative to relax him before the op. As Tidge's was going to be the most complex op, he was scheduled last, after all of the day's neuterings and other minor ops. So he was taken into the back room to let the sedative take effect and apparently he was no bother whatsoever, despite being very timid. They put a canula in him ahead of the op too so he now has a little shaved area on his paw-cute!
The actual operation was quite tricky, sadly involving a lot of blood. The infection was very strong and affected his entire jaw and the lower canines have extremely long roots so Tamsin, the surgeon, had to really cut them out to get every last bit. If Tidge were a human, he would be purple with bruises from chin to neck but all the bruising on Tidge is internal and his face is quite swollen, so he has big chubby cheeks. Tamsin used the special thread in a figure of 8 stitch to support his jaw and closed the wounds with dissolvable stitches.
Afterwards, Tidge came round without any complications or trauma and was still drugged up on painkillers, slightly wobbly and needing lots of fuss tonight. He took some water while still at the vet and Tasmin told Mum to just give him normal food if he wanted it, rather than a special diet, so she did. Amazingly, Tidge was demanding food as soon as Mum got home. We no longer eat cat food sachets, our main food is fish fillets (ones that humans could eat too) which Mum steams for us three or four times a day. We also have dry food available to nibble on inbetween times and this has been a very positive diet for us- our coats, for instance, are glossy and there are never sachets lying around getting stale anymore.
Anyway, I digress. Mum offered Tidge both fish and dry food. He loves the dry crispies much more than I do but Mum didn't expect him to try and eat them today. To her surprise, Tidge ate all of both! No way would a human have been able to do that hours after major dental work! Eating didn't seem to bother him much, although we'll see how it goes when the drugs wear off, but it was very messy. Tidge has always been a messy eater. He used to take his food out of the dish anyway as a legacy of living in the wild out of bins and after most of his teeth were removed, it got worse as he couldn't really chew. Today the fish was flying over his shoulder and the crispies bouncing off the wall, so Mum is going to moisten them slightly from now on. Things should improve as Tidge recovers and adapts.
The plan now is for Tidge to go back to the vet in a week's time so his sockets can be checked for any signs of his post-op infection and to keep an eye on his stitches. Then, he'll have a final check in six weeks time, by which time, the special thread in his jaw should have gone too. After that, he should be fine until his yearly check-up in October, but we'll see what the vet says. The totally miraculous thing is that Tidge's jaw should be fine.
My sister has updated my special skills section to explain how I grew my own hip joint after the ball of my hip was removed due to arthritis. And apparently, cats can form new, stronger muscle to support their jaw when their canines are removed too! Because our jaw is mostly supported by our canines, the actual lower jaw bone is very small, a wafer-thin piece the size of a man's thumb, apparently, with muscle around it. Tamsin said if the canines had been removed and no special thread used, the jaw would have become very floppy and unsupported. But with the thread as a temporary anchor, the muscle will develop and strengthen so Tidge should be fine. Are cats fantastic creatures or what???
Tidge is looking surprisingly well despite his ordeal and as I say, so far, he is eating well. In fact, the vets delicately suggested that a few days of lower appetite and less food won't do him any harm. He is a tad on the cuddly side but that's partly because he doesn't roam and get a lot of exercise like I do. He never leaves the garden. Also, I think it goes back to being abandoned and scavening for food. The only signs of his trauma are his slightly swollen face, shaved paw and his tongue sticking out a bit. Also, he used to always have his canines, at least one of them, sticking out when his mouth was closed but not any more! Then there is a little piece of thread visible under his chin and a sore place on his lip from the stitches but they will heal.
My sister has some photos of our brave boy, see his new profile picture. It is late again here but tomorrow she will post more and a little video showing how well he had already bounced back just hours after surgery. Throughout all of this Zack has been looking on concerned and smelling Tidge when he got home because he could obviously smell the vet on him. Tidge was head-butting his chest and nuzzling him.
EDITED TO ADD: We are overwhelmed by the support you have shown us. We have had new messages and comments every day and Tidge has received at least 10 Power of the Paws. We wish we could give gifts to each and every one of you and are in the process of replying to you and sending friend requests to all our new friends. Thank you again Big Harry and Smiley for spreading the word.
Tidge's post-surgery pictures and video are now on his page and various old pictures have been added to his photobook. My sister struggled with the video because her laptop died recently and when she restored it, she lost Windows Movie Maker that she used for all our videos and doesn't know where to get it again. The video she made with the little editor included on her laptop doesn't have good titles because there weren't many to choose from and it looks very odd, really small, in the player on Tidge's page. It's much better in fullscreen though!
She also updated Tidge's bio with the fact he now has no teeth and added an MP3 file from ages ago of Tidge singing to his toys. This is a special skill of his and we hear him doing it all over the house. Thanks again for all your support. We will update again, assuming all continues to go well in the meantime, after Tidge goes back to the vet next week to check on his stitches. In one of the pictures just added, my sister caught him in the middle of a yawn, so you can see his newly toothless gums and the thread supporting his jaw. It was hard to take as cats don't yawn on command but is totally pawsome!
May 3rd 2012 5:04 pm
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The good news is that my eyes are slightly better. They still look a bit watery at times and I often look like I am squinting a bit but my third eyelids do not cover them as much as before. On my return visit to the vet, I had a slow-release antibiotic shot and was given some cream which Mummy has been putting in my eyes every day. It was for conjunctivitis, which we didn't think I had but maybe conjunctivitis in cats looks quite different to in humans? Putting it in is very unpleasant but it seems to have helped a bit so there might be some infection there.
The bad news is that when it rains, it pours and now my brother Tidge is not well and needs dental surgery tomorrow! Usually we don't see the vet from one annual health check to the next. Anyway, you probably know that Tidge has only two teeth in his head. For our new friends who don't, he was abandoned in a garden when he was six months old and those months in the wild, fending for himself, before he was rescued, left him with very severe dental and gum problems.
Tidge found his forever home with my family and from being underweight and malnourished and having runny eyes and tummy trouble, he slowly regained his health. But his teeth were a real issue. They were all yellow and infected so his gums were really sore and his breath was horrendous. He drooled all the time and they bled. When it was really bad, he went to the vets several times for treatment but even when it wasn't at its worst, it was obviously uncomfortable for him and he sometimes smelled awful.
At the tender age of two, he had 99% of his teeth removed, when the vet decided there was no other option and it has been marvellous for him, despite how drastic it sounds. As the vet said would happen, there were no more issues with his gums. They healed up and became healthy and pink. His breath stopped smelling and he became adept at eating and 'gumming' his food. In fact, Tidge usually eats a mostly dry food diet. The only teeth left were his two lower canines, as we cats don't have proper jaw bones on our lower jaw, so the long roots of the teeth provide our jaw with support.
Tidge is now seven and after years with no problems, the infection is back and his mouth is very red, inflamed and sore. He can't eat. He was at the vet today and he got an antibiotic shot too but the vet says his canines need to come out- tomorrow! She is going to do her best to wire his jaw so it will be supported artifically and we trust her. She is a very good surgeon- she performed the operation to remove my hip bone.
Please send all your purrs that Tidge comes through the anaesthetic safely and the surgery is a success, that he is not too traumatised because he is a very timid cat, that the insertion of the wire to give his jaw support goes well and that he is able to recover and adapt to eat normally again. Our insurance should cover the cost, the vet says, but they can be funny about dental stuff so purrs please for everything to go smoothly.
My sister must go to bed now. It is very late here. We will update tomorrow.
Thank you all so much.
April 20th 2012 4:32 pm
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Sorry it's been such a long time since I updated. My sister and typist has been very busy and there hasn't been much to say, things just going along as normal. My sister has changed roles at work and has much more to do now but enjoys it. She has made me a new video though, for Easter. Mum got special Easter eggs for Zack, Tidge and I and they were yummy!
In the past few weeks, I have started having issues with my eyes though and we're not quite sure what's wrong yet. It started around the time of the video. You can't see it in the clip but my Mum and sister thought then that there was something 'off' about my eyes, even though it was not noticeable, a slightly watery look to them, like I was getting a cold.
Mum started worrying when my 'third eyelid' began to show in the corners of both eyes for hours at a time. Whatever is going on, is affecting both eyes so we know I haven't scratched one or got a bit of dirt in it. She took me to the vet after a few days of this and I had a full check up. I got a clean bill of health for everything; heart, lungs, my special leg with the funny hip as a legacy of my accident, teeth and so on and I was not running a temperature so I'm not ill.
She had a really good look at my eyes, turning the light off and shining her special torch in them and making me follow the light. She was able to see into the back of my eyes and didn't see any obvious issues like any cataracts or glaucoma or any injury. And it was clear that I could see her and react to the lights. She asked Mum to bring me back in two weeks for an update and said if I was worse, she might take some bloods even though there didn't look to be any infection. They aren't red or sore.
My follow-up appointment is on Tuesday and since then things have got worse. My third eyelids are always visible now, although it varies how much of my eye is covered. Most of the time, at least a quarter to half of my eyes are obscured and when it's really bad in the evenings (it gets worse as the day goes on), the third eyelid covers 95%, leaving a little patch of my lovely amber eyes. Mum thinks I must not be able to see much when they're like this, although I'm still eating well and being my usual affectionate, contented self.
Scariest of all for my family is when my eyes appear totally white, when I am relaxing with my eyes half-closed. It's not all bad, though. Now and then, there is some improvement, especially when I have just had a good sleep or come in from the fresh air. Then my amber eyes are clear, a bit watery-looking maybe, with the third eyelid just about in the corner and everything seems fine. A few hours later, they are back to nearly white. Mum has noticed my eyes doing different things too. One will be fine and clear or just a bit watery and the other will have the third eyelid over most of it and then it will be the other way round. Or one eye goes off in another direction, so it looks like I have a squint.
It could all be totally nothing and with luck, might stop on it's own, as the vet couldn't find anything. It's possible there was an injury that's not obvious or I have been ill. Mum is keeping a close watch on me and is going to tell the vet everything because, chances are, when I go to see her, it will be one of the good times first thing in the morning. I'll probably have bloods and maybe further tests. The vet also mentioned that I could do with another dental under anaesthetic (my last one was 2 years ago) so she might agree to schedule that and examine my eyes more at the same time.
Has anyone ever had this problem? Could it be the third eyelid itself that is not right, since my eyes when they are not covered, seem quite normal and healthy? I am still behaving normally, eating well and being really affectionate and purring but Mum's worried that I am struggling to see when it's bad or that it's hurting me. I'll keep you updated. I just hope we can get to the bottom of it really soon. It's totally not like me to be like this.
May 17th 2011 12:00 am
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Greetings My Loyal Subjects,
We have now been on Catster for TWO YEARS!
The past year started off not so good, with the introduction of all the Catster changes. Like many, we were NOT impressed with the new Catster and it took a while to adjust. We have to say we still really don't like the new design, ugly community button and most of the other changes. But the old site is now becoming a distant, pleasant memory and we are still using the site as we used to, even though 'if it ain't broke...' still springs to mind.
Then came Zack's summer holiday with the family, a week in a caravan at the seaside, while we were sent to The Cattery. I came home and purloined Zack's new holiday ball for my own for a while, hugging it and rubbing my chin on it. Rubber smells so good. Zack was very pleased to see us home though and Tidge was almost as pleased to see him; rolling over and reaching up to dab his long nose. Bless! Tidge has made even more progress in the last year with Zack and is now often on the sofa with him. I knew we'd get there in the end.
During their holiday, they picked up these two cat-themed wall magnets, which I loved. They are so very true:
MY CAT is an ANGEL from HEAVEN ABOVE with
sandpaper KISSES and a HEART full of LOVE.
CATS are like CHOCOLATES,
It's HARD to have just ONE.
Moving into July, Tidge accidentally ate one of Mum's little fish when he was lapping up water out of the bowl. It was a tiny slip of a thing and he must've swallowed it without realising. Then Tidge and I had to go to The Cattery again, while Mum took my sister to her university summer school in Germany and Zack went to work with Dad. It was worth it though- she later achieved a Grade 2 Pass on the course.
Without a doubt, the saddest time for me over the last year was when my sweet QUEEN TALLULAH went to the Rainbow Bridge due to breast and lung cancer on August 23rd 2010. Tallulah and I made the perfect King and Queen together and she battled so bravely. We made a video for Tallulah's mom for everyone who loved Tallulah and Tallulah and her family are still very important to us.
September saw the start of the 'Birthday Season' in our house as we are all autumn/fall babies, with Zack turning 3. He got some new blankets, a big rubber bone and a rubber ball. I was also pleased to see some new features on Catster that we DID like; the new profile spaces for birthday and gotcha dates and the reminder system so we don't forget to give our friends a gift. In October, Tidge turned six. He had a very good annual health check and obviously didn't need a dental like I had at six, as he only has two teeth. It was also my true brother Jet's Angel Day.
In October, we also got to know our neighbours' cats, OSCAR, LEO and FRANKIE for the first time, when Mum helped get Leo down from a roof, but they didn't join Catster at that time. This new friendship led to some funny incidents including the time Zack mistook Oscar, who is also ginger, for me and when I was in their garden and did a hilarious double take because Oscar's Daddy called my name and I didn't know he knew it.
In November, I had my annual health check just before my 7th birthday and it was also good news. The vet was happy with my special leg, my teeth and my weight and I could go another year without a dental under anaesthetic (I had one when I turned 6). Mum tried to get me to take a furball preventing paste and an evening primrose oil supplment but I was not impressed. Zack was though!
I didn't write in December it was very hectic, what with their second holiday in a log cabin in the woods, under several feet of snow and yes, Zack went along again while we were sent off to The Cattery for the third time! Christmas was lovely though. Come January, my sister turned 20. I was her 13th birthday gift so this was a rather special occasion and not just an ordinary Gotcha Day. My sister wrote a lovely entry about it HERE.
In February, I asked my Queen Tallulah to be my Valentine and my sister helped me surprise her with a card featuring the two of us. In March, Mum bought me some of the freeze-dried fish treats I love! Then Mum helped when Oscar from next door got his leg caught in someone's gate, which was really scary. We took him a goodie bag to help him recover and then Oscar sent treats for us and he and his sisters joined Catster. Leo and Oscar both won Diary of the Day one after the other. How cool are they???
April was a good month. I was tagged by Oscar and then I won Cat of the Day! That was AMAZING. I thought my page was going to explode. It was so cool to appear on the community bar and to make lots of new friends. Our friends old and new helped to make it a really special day, with messages, gifts and treats and I was really spoiled at home.
Then we started having some problems with our sachets and Mum put us onto an all-fish diet instead. Now we have been on the diet of several steamed fish fillets a day for a few weeks and things are going really well. We also get tinned fish like tuna sometimes for a change and dry food for inbetween times should we get peckish. Our coats are so shiny, we have lots of energy and Tidge has lost some of his excess weight.
Zack will probably be posting his review in a few days time, but it could be early June. My sister's course ends on June 2nd so she is quite busy right now. Check out his new photos though and his new best friend, Bonnie, who he has been walking with every single morning. We have noticed a big difference in him. He is sleeping much more during the day and may start shifting some weight.
Oh and to end on a good note regarding Catster changes, we are so pleased to have 200 pictures now!
Thanks for your continued friendship. It has been a GREAT year!
King Simba XXX
April 20th 2011 8:07 am
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Greetings My Loyal Subjects,
Wow! I can't believe it, I am Cat Of The Day! My sister thought her inbox would explode when she opened it today. There were so many messages. She has shown Mum and Dad how my picture appears every time someone opens the community menu and they are REALLY PROUD! This is so exciting. My sister has taken a picture of it to add to my page.
I have a lot of people to thank for special gifts and messages and making me a Feline Friend. Thank you to; Bastet and family, Chai Latte and family, Sleeper, Samhain and Maya, Edwina, Kally Kat, Kaci Sunshine and family, Buddie and family, Kibbles and family, Da Tabbies, Chef Rooster and family, Calie and family, Grace and Family, Punkin and family, Zoey and family, Taz and family, Ollie and family, Orange Ruffy and family, Hashbrown and family, Finnegan, Lacey and Alex, Missy, Pumpkin, Willow and Oreo, Napoleon and Colorado, Monida, Tyson, Magnolia Blossum, Lila Mae, Harley and Hazel Lucy. Thank you as always to my Queen Tallulah and family.
I am very happy because it has been really sunny here for days now. I have enjoyed sunbathing in the garden chair on my main picture then stretching out on the laminate kitchen floor when I get too hot. Our latest big box of Whiskas sachets weren't as nice as usual, or maybe it is just summer and they're getting too hot, but Mum has been feeding us on proper human meat and fish! We've had steamed fish fillets the past few days so our coats are sleek and shiny!
Thanks for making today special!
King Simba XXX
April 2nd 2011 1:20 pm
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Greetings My Loyal Subjects,
I've been TAGGED by LEO!
1. Do you ever wake your parent up in the night?
No. Sometimes I'll make a fuss if I want to go out at night and am not allowed to. But I give up pretty quickly and go to sleep. I sleep on my sister's bed some nights but the door is ajar and I can let myself out when I wake up. Mummy is generally up before or at the same time as me so I don't wake her up. If I'm out at night and want to come in, Zack will wake Mum up when I appear at the patio doors.
2. Do you ever tear up things?
Not really. I don't often play with toys, only when I'm in the mood and I'm not very destructive. I have torn the side of my sister's bed, which is padded and the arm of the sofa because I like to stretch on them and sharpen my claws. But I'm told off if I do that so I sharpen them outside mostly.
3. What is your favorite treat?
I eat Whiskas sachets and only eat dry food if there's nothing else around. Leo's family sent some little gourmet tins for us all after Oscar's accident and they were yummy. I also like the little tins of post-op food from the vet, that they give you if you've had an anaesthetic. My favourite treats are freeze-dried fish but my family think they're yucky so I don't get them very often. Mum also steams fish fillets for us and that's DIVINE!
4. Can you fetch something when asked to do so?
No. I certainly have the intelligence to do it but fetch is for dogs so I wouldn't. My family like to stroke me but would never ask me to fetch because they know I value my dignity.
5. Have you ever lived any place other than where you live now?
Yes. I lived in a house with a big, nasty road right outside, a hill and people raced down it. I had a bad accident there at 6 months old which has left me with no hip bone and five months after that my brother was killed nearby. Our new house is on a very quiet, safe estate with no main roads nearby and there are lots of cats here. I like it very much.
I am very late at doing this Tag. Leo sent it AGES ago. But if you would like to do it, you're TAGGED!
King Simba XXX
March 11th 2011 11:30 pm
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Greetings My Fellow Catsters,
We were hopeful that spring is finally on its way after a lot of sunny but cold days, with only short, sharp showers. Then today it started nice but got darker and rained so it seems spring is taking its time. I have been found in new sleeping spots- in my sister's bed (under her quilt!) and in the dog's bed, which is mostly empty except for his toys.
When Mum and my sister went out for the afternoon recently and were near a pet shop, they bought me the freeze-dried fish treats I love. They smell yummy and I go totally crazy for them, but everyone else thinks they're disgusting. Because they smell and make a mess, my sister tipped them out in the garden. I was so happy, I rolled in them and played with them before I ate them.
We ran out of cat food sachets a little while ago so a couple of our meals were really interesting. We got to enjoy lots of human meats. I loved the beef, chicken and ham. Now we have a lot of sachets though because Dad bought two big multipacks at a special shop where he buys lots of stuff in bulk. When I'm not eating or sleeping, I have been found sunbathing on the chair in my garden and wrestling with Tidge.
That's all my news. But I'd like to introduce you to some new Catster friends. They're my neighbours! There's OSCAR, who is ginger like me and his two sisters, LEO,who is tortoiseshell and white and FRANKIE, who is black and white. They live with their Mum and Dad and also a bunny rabbit called Sooty. We first met them properly back in October when Mum helped get Leo down from a roof after nasty doggies (not Zack!) chased her up there. I wrote about it HERE.
They joined Catster today after Oscar got his leg caught in someone's gate. Mum heard him and managed to get him free. Later, she took some treats round to Oscar from all of us to wish him 'Get Well Soon' and I put a little note in myself. We've got so much in common. We're both ginger and I have a special 'bionic' leg too. It was even the same leg that we hurt! Luckily, Oscar's leg is not broken, just sprained and sore. He's going to be fine. Please go and say hello! It's a lot more fun here when you make friends. They're lovely neighbours to have and the picture of Oscar playing with his bunny is the cutest thing ever.
EDIT: Congrats to LEO and OSCAR, for both winning Diary Of The Day one after the other! How cool is that?! Thank you all too for the card, flowers and special cat food tins you brought round to thank Mum for rescuing Oscar. We were so pleased and we can't wait to try those tins tomorrow!
King Simba XXX
February 2nd 2011 11:00 pm
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Edit: There's some links embedded in this entry. On Simba's page they're hard to find as all the text is orange but on his diary page, they're in blue.
I decided to borrow Simba's diary today to tell a little story myself. In January 2004, I turned 13. My birthday presents were mostly kitten stuff because my main present was going to be two kittens. I LOVED cats.I remember we called up about some grey tabby kittens advertised in the paper before we found Simba and Jet in a rescue but the last two of those had been sold twenty minutes earlier. Then we called West Riding Cat Rescue (now closed).
They'd had a mother cat brought in with all her kittens because their owner wasn't allowed to keep them. We reserved the last two and collected them on January 14th 2004, when they were two months old. Simba and Jet were a total delight, into everything and so much a pair. I can remember when we first heard Jet miaow- he was so quiet- and when Simba first purred. Then they started going out and of course, with a big hill right outside the front gate which people raced down, we worried.
Sadly, we were right to. Simba was only six months old when he got hit. It triggered a traumatic few months, with surgery and pins in his hip. He spent several weeks confined to a large dog crate in the living room, while he healed. Read more in his first diary entry: Remembering My Accident. When Simba and Jet were 11 months old, Jet was also hit and he was not so lucky. We spent the hardest week ever wondering what had happened to Jet as he went out one morning but didn't come home. Simba wrote about this on the 5th anniversary of Jet's Angel Day in 5 Long Years and I think it says all there is to say.
Jet was developing a wonderful character and he was the blackest cat I've ever seen, hence his name. Black fur. Black eyes. His pads were brown. After Jet died, Simba was the only cat in the house for a little while. The first few weeks he was rather lost but he adapted quicker than we did. His own brush with death also left him with a healthy respect for cars. In April 2005, my brother turned 13. It seemed fair for him to have a kitten too and we all felt the timing was now right so we got Tidge.
He'd been fending for himself for ages before he was rescued by West Riding Cat Rescue and he took a while to settle in as he was still poorly. Simba eventually warmed to him quite well and Tidge started to learn some of the things he'd never learned from his Mum. Simba wrote about Tidge coming in Tidge Is 5! They're so different and haven't got the brotherly bond Simba and Jet had but it's great having the two of them all the same.
Zack first entered the house (as our foster puppy Conan) at ten days old, with the idea we were caring for him for a neighbour until he was older and went back to the neighbour at ten weeks. As he spent most of that time in the dog crate we bought for Simba after his hip surgery, Simba never really bothered about him. Even when he could run around the kitchen, he was still a lot smaller than Simba, so Simba largely ignored him. In fact, he looked distinctly unimpressed with the squealing little runt.
When Zack came back, he'd grown a lot and was bigger than Simba so there was an adjustment period. Simba didn't freak out like Tidge did and hide under a bed for four days but he gave the kitchen (where Zack was confined by a baby gate) a wide berth for quite a while. Three years later, the gate is often open and the cats are in and out of the kitchen and garden. Visit Zack's Dogster page here. I think Simba quite likes Zack, underneath anyway. Zack certainly cares about him.
I can hardly believe Simba will be eight this year and I'm now 20! He's gone into middle age and I don't seem to have changed much at all. I certainly don't feel 20! Simba is such a special part of the house I don't know how to explain it. I'm biased, obviously, but he's so handsome. I love his ringed tail, his perfectly symmetrical markings, the tufts on his ears and his gorgeous amber eyes. Harder to describe is Simba's character. He really deserves the title of King Simba.
Maybe it has something to do with having the accident and being confined to a crate for six weeks, when he was cuddled and comforted by us all, but he's unbelievably gentle. Although he is a ruthless hunter (sadly) he NEVER does anything to hurt us. Even the most friendly cats usually have their funny spots. Maybe it's their tummy or their back legs. With Simba, there's none of that. We can stroke him anywhere. He's the most tolerant and adaptable cat I've ever known.
Simba is largely non-vocal. He has a low miaow which we usually hear in the car. Other than that he purrs and sometimes he will chirrup. If he wants feeding, he will normally show us and sit everywhere we need to be until we feed him. To come in, he will appear at the patio door and Zack will alert us. Even when he does 'miaow' he will usually just open his mouth and 'mime'. It's hilarious. He can make a real noise (like when we arrive home after he's been locked out for ages and we get shouted at as he leads the way in) but rarely does.
Simba tolerates all of our silly nicknames, baby talk and our cuddling. He'll sometimes seek us out for attention and that's special. If he climbs on your knee, that's VERY special. He's not usually a fan of toys but every once in a while will play for ages. He doesn't like dry food but will eat it if there's no other choice. He also enjoys human ham, fish, chicken and cheese. Hs favourite sachets are chicken and prawns. He doesn't like beef. I once saw him use the litter tray (a rare occurence) and actually wipe his feet off on the edge of it after.
I often wonder what Jet would be like now. Losing Jet so young was awful. But I'm enormously grateful that Simba survived. He developed arthritis in his repaired hip joint over three years ago now and had the ball of the joint removed. We were told he would make his own muscular substitute and you would NEVER know he has had the surgery. The only sign is that when he runs, his back legs come together and he hops like a kangaroo. It's so cute!
There's still more I haven't covered yet and this post is so long. We had another scare when Simba nearly fell out of a window. and soon after, had a very lucky escape from a dog. He's also found his Queen Tallulah who sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge last August. Visit Queen Tallulah: Angel in Pink here.
King Simba is the perfect cat and I'm privelaged to call him my own.
I LOVE YOU, SIMBA!
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