10
Jan
08

Des and More Des…

des-regal.jpg des-sleeping.jpg

Yesterday, I decided to follow Des around to take some pictures of him. I believe though, the photos do not do him much justice. He is so much cuter in person – or in catson?

The thing about Des that is unique is his fur. He has this curlyish fur, which I have seldom seen on other Maine Coons. His fur is different to that of Sweetie’s.  He still has the the all important lynx-like tufts of hair on top of the ears, the characteristically long britches, and ruff and tummy hair , but it is slightly wavy - if he were a human being, he would probably have hair like Patrick Dempsey a.k.a Dr McDreamy :o)  His fur though, is heavenly to touch. He is lovely to snuggle up to when he’s napping. The following are some of the pictures of our beloved Desperado (can you see his fur curling out? Away from his skin? haha) :

des1.jpg   des2.jpg

des3.jpg  des4.jpg

des5.jpg   des6.jpg

05
Jan
08

Play Time…

we-da-bomb.jpg

These pictures were captured today. They are just getting more and more mischievous by the day. They ran amuck and ruled the house for the better part of the morning. Des was actually scared of the kittens. They kept jumping at him and he kept reversing until he was cornered by walls on all sides, and kittens leaping at him. Then the poor big ol’ softie just sat there with his ears to the side, clearly not amused. That was when Sweetie ran in and the kittens immediately attacked her – Des made his escape then.

des-was-not-amused.jpg

He retreated to the other side of the room and refused to go anywhere near the kittens after that. At which time, we decided he had to have a bath and grooming session. Oh well, another day in the house of kitties :o)

I sincerely don’t know who will be happiest when the kittens go to new homes – Des or Sweetie :o) Poor Sweetie’s tail is not as luscious as it was once was. Nursing and looking after energetic kittens can’t be easy on the mum. She is wonderful though. Exceedingly patient and playful with them. Sometimes even taking part in chase-the-bottle-cap games with the kitties.

It is funny how these kittens have exceedingly different personalities. That crossed my mind when I ended up bottle-feeding Chelsea. As usual, Chomsky had to get into the action too. Between the 2 of them, they finished 1 big bottle of kitten formula. Chomsky definitely waddled after that (as usual – he is quite the glutton!) He decided to take it easy – which I think, is a pretty smart move on his part!

chomsky-left-out.jpg   chomsky-at-his-favourite-spot.jpg

Usually when talking about the kitties to potential interested families, Chomsky and Chelsea gets mentioned quite a lot… and Chandler gets accidentally left out. Perhaps because those 2 have quite the extreme temperament, whereas, Chandler is the high-flyer. She, like her namesake, is quite the goofball. She is also very assertive and confident. When we first introduced them to Des, she was the first one to make friends with him. She was also the one who captained the full-spirited attack on Des today. She is always the most curious one of the 3. If there is anything unusual (well for kittens, EVERYTHING is unusual…!) She will be the first to investigate. Chandler also refuses bottle feeding. She was the first to eat dry kitten food – long before the others were even interested. I would say that Chandler is the super achiever of the triplets :o) – if she were human, she would probably be the person to invent a computer Operating System that unites Mac and Windows :o) or something like that.

It is hard to get a picture of her as she is never still – but here are 2 of them:

what-is-it.jpg   chandler-sees-something.jpg

Then, there is of course the Duchess. Chelsea would clearly be a debutante if she were human. The reason she had to be bottle-fed was, she could not be bothered to fight the other 2 to get to the milkbar. She is very proper and dainty (but don’t rile her because she will retaliate!) She always poses well and is the easiest one to take pictures of. Her face is slightly sharper compared to Chandler and she is a little darker too. That’s how I tell between the 2 of them in photos. Chandler has slightly more gold tones compared to Chelsea. But in real life, it is her character that sets her apart. She does not join in kitten-play very much, preferring the company of human or mum. When she sits, or walks, or lies down, it is always with a certain air of grace and daintiness. She is just soooo proper most of the time! When she is bottle-fed, she feeds with gentle slurps – Chomsky just sucks the milk out of the bottle!

chelsea-pose.jpg    chelsea-again.jpg

 And of course, we have to thank the wonderful Matriarch – Edina Sweetie Darling for looking after the kittens so very well!

sweetie-darling.jpg

04
Jan
08

Our babies

 2 days old

Well.. these are photos of our babies – we love each and everyone of them. Each time Sweetie has babies, I tend to share the sleepless nights. Bottle-feeding, rubbing, holding – whatever they need. Sweetie is a wonderful mum – she gets all protective, scratchy and hissy during the first month of the kittens’ lives. Usually I will handle the kittens myself during this time to ensure that the kittens are held as gently as possible. Only after the first 4 weeks, the kittens can be handled by our helper. At 6 weeks, they get introduced to the other 2 owners – my hubby and son.  Then they begin their exposure to life with humans, gradually until the time comes for them to go to new homes.

This gentle introduction and the role of a human caregiver in this respect, in our case, has resulted in extremely friendly, and affectionate kittens. In my experience with our kittens, they are trusting and loving towards us, and like babies, they will also invite us to play with them.

 Anakin Skywalker      Arwen     Atilla the Hun

Billy Bob      billy-bob-cute.jpg   billy-bob-play.jpg

Chandler     Chomsky     brown and silver

chelsea.jpg   Chelsea   Chelsea

Chandler’s Markings   Play   Fun!

playtime   billy-bob-play.jpg  attack.jpg

Chandler   Sad   Am Tired!

3 Kittens 

We still wanna play! We are not tired!

 3 kittens sigh

No! Really, we are not at all *yawn* tired!!

3 kittens …

We are not… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

*All Photographs are owned by us – please do not reproduce or use these photographs without our written permission. There are such things as rights!

04
Jan
08

Then Came Sweetie

4 months after Des came home, my other half started to get thoughtful each time he played with Des (well, we couldn’t call him Desperado all the time, can we? Poor cat would have self-esteem issues!) Turned out  he felt that since Des was becoming a bachelor boy, he needed to have a playmate. So we contacted the breeder again, and we were told that another Maine Coon Purebred Queen had a christmas delivery that year! The mother was brown classic but the father was a Ginger – and they had 6 kittens. We immediately booked a girl for our Des.

Since it was their 5th litter, we decided to call her Edina Sweetie Darling (after that character Edina Monsoon that I loooove, from Absolutely Fabulous.) Turned out that she was anything BUT a sweetie darling, just like the real Edina! But there you have it. Cats, Maine Coons in particular (because I am biased about this breed,)  have wonderful personalities too!

This time, since the breeder already knew us, we were fine. Our home need not be inspected again. Des by this time was not only thriving but thoroughly and utterly spoilt (he was dining 3 times a day on raw steak chopped to little pieces, with vitamins and antioxidants added.) We brought Des to his place of birth a couple of times to visit his mom, but Des is not much of a travelling cat. He trembled in the car, poor old thing. So, we minimised any car travel for him.

So, back to Sweetie. The first couple of weeks, I did not leave the house. Des was introduced to Sweetie slowly. A few minutes a day. Sweetie was kept in her own room, and I had to play with her, then rush to play with Des, then back to take care of her – it was a little tiring at that time. But it was not 2 months before Sweetie started wearing the pants, bossing Des about, (yeah, Des is a softie – big but soft!) and we thought it was safe to let them play together. Before we finally got them to play together for any length of time, both had to be bathed again with the same shampoo. Then they were both fine.

Sweetie and Des were very much the old married couple from the word go. She wore the pants, Des followed her around like a besotted puppy. However, once she went a bit too far and bit his urrrmm gems by mistake and he swatted her across her nose, resulting in an emergency run to the vet’s for us. That was the only domestic violence incident in the household and Sweetie has never gone too far with Des ever again.

Sweetie

04
Jan
08

It all started with Des…

We were in Poland. I was bored, lonely, jobless. Something had to be done. So we went for a picnic in the countryside with our friends. A chance conversation brought us to the topic of pets, and we mentioned our love of cats. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were on our way to visit another friend of our friend. We were told that they had this special breed of cat and we were very lucky, they happened to have kittens just then. We were curious. I mean… how special can a cat be??? We have seen our own share of cats anyways.

So we arrived at this manor house (seriously, it was super cool!) It had a paddock for horse riding and training, a circular driveway, old trees surrounding the house. I mean, if you have seen any old Polish movies, chances are, you would have seen a house like that somewhere! But I digress.

We were ushered into a room. Before stepping in, we were told to take off our shoes, not to make too much noise and to sit quietly as the cats were resting, (I kid you not!) So we tiptoed into the room, sat on the floor timidly and waited. In the big room, I remember seeing a double bed in one corner, and a chair in front of us. But no cats! We waited.

Suddenly, there was a rustle. From under the bed emerged the biggest, hairiest, most gorgeous cat we had ever seen. She was silver with great golden eyes. She walked majestically past us, jumped on the chair and regally laid down. Dangling from the side of the chair had to be the longest, bushiest tail I had ever seen on a cat, with the magnificent ring markings. I held my breath. The cat looked at us, and started to twitch her tail. A few minutes passed. She dangled and twitched her tail – I could not take my eyes off her, when suddenly all hell broke lose.

From under the bed, out hurtled 6 balls of fur. They made a beeline for the Queen and started to unceremoniously  jump, claw at the tail, one even attempted to climb it. 6 balls of identically dark coloured balls of fur with long tails. They soon started to pounce on each other and my heart melted. I looked at my husband and I guess he must have known then. I was not going to leave Poland without one of those furballs!

We were told that the breed of cat was Maine Coon and the mother was brought specially from Canada to introduce the silver coloured Maine Coons to Polish stock. We were intrigued. The price of the kitten however left me speechless. THAT much for a kitten? Is it even possible??? We were shown the pedigree. It did not make much sense to me then.. I just wanted those balls of fur! Who cares what championship their great, great grandparents had won!

We left the house then. I hardly dared to dream that we could have one of those kittens. It didn’t dawn on me that the other half would be willing to pay so much for a kitten. It turned out I was wrong. He had fallen in love with them too. And that was the start of our great relationship with Maine Coons.

After selecting our own little bundle of fur, there were a few more social visits with the kitten to see how he was growing and to introduce him to us. There were forms to be filled and contracts to be signed. There was a house visit made to make sure that we can provide a loving home for the kitten. Then at 4 months old, the kitten came home with us.

7 years later, he is still our big softy – Desperado is 1 metre long from nose to tail, but he is the most huggable, lovable and softiest softy that could be found anywhere…

des-daddy.jpg




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