I’ve just spent some time digging out a load of video, which I am gradually uploading to the cats’ Vimeo channel. This will necessarily take a good while, as we are limited to 500mb a month unless the Tribe pay, and they seem unwilling to do so.
Still, you can subscribe to their feed, or follow them on Twitter where, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, their videographic uploads will (or at least should) miraculously appear).
It is with huge sadness that we relate the loss of Mustrum, a snow spotted blue-eyed Bengal, and the last of our Bengals.
He was officially An Old Man, and we could see it. His teeth were gone, his spots were gone, even his wonderful voice disappeared for a few days (which worried us enormously!) but it came back. But he was forgetful, and we worried about him getting lost, and then his back legs started getting weak. We had known the time was coming for a few months, and we did what needed to be done. Sarah, our vet, was wonderful, and I held Muss as he slipped away. We miss him dreadfully, but we did the right thing.
We got Mussum at the age of 12 weeks; we’d gone to buy a Bengal and found it hard to choose … we came home with Iggy, but went back for Muss a couple of weeks later. We actually traded him for a web site (long gone now, like the breeders).
He was always, somehow, Essence of cat. He loved life, and food (Big! Dinners!), and exploring, and people, and getting wet and being towelled off. He loved Moo the best of all; she was our stripey Bengal, prettiest cat in the world, and they were so, so close. He was devastated when we lost her to a car accident. And he was a big solid cat, his fights with Iggy were epic.
But his defining characteristic was his voice – he would squeak, and shout, and gurgle, and miaow. He used to like to be slapped too, and would shout for more, until the weight started falling off him.
We miss him so much, but it was time, and I’m not sure he would have coped with our recent move either.
Go well, Mussum – good hunting.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the demise of Eskarina, who went to live with my daughter a few years ago. She was almost 17, a great age for a pedigree cat, but we all thought she would outlive the lot of us.
Esk came to us in January 1998, along with her best friend, Pteppic. who died a couple of years ago. A cat of great beauty in her heyday, with apricot mask, ears, and magnificently plumed tail, and beautiful blue eyes, but somewhat let down by her voice, which resembled that of a corncrake. The whole family had a variety of different names for her: Wahbag, Baggage (in a French accent), EskCat, to name but a few.
She really was a very old lady by the time she left us, but she still knew what she liked. Which was men. Particularly Pete, whose armpit she would nuzzle, while making a peculiar chirping noise. She was very hoity toity, and had a virtual lorgnette, over which she peered at people. in a disapproving manner.
Curiously, my daughter was due to move house very shortly after Esk died, and I don’t think the Wahbag would have liked that *at all*.
Go well, Eskarina – good hunting, and may your wah continue long and loud in the ether.
It’s been six weeks since Mort went out and picked a fight with a car, a fight in which he came off distinctly second-best. In those six weeks, he has been x-rayed, scanned, operated on for a tear in his abdominal wall and for a diaphragmatic hernia, has spent several days in intensive care, and since then has been at home, recovering.
When we originally took him to the surgery, he had a cut under his eye, all the fur on his stomach had been pulled out and rolled into a massive chunk of felt on his chest, he was passing blood in his urine and we thought he might have fractured his pelvis.
Instead it turned out that Mort had a tear in the abdominal wall which meant that his intestines and spleen were now lying on his rib cage – Mort is one of the few creatures you will ever meet who has genuinely vented his spleen. The amazing vets managed to get all of this put back where it belonged and the tear was stitched up. He also had a tear in his diaphragm, which meant that his breathing was compromised during the operation. I only found out today that through some of the operation the nurses were doing his breathing for him. Miraculously, the vets managed to stitch up this hole as well, and Mort was then moved to a specialised veterinary nursing facility 30 miles away, where among other things the vets drained 500 mls of air from his chest over two days. So, yes, he was also full of hot air. He also had an incision so long it looked as though he could unzip himself and step out of his own furry onesie.
Because the bills were really starting to mount up, and people had begun offering to help, we finally agreed to set up a fund for Mort’s expenses. Mac and Pete Jordan very kindly created a web page for us and then I sat and watched while my PayPal account went berserk. And then the cheques started to arrive.
We honestly had no idea Mort had quite so many friends, particularly when so few of you have actually met him in the flesh. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity in contributing to his fund. Between you, you have paid for the actual operation and covered a significant portion of the after-care as well, which was a great relief for us.. We are so deeply, deeply grateful to everyone for this and for all the moral support in those first few weeks.
Mort is now pretty much his old self. While he recovered from the operation he was happy to lie around snoozing but after a week or so he was clearly becoming somewhat depressed so we started letting him go out during the day. As it turned out, he didn’t want to go far but he really did want to sniff the air and hunt insects. His recovery has genuinely been measured in leaps and bounds as he made it onto the kitchen stool, the counter, the window sill, and so on. As he got stronger and was able to get onto the garden wall, this turned into wanting to inhale as much lawn and mud as he could find, and climb onto our neighbours’ kitchen roof (but we don’t talk about that last and especially not about how he nearly fell off).
In the last week, he’s become Full-on Mort again, and is now bounding round the house, meowing his head off, playing with Rosa and Minnow whether or not they want him to, as well as with his box-den and bits of dried cabbage stalk (Mort has a thing about brassicas). He is also back to waking the humans by sitting on them and purring hard into their faces, in between a little light savaging of their hands and feet. The legendary Mort appetite has also finally returned and he’s back to being a six-pouches-a-day and as many snacks as he can find cat. He is a bit more of a homebody than he used to be, for now at least, and we’re very happy about that.
Today we heard that the surgery has chosen Mort as their Pet of the Month for March, which is a lovely way to round off six weeks of worry.
So, once again, thank you to everyone at Manor Veterinary Clinic for their excellent treatment of Mort, and especially to Rosie and Rocio, who stitched him back together; to Newncourt Veterinary Hospital for exemplary aftercare; to Mac and Pete for facilitating Mort’s own web page, and most of all, to all of you for helping with Mort’s treatment and recovery. He is a testament to the kindness and generosity of the internet community.
Our friends Maureen and Paul, currently owned by Rosa, Minnow and the indomitable Mort, have had some problems with the magnificent beast you see before you.
Mort has been dicing with cars,once again, and the results of said dicing are costing an extreme amount of money in vets bills. Currently, M & P are struggling to pay these bills, and Pete and I know how scary this all can be, after Lilith’s Little Incident last year.
So, if you might able to spare a bob or two for Mort’s fees, click here to a) read more about it, and b) donate via PayPal. Thanks.
I can tell you that The Adventures of Mort make fascinating (and usually entertaining) reading, and I might try and encourage Maureen to grace our pages as a guest blogger from time to time 🙂
My mobile rang yesterday evening. Is that Lilith’s mum? asked a woman’s voice. My heart lurched.
Despite it being biologically impossible, I admitted that I was, yes, and thinking Dear lord – what now? This kind woman, appropriately named Cat, had found Lilith’s missing collar tags* in her back yard. They went missing a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t actually got round to getting her another set. Cat lives a few doors up, and said she would drop them off, but as it was in the wrong direction for where she said she was headed, I decided to walk up and meet her.
Well, well. Cat has two cats, one of whom is Lily’s great pal. Lil makes an absolute dash to get in Cat’s house, and has been seen shoving a brick nearly her own weight away from Cat’s side gate to get through to the yard. She’s also been seen in the new development right at the top of the road, and lord knows where else. Dreadful cat, she is. Most grateful to Cat for taking the trouble to call, and for giving me info on the wanderer’s stamping ground.
When I saw bluetooth Tiles looking for funding last year, I pre-ordered four, and one of them is going *straight* on Lily’s collar.
*Yes, tags. Both double sided, one giving her name, and “I am microchipped” on the reverse, and the other saying “I have a home” and “please do not feed me”.