Coventry Cats

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Our lovable tuxedo cat, Panda Bear, one of the original “Furry Bambinos”, passed away a year ago today on January 21, 2018.  It hit us so hard that it has taken a year to write this entry.   
 
In Panda Bear’s last few months he had been valiantly fighting both heart disease and kidney disease.  On the evening of January 20, 2018, heart disease began to win.  On the morning of January 21 we found him too weak to move, and so we made that difficult decision every pet owner wants to avoid.
 
Now, even a year later, sadness still lingers with us, as we lost one of our best cats ever.
 
 
Panda Bear was born in May of 2007, under a porch in a Cleveland, Ohio, neighborhood with seven siblings.  Shortly thereafter, they were taken in by a local rescue group.  Unfortunately, the calici virus passed through the litter and Panda Bear had to have his right eye removed.  One of his siblings had both eyes removed, and one of his sisters had some retinal scarring.
 
Panda Bear came into our lives in October of 2007.  We had lost our cat Clyde to lung cancer in February 2007, and were finally ready to look for a new cat.  We saw Panda Bear and his sister with the retinal scarring at Petsmart.  Panda Bear jumped into Sue’s arms, and we knew he was going to be ours.  We adopted him, his sister and another older cat who reminded us of Clyde.  We named the sister “Meerkat”, and the older cat “Padre”.  We affectionately labeled them “The Furry Bambinos”, and that’s when we started this blog.
 
 
In the beginning, the three Bambinos hung out together frequently, and most of their early life is well documented here on the blog.
 
 
When we captured this photo, it became the header for the blog for several years.
 
 
Over the years, we also took to shortening Panda Bear to “P.B.”, so in shorthand, “P.B.” was an “O.G.” (original gangsta) Bambino.  Here he is working on a new blog post with Sue.
 
 
Panda Bear was impish and could get himself into trouble, but he would lovingly climb into your lap to apologize.  He would follow us from room to room, and camp out and keep us company.  He made friends with every human that walked in our house, and almost every foster kitten we brought through the door, too.  In short, Panda Bear was the kind of cat everyone would love to have, and we were the luckiest guardians on Earth.
 
 
Panda Bear would willingly pose with toys.  In this early photo of him, notice the blue nail caps. We used to use those before simply just getting better at trimming his nails.  
 
 
Panda Bear loved to “help” get work done, but he would easily get distracted and start playing. 
 
 
And he was the reason we stopped putting up a Christmas tree every year. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We tried to do a Halloween card one year in which we dressed all the cats up in costumes.  This was the year Panda Bear was a clown. 

 
Even as a one-eyed cat, he could catch flies, mice, and feather toys without any trouble.
 
 
He loved to jump and play.  In fact, we had just finished a rousing game of “chase the feather on a string”, and he was breathing heavily when we captured this photo of him.  
 
 
Panda Bear was rambunctious and impish, but he was also the most calm and chill cat we’ve ever had in our lives.  He was able to get along with just about every cat and human being that came through our house. 
 
If you know us personally and had ever visited our home, you met and came to know Panda Bear.  He was one of our resident “greeter cats” when anyone came to visit.  
 
He was always calm for his vet visits with his vets Dr. Amy and Dr. Jo at Village Veterinary Clinic, and would confidently walk around the room and allow them to poke and prod him.
 
 
 
When the “Coventry Cats” cat store in Cleveland Heights celebrated its 20th anniversary in May of 2008, Panda Bear went to the party.   He seemed to enjoy the car ride immensely.
 
 
At the store, he had fun browsing through all the toys …
 
 
And the store owner, Sheila Blecman, gave him lots of love!
 
 
Panda Bear purchased a new Catnip Banana at the store.
 
 
In 2011, we attended a blogging conference in Virginia, and Sue attended a workshop where people could create a “flat” version of their pets.  Basically, it involved taking a good photo of your pet and pasting it onto some thick foam board.  The idea being you could then take your flat pet with you everywhere that real animals aren’t allowed!  So, Sue made “Flat Panda Bear”.
 
 
Dr. Amy at Village Vet even played along and once gave Flat Panda Bear an exam.
 
 
He passed with flying colors!
 
 
Flat Panda travelled with us frequently, and ended up going as far west as Columbia, Missouri.
 
Over time, we became involved with the rescue group that saved the Bambinos.  The first two fosters we took in were named Cookie and Caramel.  Panda Bear loved them, and so did we, so we adopted them!
 
Here’s Panda Bear teaching a very young Cookie how to drink from a human’s glass:
 
 
And he would frequently wash her head.
 
 
Here he poses with a very young Cookie showing her how to sun herself in the patio door.
 
 
With the addition of Cookie and Caramel, The Furry Bambinos were now at total of five!
 
 
And everyone got along great!
 
 
Panda Bear was the explorer (escape artist).  Even in winter.
 
 
This was his favorite Gizzy Quilt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We have been involved in animal rescue since 2008, and just about every foster kitten that came through our household had a chance to meet him, too.  Invariably, they would warm up to Panda Bear almost immediately.  We labeled our foster room the “Furry Bambino Foster Academy”, and Panda Bear was the “Guidance Counselor”.
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He was the one to meet them and help them socialize as they went through the foster program.  All told, Panda Bear was a Rockstar Guidance Counselor to over 150 kittens during his life.  That’s how easy going and lovable he was.
 
 
He was a lap kitty, too, and he regularly would sleep next to us or near us on the bed and on sofas.  When David worked at his computer or sat watching TV, Panda Bear would regularly curl up in David’s lap for scritches and snuggles.  If Sue was reclining on the sofa, Panda Bear would knead her chest for almost exactly 15 minutes every night like clockwork.  None of the other cats have loved us so equally and affectionately.
 
P.B. was talkative, too.  All we had to do was exclaim “Panda Bear!“, and he would bleat out a short happy response to acknowledge his presence.  Then he would flick his tail a couple of times in short, staccato movements like an orchestra conductor waving a baton.  Even as he slowly lost weight and his ailments took their toll, his bleat was music to our ears.
 
Within our own household Panda Bear will be most missed by our other cats Sunny and Sky.  They latched onto Panda Bear as shy fosters, and never let go.  They followed him almost everywhere and would regularly cuddle up with him, walk beside him, and brush up against him.
 
 
Sunny was especially close to Panda Bear, often sleeping with him in the front window. 
 

Panda Bear even made friends with the very shy, skittish, and semi-feral Samoa, who we lost back in 2015.
 
We can’t say it enough: we’ve lost one of our best cats ever, and we are grieving hard.
 
 
 
Panda Bear is survived by his sister Meerkat, his best friends Sunny, Sky, and Padre, and his step-sisters Cookie, Caramel, and Farrah Fluff.
 
 
Panda Bear!” … we were honored to be your guardians.  We loved you dearly, and miss you terribly.  Rest well, dear friend. We’re so happy you’re no longer in pain and now able to run freely.  We look forward to calling your name at the Rainbow Bridge someday and hearing that lovely bleat in response!
 

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Hello Furriends! Today my sister Caramel (AKA Ms. Floooooofs) and I are three years old.

We are just taking it easy today. Breakfast, then a nap pile. Feel free to join us if you like to nap! Here is a baby picture of us when we were itteh bitteh! This is taken three years ago today – the day we were born!

This photo was taken a few weeks later. Caramel is the black fuzzball, and I am in front serving as a pillow to my sisfurs. See how big my gold flame mark looked compared to my tiny little head?

Mom and Dad brought us some fun nip toys from Coventry Cats, including a new nip nanner!  Rumor has it there is a new Da Bird, but we haven’t seen it yet.  (We dedded our old Da Bird.)  Come on over to play and eat and nap!

Purrs,
Cookie and Caramel

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Hi Efurryone! We is very sorry we hasn’t posted in a long time.  Thanks to those of you who stopped by and wonderified where we were. Mommy has been super busy with working at the computer for “work”, and Daddy has been preoccupied, too.  Daddy now has a bunch of free time, so he’s going to help us while Mommy plays with the computer on her lap on other things.

So, let’s start getting caught up, kitties!

Now that Kilroy and the Love Beasties have received their super-duper prize package, I can write about my shopping trip!

In honor of our Gotchaversary, we held a big prize drawing.  One of the prizes was a big load of goodies from my favorite shopping place, Coventry Cats.

So, Mommy picked me up and off we went!  Daddy went along too to document the whole adventure!  Here we are leaving the house.  I’m such a good kitty, I don’t need a traveling box PTU!  I like Mommy’s shoulder!

I’ve got the whole back seat to myself and I’m all excited to go!  Vamos Amigos!

Daddy felt I should have a better view, so I tried sitting in his lap for a short while.  I need my own steering wheel!

Ooh!  Oooh!  I saw a squirrel!  Let me out!  Let me out!

Hey, the view is better from the back seat!  I saw two vishus deer!  Mommy stopped and let the vishus deer cross the road before we started moving again.

I like the back ledge.  I can see in all directions from here.  “Hey, Mom, stop making so many stops!  You keep rocking me off the ledge.”

Yay!  Our final destination.  Mommy parked up high.  Now we gets to cross the street!

All ready to go inside!  I can’t wait to go shopping for my friends!

I like the nice owner lady.  She gave me good scritches and pointed me in the direction of the fun toys!

Before doing any official shopping, I made sure to indulge myself in a little exploring.  I am a good hider, but Mommy and Daddy still found me!  That dang blue leash gave me away.

Okay, time to get shopping.  There’s so much to pick from!  Oooh, this mousie is good.  I think I’ll get this for Kilroy and the crew.  Maybe they’ll throw it around into their food dish or something.

I have no idea who these ladees are, but they affectionated me and called me “gorgeous”.  I gave them my best flirty eye, and they went wild.  I love my public.

I needed to do some further investigation.  There’s great things to sniff!  The whole store smells like catnip.

This guy works with the owner lady.  He caught me sniffing behind the counter and investigating the ‘behind-the-scenes’ operations when I took a break from shopping.

These are some of the wonderful prizes I choosified for Kilroy and crew.  I gots chew toys for Leah and Sadie and stuff for Kilroy and Macy including a bag of catnip, and a catnip bananer.

Oops, Mom.  They don’t accept my “Mastercat” card.  Would you pay for me?  Please, pretty please?

That was a fun adventure at Coventry Cats!  But we still had to buy a few more things!  Mommy and I posed on the street.  Aren’t I cute?

Daddy had been taking my pictures the whole time, so I asked Mommy to take my picture with him to prove that he was there too!  Dis was taken in the room that moves.

Soon we was back on the road.  I told Mommy to take us to the place we was adopted from because they has the bestest selection of Temptatshuns!  Here I am on my perch watching the scenery go by!

After a while, I was getting a little dizzy, so I decided to lay low in the bottomest portion of the room that moves.  Mommy says hoomans puts their footies here.

Mommy was driving too slow for my liking so I yelled at her to drive faster!

Finally!  We arrived at my second shopping place.  This one is Petsmart, and itz the place Mommy and Daddy adopted us from through PAWS. Oooh, looky at all the perchy places they have.  Mommy let me climb all around!  Can we gets one of these, Mommy, please???

I liked this one the bestest of them all.  Nice and high!  Right at Mommy’s face level!  I could see me, and Meerkat and Padre really enjoying this one!

Here are some fellow kitties.  These is young ones.  I hope they find a forever home soon just like we did!

Look at all the wonderful treats!

Ah-ha!  Finally the Temptashuns!  Mommy let me sniff around for the bestest ones to buy for Kilroy and the crew!

Daddy said the freshest ones were in the back, so that’s where I went looking.  I investigated the expire dates on all the packages and found the freshest ones for  my friends!

Mommy thought I was spending waaaayyy too much time back there, so she decided to spoil my fun and catch me.  I wuz starting to get tired anyways.

This was a long shopping trip!  I was really starting to feel tired after all this excitement, so I asked Mommy and Daddy to take me home.

Finally, we arrived home.  I wuz so tired, Mommy had to carry me in.

And that was my big shopping trip!  It was a tiring day, but I kept my promise to do my shopping trip to celebrate our Gotchaversary.  I really like all the good things Kilroy wrote about our prize package.  It looks like they all had fun and I am happy they liked everything!
 

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gosh, thanks to efurryone who stopped by to visit our blog in the last few days to wish us a happy gotcha day! we are truly touched by all the wonderful kitties in the cat blogosphere! we are so happy that so many of you could make it to our party! it has been great to see all of you, and we have had lots of fun. it was great to see old friends, and to meet some new friends too!

Meerkat Feather Toy

the kind-hearted souls over at whimpurrs whim gave us this beyootifull card:

Happy Gotcha Furry Bambinos

thank you so much! it really tickles us that you thought of us!

and now, for the big announcement! it is time to announce the winners of the very first bambino contest!

to celebrate the anniversary of our adoption, we decided to hold a contest. over the last several posts, you have left your name in the comments to enter.  over thirty famblies entered! woo-hoo! mom and dad helped with typing the names, printing the names, and then cutting up the paper into strips with each fambly’s name on a strip. then daddy folded the names, and put them into one of our crunchies bowls. we gave the bowl of names a good sniff.

Bambinos Select Names

panda bear oversaw the selection of the winner for the coventry cats shopping spree. ahem, and now, the winner of the coventry cats shopping spree is: kilroy the love beastie!!!

Panda Eats Kilroy

hoo-ray!! congrats!! (ewww… panda bear ran off and ate the strip of paper with kilroy’s name on it.)

next, padre oversaw the selection of the winner of the donation to a U.S. animal shelter or animal rescue group of their choosing. and the winner is: kellie the orange cat!!!

Padre Selects Kellie

we will be in touch to work out the details!! yay!!

Padre On Car

party on, dudes!!

Pand Bear in Funny Glasses

pee ess: as chance reminded efurryone in the comments, remember to nip and drive responsibly!

Meerkat On Car

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Hi Efurryone!!!  ::: waves paws excitedly :::

Today is the Anniversary of our Adoption Day!!!  You are never going to believe what we got as a present…

Mom and Dad gave us a CAR!!!

Panda Bear on Car

We Furry Bambinos have been here in our furrever home for exactly one year!!!  We are so happy to be here, that we decided a great way to celebrate would be to have a CONTEST and a PAR-TAY!

The CONTEST will be two drawings for prizes.  One prize will be an all-expenses paid shopping spree to Coventry Cats.  Panda Bear will do the shopping, based on your personal preferences.  Shopping spree amount to be determined, based approximately on the number of entrants, like $1 per entrant.

The other prize will be a donation to a U.S. shelter or rescue group of your choosing.  Amount of donation to be determined, based approximately on the number of entrants, like $1 per entrant.  The drawings will be on Wednesday, October 22 at 9:30 pm EDT.  Leave a note in the comments if you want to enter. Deadline to enter is 6:00 pm EDT tonight, Wednesday, October 22.

PAR-TAY starts at 9:00 am EDT, and lasts until the last kitty goes home.  All are welcome!  There will be toys and games!

Bambinos and Wand

There will be lots of food, and naps, and nip!

Meerkat Nip Sardine

Stop by for our party!  Enter our contest!  Take our car for a spin!

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In honor Derby’s Birthday today, in the bootyfull month of Tocktober, here are some ‘tocks photos to enjoy!  Happy Birthday Derby!  Hope you have a great day!

This is a photo of Meerkat’s ‘tocks captured by the pawparazzi:

Meerkats Tocks

And these are Padre’s ‘tocks:

Padres Tocks

In other news, it’s not too late to sign up for the Furry Bambino Contest!

One of the prizes will be a shopping spree to Coventry Cats.  I am going to go to Coventry Cats with Mom and Dad, and I will be your personal shopper.

The other prize will be a donation to a U.S. shelter or rescue group of your choosing.  Mom says that it has be a legitimate shelter, not something called “Padre’s Nip Rescue Fund” or “Meerkat’s Shelter for Wayward Toys”.

Just leave a comment that you want to enter, before Wednesday October 22 at 6:00 pm EDT.  (Stoopid new version of WordPress won’t let comments automatically show up anymore.  Even when you set it to do just that. At Microsoft, they would call that a “feature”.  Feh!  So that means after you submit your comment, we will approve it so it shows up.)

To celebrate our first anniversary of living here in our Furrever Home, there will also be a PAR-TAY at Casa Bambino on Wednesday, October 22!  We will be sure to have lots of fun things to do, like swinging from the chandelier or living room curtains, good food to eat, and great friends to see!

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We Furry Bambinos are very grateful for the wonderful furrever home we have here. On October 22, it will be our First Adoption Anniversary, often referred to as a “Gotchaversary”.

To help celebrate, we decided to hold a contest. During our party, Mom and Dad will select a winner by drawing names from a hat (or food bowl, you get the idea).

There will be two prizes!

One prize is a “shopping spree” at our favorite cat specialty store, Coventry Cats. You may remember when I went to Coventry Cats myself for their 20th birthday party. If possible (Mom and Dad have to agree to this) I will personally select your items by going to Coventry Cats! There is also a “Canine Corner” section for woofies. But the store mostly focuses on cat stuff.

The other prize will be a donation to a pet rescue shelter of your choice. Umm, the shelter must be a legitimate U.S. shelter or rescue group, not something called “Padre’s Catnip Rescue” or “Meerkat’s Toy Shelter”.

Rules: If you would like to participate, leave your name in the comments. You don’t have to have a blog to enter. Cats, woofies, buns, hamsters, other furries are eligible. One entry per household per contest. So, this means that you can sign up for either or both contests. Exact amount of shopping spree and donation to be determined. Maybe based on the number of contestants, like $1 spree per entrant. It’s our contest and we can change the rules if we want to.

Drawing will be made on Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at about 9:30 pm EDT, which is approximately when we got to our furrever home last year.

In other news, tomorrow is Mom and Dad’s anniversary. I hope that they don’t get all mushy and kissy, and expect us to give them kissies. Yuk!