Family

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With great sadness, we report that our beautiful little tortie girl Samoa went to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, October 24, after a brief but severe bout of pneumonia. We are still in shock as it seems just yesterday she was bounding up and down the stairs. We greatly appreciate the purrs and purrayers from family and friends.

Samoa came into our life in April of 2015.  She was rescued by a dear friend from Slavic Village, along with her four kittens, whom we named Ginger Snap, Peanut Butter, S’mores, and Thin Mint.  S’mores is the only girl and her tortie markings look just like her Mom Samoa!  Ginger Snap is an orange tabby, Peanut Butter is white with orange tabby markings, and Thin Mint is solid black. This first photo is from our first meeting with Samoa and her 2-day old kittens. The second photo is just a week later, and her kittens have grown so much that they look like they are smothering her tiny 7-pound body.

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In addition to her own litter of four kittens, Samoa cared for four “Cowboy Kittens” (Cassidy, Clementine, Harlee, and Sadie) for a few days until their Mama Mae West was rescued, and could resume her motherly duties. Mae West was particularly elusive, and now resides with a dear friend.

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No sooner than Mae West began nursing her four Cowgirls, than a 2-day-old kitten abandoned by his mother was found in the Waterloo neighborhood. We named this kitten, Snickerdoodle, and he was readily welcomed by Samoa into her little family. Snickerdoodle is mostly white with orange tabby markings, and closely resembles Peanut Butter, so he really looked like part of the family!

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Finally came the “Charlie Angels” kittens.  Although Jaclyn Fluff, Farrah Fluff Major, and Kate Fluffson did not resemble Samoa or her own babies, they were also lovingly accepted by Samoa and treated as her own. The three black and white tuxedo kittens were rescued from the home of dear friends who have their own little feral family in their garden. By rescuing the tuxie girls, the hope was to give them safe and loving indoor homes, so they were rescued as young kittens close to weaning so they would be easier to socialize.

Samoa was a good Mom (and surrogate Mom) to a total of 12 kittens … patient with her kittens’ antics, and training her babies how to be Good Cats.

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While confined to the “back kitten room” (back bedroom), Samoa gradually became comfortable with Sue and would allow Sue to pet her on rare occasions. Samoa would rub against Sue’s legs and was pleased to accept treats. However, Samoa was still easily startled and would hiss loudly when Sue or David moved too quickly or without advance notice.

The orange marking over her left eye made Samoa appear as if she was always raising her left eyebrow at us, as if to ask “What now?”

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Over time, after Samoa raised her babies and they started to get adopted, we let her into Gen Pop (gave her full run of the house) with The Furry Bambinos.  Samoa was still a foster with us, and would hide when we needed to take her to adoption events.  Finally, David stated the obvious as we rode to the third consecutive adoption event without Samoa because we could not catch her.  “We may have just adopted our eighth Bambino.”  Shortly thereafter, we discussed it over dinner and concluded that she was happy here with us.  “Let’s just adopt her.”  And that’s how Samoa officially became a Furry Bambino, in early 2016.

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Samoa (aka “Shmo”) fit in with The Furry Bambinos very easily.  She seemed content to be the low girl on the totem pole of the cat hierarchy.  She stood in the background and didn’t seem to care if she was the last one to be fed treats.  She never started fights, and always used the litter boxes.   She regularly helped the other Bambinos on “Bird Patrol” and “Squirrel Patrol” from her favorite position in one of the “tubes” of the cat furniture.

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She also liked to explore.  A few times a week we could guarantee hearing a loud “thump” coming from the basement.  It was usually Samoa landing on the washing machine after jumping down from exploring the crawl space under the family room. She would emerge with her whiskers covered in cobwebs, then dash off upstairs.

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For a long time, she would only eat breakfast by poking her head out from the chair covers in the dining room.

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But over time, Samoa became more comfortable and would eat out in the open.  During our morning feeding routines, she began to occasionally brush up against David’s legs, and he got so he could stroke Samoa across her head and back after giving her a food dish.

The rest of the time, Samoa usually kept her distance from us.  If we came within more than 24 inches of her, she would abruptly dash off to another part of the house.  She would sniff a hand extended to her, but we had to move slowly, or else risk a loud snake-like hiss of fear before she dashed off. There were a few rare occasions that Samoa would snuggle with Sue on the sofa.

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Samoa made friends with Panda Bear, our friendly tuxedo cat.  All the cats in the house, and especially our fosters and former fosters, love Panda Bear.  Samoa would walk beside him, brush up against him repeatedly, sleep beside him in the front window or on Sue’s legs on the sofa, and eat next to him.

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Sunny, Panda Bear and Samoa having a snack.

In Samoa’s last nights with us, we had her sequestered to a large cage in our family room so we could closely monitor her and care for her.  Panda Bear walked into her cage, and even in her weakened state Samoa reached her head over to brush against him.

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Samoa also had become a play friend for little Farrah Fluff (another new Furry Bambino, c. 2016).  Samoa and Fluff would chase each other the length of the house, back and forth, chomp on each other and bunny kick each other’s heads, and then dash off with wild abandon.  They both seemed to enjoy the play time.

On Sunday evening, the night before Samoa passed, Farrah Fluff reached a paw into Samoa’s cage to tap (maybe pet?) Samoa on the head, and then came around from another angle to tap her friend on the side.  Fluff was obviously checking in with her friend to see how she was doing.

We are so happy we chose to adopt Samoa.  We were honored to have been Samoa’s guardians for the relatively short time she was with us. We did our best to keep her well fed, safe, and happy despite her efforts to avoid us.

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We wish we had known earlier that she was ill.  Cats have a way of hiding their illnesses until it’s too late to save them.  It’s so frustrating to know we might have done more for her.  We had her at the veterinarian on Saturday, and by late Monday afternoon she was gone. Sue has the lyrics of the Hall and Oates song “She’s Gone” running on a loop in her head.

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It’s amazing that such a little cat could leave such a big hole in our hearts.  We hope that Samoa will be waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge. When we get too close, she will probably dash off to hide.  So long as we see her there, that’s all that matters.

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Until we meet again, Sweet Samoa.  We love you!

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Hello kittehs!  Two years ago today, Mommy and Daddy took Panda Bear, Meerkat, and I, Padre, home from PetSmart!  So that means that today is reason to celebrate and share our happiness with our friends in the Cat Blogosphere!

All three of us spent some time living out of doors, so there are many things for which we are very grateful: safe shelter from the elements, fresh food and clean water whever we want, cozy napping spots, love, and most of all, our friends in the Blogosphere!  As elder statescat, and resident padre, I will be leading the group in purrs and purrayers as we give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

So please join us for a day of celebration.  There will be food, and nip, and toys, and games, naps, and fellowship.  Plus, if you want, you can  visit The Apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Joann), through the baby gate.  They haven’t been to the V-E-T yet, so sniffing only please!  Mom says that it’s OK to SQUEEE, though!

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Greetings! Our dear friend Poppy Q from New Zealand gave us this beautiful award some time ago. We are just now posting about it. We are very fond of Poppy Q, and adore reading her blog and learning about life in New Zealand, oh so far away.

This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

We are grateful for the award from Poppy Q, but feel unworthy because we have not been good kitteh blogging friends of late. Perhaps we should explainify why we haven’t been visiting as often as we would like.

About a year ago, Mommy began taking on some new responsibilities where she works, including training a new bean. At about the same time, Mommy’s sister (Aunt Patty) was getting married. Shortly after Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris got married, they moved to Missouri. You may remember that we blogged about their wedding, reception, and move. Mommy and Daddy helped Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris, and our cousins Rainbow, Muse, Cinnamon, Toast, and Bruiser move to Missouri.

When Mommy got back to work, she had to hire another two new beans, for a total of three newbeans in five months. So Mommy was busy all day training and then spent most evenings and weekends doing her own work. Which did not leave enough time for us, Daddy, or blogging! Now, the three new beans are just about through with training, so now Mommy can do more of her own work in the daytime, and spend more time with us on the weekends!

So we have been trying to get caught up reading blogs and finding out what all we missed in the Cat Blogosphere. We really appreciate those of you who have continued to follow our blog, and to leave us comments, without our doing much to reciprocate. You make us laugh and smile and cry and be grateful to be part of this wondrous network known as the Cat Blogosphere.

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today is mommy’s birthday!  she stayed home from “work” today to enjoy our company!  hooray!  when she got up this morning, i chirped for her! then, mommy called gramma and grampa (her mommy and daddy). mommy always calls them at 9:31 am on her purrthday to wish them a happy mother’s day and happy father’s day.

daddy helped us shop for cards and gifts for mommy. today i will show you what we gived her.  in this picture, padre is sniffing our birthday cards and gifts.

panda bear is protecting mommy’s gifts and cards.  (well, i think he’s actually squishing them.)

i checked to make sure that daddy wrapped everything all good.

here i am with all the cards we gave to mommy.  starting on the left is my card to mommy, next to that is panda bear’s card, then padre’s card, then a special card sent from the rainbow bridge from mohawk and clyde, and the card on the right is from the outdoor critters that mommy feeds (mr. chipmunk, mr. mousie, the squirrel septuplets, mr. skunkie, lil’ opossum, and da birdies).

panda bear’s card looks just like him!  with one eye and a goatee!

i gave mommy sticky notes with my picture on them. well, not really my picture, but another kitty that looks just like me.

this is the magnet we gived mommy.  she put it on the cold box!

mommy liked this gift best of all – a great big hug!  (you can tell from my expression that i am just humoring her cause it’s her birfday.)

check out the great scarf that we gived to mommy!  it’s a cat blogosphere scarf!

mommy loves her scarf!

panda bear looks very stylish in mommy’s scarf, too.

now, some entertainment for mommy: a quick game of bitey!

daddy calls mommy ladybug (ewww) so he gave her this ladybug toy that moves all by itself.

panda bear decided to give the ladybug the bitey.

that’s all for now! off to nap to conserve energy for tonight’s activities: more bitey, and maybe a round of mouse patrol.  oh, and maybe we will sing to mommy.

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We thought that you might like to meet our cousins.

When Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris got married this summer, they became a blended family.  Sort of like the Brady Bunch.  They all live in Meowssouri now.

Rainbow and Muse are girl kitties who have lived with Aunt Patty for several years, adopted from a shelter.  Rainbow is a calico kitty, and Muse is a tuxedo kitty.  They are very shy, and hide whenever Other People come to visit.

Rainbow and Muse

Toast is a kitty that Uncle Chris was fostering, and just couldn’t part with.  She is a calico kitty who has extra toesies.  Here is Toast checking out Rainbow’s Gizzy Quilt.

Toast

Several months after adopting Toast, an urgent request for a foster home went out to the rescue group that Uncle Chris was part of.  That’s how Cinnamon joined the fambly.  Cinnamon is a gorgeous ginger Big Man Cat.  Uncle Chris calls Cinnamon “The Cat Ambassador” because he is so friendly.

Cinnamon Big Man Cat

And Bruiser is a woofie that Uncle Chris and Aunt Patty used to visit at the shelter.  Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris were both happy and sad when Bruiser got adopted.  But the lady who adopted him became sick, and wanted someone to take care of him.  So that’s how Bruiser joined the fambly.

Bruiser

Bruiser is a beagle – basset hound mix.  He is very gentle, and (ahem) a bit overweight.  Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris take him for walks to help him lose weight.  Bruiser has lost almost 5 pounds since joining their fambly.

When Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris moved to Meowssouri this summer, Rainbow, Muse, and Bruiser met Cinnamon and Toast for the first time.  There was some hissing and fur flying amongst the kitties.  According to Aunt Patty, the kitties are still working things out amongst themselves.

So those are our cousins!  We hope you enjoyed meeting them!

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Well, by now, if you have been following the past few posts, you know that Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris got married last Friday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanicat. Their wild party wedding reception was held in a fancy ballroom in a hotel near the church. Mom told me I couldn’t go to the wedding or wild party wedding reception because they don’t allow cats. So she brought home some pictures, and told us lots of stories.

This is a picture of Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris’s wedding cake:

The oversized cupcake as the top layer is because Aunt Patty LOVES cupcakes!

The “M” and the tiger on the next layer from the top are for the University of Missouri. Uncle Chris will start work there soon, and Aunt Patty will go back to school there. The tiger is the university’s mascot.

The Sticky Little People (and they really are Sticky and Little People) represent the children where Aunt Patty used to work. Aunt Patty was the director of the children’s art studio at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She recently quit her job because she and Uncle Chris are moving to Missouri.

The cats represent our feline cousins: Muse (tuxedo girl), Rainbow (calico girl), Cinnamon (orange tabby male), and Toast (orange and white girl). The woofie on the bottom layer is our new woofie cousin, Bruiser. He is a beagle / basset hound mix, from a Pittsburgh rescue organization where Uncle Chris and Aunt Patty volunteer. Rainbow, Muse, and Bruiser live with Aunt Patty, and Cinnamon and Toast live with Uncle Chris.

The bicycle is because Uncle Chris likes to bicycle.

This is a picture of Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris cutting the wedding cake:

Grampa (Mom’s Dad) gave the blessing at the start of the wild party wedding reception:

Aunt Patty is holding her “gong” which makes sounds like a drum. She used it to get everyone’s attention. Aunt Patty was thanking everyone who came to their wedding and wild party reception. She was also telling all the Sticky Little People that there was an arts activity table where they could have fun, instead of being bored listening to grown-ups talking about boring stupid stuff:

Uncle Chris has two younger brothers, Steve (left) and Peter (right). Peter was called the “Best Man”. The lady is Andrea, Steve’s wife. They are having fun blowing bubbles.

Dad’s parents were also invited to Aunt Patty’s wedding. This is a picture of Mommy and Daddy posing with our other Gramma and Grampa:

Check out all the loot Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris got! I wonder if they got any catnip? Mom says I have to mention that the “card box” was made by Mom, Dad, and Gramma (Mom’s Mom). It’s the thing that looks like a cake. Whatever.

Mom said that she had fun dancing to music that she and Aunt Patty used to go out dancing to: Yaz, Erasure, Nitzer Ebb, Prince. And Mom said that a few people at the wild party reception had too many niptinis and acted silly.

Next time we will tell you all about the fun we had with Aunt Deb, who visited us and took care of us Furry Bambinos while Mom and Dad were at Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris’s wedding!