Fancy Nails

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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”.
.
 
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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i thought that i would introduce our good friend, miss tammy faye kitty girl to you all. her mom and our mom are good friends. tammy’s mommy visited us and took care of us when our mommy and daddy were away.

this is tammy faye’s picture. mom said tammy faye got her name because of all the pretty colored furs around her eyes. isn’t tammy faye just adorable?

Miss Tammy Faye

tammy faye is a devon rex kitty, just like our friend daisy the curly cat!

Mr. Demille, I am ready for my closeup!

last weekend, tammy faye’s parents went really far away. so our mommy and daddy went to visit tammy and fed her and kept her company. tammy faye gave our mommy the perfunctory “oh you’re not my real mom” treatment.

Youre not my real mom!

but tammy faye really really liked our daddy! check out this photo of tammy flirting with daddy!

Miss Tammy Faye flirting with Daddy!

isn’t tammy sweet? she is a tiny kitty, like daisy.

Hmmmm … what

note tammy’s pretty purple claw covers:

Pretty Purple for Miss Tammy Faye!

tammy does not have her own blog, but here is what she wrote as a comment about my post from a few weeks ago (about mommy and daddy flirting with other kitties):

I hope you guys don’t mind, furry feline freinds, but your ma and pa flirted with me while my beans were out of town last weekend. Your ma and pa are sure nice; you are so lucky to have them! They took real good care of me so i was not too upset when my beans came home from visiting their other beans in Chicago. So, can we just all get along and share your ma and pa’s love?

tammy faye is our friend. since we know and like her mommy, we know that tammy faye is OK for flirting with.

Sunbeam napping is the best!

in other news, we were tagged by bear and shadow for the “7 useful things” meme.  we will post our meme in the next few days!

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Yesterday afternoon, Mommy put my Red Evil Collar Monster on me. The one with the leash attached. Mommy picked me up and carried me to the Grey Room That Moves! She opened the door, and carried me inside. Daddy got in another door. Mommy handed me to Daddy, where I sat in his lap.

At last, I was going on a Big Adventure!

Goin

Well, Daddy and Mommy came along too. They sat up front. I sat in the back where I could explore.

Mmmmm …. the floor isn

We traveled for a very long time. I looked out the back windows of the room that moves.

Quit stopping and starting!  It

Sometimes I sat on Daddy’s lap, but I liked to sit in the back window the best.

Outside view looking in

We finally got to our destination:

Time to Party!

We were going to a party! Good thing I was dressed in my tuxedo and nail caps for the occasion! “Coventry Cats” was celebratifying their 20 year birthday! Wow, that’s a lot older than me. Meerkat and I aren’t even 1 year old yet!

Mommy helped me see up high on the shelfs!

There was cake…

Big cake for all the

… and food …

Lots of stinky goodness to choose from!  Fancy brands here!

… and a wall of toys!

Hmmmmm … which toy should I pick?

There were even woofies in the store! What were they doing in a place called Coventry Cats? I thought that the woofies were a bit rude. I had to hiss at one to tell him to stay out of my personal space!

I even got to meet a woofie!  I didn

Naturally, everyone I met thought I was the best looking cat they had ever met! I got lots of scritches and pats on the head. The owner lady of the store was very nice to me. Daddy wasn’t sure if I was going to be allowed in the store. Well, duh! It’s a store specifically for cats!

The nice lady who owns Coventry Cats gave me scritches!

I sniffed the whole place over from head to tail. There were lots of interesting places to explore.

Lots of great things to sniff!

After the party, we got back into the Grey Room That Moves and headed back home.

Time to go home!

This time, it was raining, so I sang in the rain!

"La La La La La … I am the greatest cat of all

I really liked to sit in the back window.

This is comfy!

When we got back home, I ran into the kitchen to get a bite to eat! Adventures sure can make a cat hungry!

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last weekend, mommy and daddy captured panda bear and me and gave us our pedicures.  we got temptations treats, so although i squirmed a lot and complained about it, the temptations almost made it all worthwhile.

however, mommy and daddy had a surprise in store for us: they put fancy nails over our now short claws on our front feets.  panda bear got to go first, and he was not very happy about getting his claws all covered up.  i kind of hung out nearby in case he wanted my moral support.

clearly, this was a mistake, i should have hidden!  the next thing i knew, i got picked up and daddy held onto me real tight while mommy put on the pretty red and green nail covers.  as i have mentioned before, i do not like to be held.  so the whole experience was not fun, even though i thought my claws looked pretty when mommy and daddy were finished.  mommy kept saying “it’s like trying to hold jello that hasn’t jelled yet”.  i dunno what she meant by that.  all i wanted was to get free of daddy’s firm grasp.

here is a photo of panda bear’s nail covers when they were first put on last weekend.  don’t the nail covers stand out nicely against panda bear’s white furs?

Closeup on Panda

and here is a photo of mine, taken recently after i managed to remove some of the nail covers just fell off all by themselves:

Meerkat

so far, panda bear and i have managed to remove have had a combined total of 9 nail covers just fall off all by themselves. and to think that daddy and mommy were wondering how to get them off? however, i do think that they are festive and pretty, just not fun to get them put on.