Sad

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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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Reverend Padre here. We have very sad news to repurrt. Our Woofie Cuzin Bruiser had to be helped to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, February 6. He was approximately 11 years old.

Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris first met Bruiser about 5 years ago. Bruiser had been found running around the streets of South Side in Pittsburgh. He was picked up as a stray and turned in to Animal Rescue League, a shelter in Pittsburgh. As a beagle / basset mix, Bruiser probably followed his nose and wandered off from his former home.

Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris volunteered at that animal shelter. They helped by walking dogs and taking them on day trips to give them some cage breaks and fresh air. Bruiser was one of the dogs they walked.

When Bruiser got adopted by a very nice lady, Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris were happy for Bruiser, but they also missed him. They kept in touch with his adopter. In June 2008 Bruiser’s adopter had to be hospitalized and was in declining health, so Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris took over as his adopters.

As you may remember, Mom and Dad helped Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris when they moved to Meowssouri in July 2008. If you want to read about that Adventure, see Mom and Dad’s blog that they never post to anymore.

Bruiser lived the good life, filled with cuddles and long walkies, trips to see fambly, and lots and lots of love.

Bruiser’s health had been declining in recent months. He had many trips to the V-E-T, and lots of medications to take.

Bruiser was helped to The Bridge on Monday, February 6. He was laid to rest in the woods behind Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris’ house in Meowssouri.

This is a short film to honor our Dear Sweet Woofie Cuzzin Bruiser. May he rest in peace.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYfatIZil1g

If the video does not play, click here to watch it on our YouTube channel.

Aunt Patty and Uncle Chris and our Cuzzins Rainbow, Muse, Cinnamon, and Toast are all very sad right now. We would appreciate it if you could keep them in your purrs, woos, and purrayers.

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Mom here. The Furry Bambinos graciously allowed me to post today about Mohawk.

He is One Who Came Before.

You might even call him The Original Furry Bambino.

Today is the Anniversary (#21) of his Gotcha Day, back in 1991. This photo was taken sometime in 1991, which would have been soon after he came to live with me.

Today is also the Anniversary (#10) of the Day Mohawk left us for The Rainbow Bridge.

One date, that is both a happy and a sad reminder of Mohawk’s Magical 11 Years with us.

When we adopted Mohawk from my friend Lynn, she mentioned that “Mohawk likes bread”. She said it almost as an afterthought. What she really meant was:

No bread or pastry will be safe in your home from Mohawk.

When I first understood this translation, I was bringing groceries inside, soon after adopting Mohawk. Before we finished unloading the car, Mohawk had already sniffed out the grocery bag with the bread in it, chewed a hole through the plastic bread bag, and was busy nomming on the bread.

Another time, I learned that Mohawk also had a taste for fancy Greek pastries. There is an annual Greek Festival held at a local Greek Orthodox church, and we make a point of visiting their bakery for baklava, spanakopita, and other delicious pastries. We brought the pastries home to our apartment in the white cardboard bakery box, and left it closed up on the kitchen counter overnight. Big mistake! The next morning, the box was on the kitchen floor, and the pastries were strewn about and nommed upon.

For dinner tonight, we had Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, one of Mohawk’s all-time favorite people foods.

Well, not the noodles so much, but the yummy cheese sauce! It was tradition to give Mohawk our bowls for clean-up. The hard part was convincing Mohawk to wait until we were done eating before starting to clean up. In this photo, you can even see Mohawk’s stripe! It grew out by the time he was one year old. (Please ignore the hideous 80’s style glasses. Admit it, you wore them that big too.)

Sunny, Sky, and Padre share Mohawk’s love of cheddar cheese.

Mohawk enjoyed Cheetos, too. (Great, now I’m craving Cheetos.)

We miss you, Mo. Love you always.

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Hi Efurryone! It’s me, Cookie! Today, we are going to tell you about the “R” part of TNR.

TNR stands for

Trap

Neuter (or Spay)

Release (or Return)

As much as Mommy and Daddy like Mama Rose, she dislikes them. More accurately, Mama Rose is afraid of Mommy and Daddy.

It was obvious early on that there would be no taming of Mama Rose. EVERY time Mommy or Daddy reached into Mama Rose’s cage, they were greeted by a HISSSSSSSS!!! So each and every time Mommy or Daddy would place a food bowl, a water bowl, or a freshly scooped litter box into Mama’s cage, Mama Rose was frightened by the experience. Sometimes, Mama Rose would hide under her bed.

This made Mommy and Daddy very, very sad. They knew that they would have to release Mama Rose soon after her spay surgery. All the feral kittehs were spayed or neutered in early October, so the weather here was still mild. As regular readers of our blog know, we live in northeast O Hi O, in a suburb of Cleveland. While we have moderately hot Summers, beautiful Autumns, and Spring seasons that range from 2 days to 2 months, it’s the Winters that earn Cleveland its reputation of being an unpleasant place to live. In fact, Cleveland was recently ranked second for snowiest “big” U.S. cities.

On average, the official reporting station for Cleveland gets about 60 inches of snow a season. It is at the airport, in western Cuyahoga County. We live in the bulls eye called “The Snow Belt”, and get about 90 inches a year at Casa de Furry Bambinos.

Now, imagine if your home is outdoors, like that of a feral kitteh like Mama Rose. So Daddy built Mama Rose a shelter, using directions he found at Alley Cat Allies web site. We will save that for another post.

So back in October, after Mama Rose had a few days to recover from her spay surgery, Mommy and Daddy released Mama Rose. Watch the video to find out what happened!

Mommy and Daddy are committed to feeding Mama Rose every day, as long as she chooses to visit us.

Mama Rose is currently showing up for dinner around 6:00 pm (shortly after sunset). If the wet food is not out there, Mama Rose sits on our welcome mat by our front door and waits, all but tapping her little footie. Mommy and Daddy have learned to place the wet food out as close to the time they expect to see Mama as possible. In the winter, the wet food freezes pretty quickly. Mommy is looking into buying a heated food dish. If any of you have suggestions about caring for outdoor feral kittehs, we would love to hear them.

Next time, we will tell you a funny story about Rusty and Woody!

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Mom here. The Furry Bambinos graciously allowed me to post today, in honor of Mohawk. He was One Who Came Before.

Twenty years ago tonight, David and I visited a friend to meet Mohawk. We ended up leaving with Mohawk that night, and took him home to my apartment. It is a great story, and you can read it here.

In addition, today is a sad anniversary, as it is the day in 2002 that Mohawk left us for the Rainbow Bridge.

Although I had had kitties in my life before (Kiki and Puddy), Mohawk was the first cat for whom I was truly responsible. Kiki and Puddy were family pets, and while I loved them both very much, Mohawk was the first cat I lived with as an adult. Adopting Mohawk was the signal to my parents that I was all grown up, and that I wouldn’t be moving back into their home. Puddy, the family cat, was big, orange, and intolerant of other felines.

Each of The Furry Bambinos reminds me of Mohawk in his or her own way. Meerkat is thin and svelte, the daintiest of the Bambinos. Mohawk was also slight of build, weighing just 10 pounds at his heaviest. In contrast, Clyde, Mohawk’s adoptive brother, weighed 19 pounds at one point.

Cookie is our “Cat Ambassador”. She is not afraid of visitors, and especially enjoys assisting furnace repair personnel. Mohawk enjoyed helping plumbers who visited our apartment.

Caramel is sweet and cuddly. Mohawk’s specialty was cuddling. He liked to climb inside my clothes, while I was wearing them.

Padre, in his finicky dining habits reminds us of how Mohawk used to have to be “invited” to join us for meals. Sometimes we would pick up the basket in which Mohawk was reclining, and carry Mohawk, basket and all, to the kitchen for meals. Similarly, we often have to hunt Padre down at breakfast time, and bring his food dish to him.

If you live with cats, you know all about regurgitation. Padre often gets sick and vomits his dry food. We are trying to switch dry foods in hopes that this alleviates this problem.

You know how they say that there are about 60 different words for snow in the Inuit language? Well, we had about 60 different words to describe “Mohawk’s special skill”. In fact, he earned the title “King of Horking” for his creative works of art. Mohawk specialized in using gravity to add to his performance art. So far, none of The Furry Bambinos comes anywhere close to matching Mohawk’s skills. Thank Bast!

Panda Bear’s “meow” reminds us of Mohawk’s voice. Mohawk’s voice sounded more like a bleat than a true meow. It often sounded like he was complaining, but it was really just the way he spoke. Panda Bear makes a very similar sound, and we are always reminded of Mohawk whenever Panda Bear talks to us. Panda Bear also likes to nap on top of us, like Mohawk used to do.

Mohawk also knew his name and would do a happy dance when we said “Mohawk!” in a happy tone. Mohawk would jump onto a bookcase and wait for his “snuggle bath”. Panda Bear knows his name as well as his nickname, PB. Panda Bear will come to us when we say his name in a happy tone of voice, and we reward him with snuggles.

Mohawk, we miss you, and love you always.

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Greetings, furriends. We here at Casa Furry Bambino really appreciate all the support, kind words, purrs, and gentle nosetaps and headbutts that you have sent to Aunt Deb and her fambly. Losing a loved one is always extremely difficult. Your kindness, compassion, and empathy is truly appreciated. The Cat Blogosphere is an amazing group! Thank you all so very much. Aunt Deb and Uncle Paul are grateful for your thoughts and purrs.

Tammy Faye was like a cousin to us, since her Mom is our Aunt Deb. Special thanks go to KC for this beautiful graphic that was posted on the Cat Blogosphere site.

Aunt Deb came over to visit us on Friday.  We gave her lots of Bambino lovin’.  I purrsonally made sure to make Aunt Deb feel welcome.  I guess you could say that of all The Furry Bambinos, I am the Cat Ambassador.  I like to greet fambly, friends, and air conditioner technicians.  I always come to the door to say hello.

Aunt Deb also visited with The Itteh Bittehs, our current crop of fosters.  She said that the feline therapy helped.  In case you need kitten therapy, here are some recent photos of The Itteh Bittehs.

Itteh Bitteh Boo on back of big chair in living room.  (Hmmpf!  Doesn’t she know that’s my spot?)

Itteh Bitteh Shadow close-up.

Boo sleeping on Mommy’s dining room chair.

Shadow practicing for the World Cup.

Get ready to SQUEEE!!!  Itteh Bitteh Boo Belleh!

Itteh Bitteh Shadow Bunneh!

We hope that you enjoyed the photos of The Itteh Bittehs!  Next time, we will tell you all about the medical ups and downs in the lives of Itteh Bitteh kittehs!