V-E-T

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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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Greetings Furriends!

It’s Me, Padre, Elder StatesCat of The Furry Bambinos!

Five years ago today, Mom and Dad adopted me (Padre), and siblings Panda Bear and Meerkat from this great place!

All three of us are Rescues!  We were rescued by the Northeast Ohio animal rescue group PAWS (Public Animal Rescue Society).  We are very grateful to have a safe, loving, and forever home now! Special Thanks to Diana (my Foster Mom), and Eileen (Panda Bear and Meerkat’s Foster Mom)!

This is me on Adoption Day, sniffing the couch:

This is Meerkat on Adoption Day, sniffing the bed:

This is Panda Bear, sniffing a glass of water, on October 23, 2007:

This is all three of us together, at dinner time, on October 27, 2007:

Purrs!

Padre

Pee. Ess.  I would appreciate if you could spare a few purrs for me. On Saturday I got shoved into the PTU and hauled off to the Emergency V-E-T. (All because of a little tocks problem.) I am home now, and being kept separated from the other Furry Bambinos. I am lonely, and have been yodeling my displeasure. I may need to visit the regular V-E-T today.

7

Hello Kittehs!  As you may know, Mom and Dad abandoned us a few weeks ago to meet some nasty lady named Irene. They met her at BlogPaws, which was held in Tysons Corner in Furginia.

They brought home lots of cool swag, which we are enjoying. Sunny and I also personally saw to it that we got to sample the Royal Canin crunchies. Kittehs, sometimes you have to take matters into your own teeths. We treated those bags to toothy deaths, which forced Mom to feed us the yummy crunchies inside!

BEST of all, Mom got to attend the Flat Tyler workshop.

She came home with this: (dah dah dahhh)

A Flat Panda Bear!!!

Immediately, I began plotting how to use Flat Panda Bear to my advantage. So, when the foster kittens got the sneezies, and then Sunny and I got the sneezies, and then Mom made an appointment for Sunny and me at the V-E-T, I knew just what to do.

Unfortunately, Mom was not fooled. I wound up in the PTU anyway.

It was Sunny’s First Visit to the V-E-T.  Well, except for when he had his Hoohaectomy and got his ear tipped.

When Dr. Amy walked into the exam room, she saw Flat Panda Bear on the exam table.  She thought it was me!

At least at first. Dr. Amy examined Flat Panda Bear’s eye with her magic eye scope thingy.  I think she caught on when Flat Panda Bear didn’t have a pulse.

But she was a Good Sport about it.

I still got examined, though.

So did Sunny.

Sunny checked out the exam room thoroughly.

He really wanted to jump to the top of the cabinets.

Mom wouldn’t let him. So he checked out the sink instead.

Unfortunately, we both got shot. With Convenia. It did help get rid of our sneezies, though.

The staff loved Flat Panda Bear. He helped Mom pay the bill at the reception desk.

There was a nice woofie behind the reception desk who wanted to check out Flat Panda Bear.

Sunny did really great considering it was his first visit to the V-E-T. So did Flat Panda Bear.

Thank you Dr. Amy for making us all better!!!

P.S. Belated Trapaversary to Sunny and Sky! They got trapped last year on September 18.

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Hi kittehs!

It’s me, Padre.

You know, the handsome ManCat Furry Bambino.

On Fursday, I was shoved into my PTU and taken to the V-E-T.

Daddy tried to comfort me.

Then Daddy and Mommy left me at the V-E-T and went home wiffout me! Meerkat was looking for me out the front window.

Dr. Amy, the V-E-T, stoled 8 of my toofies. EIGHT. All at once. Mommy and Daddy told her it was OK.  Here’s the report on my toofies. My toofies were in pretty bad shape.

Dr. Amy said that I did really well, and I have to fank her for doing such a good job. And for giving me such good medicashuns to make the pain in my mouf go away.

I got to go home the same day.

As soon as I got home, Mommy and Daddy gave me some yummy albacore tuna!

Dr. Amy said to keep me in a separate room at first, so Mommy and Daddy set up my bachelor pad in the foster kitten room. The point was to keep the other Furry Bambinos from giving me a hard time because I smelled like the V-E-T office. The tail going into the PTU is not mine. So does that give you an idea of how well keeping us separate worked?

After about 20 minutes, I decided that I did not want to be confined to the foster kitten room against my will any longer. So I knocked over the baby gate and went downstairs.

There were NO CRUNCHIES in my bachelor pad!

Dr. Amy said that I have to eat soft food for 10 days after surgery. That is like, forever! So I went looking for crunchies downstairs. THE DOWNSTAIRS CRUNCHIES BOWLS ARE MISSING!!!

Kittehs, it’s going to be a long 10 days.

This is what my mouf looked like before surgery. One of my toofies that Dr. Amy stole is my left top fang pictured below. It was brokefied.

Below, I will show you my toofies that Dr. Amy gave Mommy and Daddy. She said that I could give my toofies to the Toof Fairy.

In case you are kind of squeamish, you can look away.

WARNING!

PADRE’s REMOVED TOOFIES BELOW!

LAST CHANCE TO LOOK AWAY!

OK!

HERE THEY ARE!

Toof Fairy, I really don’t want my toofies back. You can keep ’em. And I don’t want moneys for my toofies, eiffer.

What I really want are my CRUNCHIES back.

And tell Mommy and Daddy to stop it already with shoving medicashuns into my mouf.

6

Hello kittehs! Cookie here repurrting. I know I promised you a continuation of the story of Mama Rose’s bebbehs, but I have an urgent need to tell you about recent events.

On Wednesday Mom came home for lunch like she usually does. Except she didn’t stay to eat. She searched high and low, calling my name over and over. The other four Bambinos and fosters Sunny and Sky showed up, but not me.

Because I knew why Mom was looking for me.

Mom pulled a dirty trick and opened the back door to let us smell the fresh air. I simply couldn’t resist, so I came out of hiding, and that’s when Mom nabbed me and shoved me into the PTU (prisoner transport unit).

“You don’t know how lucky you kittehs!” I meowed from the PTU to my horrified siblings and the fosters.

“I am going back to the V-E-T’s!”

All because of a little dry heaving.

(Mom’s edit: Multiple times for the previous three days, you made these horrible coughing sounds. It was not quite like yakking up a hairball, and not quite like vomiting. It was almost like a cross between having the hiccups and an asthma attack. I don’t even know what to call it, so I am calling it The Sound. I made a complete fool of myself imitating The Sound for Dr. Amy and Mary-Kathryn, so they could better help you. They laughed, and offered to videotape me to use as a demo in other cat visits, so they wouldn’t have to imitate The Sound themselves. They would just ask “Does it sound like this?” and play the video.)

Dr. Amy and V-E-T T-E-C-H Mary-Kathryn are nice and all. They even complimented me on my orange flame mark on my forehead. But I simply do not care for being held. BY ANYONE. Not Mom, not Dad, and not by anyone at the V-E-T’s. (And I don’t like having my Spot #13 violated, either.)

You don’t know how lucky you are kittehs.

Because I went back to the V-E-T’s, now I have to have a ginormous pill shoved down my throat every day, for like, furrever.

(Mom’s edit: 1/4 pill of Pepcid for 5 days. It’s so small it barely fits in the pill popper.)

I still don’t like it.

(Mom’s edit: Have any of you kittehs made The Sound? Do you even know what I am talking about? Dr. Amy seemed to know what I meant. She said that it is hard to tell if this is due to gastric issues or breathing issues. Cookie did not have a temperature, and her tummy felt fine to Dr. Amy.  Of course, Cookie has not made The Sound since Tuesday, that either I or my husband has heard. Clyde, One Who Came Before, used to make The Sound occasionally, when he came out of the litter box, like he had ingested too much dust. Padre and Panda Bear make The Sound, but very rarely. Cookie certainly did not make The Sound for Dr. Amy.

We are treating Cookie with Pepcid and Laxatone for now, and if The Sound returns and persists, we will pursue other options, like x-rays. In the meantime, we are keeping an eye on Cookie, and doing some online reading. A site recommended by Dr. Amy is The Indoor Cat Initiative, which has recently been expanded to include dogs, and has been renamed The Indoor Pet Initiative. It is based at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It has lots of useful information.)

Next time, we WILL repurrt on Mama Rose’s itteh bitteh bebbehs and their adoptions into their furrever homes!

23

hello kittehs! on tuesday morning mom and dad double teamed us – Padre, Panda Bear, and me. they stuffed Panda Bear into one PTU, and Padre and me into another. then they put us into the grey room that moves, and off we went. you know it, kittehs. we were headed to the v-e-t.

even though we had just had an ice storm. see our magnolia tree? it is completely encased in ice.

this is one of the entrances to where mommy works.

see all the ice on these trees? you can click on the photo to biggify.

nope, all that ice did not stop mom and dad from taking us to the v-e-t.  #$%^&*@! cleveland with all its snow and ice removal equipment. even though we live in the “snow belt”, our schools rarely cancel school due to weather. (however, yesterday our schools were closed because we had a blizzard.)

Panda Bear complained the whole way to the v-e-t.

when we got there, we all got weighed. they had to drag us out of our PTU’s.

Padre has lost some weight, and is down to 12.4 pounds (from 13.2 pounds last fall). Panda Bear weighs 13.0 pounds, same as last year. even though a lady is not supposed to reveal her age or her weight, well, i am almost 4 years old and i weigh 9.6 pounds, same as last year. (i guess i am more of a tomboy diva.)

mommy was actually worried that i am too skinny, but Dr. Amy reassured her that i am a healthy, normal sized cat. compared to all the other big kittehs at Casa de Furry Bambinos, i look tiny. when Cookie and Caramel were at the v-e-t a few weeks ago, their weights were 14.0 pounds for Cookie (you read that right) and 10.0 pounds for Caramel. Caramel looks bigger than that, but it’s all floof. Caramel gets so stressed by going to the v-e-t that she actually ::whispers:: pees herself in the PTU. at least none of us did that this time.

this is my boyfriendcat Padre hiding in the PTU. Padre is going to have to have dental surgery on march 31. if you could spare some purrs for Padre, we would appreciate it.

we were examined and got our shots. i yodeled a bit to make them aware of my displeasure. Panda Bear, the dork, was all calm and mellow. Dr. Amy said that when she listens to a cat’s heart rate, it is usually around 220 because we are so anxious. Panda Bear was a mellow 150. he even posed for his picture with Dr. Amy. (i think he has a crush on her.)

to add insult to injury, when we got home, mom left us to go to work, rather than stay at home and hover over us to make sure we did not have reactions to our shots. yeah, dad stayed with us, but there were three of us to observe! Cookie staged a sit-in to protest this injustice.

and then when mommy got home from work, she and daddy dragged two different rug sucking monsters around, moved furniture, and removed all our furs from our cat trees! that stoopid foster kitten Sunny is trying to be all macho and face off against the spot bot monster. doesn’t he realize it could eat him alive?

hello, ASPCA? we want to file a complaint …

and i’m supposed to say that Cookie and Caramel are having a birthday party next week to celebrate their second birthday. which is good, so that all of you can help us replace fur everywhere.

8

Greetings, furriends, it’s Padre here. Yesterday morning, I overheard Mom calling the V-E-T about an appointment for me! When I could tell that Mom was in getting ready to leave the house mode, I tried a clever delay tactic by sitting on the clothes that she had placed on the bed to wear.

Alas, it did not stop her from picking me up against my will and forcibly placing me into the PTU! Immediately I voiced my complaints, which were ignored. As it turned out, Caramel was already in another PTU. Mom and Dad then took us to the grey room that moves, and then we left the safety of home!

As expected, we wound up at the V-E-T. Here we are in the waiting room on the bench.

Mom is upset that I have been horking up my foods lately. Doesn’t she know this is part of the Cat Code of Ethics to hork up one’s food on a regular basis? Methinks she worries too much.

Well, I tried the technique of trying to make myself as small as possible, maybe even invisible, as not to be seen, by facing the rear corner of the PTU.

No such luck. They found me and pulled me out.

My weight is the same as always, 13.0 pounds, a good weight for a medium sized mancat like myself. See, no cause for concern!

Dr. Amy decided I have some tooth problems, but those will be addressed at another time. (I hope that Mom forgets about that.) Dr. Amy took me to a back room where I was stabbed in the back! You just can’t trust these V-E-T’s! She said they gave me fluids because I was dehydrated. Hmpf! Why didn’t she just offer me a drink? Nooooo, they stab you in the back. And she gave me two shots!

I was returned to the PTU, and then Caramel was given the business. Just in case they had ideas of pulling me out again, I went back into hiding.

When we got home, I was quite relieved to be out of that PTU. However, we weren’t home long before Mom announced to Dad to “grab Padre”! Yikes! Dad held me while Mom shoved some vile tasting liquid down my throat!

To top things off, instead of giving me my favorite crunchies (Fancy Feast Royal Gold Turkey), Mom gave me some prescription crap instead. ::sigh::

Caramel had a horrible experience as well, but I will let her tell you about it herself in her own post.