Category Archives: The Cat that Lived
Nine years ago, a little kitten wandered across the parking lot right in front of our car as we were headed to work. Small and scruffy and moving like it was on its last legs, there was no way we weren’t taking her home with us. When we took her to a chain vet clinic (you know who), they said she had FIP and wouldn’t last six weeks. And yet, she persisted.
That day was December 21, which we have marked as National Finding Jaina Day. Extrapolating backwards, she was probably born around Hallowe’en, but we’re not sure. We are sure when we found her, though.
This year has been, like for many of us, a year of ups and downs, and it’s been the same for Jaina.
If there’s something that upsets a house full of cats, it’s kittens. And early this year, Monster (you recall I mentioned her last year) got knocked up. We figured this would be yet another hard to reach litter, and we were concerned that she and Ghost, her mom, wouldn’t get along in that regard since there are only so many nesting spots in the hood.
Monster brought her litter to a shelter we had set up on the back porch. She of course was still coming in for treats, but not as much, naturally. The big surprise came when the missus opened the back door one day and in Monster came with one of her kittens, and she went straight to one of her favorite cat beds. Mrs G got the hint and set up a tote with a cat bed in it, and went out and got the rest of the litter.
From that point on, we were fostering four kittens; I think Monster appreciated that we were looking after her, because this pretty much reduced her to skin and bones. She was too young, really, but Boy Cats don’t care about that (1).
Anyway, three of the kittens were white with calico colors on them; we named them based on the number of spots on their heads – Things One, Two, and Three, or, as I insisted later, Neo, Switch, and Trinity. The fourth one was your basic stripey kitten who I dubbed Turbo because he was the first out of the nest – in a hurry to get there (2).
Mother and kittens were taken down to the shelter where the kittens were put up for adoption and pretty much flew off the shelf (Weaned and socialized? Where do we sign?). Monster was fixed and we brought her home sans kittens, and she still visits frequently, especially for Greenies. I still miss the Little Monsters something fierce, but there simply was no way we could provide them a good home with all the cats we already have.
Sadly, Monster’s brother Mogwai stopped showing up around that time, as well as her older brother Spartacus, who we were hoping to domesticate. We’re not sure what happened but we suspect it was their daddy, Goblin, asserting his territory. It’s a shame, we had Sparty staying inside sometimes for days before he’d go out, and we did dread it when he did since he’d disappear for days after.
Their mother, Ghost, gave birth to a litter shortly after Monster, which gave us four lovely white kitties who we are still trying to trap and get fixed, especially the female. The biggest male, who we have dubbed Pinky because of his pinkish ears and pink nose, has taken to coming in for short periods, and he is almost the spitting image of Spartacus(5). His brother Brownie, who is almost identical except he has brownish ears, has also started coming in and appreciates scritches.
Unrelated, Ghost had another litter in the fall and this time we were able to get them. She had six, of which one was abandoned and we didn’t find until it was too late. It died in Mrs Grimm’s hands, just too weak to even take in milk. Another was also abandoned, but we found it in time to find it a home. The other four, and Ghost, were captured and taken to the shelter where they were apparently fostered out together since they all disappeared from the website at the same time – mother and kids. We were asked if we’d take Ghost back if she was unadoptable (we figured she wasn’t) and we of course said yes, so the fact that they never called us back is encouraging.
Finally, our stepdaughter moved in since she’s been out of work since March or so. She brings with her a sweet kitty named Pelna(6) and this of course upsets the order of things once again. They’re all still finding their way at this point.
Jaina still continues to hate Tater with the heat of a millions suns, and will still go after her with no regard for the size difference at all.
But aside from that, she’s doing quite well. She’s discovered that she loves naps in Mommy’s lap and will spend hours there given the option. Sometimes she makes here own options, dropping bigger and bigger hints(3) until Mommy “gets it” and relocates to the recliner. She doesn’t steal my chair that much anymore but she’s started stealing Mommy’s chair, or, most optimally, falling asleep on the arm of the recliner on the off chance that Mommy comes by.
She’s still quite the fan of gooshy food but no fan of other cats in general. Mrs. Grimm says she thinks Jaina doesn’t know she’s a cat, and sometimes I have to agree, especially having now seen a couple of groups of fully socialized cats(4) grow up in my vicinity. She still sleeps next to my pillow on occasion but if another cat has slept there for a significant amount of time, she’ll reject it until we replace the towel that she sleeps on (so it doesn’t smell like them).
She has developed a vexing cough, just occasionally, no specific triggers – she’ll just start coughing quietly for a few seconds, then we’re back in business. No throwing up or anything. We’re going to have to get that looked at. I’m sure the vet’s techs will be glad to see her considering that time she growled so loud that one of the techs noped right out of there and was not seen again.
Honestly, we’re more worried about her vet; he’s looking pretty run down. I hope he can take some time and get some rest. The guy he had subbing in on Fridays was pretty nice, but last time we did a Friday visit, he wasn’t there.
Anyway, if all goes well next year will be the 10 year anniversary of Finding Jaina Day, which will be celebrated with tuna and catnip(7). See you then-ish.
(1) After we got the kittens out for adoption, Monster recovered nicely and is now quite the plump floof cat.
(2) Took the name from the movie Interstellar – “Watch that speed, Turbo – safety first.”
(3) Including getting bitey.
(4) Socialized to other cats, that is.
(5) We don’t have pictures yet. And yes, this is out of order.
(6) Also no pictures yet.
(7) Who am I kidding, we celebrate all of them with tuna and catnip!
It is the time of year that we celebrate the Finding of the Cat That Lived, Jaina, a mostly Birman but also bits of other cats cat.
For those that missed out on the first seven installments, we found baby Jaina wondering around in the parking lot and scooped her up. Later, when we took her to the vet, we were told she had FIP, which is fatal, and that she had weeks to live. Well, here we are eight years later, and she’s middle aged without showing any sign of keeling over. And so today we celebrate her continued life.
First, a few updates on her fellows. The cat we called “Sparta” last year is in fact male and thus is now called “Spartacus”. He’s been spending more time inside week to week, so we’re hoping he eventually gets used to the idea of not going out at all. He’s a gentle soul that really belongs inside where he won’t get roughed up. He’s shown up limping – badly – a few times, though so far he’s healed up okay.
Then there’s the next generation – mama managed to get knocked up again and had a litter of five. Same mix as last time – two white ones (like Spartacus), one that looks like daddy, one that is black and white, one that is black and white with a floofy tail. Whatever genes are being expressed, they’re strong. White cat #1 wandered off early, the rest are sticking around. White cat #2 is almost identical to Spartacus, except he has a pink nose, and Sparty has a dark nose.
Most notable in the bunch is the runt of the litter, a calico kitty with a floofy tail and some face floof as well. She’s just adorable as hell and bold as brass, and has taken to coming inside to hang out and play with the kitty toys. I call her Monster, but she’s really quite sweet. We’ll see if we can domesticate her over this coming year.
Our attempt to substitute Jaina’s string with a fresh one has not worked out that well. She knows the difference, and does not treat the new string as an equal. In fact, I haven’t seen her carry it around while singing yet. She’s not fooled by our trickery. But we’ll keep trying.
Jaina’s been developing a game over the past few years that runs something like this: she waits in the hallway for me to notice her, then she lets out a little trill and goes running as hard as she can the opposite way. When I come to look in on her, she does the same thing. This repeats over a few cycles until she ends up in the front bathroom’s bathtub. At that point I really don’t know what the next step in the game is. I’ve been trying to catch this with the camera but she’s a mite unpredictable so, so far no luck.
The wife and I have swapped sides of the bed again. As expected, Jaina still prefers the corner of the bed closest to the door, though she will sometimes go out of her way to go lay on mommy’s arm and sleep.
Jaina continues to hate Morgan (who we’ve just been calling Tater) with the heat of a thousand suns. It’s almost hilarious to see Jaina go after a cat twice her size and win the day. Tater is pretty belligerent with people, but she can’t get a handle on Jaina, apparently.
A new part of Jaina’s morning routine has become birb watching. She’ll get on the shelf by the back window and watch the blue jays stealing the outside kittys’ kibble (which makes them into kibble sometimes themselves). She hunkers down and looks like she’s thinking THEY SUSPECT NOTHING as she watches their antics.
It has been another blessed year with our little Bearcat, and I’m looking forward to the next one with her. Here’s to many more.
It is the time of year that we celebrate the Finding of the Cat That Lived, our glorious little Birman mix, Jaina.
For those that missed out on the first six installments, we found baby Jaina wondering around in the parking lot and scooped her up. Later, when we took her to the vet, we were told she had FIP, which is fatal, and that she had weeks to live. Well, here we are seven years later, and she’s entering middle age without showing any sign of keeling over. And so today we celebrate.
We also have some new-ish denizens of the local scene, namely Ghost, a stray cat that we’re watching after, Goblin (same), and their child, Sparta, seen here with Butterscotch. We’re trying to lure at least the mom and Sparty here inside so we can get them fixed. The jury’s out as to whether they become permanent fixtures. Jaina, of course, does not approve.
There’s another stray, who the kid named Plisskin, that is a black Maine Coon and very, very hungry and very, very friendly. We’re trying to get her used to coming inside too, but she’s so afraid of other cats.
Jaina’s antics with her favorite toy in the whole world continue to be adorable as hell. As you may know, her favorite toy is a shoestring that she’s had all her life. When she wants attention, she will pick it up, drag it around, and sing while she does so.
I have finally captured this and I share it here with you. You can also see clearly why we call her a bearcat, or Little Bear – the bear shape is pretty clear in this vid.
She’s also developed a knack for taking it with her when she climbs on top of things. This is the best pic I have, but there you have it. She is wicked smart, and I have found her with it on top of even the high top table in the dining room. “Clever Girl.”
The string, by the way, is reaching End of Life – it’s really starting to fray after several years of being dragged around and washed. We’re working on smuggling in a new one, but you parents know how it is when replacing a cherished teddy bear, so we’ll see.
Her favorite spot to sleep at night continues to be on the corner of the bed closest to the door, which in this pic happens to be at the end of my pillow (me and Mrs Grimm have swapped since then, and the Bear continues to favor the corner, not the person).
Overall, it’s been another great year with the little bearcat. She continues to flourish, continues to be the boss of everything, and we intend to continue to keep our promise of chin skritches and laps whenever she wants them.
So, if fortune is kind, we’ll see you this time next year for her Eighth.
Six years ago today we found a little ball of fur wandering across the parking lot of our apartment complex. We took her in, and she took over.
We call her The Cat that Lived because the vet we took her to diagnosed her with FIP, which is fatal and untreatable. We promised her all the scritches she could want and as happy a life as we could give her in her final weeks. And then she went and kept on living. Six years later, she’s still going strong, sassy as they come and full of opinions. We named her Jaina because she was a survivor (this was just after Tides of War came out). It appears we chose wisely.
A few things have changed in the last year. We lost one of her compatriots, an old Maine Coon Cat named Pogo, who passed in her sleep not too long ago. She was especially dear to Mrs Grimm, who took it hard, as can be expected. Floof Kitty was a real sweetie. She never bothered the other kitties, just asked for laps about eight times a day, and we gave them whenever she asked (‘asked’).
Morgan, aka ‘Tater’, has grown in to a very substantial kitty, and not much of it is flab. Her probable dad was a big feller, and she appears to be taking after him. She’s probably twice Jaina’s size now, which makes for an amusing sight when Jaina goes after her and she goes running for her life.
Sometimes she’s looking for payback.
Zoey, the sixteen pound black cat (aka ‘Cannonball’), has started realizing that she’s the biggest cat in the house aside from Petey (a very large floof cat of some sort), and has started going after Jaina from time to time. Sometimes she gets a snoot full of Jaina claws, and sometimes Jaina goes running (and hissing, and growling). Still, Jaina’s holding her own, even if she is the smallest cat in the house.
It’s pretty odd considering that the two used to be the best of pals.
Jaina has developed a taste for laps. Not from me, but from mommy. She will get comfy and just vegetate for hours. It’s very sweet.
She still has the shape and demeanor of a little bear, but I’ve also noticed something about here that I wasn’t able to put my finger on. She always seemed, well, kind of pensive and downcast. Eventually I realized that she has especially bushy eyebrows, and that makes her eyes appear to be looking down unless you are looking at her straight on.
She still has her favorite toy or teddy bear, whatever you call it – a shoestring. When she wants someone to come admire her, she’ll grab the string and drag it around while singing. Scritch her on top of the head and she’s happy as can be.
She has also taken to herding me off to bed. She’ll jump up on the desk next to my mouse pad. Eventually she’ll edge close enough to where she’s sitting ON the mouse. If I try to move it then, I lose an appendage. As soon as I get up, she jumps into my chair and settles in for a nap. No, we’re not pwned or anything.
Moving forward, we hope to see more antics and amusements from this little kitty. Maybe this year she’ll start asking for cuddles from me. One can hope!
Five years ago we came across a little ball of fluff in the parking lot of our apartment. Walked right in front of the car as we were heading to work. There’s no way we were leaving that little thing in the parking lot to get run over, so we took her home.
The Missus washed her up and we fed her and gave her a place to sleep. By the 2nd day she’d learned to climb up the side of the bed and sleep in the divot between our pillows.
We took her in to the vets because we had a free checkup exam coupon and they told us that she had FIP and wouldn’t last six weeks. We took her home and determined that her last days on Earth would be good ones.
Five years later, she’s still ticking, and pretty much running the place. Later vet visits did not support that diagnosis, as one might guess by now.
I don’t have any good pics of her in profile, but in shape and temperament she resembles a little bear, thus we call her Bearcat.
Her compatriots have changed a little since last year. Fortunately, we didn’t lose any kitties. But we picked up a couple.
This little thing is no longer a little thing. We picked her up last year and gave her to the step-daughter. Unfortunately, this little kitten, named Morgan, was too energetic for her other kitty, an older cat that wasn’t in the mood to play. So we took her back in. She’s now quite a bit larger and a little hellion, but at least she’s not climbing up my back any more.
Butterscotch (pictured here with Morgan), or more properly known as Professor Jiggly Butterscotch, First of his Name, was the cat that guarded our apartment, fighting off cats twice his size for first shot at the magical food bowl we put out for him each day. We snagged him when we moved, and he’s adapted quite well to being a house cat. Still made of bricks and capable of tanking the entire neighborhood if he needs to, he’s secretly a very loving kitty that sometimes finds himself not sure how to deal with little Morgan, who is not much younger than he.
BTW, his name was inspired by this internet find (which I believe I got from Rades on Twitter), as he resembled the original quite a bit when he was younger.
That MWAHAHAHA face kills me every time.
In other Jaina news, she’s learned that she kinda likes being a lap kitty, but only on her terms. You don’t pick up the little bear. The little bear gets in your lap and you can then love upon her if you wish. If not, she’ll take a nap anyway.
Her fur is still kitten-soft at five years, further enhancing the theory that she’s got quite a bit of Berman in her.
She’s still adept at stealing my chair when she wants it (as seen above), and will let loose with blood curdling growlies if you pick her up to relocate her. As mentioned in a previous installment, that growlie made a trained veterinarian technician NOPE right the hell outta there.
So that’s the lay of the land for the Cat That Lived. Stay tuned next year for more information on the life of a cat that shouldn’t be alive, according to one vet. I’ve never been more happy to see someone proven wrong.
Just over four years ago, the vets at a certain chain vet clinic which will shall remain unamed told us that this little stray Birman kitten we found in the parking lot had less than six months to live. I named her Jaina for her fighting spirit. Four years later, she’s still at large, and in charge.
It has been a momentus year for The Cat Who Lived. She’s moved to a new house, which she likes very much.
She has gained a new “sibling”, another stray we picked up named Butterscotch (a “ginger” if that matters to you).
Then she picked up another new “sibling” named Morgan, a kitten that also had no home. She hates them both, of course, as she hates all other cats, so that’s nothing new.
Her biggest adventure this year was a visit to the vet’s for a checkup and nail trimming. The ruckuss she raised when the trimming came up was so powerful that the vetinary tech NOPED right outta there when the vet showed up for the exam, and never came back. She’s a very fearsom 10 pounds of fluff and anger, and we still lover her very much.
Our little kitten has become somewhat more sociable, but only on her terms. On chilly nights I may wake up with her plopped up against my back. If I turn around to face her, she’s gone. But it’s a start.
Every year we have with The Cat That Lived is a year that we were told that would not have. I treasure every day with this cantankerous, rowdy, antisocial, bearcat kitten of mine. Who needs boring when one can have the excitement of living with Jaina? Totes worth it, y’all.
I was supposed to get this written up by Dec 21st, which is the anniversary of when we actually found little Jaina wandering around the parking lot.
But my attempts to capture a good pic of her in profile delayed this post. The reason for this is because I wanted to share why we have taken to calling her "Bearcat" – basically, she’s shaped like this.
My understanding is that this is the normal shape for Birman cats. We’re still not 100% sure of her ancestry, since there is a little bit of something else in there as well, but aside from the overall coloring, she still maintains all the characteristics of that breed, including fur as soft as a kitten’s. The temperament is somewhat different than Cat Fancier standard, but I’ve long considered such things to be outside the realm of genetics, anyway.
Nevertheless, she still has her cuddly side, but it rarely comes out. When it does, she typically jumps up onto my keyboard tray and head butts my hand until I give her chin scritches. She doesn’t do purr and she doesn’t do cuddle, but she does have her affectionate side. I’ll take it.
The Cat that Lived, who still defies the physicians at Banfield, has also picked up her own kitten, which requires a bit of explanation.
This has been a tough year in Casa de Grimmtooth for the felines citizens. We first lost Psycho Cat earlier this year as she wound down her hard knock existence with us. Mrs Grimm said she probably didn’t even know she was a cat, and her disdain for all other felines certainly seemed to bear that out.
Josie explaining to Mrs G that the PC was ebil and she should pay attention to Josie instead
The other loss was Leon, dubbed Old Man Cat for his somewhat unique voice. Big, rumbly, and loving, he started to lose interest in eating, and it was downhill from there. He was Jaina’s pal at times, though she didn’t really appreciate the cuddling part.
Fortunately, Mrs G was happy to stand in.
That brings us to our new residents. While taking Leon to the Shelter to have him euthanized, we thought about maybe coming back to pick up a kitten for the rotation. A sweet little black kitten poked Mrs G as she walked by her cage, and presented chin for scritches and purrs for our enjoyment. We pretty much concluded that since she did such a great sales job, we’d take her home. As we considered her, her neighbor, a beautiful gray kitten reached out and said, "Me too!" Unable to split up a great team ((They weren’t, actually.)), we decided to take them both home. We named them Washburn and Zoey … for reasons ((If you don’t get where that came from, I don’t know you.)).
Zoey, at least, lives up to the Warrior Woman thingy.
Zoey is also now officially Jaina’s kitten. The two of them spend time snuggling, fixing each other’s ears, hugging, tussling, and otherwise being the cutest things for yards around. Sometimes Wash joins in the fracas, but in general the gals keep him in line. Captain Harble tries to steal my seat or otherwise lurks in the top of the cat tree.
Having the new kittens has given her opportunities to socialize, which she didn’t have previously. All the other cats were a lot more mature than she, and had no desire to play. Now, we hear the thunder of a herd of kitty hooves pretty much every morning. It’s a joyful sound.
So we’re now in Jaina’s third year. According to sources, this is how long Birman cats take to mature, so she’s as big as she’s going to get, and as such is a tiny little thing. I don’t know if that’s normal for that clan, but it kinda rules out Rag Doll since they get kinda big.
Jaina, like her namesake, is a tough gal, accepts no shit from anyone, and has carved out a niche for herself and settled in well. We now enter a new phase of her life as she assumes the role of Auntie Jaina.
Don’t wake Auntie Jaina unless the Nip is ready.
Two years ago today, this little white ball of fur trundled across the parking lot right in front of our car. We stopped and took custody. I named her Jaina in tribute to what I hoped would be the fighting spirit we would see from our own Ms. Proudmoore. Also the white hair kinda brought her to mind.
So today we celebrate Jaina Finding Day!
Cold and alone in the word … no more!
We initially had bad news from the vet; they said she had FIP and had weeks to live at most. We determined that those weeks would have warmth and love in store for her.
She didn’t act like she was dying. Within a short period of time, she was Airborne Kitty, flying through the air to attack what she might consider attackable (such as crotches and fingers), and terrorizing all the other cats.
Surprise Finger Noms!
Over time she showed no sign of slowing down, and by the end of the first year she was flourishing. Her white fur had given way to a more chocolately hue, but it was soft as kitten down still. And she had plenty of it.
Over time, she’s developed a cuddly side, especially with whoever is on the couch. The couch is her favorite place.
We don’t even try to keep her off of it.
Here we are at the end of her second year with us. We know her second birthday was probably around 10 weeks ago, but this is the day we celebrate, because it’s when we found her.
Happy 2nd Jaina Finding Day!