Category Archives: The Cat that Lived
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.