Category Archives: The Cat that Lived
It’s the Eleventh Annual Finding Jaina Day
It is the time of year that we celebrate the finding of Jaina, our little Bearcat, The Cat That Lived. Diagnosed with FIP, she was expected to die within weeks of finding, but she bucked the diagnosis (i.e. it was WRONG) and continues to flourish to this day, eleven years later on December 21.
As is traditional, we’ll talk about her cohort, as well. I’ve added a new flourish to that, as we apparently have three groups of cats to discuss now, and I’m using The Expanse as my model.
- Inners are the cats that live inside full-time, including Jaina.
- Dusters are the kitties that spend time both inside and out, such as Noodle and Monster.
- Beltalowdas are the kitties that won’t come in, are too skittish to trust us that far.
First of all, let us discuss Jaina. Last year we took her to the vet due to hair and whisker loss, and The Vet diagnosed allergies, and gave her a shot. I am happy to report that that made a huge difference, and even addressed her cough. Alas, the cough is returning now after nearly a year, so we’ll probably need to take her back in. Sorry, vet techs. She’s brutal on vet techs.
Otherwise, she’s still in the same mental space as previously. She has three or four favorite spots to sleep at night. Right now, she’s taken to sleeping next to my pillow, which I just adore. She also still hates Tater like nothing else, but has started getting antagonized by Washburn as well, and will go after Zoey under certain circumstances.
The most remarkable thing about her is that she is now the second-most senior cat here. How’d that happen?
The most senior cat, Petey (aka Repeat) has become more and more frail looking, but still conducts himself as the Alpha Cat in these here parts. He is very much Mommy’s Boy and will spend hours sleeping on her desk, adoring her whether awake or asleep. Every night, he comes to bed and spends the night cuddled up to her. He’s close to 18 years old now. Not bad for a country boy. After all these years, he still believes he’s the Boss Cat, and most of the other cats buy into it.
Butterscotch AKA Professor Jiggly continues to be quite mellow about no longer being an outside cat. We were worried that when we moved here, he would want to continue to be an outside cat, but he was quite content with Inner Life, though occasionally he does give a wistful look out a window or door, so we’re cautious opening doors in his proximity. He has no problem asserting himself, but doesn’t push the issue, either.
Wash and Zoey still continue to be happy we adopted them. Wash does miss being able to hang out in the sewing room, which is now the daughter’s bedroom. Zoey however has adopted our bathroom and we just don’t put towels on the lower shelf of the towel rack any more. She also enjoys licking the shower after someone uses it. Cats are weird, yo. Speaking of which, Wash does insist on us turning on the sink for him in the morning, because water poured into a bowl will just not do.
Finally, Tater continues to mellow out. She has attacked me far fewer times this year – whether it’s because she’s becoming less stressed, or that I’ve adopted a more cautious approach to her, is hard to say. She does continue to come tuck us in at night, making a big plate of biscuits one or more times a night. and sometimes settling in for a nap in between us. She continues to have a most glorious set of whiskers. While she’s a bit of a chonker, it seems to be less flab and more just the body type. Our little psycho cat, incarnate.
Monster continues to be friendly, and will spend many a night inside sleeping with either of us. She’s very clear on when she wants out, though, and usually delivers a request to be released around 4:30 in the morning. Fortunately I am very good at getting up, letting the cat out, and falling directly back into slumber.
Noodle continues to be a success story. He spends most days inside with us, only going outside to bask from time to time. He, too, is very good at letting us know what he wants (food, pets, or out). We did get him fixed, so he is no longer a menace to society, as it were. He is a lovely little man, a gentle soul, and a most affectionate fellow. The funniest thing about him is when he comes to tell me he wants out at night. Note, I said me. He’ll jump up on the bed, stand on my chest, and inform me. I’m his person, I guess, so when he wants something, I’m who he comes to see. I just never expected it to be that personal.
From one of Stripe’s previous litters, Gremlin has become fairly comfortable coming in and hanging out with us. She has a most amusing voice, kind of an Old Lady meow rather than what most people consider normal. It cracks me up listening to her vocalize, sometimes. We were able to get her fixed, too. Recently, she has spent her nights sleeping on the ottoman. We hope this is a trend. She’s become a bit of a little terror, to the point that Monster will not walk past her if she’s in the doorway.
Another one from Stripe’s previous litter, Scooter, has also grown accustomed to coming in and spending time with us. She has possibly the biggest eyes I have ever seen in a kitty. She loves sleeping in the kitty beds we have set up next to Mrs Grimm’s desk, which we count as a win and a blessing. I named her Scooter because she doesn’t seem to have a slow speed setting. She just zooms everywhere.
Pip and Merry are an odd pair. Merry recognizes me as an interesting person, but does not like to be touched. Her sibling, who we named Pip (short for Pipsqueek, which didn’t pan out for reasons) has settled into the Duster lifestyle, and is fairly friendly to our nefarious agenda. She’s spending nights with us from time to time as well. She’s one of those odd ones that prefers kibble to gooshy, and I think that’s one reason she grew so big.
Scooter’s littermate, Poof, is quite aloof, though she will talk to me when looking for foods. She has the most amazing blue eyes. We got her fixed at the same time as Scooter, too. Sadly, she isn’t very social.
Her mom, Stripe, is still not fixed. She is wiley and has been difficult to trap. She has since had another litter and they are currently getting used to us, so we have high hopes of at least getting them fixed.
We really haven’t given those two proper names yet, but we call them High Brow and Low Brow because of the colorations on their heads. I’m fairly certain the former is female, but haven’t had a good look for harbles on the latter. The fact that the father hasn’t chased it off is a fairly good indication that it is also probably female. Both kittens have what might eventually be floofy tails, and signs of becoming fairly large, much like Pip.
Finally, there’s the daddy of them all, Goblin. He’s fathered all of the Dusters and Beltalowdas (well, we’re still uncertain of Monster’s litter since she’s so unlike the rest). When it comes to male children, he’s quite the jerk, and with his female progeny, he’s also a bit of a jerk but only in as much as he wants to procreate with everything cat-like. We did manage to capture him once but when we did we also captured two other cats in the same cage and I was afraid he’d kill the other two if I didn’t open the cage, so if we didn’t get him fixed I’ll take the blame on that one.
Goblin is big, beat-up, scarred, but, at least to his kittens, a good daddy. I’ve seen him hungry as hell sit off to the side while the kittens eat their fill. He looks like someone hit him with the Ugly Bat a few times but he is, in his own way, a loving daddy. Hard not to love someone like that.
In the end, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Every cat that I have described has no intrinsic value, and, yet, is valued uniquely. The Inners have a unique relationship with their humans. The Dusters, likewise, and the Beltalowdas as well, have unique relations with us.
The people that run the shelters might have no idea of the unique relationships between their charges and the people that adopt them. And, yet, I have to tell you, these people I support without hesitation. These are the people on the street. The people that are doing the work. If you are at all able, give your money to the local feral control and adoption agencies. Please.
See you next year, for the 12th celebration of our little bearcat.
It’s the Tenth Annual Finding Jaina Day
Ten years ago, a scruffy little kitten wandered across the parking lot right in front of our car, seemingly on her last legs. We took her in – no way we didn’t. When we took her to the vet, they said she had FIP and wouldn’t last more than a few weeks. We were resolved to make those last weeks as good as possible for her. Now, in her tenth year of telling that vet clinic to bite her little furry butt, she remains the queen of the castle and the bane of veterinary techs everywhere. We mark this, the tenth anniversary of finding Jaina, with full hearts and a few new scars.
Jaina herself has been doing okay. We’re concerned this fall that her lovely mane has started to go away, and her whiskers, formerly magnificent, and becoming short and bristly. So we took her to the vet’s on Christmas Eve for a looksee. Prognosis: probably allergies. The vet gave her an allergy shot which will hopefully help. She was, again, an unholy terror and after her performance after two shots, the vet declared that they wouldn’t be able to trim her claws as we originally requested. No surprise. But that’s life and death with Jaina the Bearcat.
At least the vet tech didn’t nope outta there like the last one.
Her cohabitors are largely the same. Tater has developed a new habit, basically coming to tuck us in ever night. As we get settled in, she shows up. A few ear scritchies, and then she starts making us some biscuits. After a few minutes she’s done. It’s very cute.
Things are less settled with the Beltalowdas (outside kitties). Pinky and Browny both disappeared; we found out later on that Pinky was killed, theory is that it was a big cat a few blocks over that did it. Our neighbor came by with a picture and asked if we knew who it was, so we have some closure. Guessing the same thing happened with Brownie, who was less friendly so, fingers crossed, he’s fine but departed the area.
Pinky’s sister, Stripe, has had a couple of litters so far and eluded capture. Of the first litter there were two, and we were able to capture both and get them fixed. Of the second litter, all but one disappeared – we think our neighbor trapped them and took them in to be adopted. The last one, Gremlin (no pics yet), is about where we can capture her and get her fixed, she’s a bit more trusting than her mom. She loves noms and cream, and is quite the little chonker.
Pinky’s other brother, Noodle, is a major turnaround – he was very skittish early on, but started coming in for treats and is now it’s very common he’ll come in and sleep the day away in one of the cat beds. He also likes laps and cuddles.
Monster has flourished in this past year. She’s taken to sometimes sleeping with Mrs Grimm, hard up against the back of her legs, at night. She’s also gotten friendlier, often soliciting for pets and scritches. But she’s still very much a creature of the outdoors, and prefers to be out when she can. We’re still hoping to bring her around. She’s a lovely floof.
This coming year we’re hoping to
- Get to the bottom of Jaina’s hair loss and possibly cough
- Get the last of the Beltalowda females fixed and avoid more litters.
- Get the Beltalowda males – Noodle and Goblin (his daddy) – fixed. (2) and (3) together will finally stabilize this colony.
I can’t believe it’s been ten years with our little bearcat. She and her traveling companions have been a blessing. Here’s hoping for another ten.
It’s the Ninth Annual Finding Jaina Day
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’s the Eighth Annual Finding Jaina Day
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’s the Seventh Annual Finding Jaina Day
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.
She has continued to be Mommy’s girl when it comes to laps. She’ll play with me, and adores the kid, but when it comes time for laps, Mommy is her go-to.
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.
It’s the Sixth Annual Finding Jaina Day
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!
It’s the Fifth Annual Finding Jaina Day
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.
Today is the Fourth Annual Finding Jaina Day
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.
The Third Annual Jaina Finding Day: Belated Edition
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!