Blog Archives

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.


Jaina 2022-12-20First 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?

Petey 2022-12-20The 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 2022-12-20Butterscotch 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 2022-12-20Wash 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.

Tater 2022-12-20Finally, 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 2022-12-20Monster 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 2022-12-20Noodle 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.

Gremlin 2022-12-20From 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.

Scooter 2022-12-20Another 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.