Readers: Sunday morning I woke up to the following message on my Facebook account. Since so many of you commented on "Mustache Man's" adoption of Alexis and Zeeba on January 15th (I got phone calls and e-mails about it, too), I wanted to let you in on this story. I have been talking to Gene (aka, Mustache Man) since Sunday, and he is doing okay. I will continue my part of the update below, but I warn you, you may need a Kleenex.
I also need to say that I made a mistake in my first post -- it was Zeeba (the orange kitty) who first climbed up on Gene's belly, and growled and meowed at him until she was comfortable. This is important to make this correction, and you will know why shortly.
As I type this, Ziva (the silver tabby known as Alexis) is curled up against my chest - well now she has moved to the folded blanket next to my keyboard and is laying with her paws tucked under chest, purring, watching me type. It's Panther's old blue American Airlines inflight blanket that she used to lay on in front of my printer as I typed my papers for college. think Panther would approve of another kitty enjoying its softness. (Theresa's note: Panther was Gene's 20-year-old cat who passed away Christmas eve.)
The kittens came home and spent a few days in the master bedroom and soon were romping and playing - the first night was on the schedule as such: eat, drink, play non-stop for 40 minutes, then pass out against me for an hour and a half. Needless to say, when I finally let them have the living room/kitchen/dining area for play and exploration, sleep came much easier for me as I no longer suffered (happily I might add) being pounced on, my face patted and little heads rubbing faces rubbing against my face, mewing, wanting me to play. I would come home and go to the bedroom and when I announced, "hello ladies", two furry heads would pop up from the blankets and start mewing until I got on my knees and gathered them to me, the purring drowning out any other noise.
Nalla (Zeeba) became my favorite as she would always come to me - I became her play toy, napping spot (was embarrassing when she started kneading the fat - kept telling her, to no avail, that fat doesn't fluff. Nevertheless, I am back in the gym again after that!), conversation buddy, and general affection sponge. And yes, she would talk to me when I look at her. she would always sleep up near my face and both would waken me with purrs, paws patting my face, little heads rubbing on mine, and whiskers tickling as they whuffled my ear.
Neither would stay skinny either - two food bowls kept filled with Hill's Science Diet for indoor kittens have added to their frames, and skinniness gave way to lithe, athletic feline forms. Rarely had to intervene unless the sounds during wrestling went from play growls and meows to "Hey, that hurt!" They soon inherited another play tree - they got the super tall one with the sheepskin hammock initially - it is in the master bedroom - and then a shorter one to go in the living room - mainly to save the couch from claws. but both got major play action.
I strongly discouraged both from playing behind or underneath my couch. It is a double recliner and as such, has multiple metal stress bars, springs, and the metal frame itself, which can gravely injure a small animal if they are caught under it. Friday night I heard both playing underneath - tilted it forward and shooed both of them out form underneath - what I didnt' see was Nalla going back under it as I lowered it back down. I sat down and my worst fear was realized as I heard it. I sprang up, sick with fear and literally flinging the couch across the living room, snatching up Nalla, wrapping her in a blanket, keys and shoes and we went flying to E-Vets, the whole time, I am saying, Not my Nalla, hang on baby. Raced in and the vet got me to a room, but Nalla was already gone. When I got home and put the couch back, I saw why she zipped back under it - she had gone back to retrieve her favorite toy - a green rabbit's foot that Panther had stashed somewhere in the apartment and that Nalla had found.
Ziva hasn't looked for her, (she saw me pick up Nalla's body and wrap her in a blanket to go) but instead has become almost inseparable from me. I make sure she gets a lot more playtime and holding time and she has taken up Nalla's habit of sleeping on my chest as I sit back in a chair, reclining. Before they kept each other entertained, bathed, and were bed buddies. She follows me everywhere and today I had her assistance in making the bed and in folding laundry - she prefers that I fold tee shirts her way - with a helping paw and a lot more wrinkles in the shirts.
Please know that in the short time Nalla was with me - she got all the food she wanted, two playtrees, her littermate to play with, her favorite toys (the rabbit's foot was the ultimate tho) which she played with almost nonstop with the exception of naptime and food, and unlimited affection from and to me. I have not been able to type this without having to stop several times and not because of Ziva. (she's asleep now) But her fur was absolutely luxurious and that tail would have been the envy of many a cat - she talked to me as much as Panther did. Dr. Brenda, on her visit, thought both were absolutely gorgeous and was happy for me.
I will adopt another because Ziva, being so young, needs companionship when I am not here, and I really got used to having two cats - have always had one, but two added so much and I never realized what I was missing.
I wanted to let you know and to thank you for your help with both - and if you would help us (Ziva and I) find another kitty who would need a home such as she enjoys now. (by the way - Ziva avoids behind the couch and has not been under it since.)
My thanks so much for what you did for all three of us.
Theresa here again -- sorry for the sad story. But we are on the look-out for another cat for Gene. I told him we won't be able to replace Nalla, but that we will find him another sweet cat to love. There are so many who need homes. I will update this story as I know more.
If you would like to send Gene an e-mail of support, his address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I know he'd love to hear from some of you fellow cat lovers. He is just heartbroken at his loss; please know that he is exactly the type of person who is perfect to own pets. Keep him in your throughts and prayers.