Sunday, April 13, 2008

BABIES and A Bit of History

This morning, I thought I'd post some pictures of the girls when they were kittens. They were CHRISTMAS KITTIES, as we picked them up from (breeder) Suzette on December 23, 2006, one day before Christmas Eve.

A bit of background on deciding to purchase Anna and Zu: as previously mentioned, albeit not all that understandably by Anna and Zuzu here, I lost my Himalayan, Little Girl, in November of 2006. As I was keeping another blog at that time, I wrote rather a great deal on the whole experience of her illness and finally, death. Likely someday I'll post some of that here, along with the writings I did when Smoosh passed only four months later, as I still think about both of them nearly every day. But briefly, Little Girl died from a combination of diabetes and kidney failure, Smoosh from kidney failure. Both of their deaths were -- pretty horrible and I took it very hard.

Little Girl:

The pain of losing them and the whole grief process showed me, in a sense, how lucky I'd been. I'd never really experienced the death of an animal -- or person -- I loved before, save for some relatives who had been ill for sometime and I'd had time to prepare.

When Little Girl died in November, I had a very hard time accepting that she was gone. In my desperation to somehow hold on to her, I tried to find her breeder, thinking I could find out more about her; her parents; something. I had adopted her from a family in Vermont who was going through a divorce and needed to find a new home for her. I didn't know that much about her past, other than she had indeed been purchased from a Vermont breeder.

So I began doing Internet searches for Himalayan breeders in Vermont. I never did find Little Girl's breeder, but along the way I found Cozycreek Cattery and Suzette. I had sent Suzette a picture of Little Girl, asking her if she could tell me what kind of color point she was -- I thought maybe she was tortie point, as she had some orange in her; or blue point, but I wasn't sure. Suzette was very kind and patient, as in my grief, I probably sent her a million emails. She was also able to tell me Little Girl had been a blue-cream point and that she was a "dollfaced" Himmie, meaning she a longer nose then the "flatfaced" or "show quality" Himmies. She wrote that she understood I might not be ready for a new kitten so soon, but she did happen to have some blue-point female kittens available, one in particular named Anna Banana who was also dollfaced.

I didn't think I was ready for a new kitten at all -- but I kept going back to Suzette's site and looking at the pictures of the litter and at Anna. And going back. And going back. After about a week, I decided I wanted Anna, especially after Suzette described her personality, which was and remains utterly sweet and very curious.

Ah, then ... I started thinking about how Anna might be lonely. I knew at 15 years old Smoosh probably wouldn't be interested in playing with a kitten but I couldn't really afford two. When I emailed this concern to Suzette, she replied that she had a flatfaced female who she had been thinking about saving for a breeder friend, but that they had decided she was not breeding quality as her nose was turning out to be slightly off center. Even though Suzette assured me that Zu's nose would in all likelihood straighten out she offered to reduce Zu's price.

So we got two!

Zuzu's nose had indeed straightened out and I'm thrilled to have both a dollfaced Himmie like Little Girl and a flatfaced Himmie -- I never thought I have one of those FANCY FANCY SHOWKITTIES!

Zuzu: (proud) I be FANCY!

I cannot begin to tell you how much having Anna and Zu around helped ease my grief for Little Girl, and three months later, again after I lost Smoosh. They did not of course replace my lost kitties, but whenever I missed them, it was a huge comfort to hold a fat, baby Himalayan kitten.

To be honest, I felt a significant degree of guilt buying two kittens, with so cats and kittens in shelters needing homes -- both Smoosh and Little Girl had been rescues after all.
I no longer feel guilty about this.

Everyone's grief process is unique to them.
Me, I needed these babies very much.

Back to when Anna and Zuzu first arrived: Suzette had been emailing and posting pictures of Anna and Zuzu's litter for about a month before we picked them up. As I result, I knew sort of what they looked liked -- but I had no idea how LITTLE they'd be! When I finally met them at Suzette's house, I was almost afraid to hold them -- so tiny!

The drive back to CT was just under five hours. Anna cried for the first 15 minutes or so, then the both of them slept like rocks. When we got them home about 8PM, they burst out of their little kitty carrier and starting playing as if nothing had changed! I was afraid they'd miss their mommy or their home or be freaked out by the long drive and the new house, but they seemed to be right at home from day one.

The following pictures were all taken on their first night or the first week in their new home:

Anna: ooooh, so bad!

Zu with Christmas paper

Christmas morning

Anna: "I do stinky doodie again on my fluffy pants. I sorry!"


The next pictures were taken by Suzette when the girls were very young -- maybe 5 weeks old, I'm guessing:
Baby Zu:

And Baby Anna:
The last two pics are some of the very precious few I have of the girls with Smoosh. At first, Smoosh hissed at them if they came near her. That was her way with new cats: she'd hiss and growl if approached, but never attacked or initiated contact herself. After about a month, she'd fully accept the new cat.

Here's Smoosh during the first week or so with Little Girl: And a few months later:

With Anna and Zuzu:
Smoosh and Anna

Didn't mean to make that so long!
Hope you enjoyed the kitten pictures -- coming soon, VIDEOS of baby Anna and Zu!


Rocky, Angie & S'more said...

What a great post - thank you for all of the wonderful pictures and information on Anna and Zuzu :)

We're sorry you lost your Little Girl and Smoosh so close together -that must have been very sad :(

Purrs and headbutts,
Rocky, Angie, & S'more xo

Kim said...

Hi Rocky, Angie and S'more: thank you for your kind words. Yes, it was very sad -- but having Anna and Zu around helped so much.

Anna: Weee want picturez of yous really really REAL much!

Kim: Anna, their mommy doesn't have a camera yet.


Kim: No, not 'free' Anna -- they cost money.

Anna: Oh. What 'moneeeey?'

Cranky Yankee said...

Yeah, I wen through the same thing when Onion died....ask Helen about it. she'll tell you what a basket case I was.

Your babies are so FLUUUUUFFFYYY! I want to pick them up and schnooggle them! They have big puddin' heads...I want to go moosh moosh.

Cranky Yankee said...

Do I sound like an idiot or what?

Cute kitties make that happen, y'know.

Rocky, Angie & S'more said...

Aww, you guys are soooo sweet! I promise I will get a camera soon so I can start up a blog and post pictures :)

I can't remember if I told you already (the mind is the first thing to go!) - Rocky is a Flame-Pointe Himalayan and Angie is a Blue-Creme Pointe Himmie. Our little S'more is a Tortie :)

I hope you have a great day!

Karen - Rocky, Angie, & S'more's Mommy :)

Goma said...

Ohmaigosh!! This is too cute!! I love love love those pictures! Anna and Zuzu are just so preciuous little girls!! Ohh I wanna squeeze them so bad!!