Friday, April 18, 2008

Stuff I Love: I Can Has Cheezburger!

What animal lover doesn't love I Can Has Cheezburger?

Thanks to Perilous Cheryl for sending me the below pic -- perfect for kitty fluff lovers!

humorous pictures

Stuff I Love: World's Best Cat Litter!

The post about Anna will definitely happen, but as I've been really busy at work and home, until I have time to write it, I thought I'd instead introduce a new series of posts I plan to do here: Stuff I Love!

Warning: after losing Smoosh and Little Girl, I became and remain sort of a fanatic about keeping my animals healthy. It is possible that both my cat's deaths could have been avoided. Smoosh's kidney failure may have been the result of that horrible poisoned cat food tragedy that happened last year as she did eat one of the effected brands. Little Girls' diabetes may have been the result of too many steroid injections she had after catching stupid, horrible FLEAS and suffering a skin allergy to their bites.


I will never know for sure, but their deaths and all that poisoned food stuff has made me very, very cautious and rather extreme when it comes to trying to do the best I can for my animals. What I'm trying to say is, I am NOT a pet nutrition expert or snob; and I in no way think I alone know what's best for animals. I just do what makes me feel good.

And now:Easy to remember, right? World's Best Cat Litter!

I started using this when Anna and Zu were tiny kittens. After Suzette (breeder) told me to use clay-type litter and not the grainy, clumping kind, I realized I had never really thought about litter. Suzette explained that tiny kittens could possibly get the clumping litter stuck in their little paws, then by licking it off, they could ingest it -- which would not be good for their tiny digestive systems.

So then I started doing some research on cat litter and learned about World's Best Cat Litter.

From their website:

"Is it safe? Yes. It is safe for you, your cats and the environment. It can be used by cats and kittens without worry of ingestion, dust or allergy problems. WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER™ is 99% dust free, containing no clays, silica, synthetic binding or dust reducing agents found in other litters. NOTE: Do not expose kittens to litter before they are 8-weeks of age. Veterinarians and breeders have known for years that the silica dust prevalent in clay-based conventional and clumping litters may cause respiratory problems in both cats and their owners. Over time silica dust, when inhaled can accumulate in the alveoli and air sacs of the lungs. With WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER™ there is no need to worry about a cat or its owner inhaling problematic dust.

What if my cat ingests WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER? No problem. Because it is made from whole kernel corn, it will pass harmlessly through your cat’s digestive system and will not obstruct or coat your cat’s intestinal lining. WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER™ contains no perfumes, chemicals, or sodium bentonite which may be harmful to cats. "

You can read more about it here.

I love it not only because it is completely safe for my babies, but it works great! I never liked the way other clumping kinds of litter get almost TOO clumpy -- or wet and gooey and hard like clay or wet cement. Also, I hated the way all the dust flew in the air when I poured it into the litter box.

World's Best is especially good for Himmies, Persians and other fluffies because it rarely gets stuck in their long fur.
With Little Girl, my first Himmie, I used the other clumping kind of litter, as I hadn't heard of World's Best. I would often find this stuff caked between her little toes in hard clumps and stuck on her little fur tufts there. I'd have to wet the clumps and gently try to comb them out -- which she didn't like!

Which is, by the way, another great thing about Himmies: those fluffy, tufty toes!
Anna's tufty foot!

World's Best Cat Litter does clump so that urine is easily scooped out, but not in those cement-y, wet, icky clumps that stick to the scoop and the sides of the litter box. Instead of having to bang and whack the scoop against the trash can to get all that sticky, gray gunk off, World's Best Litter clumps come right off with no banging or remaining residue. It also absorbs odor really well. My litter boxes never stink -- unless one of the Moon Babies just made a big fresh Tootsie Roll in there!

It is expensive -- about $24 for a big bag -- but it lasts a long time! For two cats, I only buy a bag about every three months.

Zuzu: I do's like this stuffie in my litter boxie! It nice!

Anna: Oooh, it nice! I likes it tons and lots! It made from CORNY -- but I don't EATS it!

So there you have it!
I'm off to work soon -- and you can bet I'll have GOMACAM on my monitor all day! (Thanks to Sachie for the tip about making the window small so I can keep Goma on my screen at all times!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008



This blog is about Annabelle and Zuzu, two blue-cream point Himalayan sisters from the same litter. While they are sisters, these two are actually quite different. So today, I thought I'd post just about Zu, and the next post about Anna.

Zuzu's nicknames: Zu, Zuzuzuzu!, ZuBOOM!, ZuRUCKUS!, ZuBANG!, Jackie-O (the name breeder Suzette originally named her), ZuMonster, ZuPhant (as in 'elephant').

Zuzu's personality is very different from Annabelle's. Of the two, Zu is definitely the more careful and cautious. While I wouldn't say she is aloof or unfriendly, she does tend to regard strangers with some trepidation at first, usually preferring to watch them from a distance, rarely approaching them right away. In general, she does not like to be picked up and held. If I pick her up, she gets stiff in my arms, and tries to lean over and jump to the floor. Whenever I do pick her up -- which is actually often, I just can't resist! -- I put her down very, very gently, making sure all four of her feet are firmly on the ground before letting her go. She spreads her little front toes out very wide when I place her down -- like a little grabby tree frog feet!

Zu is more of a "one person" type of cat than Anna. Anna, she loves everybody, where as Zu definitely seems to have a preference for me. Whenever I come home from work, she'll usually rouse herself from wherever she's been sleeping and find me to say hello. Oh, and she has the softest, tiniest little meow I've ever heard! It's more like a squeak than a meow. Once, when she was about 5 months old, she got trapped in the closet. Her meow was so soft I would have never heard her crying to get out. She could have been in there all day! Fortunately, just when I was getting ready to leave for work I notice Anna sitting by the closet door, staring very intently at the crack under the door.

"Anna?" I said. "Is your SISSY in there?!"

I opened the door and out ran Zu, poor thing.

When visitors come to the house, they often have a hard time telling Anna and Zuzu apart, even from the front. I find this very amusing as they look so different to me! Aside from the obvious different faces, Zuzu is more "cobby" than Anna: she has a bigger, chunkier looking body which makes her legs look shorter and more "thunky." Zuzu also has a slightly larger, rounder head than her sister and a different texture to her fur. Where as Anna's fur is long and rather silky, Zu's fur is long and more fluffy -- and also tangles easier than Anna's. Zu has a longer, fluffier tail also -- and her tail has one little white "raccoon stripe" in it. Very, very cute!

Her "points" (ears, feet, tail and little face mask) are mostly light grey, with bits of white mixed in. Her right front foot has a big splotch of white on it -- that WHITE TOE that I think is so cute!

"See my white toe?!"

Both of the girls sleep much of the day, becoming most active in the evening and mornings. Over the past year, Zu has developed a habit of hanging out in the bathroom with me while I get ready for work. While I'm putting on my makeup, she'll sit on the toilet -- sometimes jumping into the sink or onto my makeup table:
She loves playing with Q-Tips. Often when jumps on the toilet, I'll carefully put a Q-Tip on the toilet tank. Within seconds, Zu will bat it off the tank and play with it on the floor:

The past few weeks, she's taken to hiding her head under the shower curtain. I think she thinks I can't see her:

Zuzu can be unpredictable. Sometimes, I'll pick her up and put her on the couch or bed next to me, hoping she'll stay but instead of cuddling, she'll jump down and run off. Other days, she'll jump up right next to me herself and staring purring away.

She does, thankfully, love to be groomed. I started combing both Anna and Zu when they were kittens and both of them love it. As Himalayan fur tangles and mats up quickly, ideally, they should be groomed everyday. I usually groom them in the bathroom, as that's where I keep all my grooming supplies: two combs, blunt-tipped scissors for mats that I can't comb out (and for DOODIE in the "pants;" or fur around the back legs), cotton balls, cosmetic squares and water, of course. If I want to groom them, I just sit on the floor in the bathroom and make a little noise with the combs. Within seconds both of them come running in.

A note about all this "doodie" I keep bringing up: I make it sound like the girls are perpetually covered in poopy. No, no, no, not true, not true. They do, however, sometimes get little, ah, "cling ons" in the long hair around their butt.

Zuzu: Can't HELP it! Fur too LONG!

To make keeping them clean easier, I do keep the hair around their little butts trimmed. It just makes life a little easier for all three of us.

Zuzu in particular, LOVES having her armpits combed. I have no idea why. She lets me roll her over onto her back like she's a stuffed animal and sticks her little paws straight back over her head:

As I'm an early riser, each morning both Anna and Zuzu hang out with me in the study/computer room and follow me around when I get up to get coffee, etc. Both of them like to sit on the desk when I'm on the computer, often blocking my view of the screen:
While Zuzu is the more reserved and careful of the two, she alone has developed a habit of climbing up the beams we have in the bedroom, much to my horror! The beams were here when we moved into the house and as they are purely aesthetic and just get in the way, hopefully this year we will have them taken out. I hate the way they look and have walked into the one that runs from floor to ceiling at night. Zuzu, she makes ME SO NERVOUS when she get up there!
The top beam is about 15 feet in the air!
She gets up there by running up that beam to the left.

Every time Zuzu does this, I freak out and run to get the stepladder to get her down. Sometimes, she lets me get her, other times she'll walk away from me, back and forth, down the length of the beam. Recently, I went into the bedroom and found her up there. Per usual, I panicked and went down to the basement to get the ladder. When I got back, she was already down! I don't how she did it, but it makes me feel better knowing she can get down from there safely. Still, I'll be glad when these stupid beams are gone.

"I be's fine! I HAPPY here! You too much worries!"

I don't know what it is with me and Himalayans. Even after owning these cats for a number of years they still drive me crazy. I remember the first time I saw this breed many years ago. A friend of my mother's had two of them. My sister and I were swimming in her pool and the cats came right over to edge of the pool and watched us.

"Ohhhhhh! What kind of cats are those?" I asked my mom's friend.
"Those are seal-point Himalayans," she replied.

She then went on to say something about how much money they cost. I couldn't believe how cute and beautiful the cats were. They were very curious and friendly, indeed seemed ready to get right in the pool with us.

"Maybe they are called 'seal points' because they like to swim -- like SEALS!" we joked.

Even since then, I went crazy with squealing "Ooooooh so cute!" happy-silly whenever I saw a picture of a Himalayan. Still, the woman's comment about how expensive her cats were stuck in my mind and I therefore never dreamed I'd actually own such a fancy kitty!

Note: a Himalayan from a reputable breeder isn't cheap -- but, especially compared to the cost of purebred dog -- or a horse, my other passion -- they are certainly affordable. And while, yes, there are so many kitties in shelters needing homes, it feels wonderful to own these cats, having admired them so long. I am grateful and awed by them nearly everyday.

It's true: I do still feel the same awe when I look at Anna and Zuzu as I did all those years back when I first saw this breed. It sounds stupid, maybe, but somehow, I can't help but feel like these cats were somehow magically tailor-made for me. I just find them so incredibly cute -- when I look at a Himalayan, it's like everything cute I could ever imagine rolled up in one, squishy kitty!

Sometimes, I think they aren't even cats, but SPACE KITTIES! With their blue eyes, roundy little heads, squishy faces, chubby little bodies and long, fluffy fur they seem almost like they are from another planet!



So know you know a little more about Zuzu.
Stay tuned for a following post all about Annabelle!

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!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Taking Photos

I've always had great difficulty getting nice photos of the girls. I've got an average digital camera, I guess, nothing fancy but not horribly cheap. Unless the photos are taken in good, natural lighting with no flash, however, their eyes always come out glowing. It drives me crazy as their blue eyes are one of their best features and I can never get good pictures of them!

I've tried using my photo editor program to fix the red eye, but the results are always very unnatural looking -- ditto with the auto red eye program on my camera.

Anyhow, the following are photos from this morning's photo shoot!

Anna: (interrupts) "Weee will bees America's Next Top Models!"

Zuzu: "I will bees America's Next Top Model! I bees 'couture' and 'edgy' model! You just 'catalog' and 'commercial' model!'"

Anna: "What be's 'couture' and 'edgy?' Wet belly, maybe???"

ANYWAY .... As all pictures were taken about six AM, I had no natural lighting. It's easy to tell which photos were taken with flash due to the glowing eyes; and which with no flash -- no glowing eye, but blurry.

Additionally, some photos were taken pre-eye cleaning and combing, some afterward.

(Himalayans/Persians need their eyes cleaned about twice a day. As Anna and Zu have light faces, it's been impossible for me to ever get them looking perfectly clean -- every little stain shows up on them. I should try that Eye Envy stuff someday. They are both pretty tolerant about this eye-cleaning business, but they don't like it and get wriggly if I take too long. As a result, I usually just settle for getting off the goo and don't worry too much about the stains.)
Zuzu: "Thunk, thunk, thunk!"

Zu: She looks like a FLUFFY WEASEL!

Zu: no flash, eyed cleaned!



Anna: "Am NOT a 'crabby bulldog!' Why you call me that?!"

Anna, eyes cleaned!


Zuzu! Dang it, this would have been so cute if I had got her HEAD in the shot! Still, look at that BELLY and those little back feet!


Click on the pictures to make them larger!
Make YOUR kitty a STAR here!

Friday, April 11, 2008

For Sachie and Goma: Anna and Zuzu Meet Goma Brother???

You can see the REAL Goma Brother here!
As Sachie's wonderful My Cat Goma site inspired me to create this blog, I wanted to get in a post for them right away!

Thank you, Sachie and Goma!