(I had a lot more photos but my previous computer was stolen and I lost a lot of them.)
Gwen and I wanted kittens. We waited 2 or 3 years until finances were good, and then began to talk about them from time to time. Gwen said she wanted striped kittens, I said I wanted black with white socks or a white neck, so we decided we would need one of each. We often visited a little farm and garden store after church on Sundays for they had "store parrots" - belonging to the owner, and bison in the field, plants for sale, sometimes chicks and ducklings, and various fun things.
We stopped in one day and they had kittens for sale, 4 cages stacked one on top of the other. In the top cage was a cute little striped kitten, just 1, the runt of the litter they said. She was pretty small. Her coat was a little frizzed and dry looking, her tummy was poochy, both of those often indicates worms... In the next cage down was 3 black and white ones. Two male and one female. The black ones did not seem very friendly.
The kittens were adorable and although we hadn't planned on getting kittens THAT day, we couldn't leave without two. We took the striped one and the only female black and white, in a box, with a little card indicating the vaccinations they had and their birthdays, and left. I still have the cards somewhere.
On the way home, Ana bit the box flap like a little shark, as if to say "hmm what does this feel like if I bite it?" We would come to find out that she would do that with LOTS of things. Not to chew them up, but to test them. Tohee was just scared.
Out of the box from the farm & garden store. They were in separate cages, so didn't know each other. We hand't named them yet.. But Ana (Striped one) seems to have been raised with people, they told us the other (Tohee) was rescued from a barn. Cool. I love taming the wild ones, so fun when they sweeten up and realize that not all humans are scary. A fun victory I have known before.
You can see Ana saying "oh look a hand I can play with" and Tohee is like "where can I hide??"
Guess who has NO FEAR, perfectly comfortable "out of the box"! Miss "anti-timid"!!...
and Tohee slinked off and hid where she could see out ok.. poor kiddo.
Ana decided to investigate the bathroom. Tohee is with her now, I think we got her out from under her hiding place and she started following Ana around.
Ana decided it was play time, Tohee began to warm up and feel somewhat comfortable. With a fear reflex if anything seemed scary.
Tohee did get playful too.. The paw under the door..
The start of a beautiful friendship
Ana seemed to know she was Gwen's so to speak. She loved her right away. Ana generally loves everybody right away, but she gravitated to Gwen.
Black one has now been named Tohee. First toy, ball of rabbit fur.
I got SO into taking photos of Tohee, that Ana decided she wanted my attention. So, I felt something on my foot, and looked down and see this adorable face. Took pic.
She played with my shoelaces a bit.
She thought she might want to climb up to get my attention even BETTER...! So I stopped photographing Tohee and played with Ana.
The little white bowls were huge compared to them. Sooo cute!
This is a bookcase I had made for Gwen. It has a fake crow on it made with real black feathers. We put Tohee on the shelf to see what she thought of it. She seemed to be interested. More into investigating and play instead of so much fear now.
Because Ana had been vaccinated, we didn't think she had worms...but still her wiry dry hair...it wasn't right, so about two weeks later, when the kittens had acclimated and everythng was going well, we took Ana to the vet to ask about her wiry dry hair and poochy belly and the vet told us she didn't have worms, but had a bad heart murmer. In fact, she had the worst heart murmur he had ever heard in his life for a kitten her age (and he was a gray haired vet). A kitten with a heart murmur like that would probably not live long, he said. What to expect in the near future, he thought, would be that she would gradually slow down a bit, not play as much, maybe there would be a cough or labored breathing.. If we saw signs of that, we would know that she was going downhill..and she would die soon after. It was quite a blow. For our sweet little Ana had our whole hearts, the kitten Gwen was delighthed with and who she had waited for, for years.. I had taken her to the vet myself, now I had to take her home and share the news. :(
What to do. Ana and Tohee were bonded, we couldn't bare to think of Ana gone and furthermore Tohee lonely without her. Such a sad time.. Ana got even more love from us, if that were possible.. So I tell you, we went right back to that farm and garden store and bought a third kitten, for everyone's sake. If Ana didn't live, better to get a kitten now to bond with us and Tohee to help us all deal with it. We didn't worry about the fact that the store had sold us a kitten with a "health problem" because what would have been the alternative? We were glad WE got the kitten with the health problem because we would not give up on her. It was a God thing. So we got Keef. Now, I have to say.. we had gone shopping for another FEMALE kitten, we asked if the DARLING new striped long haired kitten in the cage was a female, they said yes they thought so, we took him out of the cage, looked ourselves and said "uhm, not a female" but we were hooked by then and couldn't say no. Gwen named Him Keef. I liked it because it sounded like Keith, which is a nice name, but it didn't sound like a human's name.. (Not knowing until a few years later that apparently Keef is a marajuana term oi!) I would call him Keefer, for Kiefer Sutherland, around others so that they wouldn't think we named our wonderful cat after pot. Yikes! LOL
When we brought Keef home, Ana hated him, she growled, hissed and rebuffed him for the first week. Tohee was ok with him. Isn't the odd? Ana was alpha kitty already. Keef was sooooo kind and soft and shy. So sweet, he is like the definition of the word sweet. So he did not challenge her at all.
Keef had this long gorgeous cheek hair, he looked like a lion. I didn't know that was his "kitten hair" so eventually it fell out and his cheeck hair was shorter after that. LOL
Bananas: We often would give the cats a piece of something new just to see if they liked it or what they would do. Ana was game to try anything, the other two weren't really game usually unless Ana was eating someting, then they would check it out, but usually sniffed and left. We once gave Ana a piece of banana and she ate it. We then gave her a piece of peel and she ate some of it too. Made us laugh! The next time we ate a banana she watched us eating it. So, we tried giving her a piece of banana again but she just sniffed at it. So, we tried giving her a peel and she ate it. After that, any time she saw us eating a banana, she would watch us and purr really loudly. She knew she would get banana peel. We ended up giving her all of the peeling, instead of just one piece of it, and sometimes she would devour the whole thing and sometimes just one part. But she loved them. Go Ana Banana!
I haven't found kitten photos of Keef yet, perhaps on my stolen computer... but here was an introduction image I had made once about our kitties.. they were still young in the photos, kind of like teenager time.
In the first pic, Tohee would sit in a sharp corner created by a tv table and a wall. What you can't see is just inbetween her and myself is a heater vent blowing warm air on her, she loved it and sat there many times in that funny pose.
In the littlest photo, Keef, still having a bit of his long cheek hair, is sitting on top of the toilet in a basket I used to put hand towels in, Tohee by his side. I walked by the bathroom and said "Oh Gwen you have got to see this!" LOL
Gwen and Ana are sitting by a heater vent in the winter, and Ana would often just put her paw on her, she adored Gwen. Keef would do the same thing to me if I was on my computer, he would jump up on the printer table right by me, cock his head and put his paw on the back of my shoulder very lightly as if to ask for attention. He's a very polite boy.
And the the last pic, they are just all hangin out on a chair.
Ana never did "slow down" by any means. We took Ana to the vet a few years later and they said she was in good health and didn't mention anything about a heart murmur. :)
Tohee was the most serious player. We had a toy that was a wand with a feather at the end. We would stand back and swing it around the coffee table in circles (which was just a wooden trunk) and Tohee would literally run so fast around the trunk that her body would be at a 45 degree angle. The other two couldn't do that. She is the fastest and the highest jumper. She would meow to us all of the time not wanting anything except for us to get that toy out and play with her. LOL. Ana would get winded and pant, and so sometimes we would stop playing so as not to tempt her to overdo it, considering she cannot have a physically perfect heart. Keef would play so hard that he would sit back, panting, and watch, but Tohee is an intent chaser.
We didn't live in such a place that they could play outside, so we made them harnesses and took them outside for walks. It was fun to sit out there and let them investigate the garden.
St Petersburg, Tampa, Daytona,
St. Augustine, Jacksonville
Other States: S Carolina, N Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington D.C.
Washington 1 month, Oregon drive-thru, Nevada 2 months, Arizona 6 months, Hollywood California 1 month, New Mexico drive-thru, Texas 2 days, Louisiana/Alabama drive-thru, Florida 2 months
Launched: Oct 2004