Cat Shrine

Oliver

Cat perch Thanks Aunt Trudy!
   

Oliver was a premature kitten and abandoned by his mother in a public park southwest of Baltimore.   He was rescued and taken to the Save-A-Life Animal Rescue, a no kill cat shelter in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.   They called him Peanut (now his middle name) because when he was brought to the shelter Oliver was so small he fit in the palm of the man's hand that ran the shelter.   A saleswoman at a local pet store, For Cat's Sake (in Kensington, Maryland), had referred me to this shelter because I wanted to support a no kill shelter when I adopted my first pet.   Oliver is somewhat camera shy, unless Buster is with him.

Out of 50 cats and kittens that I handled at the shelter, Oliver, who was five months old, picked ME!  He followed me around and got up on my shoulders and purred in my ear and kept on purring.   My little purr-machine regularly wakes me up mornings with his cold nose nuzzling my chin and ear as he purrs and licks my neck and earlobe.   While I'm sitting in the living room, Oliver always jumps up on me and lays diagonal across my chest with his front paws resting over one shoulder and falls asleep with his head on top of his front paws.

Oliver was a runt for his first two and a half years with me UNTIL he started eating the Purina DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula dry cat food.   He has gained size and strength eating that food.

With Buster and Rusty, Oliver was the omega cat, but he was good-natured about his place.   He was the first to try to makeup when the other cats picked on him.   He loves to be combed with my fingers front-to-back, first under his belly, then front-to-back from his shoulders to his tail while he drags his belly on the carpet as he crawls forward commando-style inch-by-inch.   You have to be careful when he rolls on his back while playing commando- kitty because he's got sharp claws and is very quick to take a good-natured swing at you in this close-quarters kitty combat exercise!   Oliver usually has a timid meow, except when he wants the commando-kitty back scratch.   Then he looks right at me and confidently meows, "I want my back scratched!"   Oliver also likes to play camouflage recon kitty, lying in wait or exploring under my bed sheets or freshly washed unfolded laundry.   Oliver has recently started shadowboxing with himself to stay in shape!

Oliver is now the elder Alpha cat with Jasper and he seems to be enjoying the attention from Jasper and the fact the Jasper defers to him and submits physically before him!

Oliver will be 18 years old in July 2016.  Oliver has been with me since January 24th, 1999.



Jasper


Jasper was surrendered as a kitten to the Briggs Animal Adoption Center, a no kill cat shelter in Charles Town, West Virginia where he spent his first 22 months of life.   They called him Peanut (now his middle name) and their "cat counselor" noted that he was good natured and bonded easily with changing volunteer caregivers!

Out of 70+ cats and kittens at the shelter, I asked to see the 16 male cats two years old or younger.   Jasper was the last of the group we found hiding up on one of the overhead cat ramps and when I heard his name was Peanut (just like Oliver's shelter name was) I got a little tingle!   I narrowed the field to three candidates and based upon how each of those three responded to me in a private visiting room I selected Jasper.   Jasper is also a little purr- machine!

Jasper adapted amazingly fast to his new surroundings and his new brother!   Jasper and Oliver never fought once and began bonding after the first three days! They are now BFFs, regularly groom each other, and sleep together often!   We love Jasper and he loves us!   He is the purrfect brother, a loving son, and always jonesing for a belly rub from his dad!

Jasper will be 6 years old in April 2016.  Jasper has been with me since February 29th, 2012.



Thor


Thor was rescued from outside my home on June 29th, 2015 after "working me" for 3.5 weeks to adopt him!   Some background first, I have fed between 14 and 29 feral cats since September 2013 after my 94 year old next door neighbor died in his home from natual causes.   He was a gruff, angry, vulgar, and argumentative veteran who served honorably in WWII.   He was a very good man too, because after his passing, we discovered he had a soft spot for the homeless cats and had been caring for them without our knowledge for quite some time.   I decided to both honor him and help the cats.   I have fed the feral cats (and a few dogs, raccoons, and opossums) from then on.   By the way, I have three wonderful neighbor ladies who have helped trap and pay to spay/neuter about 23 cats to date.   We have found forever homes for 8 of them so far!   One neighbor, Pam, also bought four Kitty Tubes for the winter so the feral cats all had some shelter from the cold.   I also have three Sunbeam Heated Cat Mats from PetSmart and a big heated water bowl for the ferals all Fall and Winter long!   Sadly because local animal shelters are full, our subdivision sees many abandoned cats and dogs dumped here by their previous owners! We cannot save them all but we try to make their lives better than they otherwise would be and a lucky few are rescued!

About September 3rd, 2015, I went outside to do my cat chores, and I heard a mournful cat crying.   I called for it to come, and it turned out he would become my Thor!   The other ferals would not allow him to eat with them, so I had to stand there while he ate first after I put food down.   He would rub against me and rolled on his back for a belly scratch every night!   I said to myself he must be lost or another neighbor's cat.   He was living rough and had ticks and fleas and was clearly starving.   I didn't want to get too attached until I gave him time to go home if he could.   I asked neighbors about any lost cats and no one responded.   Thor could only eat and drink while I stood beside him so the other feral cats wouldn't run him off my porch before he had his fill.   He "worked me" for 3.5 weeks. I decided he must have been abandoned because he was so tame and NOT feral acting!

On June 29th, he let me pick him up and put him in a cat carrier.   I took him to my veterinarian for tests, shots, and flea/tick treatment.   I had to wait one week before neutering him due to awaiting test results and scheduling.   I kept him in my basement in a large dog kennel under quarantine for about three weeks total. All the blood tests were negative, but he had a nasty round worm infestation that required two rounds of deworming.   I brought the kennel upstairs so he and my other two cats could have a "get to know you" period without chance of fights during my workdays.   I would let him out on supervised "walk about" so he could learn the house and meet my cats up close and personal.   After one week he was fully integrated and I return the dog kennel to my neighbors who loaned it to me.

Thor has also adapted amazingly fast to his new surroundings and his new brothers!   Jasper and Oliver never fought once with Thor, they just growled for about one week after his integration.   Now they are all best buddies and Thor has given my Jasper renewed physical activity and play making Jasper more fit and trim!

Thor will be 3 years old in May 2016.  Thor has been with me since June 29th, 2015.



Buster - In Memorial 21-Jan-2011

Snappy shots from a video
Get away from MY hammock! Peek-a-boo!
My boo-boo hurts!
It's not from Tiffany's! Yohoho and a bottle of milk!
     

I adopted Buster from a friend who was no longer able to care for him.   Buster is part doggie and the smartest of my three sons.   He plays fetch and is too curious for his own good.   He and Oliver are best friends (see group photos below).   Buster became diabetic in October 2001 when I almost lost him.   His symptoms were: he'd walk a few steps, lay down panting, get up, walk a few more steps, lay down and so on.   I raced him to the vet and the vet injected a subcuteneous saline push because he felt dehydrated to her.   The emergency vet said that saline push saved his life!   He spent 7 days in local emergency veterinary hospitals and has been recovering slowly since.   I inject Buster every 12 hours with 6 units of Humulin-U Ultralente insulin (now discontinued by Lilly; ask your vet about PZI).   He now goes to the veterinarian for blood fructose monitoring every three months.   Buster requires a special veterinary diet, but on advise from my vet I switched all my cats' diets to dry Purina DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula veterinary diet with FANTASTIC results for all!

Buster loves catnip more than the other boys.   He is very protective of his hammock and the other cats leave it alone.   Buster used to like to maul a loaf of bread and would carry the whole new loaf in his teeth (like a dog) back to a corner where he'd rip the loaf into a big messy pile.   Since Buster got sick I can't let this happen ever again -- so now Buster grabs a whole roll of toilet paper and rips it to shreds, but only once every couple of months (about) thankfully!   He uses this action usually to express his displeasure with me for not leaving the bathroom sink drip during the night so he can have some fresh water when HE wants.

Buster is my most demanding cat.   He will meow, jump, claw things off of my bedroom bookshelves until I attend him.   The cats get fresh air twice daily sitting in a small sliding kitchen window with a screen.   When Buster sees another cat or animal he makes chattering-jaw meows and claws at the screen or closed window.   He does this watching the bird monsters that tease him from a shrub just outside the window.   I installed extra thick and strong pet screening so he cannot tear it with his claws.   If the window is not open, when he wants, Buster claws at the wooden dowel I leave in the track for security, until I come open the window.   Sometimes we go through three or four window openings and closings before Buster settles down and relaxes again.   Since Buster's illness he's more spoiled than ever since the safest treat for him is now real steak, chicken, tuna, salmon, or ham.   Even though Buster is high maintenance, I love him and won't let him down!   Buster and Oliver both love chasing laser-pointer monster around the house.   I give EXTRA special care to never point the laser anywhere close to their eyes or at anything shiny that might reflect into their eyes or mine.   This is Buster's primary exercise once a week.   I also put Buster's food dish and the Drinkwell Pet Fountain water dish on the kitchen counter so all the cats have to jump up for exercise to have water during the day.   When I get home from work, Buster's latest thing is to jump on my back while I'm bending over untying both my sneekers.   Buster is ingenious and devilish, but that's what I love most about him.

Buster would have been 16 years old in March 2011.   Buster had been with me since February 12th, 1999.   Buster went to Cat Heaven on January 21st, 2011 in Leesburg, VA after sudden diabetic complications on the same day.



Rusty - In Memorial 24-Feb-2012

Electric Drinkwell Pet Fountain filters and airates!
Grrrrr!
   

Rusty was a stray that I adopted from a friend's house in Chantilly, Virginia.   I went to a pool party in July of 1999 and I came home with a new cat.   My friend has a severe allergy to cats and said his family was going on vacation for several weeks and they intended to take Whiskers (his middle name now) to a shelter UNLESS I took him home that night.   I had been cat treat shopping just before coming to the party and had the treats in the car.   I got him some and we were fast friends after that.   His brown tabby markings and color give him a regal tiger-like look.   His sonorous and expressive deep vocalizations demand immediate attention!

Rusty has a lot of personality for a gentile giant.   He's 17 pounds of muscle (+2 lbs of fat = 19 pounds) and looks wild, but since coming home with me, he sleeps stretched out from my feet to my thighs against one leg or between my legs every night.   When he first came home he didn't let the other cats on the bed with us.   He didn't want to share me with them.   Now he's more confident and laid-back and lets the cats sleep with us again.

Rusty meows at either 2 or 3 am sometimes to wake me up.   If I don't wake up, he gently bats at my nose with the pads on his front paw or he nips at my fingertips until I wake up.   Then he purrs and wants scratched and petted with a treat afterwards.   He then races off the bed and comes back a short time later to quietly sleep against my legs the rest of the night.   Rusty likes to play rough and he's a friendly biter, saying I belong to his pride.   He likes to rub the corners of his mouth on my hands and then he nips at my fingers to mark me as his.   I have to be careful to go straight in from the front of his mouth as his gentle nips get stronger.   Rusty likes to nibble on fingers, but has only drawn blood once when he bit the vet tech during his first visit when I got him.   Rusty needs to be close to me which ever room I'm in.   He lays at my feet in the living room or with me on the couch.   He loves salmon, ham, and chicken, but doesn't like steak except occasionally.   He enjoys Purina DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula dry or canned wet food and this new food solved his pudding-poop diarrhea caused by store-bought low quality dry cat food!   Rusty's favorite toy is the colored nylon cord on a stick with colored ribbon strips tied on the end.   I drag the cord in front of him and pass it over him just out of reach and he SNORTS with his mouth open when he can't grab the cord.   He makes a sharp fricative "ke" sound like the second syllable of the word cake!   He prefers colored-cord monster to laser-pointer monster which Buster and Oliver just love!   Rusty just watches them play laser-monster thinking "how dumb are those cats chasing a dot of light? At least my toy CAN be caught and chewed on!"

Rusty was 14 years old in January 2012.   Rusty had been with me since July 11th, 1999.   Rusty went to Cat Heaven on Feburary 24th, 2012 in Leesburg, VA after sudden discovery of terminal lymphoma and other serious complications the same day.

My Social Boys

     

Oliver is the good-natured go between.   Buster and Rusty have come to an uneasy but tolerant truce.   Oliver is bold and confident with either Buster or Rusty.   Oliver and Buster have developed a special bond so I never want them to be separated if something happens to me.   Rusty can manage fine without the other cats because he's more independent of them, but he needs close loving human companionship more.


Panic Mouse! A gift for my boys!

     

Oliver, Rusty, and Buster said it was the purrrfect gift! Thanks so much!


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