No, not the musical, or even the book it was based on. This blog is about our cats. If the wife and I can figure out how to download and insert photos, there will be pictures. If not, you’ll just have to take my words for them. You might want to break out the No-Doz before proceeding, but you’ve been warned.
The wife and I both love all animals, at least the ones that don’t try to take a piece out of us. We like dogs. We had a succession of Scotties, but when the last one died, we accepted a male wheaten/schnauzer/ poodle cross. He would compare well, mentally, to a buckwheat pancake, if the pancake were terribly insecure and needy.
The daughter had got to know a vendor at the local farmers’ market. Among other money-making ventures, she sells cutesy plastic signs, most of them referring to breeds of dogs. Daughter told her how unthrilled we were with this dog, and she wanted to know why we didn’t have a cat, or seven. We all suffer allergies, and the dog’s coat is hypo-allergenic. We love cats, and used to have them, till allergies became too strong. Well, wouldn’t you know it; she had just the solution to our problem.
She used to raise emus, have them butchered and sell the meat and various other parts, but ended up losing money on them. Now she raises miniature dachshunds and Bengal cats. Bengals don’t have fur. They have hair; there is a difference. These are also non-allergenic. She just happened to have a male which had been returned. His owner had some medical problems and didn’t have the strength or money to deal with the cat’s medical problems. Turns out, the biggest problem was a vet who was taking her to the cleaners. She had paid $500 for this beautiful cat, but we could have him for free, so the breeder didn’t have to keep feeding and maintaining him.
Bengals were produced by breeding an Asian wildcat with various housecats. If you’ve seen a Benylin TV commercial with a *tour guide*, at the end of it there are a couple of shots of a slinky, spotted, ocelot-type feline, up on a branch. I think that’s my cats’ ancestor. Whatever it was, apparently it dealt with lots of water in the wild. Bengals can be identified by their webbed feet. Spread their toes, and they can almost walk on water, and water, especially running water, fascinates them. If I pour a bath and climb in, I’m soon the subject of much supervision, a couple from the tub rim.
It depends on what domestic cat and coloring was used, to produce certain markings. They come in spots, rosettes, which are spots which have opened to donuts, stripes, and marbled, which is dark stripes against a dark coat. The next step up is a Savannah, produced by cross-breeding certain Bengals. Their colors and shaping are even nicer than Bengals. My daughter has two of them at her house. These cats are incredibly intelligent. They’d be easily trainable, if they weren’t so damned independent.
The first one we got would have been the only one we got, except…. they don’t have the domestic strength of a housecat. The over-busy vet injected him for feline leukemia, and used live culture. The breed can’t resist live-culture, and he actually got the disease. Called Cinnabar, which is an ore of mercury, he was one damned fine cat. He would come when you called. He could play fetch, and he liked to eat snow. We found that out one day when we let the dog out and a bit got kicked inside. From then on, if the dog went in or out, I had to toss a handful of snow on the mat, and he would eat it like a sno-cone. We had him less than a year. He was an early generation, and can never be replaced by later models.
All Bengals suffer to some degree with feline hyperesthesia, called ripple skin. You can watch their coat and see the skin wiggle around. These cats don’t want to be petted, they want to be scratched, firmly, especially down the spine and at the base of the tail, or smacked there. The wife thumps one male on his bony ass so hard, she bruises her hand. If animal welfare saw us pounding on these cats, they’d probably confiscate them, but the cats love it.
We drove 75 miles to a supposedly reliable breeder for our next male. He was a failed stud. Beautiful coloring and configuration, but he had to keep telling the lady cats, “This has never happened to me before.” He cost us $500 and he was/is so hyper that we have to give him amitriptyline twice a day, to keep the yowling down. When we had him vet checked, we found that he was skinny because of two different stomach parasites.
Besides his nerve pills, we were supposed to give him two different medications each day. Like a chemotherapy program, the three meds almost killed him. We had to stop the one, get him cured of the first, and then go back to kill off the second. The breeder refunded us our money and then shut down her cattery for an antiseptic purge. This guy we called Mica. Some of the cats’ hair is hollow, and his hollow hair is the whitish, and it glistens silvery/white in the light, like the mineral mica does.
We have a total of four cats, another two males and an ex-breeder female. I dote on them all, but your attention span is only so long. I thank you if you’ve read this far without dozing off. Perhaps we’ll leave the other three, and maybe the photos for another day. Dogs have owners. Cats have staff, and this staff has to go feed one of them.