New Category: Boober’s Rainbow Bridge

We have created a category. It’s called Boober’s Rainbow Bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge

Finding The Boober

We had set out to find a talker, a cat who would announce himself, make demands, complaints and proclamations of kitty love in the loudest and yet somewhat ambiguous terms. Absolute clarity isn’t exactly a feline trait.

Unless they’re hungry.

Or bored and require entertainment, immediately.

This might sound a tad masochistic, but then, cat people do enjoy mischief after all… I was particularly looking forward to this, it had been over 20 years since my last cat.

We simply share space, or territory, as opposed to ‘owning’ the beasties, and provide for their needs, which is why many cat lovers consider themselves to be owned by their cats rather than the reverse.

We searched through various local shelters online, although I leaned toward a Siamese or Burmese, or a mix thereof, two breeds I had experience with and have a lot of affection for. I wasn’t holding my breath at first: how could these breeds find themselves in shelters? And there was no question between my wife and I that we would adopt from there.

But as it turned out, I was quite surprised to discover a few Siamese cats up for adoption.

This I took as a sign of an economy going bad, that people would give up their prized companions for adoption. I wasn’t expecting this and was saddened by it.

As far as shelters went, however, the San Francisco SPCA’s was terrific.

Cats were housed in small groups or alone in private rooms, with toys, televisions showing nature videos or fish swimming in their tanks.

After ‘greeting’ a couple kittehs by head butting (bonking), scritching and cooing, my wife pulled me towards the call of Boober.

It was something like an anguished wail, plaintive yet demanding. ‘I want out now’, in other words, the dictator’s call for his servants.

We were let into his area and there was this Burmese cat with huge eyes gauging us.

I reached down to place him in my lap and pet him, just as he reached up and hugged me. As my wife put it, ‘that was all she wrote’, and we took him home an hour later.

Settling down in the forever home

The Boober
Total, complete relaxation

Boober’s early life was a mystery, the vet estimated him to be about 5 years old, and whatever his circumstances were, he did not take well to being in a shelter. We were given pills to stimulate his appetite, but they seemed to help little. The first couple weeks were touch and go and I was afraid we might have to take him back if he did not start eating the way he should. He would also spend time hiding in the closets which we left open for him to take refuge in.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast

As the days went on, he began to overcome his anxiety and would spend time on the bed with us and relax as we petted him. My wife also managed to stimulate his appetite by dousing his food with water from tuna cans. Eventually he would spend most nights on the bed with us and showed normal Burmese behavior by jumping on our shoulders and looking smug while using us as transports.

I thought of this as ‘the tigers’ revenge’, this cat riding us the way tiger hunting parties rode elephants…

On the other hand, he would do this at any time of day or night, regardless of whether I’d had my first cup of coffee. He would launch frontal assaults, jumping from the floor and climbing us like trees. Ouch.

Yet when my wife riled him up playing, he always stopped short of biting or clawing, showing us he had not a mean bone in his body. Life was going from good to better, coming home from work, I looked forward to his goofy antics, chasing balled up pieces of paper around the apartment or the 3 a.m. race all over the furniture, from kitchen to living room. He was such wonderful company. He loved my singing to him and would run to me and curl up on my chest before going to sleep.

He would sleep so soundly, outstretched on his back, feeling completely safe, so much so that I felt stress fall away just by watching him.

We all had a great two years.

Changes to an end

One day, when we realized he seemed to develop a bump on his throat, we looked for some external sign like a puncture but could not find anything. The bump did not recede and we took the Boober to the vet. He was scheduled for surgery and a biopsy would be performed on the mass. Even before then I unconsciously felt clouds gathering above us.

And the mass turned out to be caused by lymphoma, likely to return.

We were asked whether we wished to begin chemotherapy on him, and I asked what his chances were: I was afraid that subjecting him to all the prodding, syringe pricks and other ‘manipulations’ would stress him to the point where he would again stop eating and perhaps speed up the disease.

I felt ignorant and grasping at straws: was it possible he might be in remission, now that the tumor had been removed? We were cautioned to not keep our hopes too high. The likelihood was that the disease would reappear at some point as Boober had both an aggressive and a milder more treatable version.

When you hear that a cat is un-pillable, trust me: this means the cat has to be sedated.

We tried every technique, every trick, trying to alter the parameters, like timing, temperature and others. We tried the pill gun, placing the pill in a dissolvable capsule in tuna and other foods, no dice.

We tried the more direct version: forcing it down.

He hid from us in a closet for two days and stopped eating.

That’s when we faced that we had to discontinue the chemo. We’d enjoy him for as long as we could, and did. The Boober carried on for an incredible two more years, until the disease lodged in his chest, causing episodes of respiratory distress. By then, we had introduced Tito to the household, and the younger cat, while no cure, was terrific for our Burmese.

He fought the disease with the economy of a true fighter.

Then there was this bad September weekend when he could not rest, or eat. He barely took in water.

The following Monday, was the final visit to the vet and they were very kind. They placed and taped a tube in his foreleg, and weak though he was, he tried to pace the table, perhaps to jump. My wife told me to sing to him, and I didn’t think I could. But I did, badly, and he relaxed enough for the vet to perform the injection.

We had our hands on him, him facing my wife. She said she saw relief in his eyes, and that has helped me. Because when I felt him go, the dam broke and I started crying violently all the way to the car.

We love you B, forever. Only you know just how much.

Increase your website traffic with


When the nitty gets gritty. Real gritty…

The more I read on Sphynxes, the more I get to understand how typical Mazuzu Whang is… I’m beginning to think of him as our Sphynxy-pooh.

Now a brief word before I continue, to encourage you to play some “golf” and hit some links: check out our blogroll and links on the right for cat and media stuff. We all need the traffic and your comments are always welcome.

Where was I? Yes. I came across this:
sphynxforum (requires membership)

And it was comforting to know Mazuzu’s butt-in-the-face wake up call is not of his own invention. It appears these cats need a back up alarm like trucks, so any inventors out there, take note..!
I’d wondered how to tackle this subject but now I realize I’m not alone, I’ll try to ‘splain.
Mazuzu maneuvers in strange ways… When I reach out to pet him, instead of leaning into my hand, he will back up. Without looking of course.
His tail is always up like a whip antenna, which I gather is a sign of contentment, and yes okay, I’m grateful for that, butt…. (pun intended)

Does this towel make my butt look big?

That means he, ummm, “contacts” places and things I wish he wouldn’t. I’ve learned to reach from the side and give his flank some scritches to foil the dreaded maneuver.
In a previous post I mentioned it’d be good to stock up on baby wipes, because that butt is gonna need the occasional “once over”.
As in when we give Mazuzu a bath, he straightens out his legs, toes splayed up, knowing his nether regions are going to get cleaned, and I can read his expression:
“Ye gads! NO! GOD NO! Stay away from there!”
But we’re done before he knows it…
Now, before I got used to his “antics”, meaning I learned to sleep with one eye open, the infamous plug incident happened.

On this particular night, I felt him stir between us. Didn’t realize he was moving.
I opened an eye.
My brain tried to make sense of what was happening.
I tried to make out his face but that wasn’t what I was seeing. Before I could even begin to understand, he shoved his butt up my right nostril.
I compensated for my stomach beginning to heave by accelerating towards the bathroom at warp 9 point 8, grabbed the hand-washing soap, upended it and squirted up my nose, resulting in pain beyond the worst brain-freeze I ever felt.

Once it all became clear, my wife couldn’t stop laughing and Mazuzu stopped licking his extended hind leg to look at me as though I was crazy.
I’d rather have locked lips with a jumping crocodile. So beware the butt-in-the-face wake up call…

Increase your website traffic with


Tito’s Guide to Cats

MeeMee! Communicating with your cat

House cats are almost never vocal with each other. They do talk to their humans though as humans aren’t as good at reading body language and scents. We talk to our people when we want something. We have lots of different sounds we can make.

We can purr, meow, or chirrup. I say MEE! and chirrup and purr. My brother says a lot more. He also makes a clacking sound when he sees birds outside. He says Hmrao a lot. He also yells and says mazuzu whang? I think that is his new name.

There are some forms of body language that are important to know. If we are walking with our tail held high, we are happy. If our pupils are dilated, it means we’re angry or want to play. If you are petting us and our pupils dilate, it’s time to stop.

Our body language says a lot. You can tell if we’re happy or if we’re not happy. Since humans aren’t good at body language, we’ve learned to make the sounds necessary to get what we want. Even the doggies are better at reading our body language than most humans.

Yawning cat

Did you know that if I look at you, close my eyes, and yawn, that I’m NOT bored? It’s a sign of contentment. If you look at me, close your eyes and yawn, I’ll probably come to you right away. Also, I’m sure you noticed that we always run to the one human in the room that doesn’t like cats. That’s because they don’t stare at us. Staring is considered rude in cat society and is frowned upon. For us, staring is a sign of aggression.

Our body and voice language vary from human to human. One meow may sound totally different to another. We vary our language because we have to learn what each human reacts to. Our way of saying “I’m hungry” may sound one way for you and totally different for someone else. You have to pay attention and watch us in order to learn. 

We’re not as indifferent as some people think we are. People think that we ignore and disdain them. It’s not true. Sure, we don’t always get lovey on command, but when we love our humans, we love them.

I’m not a lap kitty. I love my humans, but I’m too nervous to stay on a lap for more than a few seconds. It’s ok. My humans know that for me, sitting on the floor works best. When they do that, I get very lovey.

My last comment is that I’m terrified of shoes. I don’t know why. My humans brought me home from the shelter when I was a kitten and they have NEVER treated me badly or kicked me. When they come home from shopping, I hide under the futon until they change and take their shoes off. Only then do I come out of hiding. My humans understand and take their shoes off right away. They have figured out a lot of my body language. They had to. I don’t say much other than MEE!

Increase your website traffic with


Latest Pet Food recall

Sponsored by Jellybeansofdoom staff, Tito & Kitsune

Here’s a shout out to anyone in the Loveland, CO area.  There is a small recall that may have an effect on you.  Please take care.

P&G Recalls Small Number of Bags of Cat Food From Stores in Loveland, Colorado

August 29, 2010 – CINCINNATI  — Procter & Gamble (P&G) is voluntarily recalling a small number of bags of its Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care dry cat food which may have been sold recently in one or two stores in Loveland, Colorado.These bags have the potential to contain salmonella, although no illnesses have been reported.  No other Iams pet food products are affected.

The Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care cat food in question is sold in blue 6.8-pound bags.  These bags feature a code date of 02304173 (B1-B6) and the UPC number 1901403921.

The rest is available at the link above.

We will try to keep all our pet people notified of any recalls.  My apologies for the delay on this one.  We had a major computer problem that took us a couple of days to fix.  Since our pets (and probably yours) are more than animals, but full-fledged members of the family, it’s a subject that is important to us.

We had friends who lost cats and dogs during the Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007.  That was a truly horrifying event and we hope to never see it’s like again.  However, given that we can’t even keep human food production clean (Eggs anyone?), we won’t hold our breath.  At best, we can remain vigilant and do our best to protect our pets.

Increase your website traffic with