Stormbaby, Stormio, Stormer, Stormarino, Special K, Ninja Kitty, Big Buddy
Born April 2008
Adopted May 2008
Storm was found by one of my father’s co-workers. He was pitched out of a car onto the highway, and she stopped the ambulance to pick him up. When I adopted him, he was about four weeks old. I raised him in my guest bathroom bathtub until he weighed enough for the vet to draw blood to test him for feline leukemia. He slept with a stuffed penguin and ate food that I mashed with water because it was too big for him otherwise.
He was a crazy kitten, bouncing off the walls and tearing through the house. One day, he disappeared, and I tore the house up looking for him. I couldn’t find him anywhere, although I thought I heard him at one point in the hallway. Almost a full day later, I definitely heard a tiny “mew” and wound up going through my linen closet once more. I found him inside a box that was closed, so I’d discounted it before – he’d stepped on the top and slipped in, and it had sealed itself after him! If he wasn’t following me through the house, he was getting into trouble.
Storm is my smartest baby. He acts like a complete dumbass but we figure that’s because he’s a genius. He’s like an idiot savant. He LOVES refried beans. Whenever I’m cooking Mexican, he’s under my feet begging for them. He has very nice table manners; he’ll sit in a chair at the table and watch us eat politely, then eat from the table himself.
He is very docile and will let you do damn near anything to him. We pick him up and sling him around like a ragdoll. CB likes to pick him up and hold him like an assault rifle; he’s a “catling gun” that he pretends to shoot at me. We say that Storm has two modes: comfy and uncomfy. Most of the time, he lays around looking more comfortable than anything I’ve ever seen. Sometimes though he looks like he’s just so damned uncomfortable; he hunches over and looks irritated (like in the third picture above).
Storm had a really, really bad UTI back in Dec 2010 and we thought we were going to lose him. He made a remarkable recovery but has since been prone to UTIs. I have to feed him wet food to help keep him hydrated, and we have to be hyper aware of his litterbox habits. Fortunately he’s now really good at letting us know when he’s not feeling too well, and we’ve managed the issues with a round of antibiotics.
Storm and Rain were inseparable, and their unflagging love spawned the #gaycatlove hashtag.
Storm was fully diagnosed with FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder) in 2013 after suffering another UTI and blockage. He has had periodic reoccurring blockages, and potentially will throughout his life. He is considered a special needs kitty. We have been managing his condition with a combination of prescription diet (Science Diet dry c/d stress formula for breakfast, canned c/d mixed with extra water for dinner) and medication: daily Amitriptyline 10mg for stress relief, and Prazosin as needed to help relax his urethra.
Baby Girl, Demon, Banshee
Born April 2013, Shadow’s sister
Adopted May 20th, 2013
When we moved into the basement, we decided to get another cat. My mom’s friend had found a litter under her house, and I wanted CB to experience raising a kitten of his own. So off we went to go pick up his kitten…
And we also came home with Sky. Because she chose me, and I wasn’t leaving without her.
Sky is a demon. She’s very much like Storm was at her age, except I almost think she’s more wild. I had to get rid of my curtains because she was constantly climbing them. I’ll stagger to the bathroom in the morning, and she ambushes me and climbs up my bare leg to perch on my shoulder. She is ferocious and so full of energy and she seldom stays still.
Her markings and coloring differ from Q. She’s more peachy than tan, and she has an adorable spotted belly. Her face is more pointy, and she has super long legs. Her tail is also deformed, crimped in a couple of places so it’s almost like a lightning bolt. It’s also very short – maybe she has some Manx in her. The vet says she looks “really exotic.”
I tell Sky she is evil. She is constantly getting into things and stirring up trouble. Rain was her constant protector and guardian; when he wasn’t with Storm, he’d be cuddled up next to her. She is very playful, but also very skittish. She tolerates me the best, but likes to be loved on her terms. She doesn’t like to be picked up, but will happily lay on one of the cat trees while you pet her.
Lately, since we moved into the condo and lost Rain, she has been cuddling with me more and more if I sit still for awhile. I like to lure her into laying on my lap. I hope she continues to open up more. She seems to enjoy the kittens, and will cuddle them and play with them.
Lil Buddy, Shadowson, Doe
Born April 2013, Sky’s brother
Adopted May 20th, 2013
CB picked Shadow almost instantly. He wanted a cat that treated him like Rain treats me, and Shadow immediately clung to him and cuddled. The whole time we were looking at the litter of kittens, Shadow was content to lay in CB’s arms and cuddle. There was no way we were leaving without him, and the whole purpose of going to get a kitten was for CB to pick one out. Sky was just a bonus.
Shadow was the clumsiest kitten I’ve ever seen. He had trouble jumping and climbing. He’d cry when CB tried to get him to go from his lap up onto the desk (a climb of about 3 inches). He had this adorable chunky belly that turned out to be full of worms. Once he had his first kitten checkup and got some dewormer, he was like a whole new kitten. His reflexes quickly improved, and now he zooms around the basement, jumping and climbing and causing havoc.
Still, a large part of his day is spent cuddling with his daddy. He lays on his back in CB’s arms, his legs stretched out like he’s flying. He’ll reach up and paw at his face periodically. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.
Shadow is also very interested in water. He’ll climb in the bathtub with me, and he likes to play in the sink with the water running. We’re trying to get him to the point that he’ll swim in the bathtub, but right now he wants to hop out if the water goes higher than his paws.
In January of 2015, Shadow suffered a UTI that led to a blockage. Unlike Storm’s UTIs, which were caused by a buildup of struvite crystals, Shadow’s was due to a “stricture” – his urethra was clamping shut. An emergency vet visit managed to get a catheter in him, but when it was pulled a week later he immediately sealed up again. We were faced with two options: euthanasia or a procedure called a perineal urethrostomy. Putting our son down at barely two years old was not an option for us, so we went with the PU on February 13th. A feline perineal urethrostomy removes the testicles (if the cat is not already neutered), removes the penis, and creates a new opening higher up for the urethra so it is wider. Male cats who undergo a PU will eliminate like female cats. I joke that we got my cat a sex change.
His recovery was incredibly harrowing and spanned a period of nearly six months as he suffered “every complication in the book.” During this time, we learned far more about the cat urinary tract and urinary care than we ever wanted to know. With Storm, we already thought we were well-informed. Shadow opened up an entirely new can of worms, and for months we had no idea if he was going to live or die. I have recounted the entire experience in a series of three posts, which have become some of my most popular on the blog. They are also my most rewarding, as I feel like I can pass on my experience and help or at least reassure blog readers who are worried about their urinary kitties. Other cat owners have come out from the woodwork to detail their experiences with a feline PU, or to seek support as they are currently undergoing a similar experience.
Like Storm, Shadow has also been officially diagnosed with FLUTD and is considered a special needs kitty. We manage his condition with a combination of prescription diet (Science Diet dry c/d stress formula for breakfast, Royal Canin SO canned for dinner) and medication: daily Amitriptyline 10mg for stress relief, and Prazosin as needed to help relax his urethra.
Lil Dude, Starson
Born July 21st, 2016, Snow’s brother
Adopted August 27th, 2016
Lil Dude, Snowson, Lord Commander
Born July 21st, 2016, Star’s brother
Adopted August 27th, 2016