Monthly Archives: November 2017

About The Sphynx Cat

Perhaps the world’s most bizarre feline, the Sphynx cat has a unique hairless look that sets it apart from other cats. But that’s not all. It’s a rather rare and unusual breed of cat, and has been described to feel like a warm suede hot water bottle. These cats need special care, but all the extra time and effort you dedicate to taking care of this cat will be well worth it. Their loving, playful and inquisitive nature makes them a wonderful cat to have around and call your own.

Breed History
Although it gets its name from the ancient Great Sphinx of Giza, Sphynx cats are a relatively new breed. There have been a number of occurrences of these hairless cats being born throughout history. But the Sphnyx cat first came to be well-recognized in the year 1966 in Canada when a domestic cat in Toronto gave birth to a hairless kitten. This was considered to be the result of a natural genetic mutation. From there, cats with the mutation were bred to give rise to the Sphynx breed. In 1970 the line became extinct due to the belief that the mutation caused health issues and breathing difficulties in the cats. But this did not spell the end to this breed. Before long, in 1975, a cat in Minnesota, named Jezebel, gave birth to a hairless kitten. The kitten was sold to a local breeder who revived the Sphynx breed by expanding and strengthening the gene pool. After many years of careful breeding, now Sphynx cats are a varied and genetically sound breed, though still rare. In 2002, the Cat Fancier’s Association accepted the cat breed for competition in the Championship Class.

Physical Characteristics
The most obvious feature of the Sphynx cat is its lack of hair. Although they are known as the “hairless” cats, they actually have warm peach fuzz fur on their bodies, especially on their nose, toes and tail. They may or may not have whiskers and eyebrows. They have long, lean bodies and a rounded abdomen. They possess characteristically large triangular ears, large paw pads and their tail is long and slender. The skin of a Sphynx cat is wrinkled, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns, including Siamese point patterns. An adult Sphynx cat normally weighs around 8 to 15 pounds, and male cats can be up to 25% bigger than their female counterparts.

Personality & Temperament
Sphynx cats are an inquisitive breed that likes to be the center of attention and love being handled and cuddled. They are intelligent cats that are agile, playful and sweet-tempered. They have a sense of adventure and mischief that make them fun to be around. They love human companionship, and will follow humans around the house. Sphynx cats are not for people who want a quiet, docile cat. They fit in well in homes with children, dogs or other cats. Oh, and these extroverts like to show off with their acrobatic tricks as well. So it’s probably a good thing that these cheeky felines are kept indoors for the most part.

Common Medical Problems
Sphynx cats have few health or genetic problems, and have a normal lifespan. They are generally considered to be a very robust breed. But they do still face some problems unique to their physical nature, most of which have to do with their hairlessness. During their 1st few weeks of life, Sphynx kittens are susceptible to respiratory infections. Sphynx cat breeders usually don’t allow kittens to move to new homes until they are at least 12 weeks old so they’re ready to handle a new environment. These hairless cats are also prone to sunburn and skin cancer, so it’s important that their sun exposure is limited. They are also susceptible to the cold, so care needs to be taken to keep this indoor cat nice and warm.

Sphynx cats also have sensitive digestive systems, particularly in that they are small. They can develop severe diarrhea after using medication or being fed diets that contain less than 80% protein. They can also acquire common feline illnesses, and are immunized just as other cat breeds are.

Hereditary myopathy (spasticity) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are two genetic conditions that are found in this breed, with the latter being more common. HCM refers to a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart, and may not cause outward symptoms. Sphynx breeders are trying to eliminate this condition from the breed by scanning yearly and removing positive cats from their breeding program.

Special Care & Maintenance
Because they lack the protection of a fur coat, a hairless Sphynx cat requires special care. It’s recommended that you give them a weekly bath to remove the buildup of oil and dust on their skin. Their hair follicles give off oil, but unlike other cats, they have no hair to absorb the oil, and so their skin can easily become greasy. Because they have sensitive skin that burns easily, a very hot bath should be avoided. A sphynx cat’s eyes and ears should also be cleaned weekly to remove any eye discharge or earwax. As they lack hair around their ears, it’s easy for dirt to enter.

Sphynx cats are vulnerable to the sun and cold, and are meant to be indoor cats. So exposure to the outdoors should be limited. They may be taken outside on occasion if they are heavily supervised and the weather is right for them. Generally, the temperature inside your house should be kept around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider the Sphynx cat to be “naked” – if you would be cold naked, chances are that your cat is going to be too. You may need to clothe them during the winter.

Also, as their bodies are constantly working to keep themselves warm, their metabolism is higher than other cats so they need to be fed more food at meal times. Always place dry food out for your cat and add one or two servings of wet food each day. They need to be fed high quality food with a good balance of fat and protein.

So if you think the intelligent and companionable Sphynx cat is for you, then you can purchase them from Sphynx cat breeders. Expect to pay more for a hairless Sphynx cat than you would for another cat breed. Sphynx cat adoption is also available, and costs less than buying a newborn kitten.

Dogs Vs Cats As Pets

A Pet Dog or Cat, Which Is For Me? Learn The Positives and Negatives.

Pet dogs or pet cats, both of these animals are popular pet choices available for us to choose from, but which pet is right for you? Cats and dogs are pretty much polar opposites of each other, from the personalities they carry, to the mannerisms they outwardly display, and if you want to identify what pet is right for you, then we need to learn more information about these amazing animals.

I’ve lived with dogs and cats for a long time, helping to raise them from a young age and eventually into full grown adults, so I understand the pros and cons each one of them holds. For your benefit, I’m going to list those positives and negatives from my personal experience, which will hopefully allow you to answer the question: “Is a dog or cat the right pet for me?”

Behavior – How Loving Are These Two?

Pros for Dogs: Dogs always appear to be happy, no matter what the circumstance. As long as you bought a puppy at a young age and gave them plenty of love as they grew up, then the dog’s attitude should be a fun and loving one, and that’s exactly what owners want. Dogs are loving, loyal, and are simply entertaining to just be around. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible for dogs to feel another emotion besides joy! Well, they also feel guilt when they do something wrong, but besides that, dogs are constantly brimming with positivity and it is absolutely infectious at times. Imagine a tiresome day at work, coming home and plopping down on the couch, and then being greeted by your happy animal companion who wants nothing more than to cheer you up. Aw, how nice of them!

Cons for Dogs: However, dogs sometimes can get too needy for your attention. Maybe after that long day of work, you instead want to go home and rest without any interruption, but a dog may still attempt to smother you for a pat on the back. Dogs also have the tendency to get jealous over other pets who are being given any form of attention, and may exact revenge if you don’t provide the same amount of love towards them. I had a Poodle that would pee in undesirable locations knowing it was bad, but did it anyways because she got angry or jealous. That was one bad dog. Not all dogs have such an obnoxious characteristic, however.

Pros for Cats: Unlike dogs, cats have more than one emotion! They are also far more independent and conservative. Cats will always have a fondness for their owners, but they choose to show it only when they are in the mood. A cat might wake up after a brief rest, and spontaneously think: “Well, I feel like getting some attention now,” and they’ll walk over to you and start rubbing up against your legs while purring. That’s when you know the cat is in a good mood, when they sound like miniature car motors.

Then there are other times when you will try to pet them, and the cat will just be like: “Yeah, whatever, thanks I guess.” Or the cat is in an extremely lazy mood and will refuse to respond to anything you do. Nobody ever knows how a cat will react, their behavior is random. You kinda have to “earn” their respect and attention, but hey, nothings wrong with that. Plus, cats won’t always be a bother when you’re busy.

Cons for Cats: The problem with a cat’s attitude is that it’s inconsistent, or arbitrary. There are occasions when you just want a friendly pet to come lay down on top of your lap or next to you, and cats will certainly do that, just not whenever you want. What I’m trying to articulate here is cats are not as loyal or willing to comply as easily as dogs.

Here’s an example: Once a dog learns his name, he’ll respond without hesitation when you call him. A cat, however, even when he hears you calling, will choose to either listen or completely ignore you. The cat will even raise it’s head towards you, acknowledging that he’s heard your call, and then close his eyes and go right back to sleep. How rude! Cats will listen every now and then; it’s just if they are in the mood.

Conclusion: The personality is a preference thing. People like loyal and loving pets, but they also enjoy pets who show can show some restraint.

Messiness – How Clean Or Messy Are Dogs and Cats?

Pros for Dogs: Uh, well, you know, um… Okay dogs are not really the cleanest animals around. The good thing is you can potty train them, and training them to go to the bathroom outside is both convenient and a whole lot less smelly for your home. That’s really all I have to say for the positive side. Dogs will take care of themselves most often, but you will probably need to give a bath from time to time to help keep them clean.

Cons for Dogs: First off, if you haven’t potty trained your dog yet, you should! Otherwise, the dog will pee or poop wherever they please, and that’s just gross. On top of that immense problem, dogs are known to chew on wires, shoes, or anything else accessible on the ground. Wires that have been chewed through will render whatever appliance it was powering to be fully useless. Depending on what the appliance was, it may need to be replaced, and means spending money. The same goes for the shoes.

To remedy this problem, you can buy cord covers to cover any vulnerable cords laying around. Make sure the covers are hard enough to prevent any chewing. As for the shoes, put them away in a closet somewhere. Also, consider having a few chew toys available for your dog to satisfy their chomping urges; it’ll save you money in the end.

Pros for Cats: Cats, to match their independent behavior, clean themselves many times. It’s part of a cat’s daily routine. They even have tongues that have a sandpaper like texture to help clean and groom their hair. Due to a cat’s frequent cleaning, they rarely need to be bathed, which is great. I mean, have you tried bathing a cat before? It’s a nightmarish experience for sure.

Most cats are already potty trained, all you have to do is have a few litter boxes scattered throughout the house, the rest can be left up to them. How convenient is that? You can even let a cat outside and they’ll take care of business, even burying it after they’ve finished. Cats are very clean animals.

Cons for Cats: Until they throw up a nasty hairball, that is. A major downside for cats is the perpetual vomiting. Some cats do it more often than others, but at some point, the cat is going to get a hairball from their constant cleaning, and you will have to clean it up! It’s kinda gross, but you’ll get used to it eventually.

Additionally, it’s important to spay or neuter a cat as soon as possible. It’ll prevent them from spraying your home with urine. Seriously, the earlier the better. You don’t want a cat to develop a spraying habit, it’s the worst.

And of course, cats have the tendency to claw furniture! There are scratching posts one can buy to discourage this type of behavior. Placing the posts next to the piece of furniture is most effective.

Conclusion: Cats are cleaner than dogs, but have the potential to be messier, especially if they are not spayed at the right time. But self-cleaning and instinctive potty training are two very convenient hygienic qualities to have in a pet.

Fun – Are Dogs or Cats More Fun To Play With?

Pros For Dogs: Because of a dog’s willingness to listen, to put it simply: it allows you to do more fun activities with them, and that can be way more fun for certain people. You can teach a dog new tricks, like sitting, rolling over and playing dead; all of which are entertaining for you and your family to see. Dogs also love to go for walks in the parks for some healthy exercise, or play an exciting game of fetch. Undoubtedly, dogs are very amusing animals and most of the fun comes from the owner interacting with their pet, unlike cats. I’ll explain below.

Cons For Dogs: Fun stems from an energetic and friendly attitude, which is precisely where dogs excel. If you are looking for a fun pet then, dogs will rarely disappoint. No real cons come to mind in this department.

Pros for Cats: Cats, despite their supposed sophisticated demeanor, are captivated by the simplest of things. If you’ve raised a kitten before, the first thing that stands out is their ability to entertain themselves with absolutely anything. It’s a cat’s self-entertainment that is so enthralling and fun to watch.

My cats will attack innocent rugs, rolling themselves up inside and clawing at the furry mat as if it were alive. They’ll also chase their own tails around in circles until they get dizzy, in which case they’ll stop for a few seconds, and do it all over again! Cats will stalk bugs in the house, hiding behind cover and methodically pacing themselves towards the unsuspecting insect, then they crouch down, shake their behinds back and forth until finally ending with a vicious pounce. It’s hilarious to see, and you would be surprised at how effective cats are at eliminating bugs.

If you want to participate in on the fun and interact with a cat, you can. All you need is a single piece of string. Seriously, cats cannot resist the opportunity to play with a piece of string. Even if you were to wake a cat up in the middle of the night, and they see a string wiggling vigorously in front of them, they’ll instantly become wide awake and start playing around with it.

Cons for Cats: While cats will amuse themselves with simple things, you’ll have a hard time getting them to learn any tricks. Or going for walks. Or playing with things that are not strings or string equivalents. Oh well!

Conclusion: Two different styles of fun are at work here. Dogs are more willing to learn and play with their owner, and that’s fun. Cats on the other-hand, are more willing to amuse themselves, which is fun for the owner to watch.

Cost – How Much Will These Pet Dogs and Cats Cost Me?

Dogs: The average cost of a dog varies and is usually dependent on their size. Bigger dogs such as German Shepherds will require more food to eat, while smaller puppies like a Maltipoo need much less. The more food you buy, the costlier it becomes. Other dog expenses might include flea medications, chewing toys, cord covers to protect electrical wiring, and a new shiny pair of shoes if they get chewed up! If your dog is not potty trained for the outdoors, pee pads can cost money as well.

Cats: Cat expenses include dry food, flea medications, litter boxes plus litter (unless you let the cat outside all the time), and possibly hairball medication if they struggle getting a hairball up. Cats most often than not don’t have trouble with hairballs because dry foods have a specific ingredient to help lubricate the hair. Also, don’t forget scratching posts for the cats to scratch, the posts cost substantially less than the furniture!

Conclusion: Both cats and dogs require money to take care of, is anyone surprised? Dogs may cost more if you get a bigger breed.

There you go! Those are the positives and negatives for owning a pet dog or cat. They each come with their own unique set of problems, but if you are able to look past them and pick a pet that has a personality that closely matches your own, I think it’s a decision you won’t regret making.

When Cats Saved Mankind

Cats and mankind have been living in harmony for many years but that has not always been the case. There have been times when cats have been nearly wiped out in the name of God. And what happened the Black Death reigned supreme for a lot longer than it should. So we will go back to the beginnings of recorded history to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here cats were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. Because the cats guarded the grain warehouses and killed the rats and mice that fed on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It was illegal to kill cats in those days, like cows in India today.

Then the nine lives of the humble cat who only wanted to help mankind by killing rodents that carried disease took a serious turn for the worse during the middle ages. Where witch hunts and burning at the stake were the norm. Someone who didn’t like cats somehow connected them to witches and they were burnt at the stake with there owners. How they made that connection I’ll never know. It started off with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who deemed the common house cat as diabolical. Then to make matters worse in1484 along came the greatest cat killer of all time, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something along the lines of all cats came from hell and should returned to the fires of hell by fire. Cats were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt so they would return to the fires of hell. It is amazing any survived because if you were caught with a cat you were burnt together. I still go to church and sometimes I just wonder why. And of course the Black Death was in the background surviving and thriving because there were no cats to kill the rats that carried the fleas that caused the disease. Then along came the cat’s savior King Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed the law and cats once again started to live. But they were still hated and killed for many centuries after that. I don’t know if the Black Death subsided but cats once again protected mankind against the diseases carried by rodents. And the famines brought on by mice plagues.

Cats actually carry a few parasites, a few fleas and some diseases and a few can turn serious but not many. If cats were causing too much sickness they would not have invaded our lives as well as they have. But there are still people out there who do not like cats. When I first went to China about 20 years ago there were very few cats living with people and very few wild cats. I was amazed because I’ve had cats all my life and I never thought people didn’t like cats. But then in China the people said cats carried disease and that was it. I think that might have something to do with that cat sick you get in your eye. Not serious just a slight problem for a week And if you were pregnant you had to keep away from cats. I think they were referring to toxoplasmosis, but if you get that when you are a kid it should not affect your baby. They also said cats were dirty but I don’t think so. I think cats are one of the cleanest pets you can have. I think that came from the cats killing the rats and mice. Because rats are very dirty animals then because the cats killed and ate them they will also be dirty. A dirty by connection type of thing. Also there were some big sewer rats running round during the day. Once I saw a rat and a cat face off each other and the cat wasn’t much bigger than the rat. They were about a foot apart staring each other out and the cat ran away. I’m not surprised the rat’s teeth were bigger that the cats.

I think one of the reasons there were not many cats around is because they used to eat them. And every now and then the restaurant cat catches would pick up an cat they could find and take them back to the restaurant. I remember seeing cats in glass displays out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere between then and now they banned eating cats. So cats are now not on the menu and now there are cats everywhere. Most of them started off in someone’s house and got thrown away, as most are very friendly. Also they have this thing about stomach worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so stomach worms would have been a problem. Fleas are not really a problem because they have tile floors and wooden furniture.

If this attitude towards cats goes back generations then one can understand why historians say the Black Death started in China. Where there are rats and no cats then the rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get close to people. Now when I go back to China there are still rats running around but not so many in the housing estates. There are many down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish clean up system that keeps the cities very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is collected everyday. That would also keep the rat population down. And with so many discarded cats running around the rats don’t have much of a chance. I’ve never seen this but I suspect the government picks up a lot of cats. There used to be colonies of stray cats living in some places but now I don’t see them any more.

Now cats have once more retained the spot on the sofa and any mouse or rat that comes inside better beware. Well I hope so except our cat was rubbing noses with a rat once. I thought he was going to get his nose bitten but he didn’t. I think just the smell of the cat keeps most rodent away. There are diseases out there that are carried by rodents and some are very deadly like the hanta virus and the plague or black death. If any of these deadly diseases turn the cat into a host then it will be goodbye cats and possibly goodbye us. But until that happens we should keep on loving our cats. And if there is ever a population explosion of the rodents who carry the hanta virus then humble cat might be our last hope. There is no vaccine and no cure for the hanta virus.

Miracle Mussi, the Cat, Survives Two Months Locked

Mussi, my beloved tabby from South Chicago, did not return from his nightly outing! At first, I thought he was just extending his nightly trip for a few hours, but Mussi remained gone until after midnight. I started searching the neighborhood over and over, calling his name. After hours of fruitless search activities, I gave up and went to bed. I tossed and turned restlessly until the following morning. Early in the morning, I got up and combed the neighborhood again. I extended the search area a few blocks, puzzled at the situation. I kept calling his name “Muuussssiiii!” Nothing! Where could he be?

On no occasion had Mussi ventured far from the house in the past. In seven years, he’d never disappeared like this. Our silent agreement entailed him checking in with me every 30 minutes or so. He had always been sticking to it. So, what happened all of a sudden? My mind played out the worst horror scenarios. Was he locked in some dark basement? Kidnapped? Run over? Chased away by other cats, or worse, dogs? I felt so desperate that I could not think straight. I was way too depressed and anxious.

I alarmed my family and friends, who were at a loss for words. Everyone loved Mussi and knew him as the most intuitive, smart, gentle tiger from Chicago. They felt sorry for me, as I was still reeling from pain due to another crisis and certainly had enough sorrows. After many more searches, I decided to get help. I asked my sister to contact a woman she calls “witch”, her intuitive friend, healer and animal communicator for advice. This woman tuned in and felt that Mussi was slightly injured and hiding in a basement somewhere. She did not feel that he was locked in, but simply hiding out. She said that she would send him energy and guide him home.

No cat appeared. I checked the basements I could get access to and informed the neighbors to do the same. My frustration grew with every passing hour. I scanned the entire area, again and again. Where could this cat be? A neighbor and I checked two buildings’ ground floors and garages for a cat sign, to no avail. Instead, she introduced me to her cats, who I greeted suspiciously. They looked guilty and could have been involved in chasing Mussi away. Everyone was a suspect at this point. Even the other two black cats from the neighbor straight across seemed to paw around shiftily. I clearly needed sleep!

I started tagging the entire district and beyond with “Desperately Seeking Mussi” posters. The initial batch I put up two days after Mussi’s disappearance, covering several blocks. The densely populated area did not make the choices for flyer placement and neighbor conversations any easier. There were simply too many places where Mussi could be hiding, it was making me dizzy. So, I put flyers on any suitable spot; on buildings, doors, lamp posts, garage doors, garbage bins, you name it – Mussi posters went up! Within days, everyone in the area knew my cat was missing.

As the desperation grew, I decided to talk to one of my friends in LA about an animal communicator she had used years back when her cat was missing. She could not remember the name of the lady in Seattle, so I googled on my own. I found her and sent an emergency request. I guess the animal psychic grasped the severity of the situation. She called me back the same day, after I transferred a bit over a hundred bucks to her PayPal. The information she apparently obtained from Mussi was that he went down an alley way, across a field and then crawled into a hole. He seemed to find the inside of the new territory interesting and decided to hang out for a while. This sounded totally unlike Mussi. She claimed that he wasn’t locked in and could potentially get out on his own. She further mentioned that the building was near my house and that we would be reunited one day.

I continued to put more posters up in the neighborhood and ask around. A guy called from a few blocks away, claiming that he had spotted Mussi in his yard. I drove down there instantly, but the cat, of course, was gone. I checked the area, but there was no hint of Mussi.

I expanded the poster and search area a few more blocks. I tagged the post office, the outside of stores, pretty much all lamp posts in the area, bus and train stations. It was cold out. Deep winter had arrived. It did not make Mussi’s survival or my search any easier. Many ol’ nights I froze my fingers off, posting flyers. I did not want to imagine what the cold spell meant for Mussi, wherever he was. I could not bear the thought of Mussi freezing to death somewhere out there in midwinter.

My phone really starting ringing now. I received calls from numerous people, claiming they spotted Mussi in the cemetery, close to a bus station and sitting on a trail and under a car. However, none was able to either snap a picture or catch the cat. As I was at work, it was not always feasible for me to drop everything and follow vague leads.

Then, one Saturday, I got a call from a French lady who found and held a grey tabby captive. She snapped a picture and sent it. I was on a horse when I got the call, about an hour away. I hurried back as the somewhat blurry picture could have been Mussi. An hour later, I found the French lady in the described area, with four children and a cat gathered around her. Deeply impressed at her determination and persistence, I thanked her immensely for trying to help. Unfortunately, the captured cat was not Mussi and could get released.

It had been way over a week now and still no cat. He was my precious baby, who moved from Chicago to Zurich with me, three and a half years ago. He loved Switzerland as he could venture outside, which was not feasible downtown Chicago. All my life I’ve had cats, but none as special as Mussi. I was deeply connected to him and loved him from the bottom of my heart. Mussi to me resembled a cat embodiment of Mother Teresa. I knew he was alive, but I simply was unable to fathom where. I missed his cuddling up to me every night, his comfort when I was not feeling well and the many different faces and sounds of Mussi.

Where was he? I knew he would have never left on his own. Increasingly, I started to suspect he was abducted. Or did he attempt to go back to his old house where we lived until a few months prior, and got lost on the way there? I had alerted the ex-neighbors and skimmed the area. Nobody had seen Mussi there. The old neighbors, who used to watch Mussi, were on constant lookout for him. I knew they’d do a great job, but I tagged the entire area with Mussi flyers.

I got a call from an energy healer who lived near my old house. She said she spotted my flyer and just a few minutes after spotted a cat that looked like a spitting image of Mussi. She swore it was him. Her intuition, she said, never lied. So, I drove down there to see if I could still see traces of my cat, but there was nothing.

Despite all the Mussi search activities that had been ongoing for two weeks, I decided to go snowboarding for a couple of days. I needed to get away. I was going insane. On my way home Sunday night from the mountains, I got a call from my cosmetologist who lived near my old house. Her voice was frantic as she screeched something about having caught my cat and that I should show up right away to pick him up. I drove down to her house, still dressed in snowboard pants. Indeed, she was sitting in front of a tabby, but it wasn’t Mussi. However, that cat was clearly lost and confused and looking for his home. A beautiful kitty this guy was and I felt sorry for him. Adrienne said, “Just take him instead or yours!” Sorry, but there was no quick replacement for Mussi! It broke my heart to see this cat hysterically searching for his home. So, I told Adrienne that if nobody else takes him in the coming days, I would, temporarily anyway! Luckily, a neighbor was kind enough to give him shelter a few days later.

I had also reported Mussi missing with petlink.com, the chip company, hoping that a finder would take him to a vet or hospital where he would get scanned and reported to me. Further, I advised animal clinics and vets in the area about the missing Mussi. Online, I had posted missing Mussi ads on various lost pet sites.

I started receiving emails from people who identified with my pain and tried to give advice. Some mentioned to intensify the search after midnight, others insisted I should not give up hope as they had lost their cats for up to a year and then got reunited. One person even offered to come help search at night or in the wee hours.

A lady from about five blocks away called saying “Don’t tell anyone, but I feed the foxes at night.” I said that I would not utter a word and that she should continue. It seems that the past few nights, a cat had shared the fox’s chicken leg she dropped outside her window. In fact, the cat was faster than the fox and got its share early on. The lady insisted that the fox food thief was my cat. I agreed to check up on it. She promised to call the same night right after dropping the chicken outside. She did. I immediately left my house to see the scene for myself. And really, a cat showed up just five minutes after the chicken was out to feast on it. But it wasn’t my kitty – again! But now I was an insider of the fox feeding conspiracy!

I contacted another animal communicator somewhere in Nevada. She tuned in and dowsed the map of my surrounding area. She claimed a neighbor was holding Mussi hostage and that I should launch an attack on that house. She was sure. I got binoculars, sat myself in a bush at night and ogled the area. No cat. I even put fliers in all mailboxes belonging to that building, rang a few doorbells and asked, but nothing.

More calls were coming my way. A clerk who worked in a nearby company reported “Oh, your tomcat has been visiting us here for weeks. I will send you a picture.” I did receive the photo. A nice, totally happy tabby stretched out on his desk. While he looked similar, it was not Mussi. I thanked him and felt he was glad that the long tiger wasn’t my cat. He seemed to love this tabby visiting him in the afternoon for playtime.

I decided to push my luck and contacted Joseph McMoneagle, a super famous remote viewer, who worked for the US Army for twenty years, remote viewing and finding top secret military buildings, equipment and people. After his stint in the Army, he became famous remote viewing for corporations or live on Japanese TV. Joe had written several bestsellers on the topic and was the rock star in the field of “psychic spy” work. I met Joe a few times in Virginia and decided to ask for help. A regular session with him usually cost thousands of dollars, but he was kind enough to supply a drawing with indications about the cat’s whereabouts. I surveyed the specified area, but could not find anything that looked like Mussi. I put up more flyers in the pointed out area, which led to a few calls of cat sightings, but nothing serious. A cat as a target appears a lot harder than a human or a machine.

The cat who stretched out on the clerk’s desk got reported to me again by a local football club member. He called and said “I found your cat and am holding him in our clubhouse.” I ran down there and saw the same tabby stretched out on the floor, watching football with the dudes. What a funny sight it was. This cat seriously got around. I thanked them for the effort and left, dejected. It had been almost four weeks now and I started to lose hope.

That famous tabby got reported a third time by a nice woman about a mile away from my house. He had invaded her balcony and gave sinister stares at her indoor kitty.

But where in the world was my tabby?

Then, I got a call from many blocks away in the middle of the night one Friday. A couple had captured a tabby, sent a blurry picture that left too much room for interpretation. So, again, I drove down there to check and of course, it wasn’t Mussi. But I had to follow these leads just to make sure.

Another neighbor, an old lady, called me twice to pledge allegiance and promised to turn over every rock in the neighborhood. She had spotted tabbies and just needed a color picture to confirm which one was mine. I happily supplied her with a picture. The lady was retired and had all day to skim the vicinity. Unfortunately, she never reported the “right” tabby.

By now, the entire neighborhood was involved in the search and people really got talking. The community became a real community again because of Mussi. Everyone was on a mission to recover the sweet little furry creature.

I hired another highly recommended animal communicator. What did I have to lose? His results left me unimpressed. He pointed out a tree-covered park-like area and insisted the cat was hiding there. The homes right behind that area appeared to be another target for him. Long ago, I had tagged flyers all over that area. However, I ventured down there again to check and found Mussi-like fur on a field. It looked like a cat-fox fight had taken place. My heart sank to the ground. I thought, of course, the fox took and devoured him. My mom agreed with my suspicion. But who really knew? Sure thing was – this animal communicator made another 175USD of me – for nothing.

Another “pet detective” from Los Angeles, who works on a donation basis, suggested Mussi to be near that same area. As she apparently combines her common cat search sense with psychic intuition, she recommended to sit near that area with a book, as cats supposedly come out when one is quiet and reading. While this may work for other cats, I knew Mussi would come immediately if he did spot me. She further recommended to put out “fish trails” from various directions to my house. Supposedly, a few of her clients got their missing cats back with this tactic. As I left no stone unturned, I mixed up cat food with fish sauce and trailed it from numerous directions to my deck. After a while, I spotted several confused cats sitting on or near the trail and enjoyed quite a few cat visitors on my deck. The perplexed cats stared at me in disbelief. They seemed to ask, “Are you insane?” Well, was I? I started to believe myself that I’d gone over the edge.

A young woman named Kerstin contacted me (she saw my posters) and insisted she’d help me in my search. So, one Sunday she came to my house and we once again, scanned the entire area. Once more, we came back empty-handed. She volunteered to print colored Mussi pictures and hand them out in the neighborhood (my flyers were black and white). She further offered to help me further in my quest and stayed in touch. I really appreciated the help and got more and more amazed about the community and the remarkable people in it.

Mussi had been missing for a month and a half now and my hope for successful recovery sank to rock-bottom levels. Which cat would survive for this long out there in the cold or locked in somewhere?

While I was still getting calls from people who spotted tigers under cars, crossing the road or invading their balconies, I knew none of these were Mussi. He was elsewhere. Perhaps, he was far away, locked in a prison or dead. I had a bleak picture in front of my eyes. Yet, somehow, I still felt him alive, but barely.

Beginning of April, I felt the need to get away from it all and joined a four-day Tibetan Buddhist meditation up in the Alps. The theme fittingly was “Purification” – just what the doctor ordered. I bathed in the marvelous energy and was able to get really deep into meditation and cleanse quite a few impurities out of my system. I felt like a load was lifted off my shoulders after four days and with renewed energy I went home. Before I left there, a friend mentioned “Now, Susanne, I would be surprised if your cat reappeared as your karma has completely changed.”

She was right. Before midnight, less than week after the meditation, on April 11, 2013, I received an email from petlink, reporting Mussi had been found. I thought it was a joke. I contacted them immediately and got information where and who to contact for further data. He got scanned by the animal hospital in Zurich! I was amazed at this outstanding service. At the same time, I got a call from a neighbor, very early on that infamous Friday morning, telling me about a half-dead cat she found that night.

The nice woman, named Nathalie, breathlessly told a story about how she found Mussi, who appeared to be paralyzed, totally starved and dropped in front of her garage. Someone must have put him there and set some milk in a bowl next to him. She said she did not know what to do at first, but immediately googled for options on cat rescue services. She called one of the numbers she found and within an hour, the animal rescue service “Tierrettungsdienst” showed up to take the seriously emaciated cat to the animal hospital. Before they came, Nathalie walked up to one of my flyers to get Mussi’s name. She then went back to him and called him “Mussi.” He responded with a weak, desperate “meow.” She had never seen an animal in such bad shape before, unable to coordinate his limbs, yet still alive. She stayed and talked to him for over an hour until the rescuers showed up to take him to the animal hospital in Zurich (Tierspital Zurich).

All I could do after I heard this story is cry and frantically make my way to the hospital. The grim description of my cat’s condition left me with little hope to find him alive. Tears gushed down my cheeks, I was unable to control any of it. I called my family to share the news. They could not grasp that Mussi was alive. They were in complete and utter shock. At the hospital, Mussi was reported as a “homeless cat”, but not for long. I both dreaded and longed to see him. I was expecting the worst. Then they brought him in. He had spent the night at the ICU and just got released. Here he was. Just a bag of bones, unable to coordinate any movements, totally emaciated, still panicked – a heart wrenching sight. My heart ached. I cried relentlessly. But Mussi recognized me. He meowed and tried to lift his head. The fact that he was released from the ICU meant that he would most likely live as an assistant “illegally” told me! The vets, however, were careful in giving me complete reassurance, but mentioned the chances for his survival were good. I could not believe it – he would live!

Thanks to a nice neighbor, petlink.com, the animal rescue service, my 200 flyers that I posted, and the animal hospital, Mussi was alive and we were reunited.

But immediately, questions creeped into my head. What would his future look like? And where had he been? Could he recover from this?

According to Nathalie, who found Mussi, a locked in, meowing cat would have been detected in her building. People passed the storage areas in the basement on their way up to the apartments. Frightened meows would have been heard. Was Mussi locked inside another building? Did he crawl to this garage with his last strength after finally having been released? Perhaps, we will never know.

Nevertheless, he must have got water from somewhere, as otherwise, survival would have been impossible. Perhaps, he licked dew or rainwater was able to enter his prison? For certain, he’d had no food for two months, judging by his gaunt state. Two months!!

His legs were bandaged up, an IV fed fluids and much needed vitamins into his veins. I sat there stunned, staring at not even half the cat Mussi used to be. I still could not believe he was back and alive. It took me a few days to grasp that. For quite a while I suffered from nightmares about the starvation camp he was locked in. Although, I was overjoyed about his return, the pictures of his prison took a while to fade.

The vets and staff at the university animal hospital in Zurich gave Mussi the best care! They were fantastic! Mussi even received daily physical therapy to get his muscles and nerves working again. And he wanted to live! That was the most important ingredient. And he was loved and received healings from many friends and family on a daily basis.

The worst problem was his severe deficiency in Thiamine, an essential B vitamin for cats. Depletion of such causes ataxia (loss or coordination), seizures, inability to raise the head and twitching. Mussi suffered from all the above. B1 or Thiamine is not stored in a cat’s body and is quickly depleted. Two months of starvation led to severe B1 deficiency. The drip would help, but it took time.

Vets and staff shook their heads in disbelief about Mussi’s survival. They were stunned at the strength and willpower of this cat. They had to admit that they had never seen a case like him before.

I visited the American patient every day in the hospital. For five days, he was too apathetic and exhausted to notice much around him. He just slept. Any efforts on his part to try and move resulted in seizure-like attacks, which left him frustrated.

Many, many friends, energy and Pranic healers, Reiki masters kept sending Mussi healing energy and in doing so sped up his recovery. These remarkable people had helped in the search for Mussi all along. Perhaps, it is these miracle workers who helped Mussi survive for two months in a dark basement? May be the Pranic energy kept him alive as we kept sending it all that time he was missing too. I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped and supported the search and recovery, in spirit, mentally, physically or energetically.

After one week, Mussi’s lethargy lifted a bit, and so did his head. He was able to bend the head from side to side and his eyes followed me slowly but curiously. Another day after, Mussi got up on his shaven (to insert the IV), skinny legs and pressed his behind against my scratching hand. “Wow!” I cried out in amazement. Mussi was back!

Before Getting a New Kitten

Before getting a new kitten or cat, one of the things to ask yourself is: Can I properly care for a cat and provide a stable, safe home for its lifetime which is typically about 15 – 20 years? Many statistics show that as much as 50 percent of all cats change owners at least once in their lifetime. This is an appalling and alarming statistic.

Can I Afford A Cat?

The initial purchase price (or adoption fee) of a cat is not the most expensive cost as there will be many other costs over the cat’s lifetime. Those costs include food, litter pans, litter, toys, scratching posts and/or cat trees, and veterinary care. Veterinary care (without taking into consideration any catastrophic health problems) will run about $100 – $300 per year. Preventive and consistent care is vitally important to any cat’s overall health. If an owner cannot afford veterinary care, it is probably a good idea not to get a cat. Additionally, depending on where an owner lives, there will be a one-time fee of anywhere from $70 – $500 for the cost of getting the cat spay or neutered. Even if the cat is an indoor only cat, it recommended that it have all of its vaccinations, including rabies (a rabies vaccination are legally required in many cities and/or states for cats and dogs), and depending on where you live, there may be other medications that are strongly recommended by the veterinarian on a yearly basis (such as a heartworm preventative medicine). Many people believe that because their cat is an indoor cat, it does not need a rabies vaccination. However, consider what would happen to you and/or your cat if it bit someone while they were in your home? First of all, the authorities will most likely remove the cat from your home and quarantine it for a period of time (at cost to you for boarding and care); if on the off chance your cat shows signs of rabies it will be destroyed. It is highly recommended that a potential owner check with their veterinarian to find out what vaccinations are required by law.

What Breed of Cat?

All kittens are cute and most people fall in love with a cat or kitten because of its look (the cuddlebility factor). Some people prefer a pedigreed cat because of certain breed characteristics while others prefer a mixed breed cat. If desiring a pedigreed cat, careful consideration should be given as to the breed characteristics of that breed. For example: how much grooming will the cat require, how much will it shed, how playful or active is the breed, how big will the cat get? Are you looking for a cat that gets along well with small children or elderly people? Do you need a cat that gets along with your dog? Do you desire a cat that is calm and loves to cuddle and will sleep with you at night? These are just a few of the things to consider before bringing a cat home.

Should You Get a Kitten or an Adult Cat?

Many people, when considering whether or not to get a cat, will only consider getting a kitten. Here are a few reasons why an adult cat may be desirable:

  • An adult cat has already developed its personality so you will know exactly what you are getting;
  • An adult cat is already litter box trained;
  • An adult cat should only need yearly examinations and vaccinations (instead of a series of vaccinations that a kitten will require in the first 6 months);
  • An adult cat has already gone through its “teenager” phase;
  • An adult cat can “bond” just as well as a kitten with a new owner.

Where to Get a Cat?

Animal Shelters – While many shelters are no-kill, most are not. Getting a cat or kitten from an animal shelter may well save it from being put to death. Typically, you should look for a cat that looks clean, healthy, with a shiny coat and clear eyes. Ask to visit with the kitten or cat in a private area to see how it will interact with you. How friendly is it? If the kitten or cat appears lethargic, it may be best to look at another one as this one may be sick. Ask the actual caregivers of the cat or kitten for any information they may have on it. Ask why the cat was surrendered to the shelter. Keep in mind that many people do not always tell the truth to shelter personnel when they surrender their pet. So, sometimes the shelter may not be aware that this cat or kitten may have undesirable behavioral traits (i.e., not using its litter box) or have some type of major health concern which may shortly require a very high veterinarian bill. Many shelters will have already spayed or neutered the cat or kitten prior to its going to a new home. If not, they will generally require that you do so within a certain time period. Do not over-look the adult cats.

Responsible Breeders – If you are looking for a purebred/pedigreed cat or kitten, it is best to locate a responsible breeder. To find such a person:

  • Visit a local cat show which is a great way to see the different breeds of cats, meet breeders, and ask questions.
  • The Cat Fanciers Association (“CFA”) has an on-line breeder referral list which can be searched by breed, location, and other search options. (Please Note: the CFA does not endorse or recommend any particular breeder or cattery on the list.)
  • Nowadays, there are many show breeders, as well as hobby breeders, that have web sites. To locate a breeder in a particular area via the internet, use a search engine (i.e., yahoo, Google, etc.) and type in the particular cat breed and the state you reside to get results for breeders in your particular state or locale. Some breeders advertise in Cat Fancy or other such publications.

Responsible breeders will have (at a bare minimum) a written health/genetic guarantee, provide a starter kit that goes home with the kitten or cat (containing the type of food it has been eating, feeding instructions, breed information), have some provision for (or already had it performed) the spay/neuter of the kitten or cat, provide documentation of pedigree, parentage, and vaccination records. When interviewing a breeder, listen to your intuition; if anything feels “off” about a breeder, do NOT get one of their kittens. If this happens, it is recommended that you seek out and interview another breeder. Remember, a responsible breeder will want to interview you and get to know you as a potential owner as much as you may want to interview them.

Pet Stores – A responsible breeder would not allow their kittens to be sold in a pet store or other re-sale outlet where they could not personally interview the buyer to make sure they are aware of the responsibility of caring for an animal. Most responsible breeders belong to breed clubs and sign a breeder’s code of ethics which prohibits them from selling to retail outlets (pet stores). More often than not, the puppies and kittens for sale in a retail outlet are from commercial, “puppy” mill type operations. Some stores (i.e., Petco, etc.) do have cats for adoption through a local animal shelter but are not actively involved in the resale of cats and dogs. If getting a shelter pet through this type of adoption process, make sure that the adoption procedures comply with that shelter’s normal adoption process.

Private Sources – Sometimes, if an owner can no longer keep their adult cat, they may place an ad through a local newspaper, grocery store bulletin board or veterinarian’s office. As long as you can meet the person, observe the cat in its home environment, and make sure the cat is healthy, there is no reason not to get a cat this way. If it is a kitten, make sure it is at least 12 weeks of age, is properly litter box trained, had age-appropriate vaccinations/wormings, and appears healthy. (Warning: responsible breeders would not advertise this way nor use Craigslist or something similar).

Getting a cat is a lifelong commitment of not only an owner’s time, but their money in order to keep them in food, toys, and proper health. If the on-going cost of keeping a cat beyond the initial cost of it (i.e., veterinarian, vaccinations, cost of spay/neuter, unforeseen health issues/costs and more), then perhaps it is not the time to get a pet.