Meet Zuzu

Zuzu is a very adorable kitten of unknown age — my guess at this point is 8-9 months — that we first saw on Facebook. She was recuperating after major hip surgery, and was up for adoption. She’d been found on a street in Bucharest, with both of her hips broken, possibly by a car, or a trap, or some deranged person. We fell in love right away with the little black furball, got in touch with the good folks who’d been treating her (Irina Pricop and Magda Radu), and arranged to adopt her. That’s also how we got to adopt two of our other cats (Bubu and Tira), but that’s a story for another day.

This is how the poor thing looked when they found her. Notice the broken and dislocated hips, pushing inside the abdominal cavity and pressing onto her organs.

And this is after the operations, recuperating at the vet’s office.

She’s now been with us for about 6 months, and has recovered very nicely. Her gait has never gotten back to normal, and I don’t think it ever will. She walks a little funny, and she runs a little funny too, but that’s what makes her even more endearing. She’s even learned to climb (and get down from) trees better than any other of our cats. She’s a very resilient cat. She’d have to be, to still be alive after an accident like the one she had.

This is how she looked last autumn, a few weeks after we brought her home.

Can you resist a face like that? Can anyone resist it? Not likely.

The kittens in the yard

It was one of the last few beautiful days of autumn, and our kittens were sure enjoying themselves, lazying and frolicking about, playing with each other, making googly eyes for the camera… We’ve got five of them these days — two tomcats (Mushu and Bubu) and three kittens (Sasha, Zuzu and Tira). Felix is gone — he disappeared more than two weeks ago, so if anyone’s seen him, please let us know. My guess is he’s gone off after females, and since he knows how to cozy up to people, he’s probably mooching off someone else’s food. He needs to come home. Enough is enough. We miss him.

I recorded the video with a new camera, a Fujifilm FinePix HS10. Sorry if the video’s a bit shaky at times, I should have used a tripod. I do love the quality of it though. It’s full HD (1080p), downsized to HD (720p) in iMovie.

Meet Mushu

Mushu is a tomcat born in late May to another of our cats, Mitzi. She gave birth to three kittens: two tomcats and a kitty. We found a good home in the countryside for two of them, but we kept Mushu. We liked his half-pink, half-black nose and his loving nature. He’s been shy from the get-go though. It took a while for him to stop running away from us, and he’s finally learned to stay calm when we move around him. (Let’s just say his mom also had a “cautious” nature, and it took a bit of time for her to trust us — she was half-feral when we adopted her.)

Here he is, as a kitten, playing and sleeping with his brother.

Mushu’s the one on the right.

He loved playing in the corrugated cardboard roll, along with his brother and sister, and his cousins (Trixie’s litter).

Here he is in the yard, at 4-5 months of age.

He loves to play, naturally.

After a lot of play comes a lot of rest, right? 🙂

Found better photos of Felix

Remember Felix (I), the little deaf tomcat I wrote about earlier this year? In the course of winnowing my photo library, I found better photos of him, taken a few months before his untimely demise. This is how I want to think of him.

The kittens at play

❗ Free kitten alert! ❗

We’re getting ready to say goodbye to our kittens. We’re going to give them away for adoption in the next week or two. If you’re in Romania and you’d like one, let us know. Otherwise, we’ll take them to a pet store in Sibiu or Tg. Mures, where eager children will surely squeal in delight and tug at their parents’ sleeves, wanting one.

We have four little tomcats and two kitties: two black males with white socks, two grey-brown striped males with white socks, one brown-beige striped kitten and one beige-orange striped kitten. They’ve been lovingly cared for since birth by our two cats, Mitzi and Trixie, who’ve shared responsibilities in grooming and feeding them. They have already visited the vet, have their health cards, have been treated for internal and external parasites, are weaned, eating solid food, and they’re ready to be welcomed into someone’s family.

Here are photos and a couple of videos of them. The first video shows them playing inside, and the other shows them playing and suckling outside, in our yard.

The photos were taken while they were playing and suckling inside one evening.

This last photo shows the two striped tomcats sleeping next to each other.

Just so there’s no confusion, let me make it clear that they’re free. If you want one, as long as you can come and pick it up, it’s yours.

Two mothers, six kittens

The wonderful (and unique) thing about our two cats, Mitzi and Trixie, is they share responsibility for their two litters of kittens. They each gave birth to three kittens, a few days apart, and soon afterward, began to take care of them together. They groom and feed each others’ kittens, regardless of who they are, and the six kittens play together and sleep together all the time. I haven’t heard of another case like this.

We expected this somewhat, though. Mitzi and Trixie are sisters, and they’ve always cared about each other, although they do argue from time to time. We got them when they were close to two months old, and they’ve been together ever since. They’ve eaten together, played together, slept together — done everything together. I think they were even courted by the same tomcats. Before they gave birth, I recorded a video clip where they were comforting each other, and that’s another thing I hadn’t seen or heard of in cats until then.

Our newborn kittens

Our two cats, Trixie and Mitzi, gave birth to three kittens each — Trixie on May 16th, and Mitzi on May 20th. They each gave birth to two tomcats and one kitten, all of them adorable. They’ve been growing nicely and are starting to cause mischief, as six kittens put together will usually do.

I filmed this short video when they were about two weeks old, on June 2nd. They’d all opened their eyes by then, but were still unsure on their feet. You’ll be able to see each of them more clearly now than in the birth video posted previously.


That lovely sense of wonder

A kitten’s curiosity is such an endearing quality. They manage to look so adorable while exploring their surroundings, with their tiny, slender bodies, big heads and large ears. They’re so focused on what they’re doing, so concentrated on observing an insect, or why a leaf rustles when they paw it, that you can’t help loving them.

Mitzi and Trixie at play

I don’t think there’s anything more adorable than kittens at play, so I couldn’t resist posting more photos of Mitzi and Trixie today. I found a whole series I took when they were playing one day. And as promised, there are more photos of Trixie in this post.

Since this is a series of photos, it’s probably best to view them via the slideshow which is embedded at the bottom of the post. I’ll post a select few as individual photos, but make sure to see them all in the slideshow, it’ll only take a minute.

After tumbling about for a bit, they both took a break and lay on the ground a few feet apart, staring at each other, before pouncing once more.

Kittens love these hit-and-run encounters. They’d pounce, tumble about for a bit, and dash away. Here Mitzi jumped away from Trixie after she ambushed her, then hid between the bushes while Trixie began to play by herself.

Of course, Mitzi couldn’t stay away for long, and she ambushed Trixie again.

When they had enough play, they went exploring together. Ah, kittens! 🙂

If I seem particularly effusive today, it’s because I’m glad Trixie is still with us. She almost died last night. She apparently ate something poisonous, and was in shock through mid-morning. She’s better now, but not completely out of the woods. You can read the details here.

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Mitzi and Trixie explore the yard

Part of the fun of having kittens is seeing them explore the yard when they finally get the nerve to venture out there. Everything is so brand new to them — every texture, scent, breeze, shape, color, insect, flower, tree, etc. They walk out, slowly, tentatively, sniffing everything, tasting the air, then they get more courage, and soon they’re prancing happily all over the place, tumbling in the grass, falling over things, bumping into plants and trees, pawing flowers, and looking absolutely adorable while doing it.

Here is a series of photos of Mitzi and Trixie exploring the yard on their own. I’ll probably post more photos today, of the two of them at play. They were somewhere between 2½ and 3 months old here.

Mitzi came pretty close to falling into this hole a few times, but her amazing sense of balance (she’s a cat after all) always kept her safe.

The next post will have more photos of Trixie, I promise. 🙂

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Two kittens on a stool

I did promise Sunday would be my cat day, right? I couldn’t keep that promise last week, as I was traveling, but I’m back this week with another post about our kittens.

Here are Mitzi and Trixie, resting on an inverted stool one evening, when they were about two months old. They loved that chair! Even though they had their own box, laid with soft padding, they preferred to sleep in the seat of this stool.

The sequence of photographs you see here is chronological, recorded as they moved about in the chair, reacting to our movements and the sound of the camera’s shutter. Think of it as a very simple moving picture.

Continue reading “Two kittens on a stool”

Trixie comforts Mitzi

As I promised in my post about the birth of our six new kittens, here is a video that shows how close our two cats, Mitzi and Trixie, really are. They are sisters, from the same mother, and they’ve been together since birth, but even we were surprised by how caring Trixie could be toward Mitzi the night we recorded this video.

You see, both of them were near the end of their pregnancies, and Mitzi was feeling a little sick. She was scared, and came to us to be comforted. We began to pet her, and Trixie came as well, and began to comfort her in ways we didn’t even know cats were capable of. We just sat there, moved by the display of love between them. Honestly, sometimes I think cats are capable of more empathy than most people.

I remember one time our tomcat, Felix, was feeling a little under the weather. I was sitting at my desk and he asked to come into my office. I opened the door, and he plopped himself down on the floor, letting out the sort of meow that gave me to understand he was a bit ill. His demeanor also told me the same thing. Just for fun, I thought I’d imitate his meow. He immediately jumped to his feet and came bounding toward me, chirping, with a look of concern on his face. He began to rub his nose on my leg, looking toward my face and trying to cheer me up. My jaw dropped. I had faked it, but he honestly thought I was sick and needed to be comforted. Never mind he was ill, his first concern was for me.

Some people say cats are egotistical creatures… What fools!