Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Smoky

Meet my beautiful Smoky Mokums...


Smoky is Jasper's litter-mate - at least we assume so.


The two of them just appeared on my back deck back in the summer of '09. I found a box in the alley where they'd been dumped, and it looked like they'd clawed their way out of it.

They were young - just weaned, maybe 7-8 weeks old, and I'm still not sure if they made it all the way to my back deck by themselves or if they had human assistance of one sort or another.

Even though Smokes was bigger than his brother, he was much more afraid, and had a much more difficult time of it all. He wouldn't eat anything except KMR from an eye dropper (kitten milk replacement formula) for several days, and we weren't sure he was gonna make it.

Jasper taking care of little Mokes when he didn't feel good.

I tried every food I could think of to get him to eat, and then at the vet's office, the vet tech put a dry crunchy cat treat in front of him and he gobbled it up!

Since I'd always been told that dry food was unhealthy, it never even occurred to me to offer it to him, but we bought some dry grocery store kitten food on the way home, and the stuff totally saved his life.

Once we got him eating, his little personality blossomed, and suffice it to say, it never stopped.





Seriously, Smoky is the one of the biggest characters I've ever met. He LOVES to get into trouble.

Climbing the television...


Knocking pictures on the floor...



And just general purpose clownin' around...






He gave us a real scare about 2 years ago when he got really sick. His serum protein levels got dangerously low, and he basically swelled up like a big balloon. We had every specialist in the city looking at him, and nobody could figure it out. Their best guess was that he had lymphoma, and they gave him a few months to a year to live.


But little Smokes surprised everyone, and got better on his own. We're still not sure what happened, but CatMan has a theory. Shortly before it all happened Smoky caught one of those white cabbage moths and gobbled it down. Well, CatMan found an obscure study about toxicity of cabbage moths. The study was done on rabbits who ate leaves infested with larvae, but the symptoms were almost identical to Smoky's. Suffice it to say, Mommy is much more careful about letting those suckers into the house these days!

White Cabbage Moth
Anyhow, my Smoky Mokums is one of the most talkative little guys you'll ever meet. He and I regularly have long conversations. I generally have no clue what we're talking about, but that's OK.

I fear I haven't been very good at capturing his antics on camera...  Here's my best shot so far... you have to have the sound up to hear him talking.


I someday hope to get a video of him doin' the Smoky Pokey.. "You put your ring tail in, you put your ring tail out, you put your ring tail in and you chase it all about. You do the Smoky Pokey and you turn yourself around... that's what it's all about!"

Anyhow, one brief note on spelling. Most people want to spell his name Smokey, like Smokey the Bear, but in actuality, he was named after Smoky Quartz. CatMan is a bit of an amateur mineralogist, and both of the boys are named for quartz minerals.

Jasper Stone

Smoky Quartz

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed a brief tour of life with the Smokster!

Smoky enjoying a sunbeam



26 comments :

  1. Love your cat posts. You have some great pictures of them especially handsome Smoky. The whole cabbage moth thing is very scary. We've never had one in the house, but we do have them all around. I am going to be very careful if I see one. I'm very happy that Smoky pulled out of it all by himself. I remember your relief from last year.

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    1. We're really not sure if the cabbage moth had anything to do with it or not - the vets sorta acted like we were crazy with that theory, but it makes as much or more sense than any of the explanations they came up with!

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  2. He's a cutie :) Never had cats and probably won't in the future (more dog fan than cat fan) but always fun to look at other people's cats :)

    betty

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    1. Hard to go wrong with kitty pictures!

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  3. Some great pictures. I especially laughed at the one of Smokey on the cat perch hanging his head down to look at you. That's good info to have about the moths. I didn't know dry food was supposed to be unhealthy for cats! My cats mostly eat only dry food and any little rodents they catch in the yard (well, not totally eat, but bite the heads off and leave the bodies where I will find them), and they are pretty healthy and long-lived as a rule, although they tend to be a little roly-poly in spite of an active lifestyle.

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    1. I have no idea whether the dry cat food thing holds any water or not (no pun intended!) In theory cats are designed to get most of their hydration from their food, so giving them wet food is much more like their natural diet. That being said, my mother always fed her cats cheap dry food from the grocery store, and on average they outlived mine by about 5 years. So who knows!

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  4. Smoky looks SO MUCH like our Frankie! It sounds like they have some similar behavior too. I'm glad he was alright after the big health scare. And I'm going to be a lot more careful about making sure our cats can't eat too many bugs.

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    1. Well, in that case, Frankie must be a beautiful cat! I don't really know what to think about the insects thing... I've heard that spiders & bugs are a part of a cat's natural diet. But I don't think all insects are created equal, so I'm gonna do my best to keep him away from the cabbage moths from now on.

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  5. Now I want a cat!! But what am I thinking? I have two dogs, a full-time job, and a serious writing habit. I can't handle ONE MORE THING. However, both your cats are adorable, especially together. Love Smoky upside-down on the scratching post! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I know what you mean... pets are so wonderful, but they do take a mental and emotional toll - and dogs seem much more high maintenance that cats to me. I've never had 2 litter mates before, and it's pretty wonderful that they have each other.

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  6. The Smokey and Jasper snuggly pictures are so sweet. I laughed at your pictures of Smokey being naughty ... although there are probably moments when his behavior is exasperating!

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    1. They are pretty darned cute together, aren't they? I sometimes refer to Smoky as "the adorable, yet challenging, Smoky Bear!" Seriously, I've had to do things like wire the television to the wall so he can't knock it over, my computer chair has hand weights attached to the legs because otherwise he tips it over several times per day... yadda, yadda, yadda. But life's never boring around the Smokster - that's for sure!

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  7. I still laugh when I see the picture of Smoky climbing your patio screen while thankful it's not my screen that will need replaced. I didn't realize that all of your cats you found and rescued. What a huge heart you have.

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    1. Ha! Well, I've purchased a roll of "pet proof" screen, which is supposed to be indestructible, but I haven't yet tackled the project of replacing it. We'll see if it lives up to their claims.

      And in my adult life I've only actively acquired one cat - Mow, who was my first - I adopted her from a shelter. The rest have all been gifts brought by "the cat fairy." To be honest though, I'm sorta hoping that she doesn't bring me any more homeless babies for a while - caring for sick and dying cats is so very emotionally taxing. Sigh.

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  8. Smoky looks like my Merlin cat- although Merl has white paws and a white chest. Pretty grey tabbies :)

    Merl and his brother Tommy used to hunt cabbage whites in the garden when they were kittens- I really can't remember if they ate them or not, but luckily if they did they didn't get ill. Perhaps a lucky escape! Mine all eat insects and spiders and have been fine, other than hunting wasps occasionally...

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    1. Well, the whole cabbage moth thing could be a complete red herring, so who knows. Brother kitties are so much fun, aren't they?

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    2. They are indeed- they used to curl up together :) They don't live together anymore, as when I moved out I took Merl, and Tommy belongs to my mum. My three are all unrelated, but get on pretty well- Tinkerbell washes Albus (the youngest but biggest!) and Albus and Merlin can sometimes be found curled up together. I think the fact that we got Tink as a kitten meant Merl got used to her, rather than just picking a fight, and they got used to Albus when he arrived as a tiny kitten...so they are a bit like adopted siblings :)
      They have also managed to get used to the dog- aka Fourth Cat- and Merlin will curl up on the bed with him.

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    3. That's so sweet that they all get along. My experience is that neutered males tend to form very close friendships with each other, but females almost never do. I've read that in the wild males have larger overlapping territories while females have much smaller separate territories, so I suppose it makes sense that the males are more sociable with each other.

      Anyhow, I think it's adorable that they curl up with the "fourth cat" on the bed! :-)

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  9. Adorable! And the video of both those guys playing is pretty cool...love when animals play fight in a loving way.

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    1. They are pretty cute when they get to wrastlin'. Sometimes they do this ninja thing where they stare each other down and then both jump and meet each other in the air. It's hilarious. Of course, Smoky doesn't exactly have the best off switch where this stuff is concerned, so sometimes Jasper has to get snarly to get him to stop playing. At that point poor little Smokes gets very dejected and goes wandering off down the hall howling and crying. It's very cute.

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  10. I love Smoky....well ok I love all your cats.....err! I love All Cats.

    Interesting about the cabbage moth.....I've never had one in the house but I'll make sure I don't now.
    I hate them on principle as they eat my broccoli and turnip, I have been known to chase them with a broom screaming at them to get away from my plants...goodness knows what I might do if the hurted my kitties.

    Yes kibble is not the best for cats, most brands are high in carbs.
    But some kitties(my 2 lads) don't want canned. The best I can do is buy a high protein/lo carb kibble and keep trying to find a flavour of wet food they will eat.
    Marieann

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    1. Smoky eats mostly Evo brand dry food, which he totally loves. I try to get at least an ounce or two of canned food into him every day, but it's such a challenge. He'll sometimes eat the Weruva chicken flavors, Wellness kitten food, or the Evo 95% meat stuff. I can also get him to eat a small bit of the adult canned Wellness brand, but only if I lace it with Nordic Naturals Omega3 fish oils. It's always a challenge!

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  11. Smoky and Jasper are cuties :) I like the tv shot - that is a thin tv to climb on.

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    1. Oy... the television climbing. These days he gets squirted if he goes near it, but that doesn't always dissuade him. He's managed to scratch the surface in a few places, and even though I've wired it to the wall, I still live in fear that he'll knock it over one day and get squashed. It is cute though!

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  12. Cute kitties! Smoky reminds my of my kitten Linus, another grey tabby, but Linus is long-haired. I adopted him and his sister (Lucy) last December. Linus is also quite energetic and having kitty siblings is wonderful.

    Also interesting about male cats being closer. My former boys were quite close, and even when the boyfriend's cat joined the family they all got on quite well. I haven't had a girl cat since having more than one, until adopting Lucy and she just sees enamored with all of her "brothers."

    Cat food is always a struggle. I switched the old cats to canned, but when Pig got pancreatitis he stopped eating wet food and will only eat one kind of dry. So there's dry out all the time and I give the three kittens wet food twice per day. While they will scarf Fancy Feast and Friskies every time, they are SO picky about eating the better stuff. It's so frustrating. And whenever I tell the vet I'm feeding them FF or Friskies he acts like I'm poisoning them.My theory (hope) is that some wet food, of any kind, is better than none. Sorry to rant...it's just hard when you try to do the best for them but they have their own stubborn ideas!

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who caters to her kitties!

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    1. I don't know what I think about the food thing anymore. The vets always seem to want them to eat Science Diet, but for all my many years of owning cats, I've yet to find one at any stage of life that would touch the stuff with a 10 foot pole! And Smoky, who LOVES the dry food has wonderful healthy teeth, while Jasper, who loves the canned food has terrible teeth that are gonna need medical intervention in the not too distant future.

      For what it's worth, my vet says that Fancy Feast is "not too bad" as far as grocery store cat food is concerned. And since Princess is pretty much on the "all Fancy Feast all the time" diet these days, I guess that gives me some comfort.

      I guess the older I get the more I subscribe to the "the best food for your cat is the food they will eat" philosophy! Especially with Princess - I figure she's livin' on borrowed time at this point, so she might as well get to have food that she loves.

      It is sorta crazy though - I have 3 cats and I end up feeding each of them something different. Oh well... I'm a slave to my fe-lions I guess!

      Anyhow, I've had great luck when it's one female and several male cats, but when you put several unrelated females together, that seems to be when the trouble starts!

      And Linus & Lucy are adorable names for cats! :-)

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Thanks, and have a fabulous day!