Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thanks everyone

I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who have expressed sympathy for the loss of Mariah and Shelby this week. It is just amazing how many people loved them like they were their own kitties because they have seen the videos on my youtube channel.

So to my friends on youtube, bengalchatter, bengaltalk, bengals-L and facebook---THANK YOU!

And to my friends from church and work---THANK YOU!

And to my family--THANK YOU!

And to Missy Strayer of YOU!

We love you all. We got through the week because of your support and now we are going on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I miss Shelby and Mariah

I have been writing notes and messages to all the people who have expressed sympathy to me & Dean. These are some of the thoughts I've had.

I wrote this to my friend Chrissine Rios of Chrissine is trying to help me get another little Bengal to go with the one I will be getting from

I still feel Mariah's spirit with me. She was that special cat just for me that set off a whole series of events. I feel Shelby too. She was so quiet and sweet. I keep seeing her in my peripheral vision. She was so much a part of the house. I keep stepping over her in the dark even though she isn't there.

I wrote the following to Bengal Circus on

I am not that strong but I am trying to be strong. I cry at specific times: When I'm in the shower and when I get into bed. Mariah used to sit behind the shower curtain and poke me while I took a shower. Every once in a while she would slide right into the tub and get soaked. So I always think of her in there. She also loved to sleep with me. She always wanted to be tucked under my chin & she'd knead my neck (ouch!). Seamus would try to curl up with me and Mariah would head butt him right out of the way every time. And if Seamus got there before she did, Mariah would sink her little teeth in Seamus' rear end or his neck until he gave up and went away!
Shelby would join us in the morning. She would quietly curl up at about my waist and let out little squeeks when I would scratch her back. She would roar like a cougar at Seamus though. They were territorial about me and the kitten.
So I cry in the shower and and in my bed. But I must bathe and sleep. And for now, cry...sometimes.

I don't want to sleep. But I am so tired.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two fresh little graves

This is unfathomable. Who would ever believe that it would happen this way. We now have two fresh little graves in the back yard.

I told Dean that sometimes everything in your life has to collapse so you can build it back up again the way it needs to be. Sometimes change is gradual and other times, like now, its drastic.

We will build our cat family back up again. I spoke to Missy Strayer-the Bengal breeder from whom we got Mariah (Woodland Bengals) & she has kittens now or we can wait for a kitten from a litter coming a little later.

Look at and check out the girl named Athena and the boy called George of the Jungle. They are being bred now.

And--and this is really unbelievable, Richard Norton--whose cats are famous on youtube-- has offered me a kitten for free if I pay for the shipping. After all the vet bills the idea of paying anything for anything is scary.

But just look at them:

Its hard to imagine getting another cat right now but honestly how can someone hurt when they are holding a kitten?

Why Shelby now?

Through something totally unrelated to Mariah's illness, we have lost Shelby this morning. She was perfectly fine asleep next to Dean when he heard her make a strange sound. She raised her head for a moment then dropped it. She was dead of what the vet presumes was an undiagnosed cardio myopathy.

She had a heart attack and died instantly.

Dean is absolutely shattered. The other cats are not aware yet. I am numb. I can't really absorb it and am trying not to become detached. This has happened. There is a reason that we don't understand. A plan is in place that we are just a part of.

These are two unrelated events. A not quite five month old kitten dies of a horrible disease on Monday and an eight year old seemingly healthy cat dies instantly on Wednesday. What is happening to us?

Seamus and Elvis are loving us right now. Seamus knows I am sad and is rubbing me and sitting in my lap. Elvis just looks at us with his intelligent eyes. He has been with Shelby for her whole life. They are like bookends. One without the other doesn't make any sense. And I hope he can function without her.
We love you Shelby.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good-bye Mariah.

My poor little Bengal kitten has left the earth. After many tests, examinations, discussions and hours and hours of observation, we had to put Mariah to sleep.

Her symptoms were horrific--I don't think I can list them here. I might be able to some day but not right now. She had almost all the symptoms of FIP. She probably had a predisposition for FIP to mutate into a deadly form.

She wanted to live. We could tell. But it kept knocking her down, over and over again. Now she is at rest.

I feel like she is resting in my heart. Its hard to explain but this kitty was my little love. I think she changed me.

I can't write much more now. I am exhausted
But allow me to thank everyone for loving Mariah.

Mariah is suffering

Mariah's symptoms have worsened. We picked her up at the Emergency Vet hospital this morning and her fever was back. We took her to the regular vet and he ran more blood tests. She is at home but she is unable to walk or even sit up without falling.

All the vets have said she probably has FIP--the "dry" kind--that is her belly isn't swollen. If she is that sick at least she isn't dealing with the discomfort of a belly filled with fluid. But she is suffering. If it is FIP she will not live.

Basically any infection or disease that causes neurological symptoms like this is almost always fatal according to what I am reading. There are treatments that we will discuss with the vets and then we will decide how to proceed. I have never believed in putting an animal through painful procedures if there is little hope of restoring it to complete health. The vet plainly states that FIP is fatal.

When we took her to the first vet yesterday he put the possibility that she would die right on the table. I guess it was good that I started to prepare right away.

The breeder--Missy Strayer of Woodland Bengals has been extremely supportive through this ordeal. She loves the Bengal kittens that she raises and is happy when they thrive and sad when they don't. She has generously offered to give us another kitten if Mariah doesn't survive.

This is not because Mariah was defective--the virus can mutate in any cat. There is no way to predict or prevent this from happening. The vet made it clear that it was no one's fault. She made that offer because she is kind. I believe this is breaking her heart too.

I am preparing myself for the worst. But I am still praying for her to be healed. If that is not to be, then my prayer is that Dean & I get through this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where there's life, there's hope

When I called the vet tonight I was told that Mariah's fever had dropped and her neurological symptoms (ataxia) and eye discoloration had cleared. They were really surprised by this. They were also equally amazed that she was eating and drinking and purring!

Just this morning the vet offered no hope--none. Her fever had not dropped. But some time during the day she improved.

I am going to pick her up in the morning and bring her to the regular vet. I am going to continue to pray that she gets better. And somehow, we will bring home a healthy cat. We want her to LIVE AND BE HEALTHY!!

We may lose Mariah

Mariah, our precious almost five month old Bengal kitten, is at the emergency vet. She is extremely ill with what could be Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The vet is not certain yet but if she has FIP, she will die.

I am in shock. I am sick with worry and grief. I am trying to have trust in God that all of this is eventually going to work out somehow. Some day I will be able to smile and feel good. But today I am weak with sadness, dread and confusion.

And if she has FIP, that means all of the other cats in the house could also be infected. If she has FIP then Shelby, Seamus and Elvis have been exposed. It is possible that we could lose all four cats. That would be the absolute worst possibility.

But she might not have it. She has been extremely sleepy and lethargic. Unsteady. She fell down a few times. The vet calls that ataxia. She has had a fever even though I gave her clavamox. The iris of one eye is darker than the other presumably from blood. I am not sure. The blood tests were inconclusive but the emergency vet will not give us any hope.

She is at the vet for the rest of the weekend. We will take her to the regular vet on Monday and they will look at all of the tests they gave her in the last month and a half to see if they missed anything.

At this point we can't determine what is going to happen because we don't know what is wrong with her. So we wait. And I am supposed to carry on.

Carry on? This is happening when I have so many work and church commitments that I would be stressed out without this anxiety. So I am praying and trying to find ways to remember that there is still joy in the world. I am trying to remember that everything, no matter how horrendous, eventually passes and turns into something good.

I am trying to use all of the teachings from the Bible that I have learned in church and Sunday School to get through this.

We love Mariah. She has touched us. We pray that she will be healed and will come home to us. We pray that she will be a part of our family for many years to come. We pray that all of our cats will be healthy. We pray that someday we will understand why this happened and accept it.

If you are reading this please pray for my kitten, my cats, Dean and me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Savannah City Hall

More Pictures from Savannah

I went to the Paula Deen restaurant tonight--Lady and Sons tonight. I am stuffed. I hardly ate anything though. I was completely intimidated by the shear size of the chicken pot pie. I took a few stabs at it and gave up. My friends laughed at me! Oh well. It would have been funnier if I had eaten it.

More pictures of Savannah.
These are pictures of the view from the conference room. We were working very hard but it wasn't boring. There were yachts and tugs and ferries and container ships going by! What a view!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Savannah trip

Here are more pictures. Had dinner in a little oyster place on the river.

Miss my Cats!

I am in beautiful Savannah on a trip for work. Hopefully I will see more than the inside of a conference room. I do miss the cats though. Especially Mariah--That sweet thing!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

More Bengal cat Mariah pictures

Mariah's Family

RWSGC Bengaland Divinci Domino of Woodlands is Mariah's Great Great Great Grandmother. CH George Of The Jungle is her father. They are very beautiful. Please check them out!!! There is a lot of information at the Bengaland website. That is where Domino came from.

Maria's beautiful rosettes

Mariah is getting so big that I can't pick her up with one hand easily anymore. Up until last week I could just scoop her up with one hand and carry her around. Now I have to hold her against my side if I am trying to carry her with one hand. She is gorgeous! She is also big enough to be on the screened in porch. She can scamper along the railing now.
I don't have a picture of her mother. but there is a picture of her Great Great Great Grandmother on the breeder's webpage. And there is a picture of her father on his breeder's webpage.