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Our cats have always been a very important part of our lives. That seems to be the case with many artists. They frequently end up as subjects for my artwork and photography. Maine Coons are our favorite breed and we have had 5 of them over the years. In the past, we left our cats go outside, but now all of our cats stay indoors. Click on the photo plate to open a window with a larger view of the photos.
Isabella is the latest edition. She is a tortoiseshell Maine Coon and is polydactyl, having 7 toes on each front paw and 5 on each back paw. The photos were taken around 5 months (at 6lbs). She is very playful, but also loves to cuddle. She enjoys rough-housing with Titan and will eat almost anything.
While Zoe and Titan are Maine Coons from the same litter, they are opposite in personality. Zoey is a sweet dainty female, who likes to help my type at the computer and play video games. Ti is an aggressive male, who enjoys sleeping on his back. Ti hates to be brushed and we have to take him to the vet twice a year for a lion clip under sedation. He weighs around 17 lbs and it is far better that he be clipped than someone ending up in the emgergency room with a cat bite. Titan and Zoe have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which my vet says is common in Maine Coons. So, after years of eating turkey/chicken and rice/wheat, we have switched them to salmon/trout and potatoe (a novel diet as it is called). If your kitty poops outside the litter pans and/or vomits frequently, she may have IBD -- take her to the vet or you may end up in the kitty ER like we did with Ti.
The rest of the cats are in kitty heaven. Max, the black cat, is the cat in my current logo. We had to put him to sleep at the ancient age of 19 years. I think Max had more than 9 lives. Once I tried to rescue him from the jaws of the neighbor’s husky. He only lost some fur, but he bit my finger during the fray. 3 ER visit and 1 antibiotic IV later, I was on the mend. I warned him he’d be a husky sandwich if it ever happened again. For his part, he always checked the neighbor’s back yard for the husky before venturing out the kitchen door. He had a few surgeries for abscessed teeth. As he grew older, he lost all of the teeth on the one side and could not eat dry food, so I made him crockpot meals.
Aslan, the red and white tabby, was the wisest kitty we have ever had. He was born on a farm and had learned to mouse, which he taught to our other cats. Often he came home with mice, frogs, garter snakes, grasshoppers and even a baby bunny, which Shane rescued and we released back into the yard after a wound check. During the last year of his life, he became diabetic. We tried the shots for a few months, but eventually his kidneys failed.
Jesse, the grey tabby Maine Coon, was our first Maine Coon. He was a "rescue" from a pet shop. At first we resisted buying him because he had health issues, but when I held him we bonded, so we went back and bought him anyway. He was a runt and never made it over 12 lbs, but he was one of the most loving cats we have ever had. He was replaced by Strider, a Maine Coon whose nickname was Moose due to his size. Sadly, we lost him at 11 months due to HCM (Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), another malandy of Maine Coons. Since owning Strider, I have been careful to look for breeders who screen for HCM.
In 2011 my husband promised our son a pet fish, which after many fishy tales of woe resulted in 3 tanks and around 50-60 tropical fish. The 20 gallon display tank is in our dining room and houses guppies, cory cats, platties, cardinal tetras, a male betta, gouramis, and most notably Bob, the bristle-nosed pleco who cleans up the algea. While most of the fish live 1-5 years and the tetras could make it to 10 years, Bob could be with us 15 years. The 10 gallon tank in the living room has 2 female bettas (or 1 male), glofish, cory cats, and 3 otocinclus catfish who eat the aglea. We also maintain a 5 gallon hospital/nursery tank in our guest room. Most of the time it houses baby guppies and platties, which are born live.
Blog: To read more about our pets and see more photos, go to my Blog page.
Feline Diabetes Medical Facts We had a cat with diabetes and this site was very helpful.