introducing Oliver

July 27, 2018 | Comments Off

Now it’s time to introduce Oliver, our first new pet in ten years!

Oliver plays in the Catty Stacks tunnel
Oliver, 7.5 months, 13 pounds, loves crossing his paws
Oliver chases a bug
Oliver cuteness overload

I had always wanted a Maine Coon, and now I have one! We got him when he was 13 weeks-old, and now he’s 2 years and 4 months-old.

And, I know, I know. I always say to Adopt, Don’t Shop. But I’ve done my fair share of adopting and rescuing (even one abused) over the years. And I’ll never shop/buy again because I know there are way too many in shelters and on the streets who need a good home. But there’s something about a giant Maine Coon with huge paws and furry ears that I’ve always really just loved. I’m sure I’ll get judgment from the cat community, but that’s okay. I’ve done my fair share there and will continue to, too. We take things to shelters all the time. And a few years back, I used many of my pr connections and literally loaded up the entire back of Mark’s then-Xterra to take a donation trip to Kitty City and Animal Haven Farm in Forked River, NJ. You can search for that with those keywords, if you’d like. It was very rewarding. I hope to do something similar one day again after I start writing more and build my pet reputation back up.

For basically still being just a kitten, this little fluffy butt has had a huuuuge number of health issues. First, our vet said he had a heart murmur, and Maine Coons are known for having heart issues. The first time we saw the cardiologist, he said that he saw early signs of hcm and told us to get him retested in a year, at which point we might talk about medications. Then, at the second visit, the cardiologist said that Oliver had the same type (harmless) as Lulu, a functional flow murmur. When I asked about the hcm, he said it wasn’t in his previous records. Um, what? I made sure he wasn’t accidentally looking at Lulu’s chart, and he wasn’t. So I think I’ll have him checked for a third time next year. Second, Oliver had some serious anemia issues that were officially diagnosed in December, and he’s thankfully been okay for like two months now. Looking back, he did become lethargic and he did become less chatty, but I didn’t notice the slow loss of those things until after the fact. In August, he had stopped eating, so we took him in to the emergency vet. When they drew blood there, his numbers were off, but no one said anything to us then. So fast forward to December. This is when he started licking/eating litter and when I called the vet. He had blood drawn, and it showed a low value. They set up an appointment to come back in a week to draw more to see if there was a change. That’s when he started getting fussy with food. He didn’t eat any breakfast at all one day, and that was the day we got the results back that said the values plummeted and he needed an emergency blood transfusion immediately. It was all so very scary. He ended up having two blood transfusions at his hospital stay. When he came home, he was on a few different types of medications, and then it was a hell of a time getting him off of prednisolone entirely. His numbers would go up and down, and it was always being tweaked. He’s had his blood drawn basically every 2-3 weeks since then. My poor, furry pincushion! Now his blood still shows that he has high lymphocytes, and nobody can figure out why. Third, I already wrote about the emergency surgery he had to have after he caught his armpit on a door latch; he used to like jumping up the walls by the door frame, but he has only done that just once more since the whole ordeal. Lastly, he has hairball issues. He is always wet because he is always grooming himself. He doesn’t throw up often. When he does, though, it’s as if he’s throwing up mini logs, in length and width. One of the last times he puked, it was the size of 1.5 bananas, only thicker. We have brushed him often, tried the treats, tried the paste, recently tried the coconut oil, and recently tried the pineapple juice. Then last night, he still threw up another masterpiece. When he doesn’t feel well (right before a puking incident), he skips a meal. So, we’ve never had a long-haired cat before, and we love his fur – it literally feels like it’s made of cotton balls! But it looks like he will need to be shaved. I have an appointment for him to get a lion’s cut on Wednesday. Mark is sort of against this because his fur is amazing and it’ll be missed, but he knows that it’s dangerous for him to have that kind of a solid hair thing in his tummy. A shave is better than surgery – for all involved. So, all in all, I’m hoping the lymphocyte thing doesn’t cause anything new and nasty to appear, and I really hope Oliver likes his little haircut!

He isn’t your typical friendly, affectionate, follow-you-around-like-a-dog Maine Coon. Oh, no. He isn’t overly cuddly, he’s stingy with affection, and he runs from us if we try to pick him up. He will come to us on his own every now and again. When he decides to grace us with his presence, he will drape himself all over us, purr loudly, and make biscuits. He also does this ridiculously cute thing where he will lay on us and then look at us upside down while staring sweetly into our eyes. Everyone who has met him has commented on how handsome he is, and he knows how handsome he is too. Oliver likes sitting in front of air vents and space heaters, laying in his cat hammock and cat towers, and playing with looney loops. When he first was adopted, he played in the water all the time, would tear up plastic products, and loved to chew on straws. He has a nose like a beagle and is always sniffing things; if there is a crumb, he will find it! He’s also very, very particular about the state of the litter boxes. He crosses his paws when he’s just hanging out. He crinkles up his nose when he eats. He sleeps on the memory boxes of our passed pets. Oliver defers to Sam on everything (toys, treats, food) but views Lulu as prey. He’s been quite an expensive handful so far, but he’s definitely worth every single penny!

For more photos of my tiny kitten, click here!

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