Khubie - The World's Most Wonderful Cat
Khubie was the greatest cat EVER! We adopted him from Dov & Brynn Sugarman when they were going overseas. The photos below show some of his many friends. The ones with the blue wrapped paw was his 17th birthday party in March of 2001. We gave him sub-cutaneous fluids for six months. He was still socializing on his way to the vet to be put down the Friday before 9/11. Thanks to all of you who made it to Khubie’s 17th birthday celebration. A good time was had by all. In addition, Khubie received a couple of fabulous cards. George & Julene couldn’t come but their card said: “There are no ordinary cats (Colette)…But there ARE Extraordinary Cats! And of course Khubie’s first parents, Dov & Brynn (shown here) told many stories of his childhood. Here’s what their card said:
Dear Khubla Khan, We remember with love the kitten who captured our hearts and continued to charm us for so many years. The kitty who answered the phone, opened and closed doors by their handles, climbed up wall tapestries to the ceiling, pounced on belt “snakes” with such ardor, overdosed on thawing chicken, caused such a commotion eating mouse poison on our Kibbutz during the harvest, captured the attention and admiration of a Druze Village, and basically has spent his life attracting fans wherever he has gone. You are a BodiSahtva feline and we feel blessed to have shared this particular lifetime with you. We are also grateful that you’ve had such a wonderful home and family these past 7 years.
—Happy 17th Darling! Love, The Sugarman’s PS: A donation has been made to the World Wildlife Fund in your honor.
Khubie, (aka Khubla Khan, The Big Unit, The Tank, The King of All Cats, The Mayor of John Street, The Gravel Truck, The Big Guy, His Sublime Feline Majesty) died September 7, 2001 due to complications from kidney failure. He retained his charm until the very end, even befriending strangers as we took him to the vet one last time. He was a great big presence in our lives and is often missed. He was 17 1/2 years old and dearly beloved by all those who knew him. The photos below include those from his farewell/birthday celebration which happened in March, 2001. He has a blue wrap on his paw. The rest are images of him with some of his friends.
Two new cats enter our hearts (2002)
When Khubie passed on Sheila knew she wanted another cat and Spencer wanted to wait a year and see. Five months later, on Friday, February 1, 2002 we ventured out to browse the cats at PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Shelter) and ended up bringing home two wonderful felines. Sheila says it’s going to take two to replace Khubie! Morrie Morrie is a two year old orange tabby weighing in at 17 solid pounds. He’s already settled in and is quite friendly. Misha Misha is a four year old calico. At 11 pounds she is quite rotund. At the shelter she was totally a lap kitty. So far at home she hasn’t come out from hiding under the shirts in the closet, but we’re sure within a few days she’ll adapt. Two week update The kids are fully integrated in the house now. Misha has come out from hiding though she still tends to spend a lot of her days in the basement. She now sleeps with us every night and frequently sits in our laps. Morrie spends his days atop his catpost/perch. We’re hoping once Misha gets over her cold and can smell the catnip on her post that she’ll enjoy hers as well. They’re not exacly playmates yet but they can be in the same room together without fighting which we take as a good sign. We even play with both them at the same time with the kitty-tease (fishing pole) their Aunt Carla gave them. We took them in for their first vet visit. Morrie got his shots and a clean bill of health. Misha is taking cold medication and will be going in for some dental work the end of February, an unexpected expense. All in all we’re thrilled to have allowed kitty love back in our hearts. Both cats enjoy hanging out on the perch. That’s Ellen Gass visiting Morrie from Leavenworth.
Two year update Due to our decision to downsize to a condo, and given that Morrie and Misha never did take a liking to each other, we decided everyone would be better off if we found a new home for Misha. We put a few signs up and it wasn’t long before a lovely young woman who works at the food coop adopted Misha. She’s loving being an only child, losing weight and playing more. August, 2006: Sadly, Morrie isn’t taking too well to the condo. We’re not sure if it’s the small size with no stairs to run up and down or the proximity of so many other animals or what. He’s been crying a lot and waking us during the night. We hired an animal communicator who conveyed that Morrie just doesn’t feel safe here. She gave us specific affirmations to do daily. We did that the entire month before leaving for Europe, then sent him off to Steve & Carla’s house to stay while we were gone. He was very happy there. Time will tell if he’ll adjust to returning to our condo! April, 2007: Finally Morrie seems to be pretty well adapted to condo living. WHEW!
Morrie - Our last cat
Early this year we decided to toilet train him. Yes, you heard correctly! There are wonderful support groups and commercial devices to aid in this process. The biggest advantage is no more buying and cleaning up litter. We’ve had our ups and downs with the process and 9 months into it we’re feeling optimistic we’ll complete the process. Morrie uses the dedicated spare commode without fail. We still need to continue to enlarge the hole until there’s no more device there to hold the dwindling supply of litter. If you’re in complete disbelief and/or just want some great laughs check out the videos of successfully toilet trained cats. When Morrie developed diabetes, we stopped training him and never went back. But in case this interests you here are some useful links:
- The Yahoo group offers tons of great info so you can get started on the right paw! Don’t do anything before reading their stuff. We started without knowing about them and ended up taking a break and starting over.
- Assorted do-it-yourself ways:
- Toilet Train Your Cat
- Teach your Cat to use the toilet – No more litter trays
- How to Toilet-Train Your Cat
- Commercial devices:
In other cat news Morrie was diagnosed with diabetes on September 24, 2008. As you can imagine this was a bit of a shock. We’d taken him in because he’d gone from weighing 18+ to under 13 in the last two years. The learning curve was steep. The most fabulous online resource is the Feline Diabetes Forum. While there are others, you’ll find all the support and information in this one place. Our first decision was whether to spend $200 on an animal calibrated glucose meter or use a human meter (for free). We learned on the forum that using a human one would be just fine. We also learned how lucky we are to have a vet that encouraged home testing. This gives us more information about how Morrie’s blood glucose level is responding to the twice daily insulin shots so we can appropriately adjust his dose. We’ve settled into a routine with Sheila taking blood at 6 am and Spencer doing it at 6 pm. In the short-term, while still gathering information we’re running “curves” each Sunday which means taking blood every two hours for a full cycle. WHEW! Like I said, a big learning curve. We’re hopeful that by the time we’re ready to leave for a week-long bike ride or meditation retreat that our regular cat sitters will be able to just administer insulin and not have to worry about drawing blood. That’s a lot to ask. We’re THRILLED to report that as of January 15, 2009 Morrie has gone completely OFF insulin. After two plus weeks with no insulin he’s officially in remission and diet controlled.
Morrie went “OTJ”* Jan 15, 2009
* OTJ means Off the Juice. Thanks to the Feline Diabetes Message Board and especially to Team J (JoJo and Jill) in LantusLand, we closely monitored Morrie’s blood glucose levels and adjusted his insulin levels to keep him “SURFING” in the “healing zone” (under 120). With many ups and downs, hundreds of ear pricks and dozens of sleep-deprived nights, we managed to wean him off the insulin by allowing his pancreas to heal (ONLY cats have this ability). We’re grateful that Morrie is feeling frisky again, has his silky coat back and is healthy. We’re also grateful to be getting more sleep and to be able to go out at night without worrying.