Muffin is just a plain-ole American Shorthair Grey Tabby. No unusual features about her. However, both of her offspring (Raisen and Bran) are polydactyls, otherwise known as `Hemmingways' (they each have six toes and claws on thier front paws; Bran with another six on one of her hind paws). To the best that I have been able to decipher, both Raisen and Bran are known as Non-pedigree Blue-Cream shorthairs. They could be either tabby or tortoisehell, depending upon how you look at thier markings and colorings...a mixture of grey, brown, and with tufts of white and tan. They are specifically neither one it appears. Since there are only two kinds of the Non-pedigree types, I prefer to take that rarer definition because it makes them both seem that much more special. Both Raisen and Bran were born on May 5th, 1993, and we always celebrate thier birthday at the dinner table with a single-candled "cake" and numerous presents. I'm not sure THEY really understand what's going on; but it makes us feel good anyway. ;-)
But this is supposed to be about `Muffin.'
You already know how Muffin arrived at our home. She more or less MADE herself a new home with us and, for a while, we didn't really know why. When she had her kittens, then of course, we knew. It was really strange because, almost up to the day she was to have the kittens, we had no idea she was pregnant. She didn't get too extremely fat. In fact, we just assumed any size she had must probably be just from her own eating habits.
Then on May 5th, 1993, she jumped up on my bed...and gave a wickedly paranoid-sounding `mmeEEEOOWWWWwww!'
I was reading a book at the time. There she was, standing on the end of my bed, looking straight into my eyes. Except for the weird meow, she looked rather normal. "WHAT!" says me, slightly irritated from being interrupted from my book. "I GAVE you food!" To which, Muffin immediately turns around, waits a few seconds, turns around to face me again, and again stares straight at me, now with a look of "WELL, STUPID?" (DUHHH!) I lay there for a split-second with my mouth agape in slight panic. "Oh, GREAT!" says me. To which Muffin replies, "Me-OW! Me-OWW-ow-OW-ow-OWWWWWWWWWW!" And then she continues her stare, this time with her head cocked and a little more urgent a look. "Oh, wonderful! A cynical smartipants for a cat!" Regaining my senses, I threw the book down.
So, like any good, excessively-worried father-to-be, I leaped to my feet and with no further questions asked gently picked up `Muffin' and placed her into the Pet Taxi (TM) with a little bit of water and some food, and off we dashed to the Veterinary Hospital, conversing all the way. I'd ask her along the way if she was okay, and she'd simply reply "Me-AP!" (This translates to "just shut up and drive, you moron!") In fact, if you take a look at the photo on her Drivers License, at left, the look is much akin to the one she actually gave me, when she said that to me.
At the Hospital, we learned that she was pregnant with three little kitties. But there was a complication. One of the kittens had fallen down one of her fallopian tubes (cats have two - unlike the human female which has only one) and was blocking the intersection of the two tubes so that none of the other kittens could make it through. After some attempts by the Doc at maneuvering this poor, hapless creature gently out of the way, it became apparent that none of the efforts were going to work. Time was critical and the chance was there that ALL the animals could be lost if this was not resolved soon. So, reluctantly, I decided to go the route of Caesarean Section to remove the kitten obstructing the tubes - with the proviso that the best effort be made to save the poor kitten in the way. This was not to be, however. It had been stuck there too long, and died soon after birth.
But the other two kittens made it okay; and for the next few months, you'd have laughed to see me - rubber gloves and eye dropper always handy - nursing these two kittens and helping our new `Mom' to care for the `children.'
We don't know when, exactly, Muffin was born, of course. She showed up at our door already close to what the vet estimated must have been and age of about 11 months or so at the time.
During her pregnancy, and for a short time during raising the kittens, Muffin adapted very well to us. I was able to teach her to walk on a leash - to some extent - without too much problem. But she did better at just following me around the block for walks. I had a videotape of this, but my brother one day recorded a movie over it while desparately trying to find tapes he thought were "suitable" for recording over. That bummed me out. The tape showed Muffin following me out the door, and walking with me off to my side, as we walked off into the distance. It always brought stares and comments of amazement when people would see this go on. Cats don't follow, usually. The do what they want and go where they want to go. It was kind of unusual to see.
I tested her with driving, but she didn't seem to like it very much. At first, it was fun to her but it quickly became apparent that she suffered some motion sickness after a while, and we'd have to return home.
Here's a WAV file of Muffin's voice.
Click here for more photos of Muffin. (These are in color.)
About My Pets
c/o Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
Created: September 24, 1995.
Last updated: October 20, 2000, April 15, 2002.
© Copyright 1995-1999 by Todd L. Sherman. All Rights Reserved.
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