The air quality in the apartment has improved now that Henry and Gigi have had much-needed baths. They also got haircuts and ribbons. Henry’s ribbons are a very masculine baby blue. I wonder what the plumber would say?
The more exciting pet news is that the dogs might be getting a feline companion. The desire for a cat came upon me gradually. Ten years ago, a friend of mine told me about smushy-faced Scottish Fold cats. I’ve thought about them ever since because — as you can see from the dogs — I love smushy-faced creatures. I thought about them more after Maru, a Scottish Fold, became an Internet star. But, though I enjoyed playing with friends’ cats, I was scared of their claws. At the end of last year, my stepson got a Ragdoll kitten during a visit with us. She was very polite with her claws, and so much fun to be around. MrB and I loved watching her play with Gigi (Henry was indifferent.). But what pushed me over the edge was this cat, whom I posted last week. Remember this?
I have not been able to stop looking at this cat. This is the cutest cat in the world; possibly the cutest THING in the world, period. I must have a cute cat of my own! I’ve been considering two breeds of smushy-faced cats: Scottish Folds and Exotic Shorthairs. The latter are short-haired versions of Persian cats with grumpy expressions. I do enjoy a peevish-looking pet.
As I’ve said before, I came up with my fashion-trend-predicting catchphrase — “Never is the next new thing™” — after noticing how often the word “Never” comes back to bite me in the ass. But that doesn’t just apply to fashion. When I say “never” about anything, I’m basically assuring it will happen sooner or later. For a start, I’ve said many times that I’d never get a cat. Obviously, that’s changed.
I also said I’d never get an animal from anywhere but the pound. All of my smushy-faced dogs, starting with the late Mr. Chubbs, have been rescues. MrB and I went to Ohio to get Molly, my parents’ late Pekingese, from a rescue. And Mr. Chubbs inspired my sister to get her rescue Pekingese, Max. I’ve been a total dog-rescue snob, scolding family and friends about rescuing, and surfing Petfinder.com for fun. I started looking at rescue cats online, but didn’t see anything with the exactly the look I wanted. Then I thought, “Forget it. I’m temporarily burnt out on pound pets anyway.”
It hit me a couple of weeks ago while I sitting in the animal hospital’s emergency room from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., waiting for Henry’s latest crisis to be tended to. I thought about what a vet said to me (rather rudely) in 1996. I brought in Mr. Chubbs because of the seizure he had the day after I got him. “So you got yourself a purebred from the pound and you’re surprised something’s wrong with it,” the 1996 vet said. “Just return it!” I didn’t take Chubbs back to the pound, nor did I go back to the vet. I found a new vet who has helped me deal with canine neurological problems, senility, ulcerated corneas, incontinence (both urinary and fecal, but not from the same dog), spinal-cord damage, more neurological problems, heart murmurs, allergies, skin infections, bad teeth, bladder stones, kidney stones, deformed feet and special dietary needs, among other things.
The problem is that when people breed dogs and cats for traits like smushy faces, less desirable traits are perpetuated too. (Smushy-faced animals aren’t alone in this; for instance, golden retrievers are particularly susceptible to cancer due to inbreeding.) What the original vet meant was that small purebred dogs — always coveted by apartment dwellers — generally don’t turn up in the pound unless they have serious problems, genetic or otherwise. I’d guess Chubbs was in the pound due to epilepsy. I know for a fact that Gigi was given up by two homes because of her crushed vertebrae. The injury means, to be polite, that Gigi often knows not what her sphincter does and has to be forgiven for all indoor mishaps (which are now relatively rare thanks to her special diet). And the moment I laid eyes on Henry at the ASPCA, I knew that the foot he was favoring was going to be a major problem, though I didn’t foresee that he’d wind up getting experimental paw surgery.
My current vet introduced me to another pet owner as “the lady who takes in all the broken dogs.” I’d like to avoid adding a broken cat to the mix, especially as Henry and Gigi are starting to show signs of a whole new set of age-related health problems. It would be refreshing to have an animal that isn’t on tail-wagging terms with the neurologist and every other specialist at the Animal Medical Center veterinary hospital. So I’m planning to buy myself a cat! I can’t believe it, but I’m going to visit a breeder on Friday to meet a cat and its parents. Of course, any brachycephalic — that’s the technical term for “smushy-faced” — critter can have health issues, no matter where it comes from. But this time I’m willing to skip the nationwide search for the rescue of my dreams and try a breeder. (If I were looking for another Pekingese, I’d easily find plenty of rescue candidates. Yep, I’d do that all over again.)
I wish I didn’t have such a passion for brachycephalic animals. BUT OH EM GEE LOOK AGAIN AT THE CAT IN THE SUNGLASSES! IT IS THE CUTEST THING EVER. Here are some more photos.
I just can’t quit these smushy-faced breeds. That reminds me: It’s time to check SquishFaceKitties for an update!
Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous says
The best pet-finding advice I ever got (if you decide to go the non-rescue route) is to look for a breeder that breeds for the trait/traits a breed is not known for having. In our case, we got a Cocker Spaniel from a breeder who bred solely for temperament, something spaniels have had a bad rap for over the years. We ended up with a gorgeous dog (her sister competed in Westminster!) who had the best personality.
Henry’s paw surgery was inspired by surgery that’s normally done on the cysts in Cocker Spaniels’ ears!
Megan Mae says
I have gotten cats from all sources, mostly the street. I take in the abused, lonely, and not meant for the street cats. Even when I don’t have a home to keep them, I’ve managed to help adopt out two cats, and now have a litter of kittens and Momma-cat, in addition to two adult male cats living with my Mom.
Ultimately, all animals need a loving home – even puppies and kitties from breeders. I know you’ll give that to whatever cat you decide to adopt.
I usually wind up with “sweet face” cats who are assholes. Not the other way around. Hehheh.
And may I say how freaking excited I am you are getting a cat!
(Not to drag this comment down, but yeah my BBF’s golden passed away not too long ago of bum-cancer. Poor baby was one of the few doggies I could stand to be around without bad-bad allergies. He was a McSweetiePants too.)
(also sorry if this double posts, my internet is being crap tonight)
Henry the dog has a sweet face but is an asshole deep down!
You have the biggest heart Wendy!! You deserve a smushy little cat if you want one. And I am quite sure you’re not finished rescuing dogs. Besides, Ruprecht will always need a playmate! LOL
Ruprecht and Egbert! You need two.
Mary Panjari says
Both my cats are foundlings! And Rosie the poodle was a rescue dog abandoned by cruel, fucked up owners. She has health and mental problems but I don’t care. She is adorable and I love her. Also have you seen the Japanese lady who makes costumes for cats. She uses her 2 two Scottish Folds as models. She makes costumes so your cat can be a princess, or a frog and many other things. Google her. It’s great.
Gigi totally has mental problems from whatever trauma she had with her back (I don’t know if it was abuse or accident). She’s so much better than she was, but still extremely aggressive to strange dogs and shy of strange humans. When I got Henry, I was a little worried she’d eat him, but she didn’t and I think his presence has settled her down. (Mr. Chubbs was too old to interact with her when I first got her, so she wasn’t really impacted by him.) She’s still more of a cat person so I’m excited to get her a kitten. 🙂 I call Henry her dog so I guess this will be her cat. I’m going to look at the cat costumes now.
I love that you have given homes to “less than perfect” doggies. It amazes me that people can give up a family member so quickly when they have health issues. All my cats have been shelter cats or strays and many have needed extra TLC from the vet, but they are all lovely members of my household.
I hope you get a kitty!
I’m sooo excited for you! No shame in getting exactly what you want from a breeder. As long as they’re responsible. I think you’ve earned enough good pound karma.
We want a French Bulldog and looked into the rescues around here. They’re ridiculous. They won’t let a pup go until they’ve received 50 essays. So, 1 in 50 chance plus $500!!! I may as well just go to a breeder and get a puppy.
I got Gigi in 2003 and before I found her I looked for a rescued French bulldog. They were like give us your name and will put you on our million-person waiting list. In my neighborhood, there are SO many Frenchies now. They must be horribly overbred and I bet they do show up more frequently in the pound due to health problems. I pray that I don’t see one in the pound next time I’m there, because I might be foolish enough to bring it home.
Yay!! Congratulations and I wish you much happiness with your future feline overlord! I read that the Scottish Folds are healthier as a breed overall. But the ES is super adorable and grumpy looking.
I bought my two cats from a breeder and so happy that I did. I wanted certain behavioral traits and found a breeder who primarily bred for personality. It was a nice bonus that both of my Rexes are wonderful physical examples of their breeds (I just love animals with huge ears and eyes and graceful bodies).
And please stop posting photos of the sunglasses kitty; it’s giving me unbearable cat-adoption yearnings! I can NOT become the weird cat lady!
I bow down to the sunglasses kitty — the epitome of feline perfection!
I can’t believe you are going to get a cat! Yay!
i have been watching you on tweeter and waiting for you to announce your household member!
so cute Wendy! I’m crazy about cats and dream to have one….
kisses my friend
Susan Tiner says
Wendy, you’re such a good person. A client of mine has a Scottish fold kitty. She’s beyond adorable but doesn’t like to be handled. I don’t know if that’s a trait of the breed or this particular cat. If we can’t play airplane kitty with willing and friendly cats we’re not happy!
The cat I’m going to look at is SUPPOSED to be friendly. (Though I don’t need him to sit on my feet 24 hours a day like Henry.) That’s why I’m going through a lot of hassle to see him in person rather than having the breeder ship him to me. I need to know what his personality is like! I passed on a Pekingese once who was gorgeous but only wanted to run around with a pack of the other dogs at her rescue place. She was so not interested in people. Very strange for a Peke. I’m sure she found someone with more space and a bunch of other dogs to romp with!
GRIT & GLAMOUR says
Getting a new pet/family member is always so exciting! Can’t wait to read more once you find the perfect kitty!
That's Not My Age says
I can’t believe that smushy-faced cat is for real – I’ve never seen such a thing?! The dogs look very cute in their bows, next time I’m in New York I expect to see them looking all neat & accessorized!
WoooHooo you’re thinking of getting feline! The HB and I are definately cat people and just like you I’ve always brought my cats home from the pound and I want only the special needs kitties. I’m more of a cat person because dogs seem to be like kids, No Thanks but I have to admit I would like a tiny dog to dress up like a kid hahaha
The Style Crone says
Will be waiting to meet the new member of your family. I can’t believe all that you’ve been through with your pets. That’s true love.
sulky kitten says
So glad you’re giving a lovin’ home to one of my crazy relatives.
It’s easy to see how much you love these kittys. They are truly beautiful. And cute. And those are two different things.