Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meet My Kitties: Mittens and Echo

Hello Everyone,

I'm feeling a bit down today for no apparent reason, enough to not want to do anything makeup related :( I've been trying to edit photos for couple of posts for a few days now to no apparent progress too. So in order to cheer myself up, I will talk about something that makes me very happy, aka my kitties. :)
Echo & Mittens, 3 and 4 mo old
Be warned, the post is very IMAGE HEAVY :) 

I've always wanted to have cats, but never was able to. First, in Ukraine, my parents would never allowed me to have a cat. Then we moved to US and I still wasn't allowed to have one. So when we started going steady with my then boyfriend (and now husband), we agreed that once we get married we'll get us 2 cats.

Fast forward almost a year after our wedding, we moved to UK, got a house and I brought up the topic of kitties again. And yes, they are called kitties, not cats in my world. We started looking around for cats to adopt, even went to Blue Cross adoption center. That failed miserably. And not even because we were Americans. (Usually British adoption centers won't give animals to US military, because many get pets and then abandon them when they move. Can't say I blame them here). They wouldn't give us 2 kittens because I dared to have a part time job, so there would be no one at home to watch the kittens. They are KITTENS for crying out loud! Not kids! They will be ok at home for few hours.

So I went to look of Lakenheath Yard Sales where you (sadly) can find lots of local pets free to good home, because military member are moving away, etc... and can't take pets with them. I want to ask to not comment on this issue, as this is a sour topic for many of us. I also have very strong opinions about it, even if I am part of military and have to move away. Lets just say I will give up going to Japan if I find out that my kitties can't go with me, and for those who know me... they know how important going to Japan is. 

After looking, and emailing and calling we finally came across as an for a male 10 month old cat, black and white. After calling we found out that he was not available anymore, but owner had a 7 week old female kitten that she hadn't posted about. We asked how she looked like, and got "Mittens from Bolt". Aside from black kitty with white paws being my all time dream cat, I was obsessed with Mittens from Bolt! So we asked to go look at her and it was love from the first sight. I knew this kitten had to be MINE! :)
First ever photo I took of Mittens
I took the above photo on my phone, set it as my wallpaper and showed to anyone willing to listen. Then we had to wait 2 agonizing weeks for landlord to tell us if we were allowed to have cats... and when he finally said we can, I was at work so I missed the picking-up-my-new-kitten part! But I was informed through text messages about all the happenings. :)

Here are some photos of Mittens as a kitten: 

 Look at this little fuzzball :) :) :)

 Yup, she spent a long time like that :) That's our ex-friend acquaintance there. Sadly I missed this because I was at work.

So we accomplished the whole half of our goal of getting 2 kitties. I got to pick one, now it was my husband's turn. For a long time he was obsessing over bengals, but pretty much the only way to get one was to go to a breeder. We argued about it a little, but at the end I gave up because our mutual friend offered to pay half the price for a bengal as birthday/Christmas gift for my husband. Again, not looking to start an argument here, I figured we adopted 1 kitty so it was better than not adopting any.

Both of us looked around for bengal breeders until settling on Junglefire Bengals because they were the only place that offered female kittens at the time. And we definitely wanted a female kitten :) My husband called and emailed, and off we went to look at the kittens. I even called in to work, naughty me ;P Actually we had 2 kittens to choose from, one was sold as a regular pet and another was a possible queen but the breeder had another kitten looking just like her, so she was selling the "queen" too. We had no interested in breeding our kitty, but her being a "queen" meant she had exceptionally great markings and whatever else shows look for in a show/breeding quality cats. 

The drive took us 1.5 hours, but that's a small price to pay for a kitten right? The breeder was a very nice lady, showed us all her adult cats, parents of our possible kitty, other kittens. We probably spent over 2 hours just talking and playing with kittens. When we saw Echo (the "queen" kitty) we knew she is the one, as the other kitten just wasn't as striking. Oh, I should probably mention that the breeder has a great sense of humor when naming her cats! Just check out her website. Little Echo (and she was one of the smallest of the bunch) was such a skittish little kitten, but eventually she warmed up to me and even cuddled in my big brown skirt :) We kept the name Echo because it was just too cute to not keep. Her full name is Junglefire Echo :) Sounds cute doesn't it?

 First day home :) And the familiar brown skirt :)

 And so we brought our new little kitty home. On the way we were treated to a kitty meowing concert for almost the whole 1.5 hours, until she ran out of steam. Yup, that's what the preview of what's to come :) Her personality blossomed in our house. At breeder's she was overshadowed by other more dominant kittens, but at our house she only had 1 other cat to worry about. 

For about a week she lived in a separate room to get used to our house, and more importantly to let Mittens get used to another kitty. Finally we let her out, or more like my husband let her out completely ignoring my protests that they were not ready to "meet". The were fine, but "mommy" was super worried nonetheless.

 The meeting was pretty civil, with some hissing but no blood lol.

They settled on "ignoring" each other.
Or not :) :) :) Curious little kittens :)
 Not long after that, they became best kitty buddies. Oh where did those times go? They are definitely can't live without each other now, but at the same time we rarely see them cuddle the same way as in the past. 
Echo getting her first and only bath, because she was stinky from the breeder's place.
My husband being a proud "daddy" ;P

Mandatory goofy picture :)

I have this photo as my PC wallpaper :)

Mittens seeing snow for the first time. She wasn't too happy about it lol

Echo on the other hand was all excited ;P

First Christmas tree.

And some lovings for "daddy" :)
Echo loves to play fetch! She will bring her toy to me whenever she wants to play.

Helping me study.... NOT haha

Tail raised high and marching towards trouble
Then came the time to get them spayed. I'm all for spaying and neutering because I don't want my kitties to contribute to the unwanted kitten population of the world, but it was still very hard to take them in and leave them with "evil" people for half a day at the vet.

Mittens went in first because she is the oldest, and literally few hours later I brought her home. She had to wear the cone for full 10 days because she just wouldn't stop messing with the stitches! Bad, bad kitty! Not that it bothered her actually. She was walking around as if who cares about the cone, I'm still gorgeous, life goes on :)

Echo went in a week later, and oh how she hated the cone! You can see in the pictures that he head and tail were down all the time! That's is NOT my Echo, who always has her tail high up to march into trouble. I only lasted one day, and then took off her cone lol. I think she knew what not to do, so she didn't mess with her stitches at all. Good kitty :) 

See how miserable she looks? It was like the end of the world for Echo :( :( :(

I think it's really cool that in UK the spaying operation is performed from the side. Goofy looking but overall better I believe.

Typical Echo face :)

We  had our kitties for almost 1.5 years and I can't be any happier. I am just as excited about them right now as I was during the first days. And I really can't imagine living without them anymore.They keep me company when my husband is away, and every day they greet me by the door when I come home. And follow me everywhere I go :)

I still can't tell who is the dominant kitty, or who is/are their person lol. Could it be possible they love us just the same as we love them? :) 

I hope you enjoyed reading this photographic history of  my kitties. :) If you have a post about your pets, link it away in the comments, I would love to read it!.

~ Lyuba


  1. what kinda cat is echo? She is SOOOOOO pretty! I love the designs on her coat, its like leopard!

  2. Echo is a Bengal, which is a mix between domestic short haired cat and Asian leopard cat. I don't remember which generation she is though.

  3. i love this post! the pics are so awesome lyuba

  4. I love the picture where Mittens is sitting on that guy's head, that is hilarious! Echo is absolutely beautiful, I have never seen a cat like that! You babies are so sweet, I really enjoyed the pictures!

  5. Vulcan_Butterfly, Mittens is full of personality. She likes to ride on my husband's shoulders too :) Around the house lol

    They way to my heart is through my kitties :)

  6. Люба, они очаровательны :) Mittens, сидящая на голове :))) Ехо очень экзотичная. Кстати, Фелечка тоже приносит игрушки, чтобы ему покидали :)

  7. О класс! Я думала что ето только у бенгалов такая особенность, т.к. до етого только одного кота видела чтобы так играл. :)