Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Skittles is a 12 yr old spayed, front declawed sweetheart of a cat. She came to me that way when she was 2 yrs old, so I have no kitten photos of her :( 

The funny thing is that I ended up with her because she was supposedly "vicious." Yeah, right. Not even close. This poor girl hid for 2 days when I first brought her home. They were giving her up though and if my employer at the time had seen her, I am 99% sure, he would've just euthanized her. THANK GOD, I was on! 

She, of ALL my cats, has taught me that cats can literally change over months to YEARS in how open they can become. I've seen small changes - where she wouldn't be in the same room as Chris to big leaps: went from NEVER being on the couch at all to being a total coach potato.  It was all at her own will and choosing of time. She's why I advise cat owners: don't give up and you never know how far out of a shell your cat can come. Let them decide. 

She came from a home with very young boys and based on what the owner told me, I suspect she was tormented by them. Only she would sooner run than bite someone.

About the only "biting" she does is what cat owners affectionally call "love bites" - these are when you are petting and stroking the cat, stop and she gently reminds you that it is NOT OK to discontinue the affection. Truly it's more of a nip. No skin is broken.

She has gorgeous eyes. I admit to being a bit biased.

Her favorite activities -not surprisingly like most cats - are eating and sleeping.   For a while there, she was getting skinny, so I'd give her some food separately in a downstairs bathroom (she tended to get bullied out of her food bowl). Now she's got a decent belly. Ok, maybe she's a little thicker than her veterinarian mom thinks is acceptable.

I should make a point that she trained me to know when I bought things that weren't seafood - namely tuna - flavored - as she'd flat out refuse them and give me a look. Then I'd look at the bag and go "ohh..this comes in poultry too??" *sigh* "Ok, Skittles, I'm sorry."  LOL...I'm VERY well trained don't you know??!

Gee she's lounging on the back of the couch..big surprise!

Her and I bonded almost immediately though as we were (at that time) the only females in the house. I had 2 other cats and they were boys plus Chris. I added a few more cats along the way and it wasn't until the last two, that the number of females in the house swelled to 3 cats and one human. 

She initially only felt safe with me. When Chris was gone, she'd find my lap. Almost every night she sleeps with me, curled up behind me as I sleep on my side. Here's what she does when I'm laying there reading..she's TRYING to get me to pet her. So cute. But if you do - be warned - you may not get back to that book for a while!

A few years ago, she gave me a scare. I had run some blood work on her since she was getting older. It was just a baseline screen. The next day, when the blood was scheduled to come back, I was at a veterinary conference in Baltimore. I called my one tech thinking "oh, it'll be fine." Her calcium level came back elevated and in pets, that often = cancer. I FREAKED OUT!!!  I'll discuss more on this in another blog. 

Thankfully, after a work up only a medical professional would do (remember, we see the worst, so we think of the WORST possible things!), she turned out fine. AND it was 4-5 years ago...uhh..rather UNLIKELY she had cancer then and is fine now.

Anyhow, while I love all my pets I do think she has the most beautiful face. And she never starts any trouble...except with my OLD man - Arizona (17yrs and still going!).


  1. I had a cat that, like yours, was already an adult when we got him. My kids were really anxious to meet him, but he hid under a couch for days, unwilling to touch his food or water. I was really beginning to worry when suddenly, one afternoon, he came out to greet my kids when they came home from school, purring and allowing them to pet him. When he saw me, he darted back under the couch, but I began talking to him, and he purred He allowed me to pet him, but when I pulled my hand away, I startled him and he sunk his teeth into me.

    The next day, when I woke up, my arm was throbbing and i ignored it. I ignored it about 3 days, until I noticed a red line going up from the bite mark into my shoulder.

    I went to the hospital, and the people doctor told me that had I waited four hours more, I'd be dead. I was on intravenous antibiotics for three days.

    Ironically, the cat never sunk his teeth into another person and was one of my best friends until he died of old age at 16.

  2. OH yes - cat bites are THE worst and most dangerous - due to the bacteria in kitty mouths. I always PUSH any client that gets bit to seek medical attention WITHOUT delay!!

    But glad it was a long happy life of companionship for the both of you!