Thursday, 30 September 2010

Thankful Thursday

: We are not sure whether words alone could possibly express how thankful we are at the outpouring of kindness we experienced following the loss of Yuu-Chan. Each and every message, both from friends and total strangers, went straight to our hearts. And we were so very touched by the 20 special posts about him on various blogs. We will be visiting you all to thank you directly, but for those who do not have blogs, such as the lovely lady (?) in Western North Carolina who works with horses and has an Aby, we will say a big, big thank you here.

We are thankful also that we had #1's old friends here for a few days. They spoiled us all and made #1 smile. Ms. D and Ms. N, we expect you back same time next year, if not sooner!

We are thankful to be together and to have one another. We have been spending a lot of time all together. We all miss Yuu-Chan so much but we are strengthened by each other.

I had a wonderful romp in the big field with #1 and her friends a couple of days ago, and I took them to visit Sen-Chan's Fairy Tree. We know that it is a gateway to Rainbow Bridge and feel close to our lost boys when we are there.

And finally, we wanted to mention that we have seen so many rainbows over the past few days. We know that Yuu-Chan, Sen-Chan and Ikkyu are all together at the Bridge.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

"Good Night, Sweet Prince..."

"and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
We were reminded of these beautiful words from Hamlet by our friends over at Cats By The Sea. They seem so fitting for Yuu-Chan who was indeed a prince in every way. He was brave, and had great dignity coupled with great kindness. He always looked out for those who needed care and protection. He loved to play and to cuddle and was always ready for new adventure. In the last weeks of his life, he befriended the two donkeys who live in the field below our garden. He never hesitated in going towards them and saying hello and they in turn came to him in peace. He looked upon Tommy as an equal and, unlike the others, never nuzzled him although he was always ready with a greeting. He was agreat hunter who caught two mice within an hour just 10 days before he died. He loved his #1 with all of his heart, curling up against her, on her, or around her hand at any and every opportunity. He struggled with a variety of health problems much of his life, but never let them become who he was. He lived the life he was given with an open heart.

I drove him to Dr. C's first thing on Friday morning. I had to be at the Percheron Nationals Friday and Saturday and knew he would be in the best hands possible with her. She was clearly taken aback by the deterioration she saw and left me with him a few minutes before I had to go. I suspected these would be my goodbyes and told him that he would be loved always and that if he must make the big journey to the Bridge, Sen-Chan in particular would be there to welcome him. I left with a heavy heart and started the drive up to the National Stud. As I drove, I suddenly saw a tall window-shaped rainbow in the otherwise grey skies. I knew they were getting ready for him over there. It was almost time for him to go.

We have so many photos of him here. He first came to visit, with his mother and three siblings, when he was just four weeks old. He was much quieter than his siblings, the sweetness of his nature becoming quickly evident:

He came to live us full-time on October 1, 2009, and Tommy was the first friend he made:

But he and Sei-Chan quickly became inseparable and were known for a while as "The Red Terrors."

As he grew, all of my friends fell in love with him and he started to mature into a magnificent cat:

He always had a very unique expression in his eyes, old beyond his months and very mature and dignified.

When he found himself briefly with Tora-Chan in the house, and then again when Bibi-Chan emerged from the back room, he was there to comfort and cuddle and offer guidance:

He was also always good with children and had a great time out in the garden with a bunch of little guys in early June:

He and Tommy remained great friends always. As Yuu-Chan grew unwell, he found it hard to tolerate the other cats but he was always happy to be around Tommy who joined #1 to sleep in the back room with him the last week of his life.

Wonderful as Yuu-Chan was with everyone, he had a special bond with his #1, perhaps born out of his fragile health.

And Yuu-Chan also had a special bond with Dr. C whose gentle hands were on him as he made his journey to the Bridge.

We will miss you, little brother and beloved friend. You graced our lives with your gentleness, so very much in tune with your name, "YUU" for "Yasashii" meaning "gentle" in Japanese.

We would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts everyone for the sweet comments, and most particularly those who have put up special posts for Yuu-Chan. Thank you to Khyra's Corner, House of Cats, Cats by the Sea, Cat Tales, Pikku Pinapippuri, Simba's Antics, Forever Foster, Mango and Dexter's Great Adventure, PEI Day, The Chronicle of Woos, The Cat's Meow, WeezDaBadCat, Cat With A Garden, Ginger Jasper, Hannah and Lucy, Doggy Days, Miss Peach, The Naughty Kitty Club, Attie Cattie and Sumac Stories. We also just received a message from Ms. S who looked after him so tenderly when #1 was in Canada in July, saying "we must try and celebrate the joy he bought to all of us who were lucky enough to be able to love him."

We will take a break of a few days to regroup. We have visitors arriving tomorrow who will help us to heal. They are two of #1's closest friends from university days, one from Canada, the other from England. They were both big fans of Yuu-Chan.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


June 9, 2009 - September 25, 2010

Our beloved Yuu-Chan got his wings in the early hours of this morning. After our last blog post on Thursday morning telling you he was doing well, he started going downhill very fast on Thursday evening. I took him to Dr. C's on Friday morning and she was shocked by the deterioration in his state. He received a transfusion (thank you, Luke, for donating your blood) but he was already too ill for it to help. Dr. C, who loved him almost as much as we did, was with him at 2am and made the decision to help him to the Bridge. In her words "He was such a wonderful cat that I could not bear to see him suffer as he was beginning to suffer." Thank you, Dr. C for your kindness, care and compassion. And thank you, Yuu-Chan for gracing our lives with your gentle soul this past year.

We are all heart-broken today. We will put together a post celebrating Yuu-Chan's short but wonderful life tomorrow. Thank you all for your kindness and support during his illness.

#1, Tommy, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan and Bibi-Chan

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thankful Thursday

: We are thankful that we have had great weather all week and so been able to enjoy the fresh air. I have been having all my usual fun times out with #1 in the fields:

Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan and Bibi-Chan are grateful that they have been able to spend a lot of time out in the run. The weather is just changing so maybe the next few days will have to have more indoor time.

Yuu-Chan is thankful that his first series of injections is over and he can now have a break. His appetite is already improved today and he is much more with it. #1 made him some baked cod and he just loved it! He is going to miss her over the next couple of days as she has to go off to the Percheron Nationals, but Uncle U will be here to look after all of us.

We will not be blogging on Friday and Saturday, but look forward to eeing you again on Sunday for our Snuggles post.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Winner on Wednesday!

So, #1 finally got around to putting all the names for the hammock draw into a bag and drawing out the winner. We wish that everyone could have won but, in the event, the name that was picked out of the bag was...... DRUM ROLL.......


As promised, we also drew for a consolation prize of a bag of toys and treats. And the winners there were GANDALF, GRAYSON, WHITEY AND GRACIE over at the Daily Gs!

If the winners would kindly send me their snail mail address, to sei-chan at ikkyu dot biz, I will help #1 with the packing and posting. Huffle, your package will go out via what the French call Economy Air-Mail and will probably take 2-4 weeks to get to you. Also, it may take a few days to get our act together as we concentrate on helping Yuu-Chan to settle back down after his first course of treatment.

Thanks, everyone for taking part. It was fun and we will do it again!

For those of you who have been following Yuu-Chan's progress, he had his 5th shot of Interferon today, meaning this is the hardest day for him. He is totally wiped out and spending his days resting, with #1 at his side. He is also completely off his food so he is being fed a combo of veterinary AD and goat's milk by syringe every couple of hours. Dr. C says all of this is normal, and he should start perking up by Friday, but we do feel sorry for the guy. Here is a photo of him taken a couple of days ago as he helped #1 with the ironing:

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tama-Chan Tuesday

I have to say that things have been a bit strange over here. You know what the strangest thing is: it's at bedtime, when Tommy and #1 disappear behind the door that leads to the back room and don't come out again until morning! So they are here without being here...

Anyway, we have been enjoying truly glorious weather these past few days. It gets chilly at night now but the sun is just shining bright all day! Needless to say I have been enjoying the run:

We have also been trying to take advantage of #1's feeling of guilt at not spending enough time with us to try and get more ham out of her. Sei-Chan is particularly good at ham-getting, so I put her at the forefront of the negotiations:

Not much else to tell, really. #1 has promised that she will get little papers organised for our hammock draw so that we can pick a winner and let you know tomorrow!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Manly Monday

: We are late in posting today, but for a good cause: #1 got a call from the blood bank in Chartres asking her to come in, so off she went and returned several hours later minus 720ml (one and half pints) of blood plasma. As soon as she got back, she went out into the garden with Yuu-Chan (and me!) as it's such a beautiful day, and so the time passed.

I have just one photo of myself to show you today:

It was taken in the garden.

Yuu-Chan: So, I am not in the best of health at the moment, but that does not mean that I need to look anything but my best, does it? It is so important to keep a clean machine!

I also have a photo today that is dedicated to Khyra's cousin, Merdie. She will know why...

Bibi-Chan: Do you know what #1 called me the last time I scared the living daylights out of Sei-Chan? She called me a THUG! Can you believe that? Sweet little kitten me, Bibi?! I am so, SO hurt!

PS: With everything that has happened these past few days, we got behind with our hammock giveaway plans. We will try to get things organised and announce winners on Wednesday.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday, Sunday!

We are still reeling from yesterday's news over here but would like to say a big thank you for all the wonderful words of support we received from you. We will be relying a lot on our blogging community as we help Yuu-Chan tackle his illness.

He did pretty well yesterday after his first shot. He is beginning to eat better, which is important. We do really need to put some weight back on him. He is particularly fond of his "Thrive" freeze-dried chicken treats which are 81% protein and therefore great. Last night, #1 and Tommy decided to spend the night just with him, so they made up the bed in the back room. Yuu-Chan loves the new cat bed #1 brought back from England, so she put it next to her pillow and they were able to snuggle all night.

And Tommy provided lots of moral support:

As it is Sunday, we do have a few snuggle shots for you. This week, Yuu-Chan and Bibi-Chan snuggled together for the first time in a long while:

Although Tommy remains Bibi-Chan's favourite snuggle buddy:

We also have this rather sweet picture of Bibi napping next to ViVi last weekend:

And here is a rare shot... I actually let Bibi-Chan nap close to me!

#1 says she is sorry she doesn't have any shots of Sei-Chan snuggling this week. Her photo-taking has been curtailed by other considerations. We'll try to do better next week. We will also post daily about Yuu-Chan's progress as he completes his first course of 5 Interferon-Omega injections.

PS: Our special thanks to our friend Bolo for his nice post!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sad SEIturday

We are a little sad at Poupounette Central today because we got some bad news this morning. #1 and Tommy took Yuu-Chan in to Dr. C so that he could get his blood test and start the Interferon treatment. The results showed him to be quite anemic and, on a hunch, Dr. C redid an FeLV/FIV test. He had been tested once before when he was seven months old, and the results were negative, but this time, they showed a weak positive for FeLV. Our little brother Yuu-Chan is pretty sick. There is some good news within the bad, however. Aside from the red blood cells and platelets, the other results were all good and the biochemistry was all fine. He is still producing cells and marrow and he wants to get better! Also on the plus side is that the Interferon, which is really the only viable treatment for FeLV, was in the fridge. So, he got his first shot and will get four more over the next four days. Then in two weeks' time, he will go back to Dr. C for another blood test and to start the second round of five shots. The third round will be six weeks later.

Here is Yuu-Chan at Dr. C's today, waiting for his results:

And here he is back home, in his special room where he will be spending a lot of his time during his treatment, so nobody bothers him.

Dr. C said it was fine to take him outside in the garden if the weather was warm and sunny. He just loves doing that, and here are a couple of pictures from yesterday.

Enjoying the shade of our little apple tree:

And saying hi to his best friends, Pomme and Bob:

I am crossing my paws for my little brother

Could you do the same?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Frootbats and Flying Ears! It's FRIDAY!

Have you been missing me? I haven't gotten much blog time since Monday. Not that I resent my kitty siblings getting to post. There are four of them, after all, and they had a lot to tell this week. Anyway, without further ado, here are some flying ears for your pleasure:

How about a "Single Fly?"

Quite tricky that....

And here is a "Field Fly"

Next, in the interest of equal time for Frootbats, may I present....


That Yuu-Chan has real style!

Here are Bibi-Chan's sleepy early morning Frootbats:

Tama-Chan is of course a pro at this:

And a rather shy set of Frootbats from shy Sei-Chan: