Thursday 31 March 2016

Thankful Thursday Celebration: Genji's Fifth Birthday!!!

THIS IS IT! Today our Blue Boy, Genji The Shining Prince, is FIVE YEARS OLD! Our joy in celebrating this day goes beyond any words we can think of. Less than two months ago he was so sick with pancreatitis and a positive FeCV test that we were very worried that we would lose him. In the event, the FeCV seems to be holding at bay for the time being, and a diet of fresh chicken in lots of broth saw the pancreatitis off and put the weight and energy back into our little boy who is running and playing with the best of them once more!

Here is the first picture of Genji to land at Poupounette Central:

And here he is two days after he moved in:

He settled in pretty quickly!

Here he is at one year old:

Two years old:

Three years old:

Four Years old:

And here is his official Fifth Birthday Portrait!

Live Long and Prosper, Little Blue Boy. We all love you! 

Your #1, Tommy, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Da Beebs, Vidock, Violette and Trav.

PS: For those who are newer to this blog and don't know the story of his name, GENJI was named after the main character of the world's oldest novel, "The Tale of Genji" written by Murasaki Shikibu, a court lady in Japan over a thousand years ago. Genji was such a wonderful character that he was nicknamed The Shining Prince (Hikaru Genji).

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Wednesday Whinnies

Vidock: Studly Neighs, EveryFriend! The Big V here, or should I say "Da Big V" as that appears to be the fashion around here?

Anyway, I have some pretty exciting stuff to show you today! You know I have been working regularly with Mr. JP since September. So far, we had been laying the groundwork to move on to the "real" stuff which is a Spanish equestrian art called Doma Vaquera. This is Spain's traditional working dressage and it is also what all the "cowboy" skills such as reining come from. As far as we are aware, no Percheron has ever tried his hoof at Doma Vaquera before!

Now, Doma Vaquera consists of several different techniques, and there is one tool which is central to it. It is called La Garrocha. This is a pole that is 3.5 to 4 metres (12-13 feet) long, and which is used to work cattle (ever wondered where the term "cow poke" came from?). So, last Friday, Mr. JP decided that the time had come to introduce me to La Garrocha and rode me over to his place where he has a covered riding school. Now, apparently, most horses have a bit of a conniption fit when they first see La Garrocha, but I am of course Vidock, THE Percheron stallion, and these things do not scare me! Here, for your entertainment, are a few pics of me on my first experience with La Garrocha:

And here is a little video of my moves:

Both #1 and Mr. JP were seriously proud of me, and not a little impressed at my prowess for a first-timer! My apologies for the sound of excited panting, courtesy of Mr. Floppy Ears Tommy...

Violette: Did you call me, #1?

Here I am!

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Tama-Chan Tuesday?

Tama-Chan: Sometimes, one does despair... Can you believe that #1 hasn't actually taken any photos of me this past week? Does this seem even possible to you? Quite...

But here I am and we need a post, so I shall once again go fishing in the archives and come up with some oldies but goodies.

This is me with my brother Sen-Chan just one month before he went to the Bridge. He was the best brother ever:

This is me in October 2009 with my boyfriend Boukhara. He is Da Beebs' daddy...

This is me with my babies. Da Beebs is the one you almost can't see, wearing the orange collar:

With my Tommy:

Guarding the wine cellar...


I hope you have enjoyed these archive shots. We'll try and be a little more up-to-date next week.

Monday 28 March 2016

Manly Monday

Da Trav: Hi Everyone! Trav here. #1 said I could open today's Manly Monday because she took this awesome portrait of me a couple of days ago:

Da Genj: Can we play, #1?

Da Beebs: Da Good Boy!

Tommy: I had the best time playing with the boys yesterday!

Vidock: Here I am, strolling through the woods, with Mr. JP!

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday 27 March 2016

Snuggles on Sunday

Tama-Chan: Well what a week that was! All the trauma surrounding Sei-Chan and her two vet visits in three days ( I do feel for her). And then we had a Tommy worry yesterday when he refused to eat his breakfast. Once again, #1 was on the phone to Dr. C and ended up hanging her head in shame because she was probably responsible. The flea/tick medication we use for Tommy is called Bravecto, and it is a pill that is effective for three months. It must be given with a full meal but #1 forgot about that. And apparently, it can cause bad nausea if taken on an empty stomach. So, Dr. C said to feed him just small home-cooked meals for a day or two and he should be fine. He is not showing any other signs of feeling unwell.

So, here I am, bringing him a little comfort:

I am not sure who was bringing whom comfort in these next shots of Tommy and Sei-Chan:

My Beebs also snuggled with Tommy:

Da Genj, however, did most of his snugging with #1:


And Tommy loves to curl up with #1 for snuggles:

 The Big V has been doing some amazing stuff he'll tell you about tomorrow:

And Violette is loving being snuggled, as usual:

Last but not least, we would like to wish a Happy Easter to those who celebrate. It's very windy today and Tommy and #1 are heading over to a family lunch near Paris, so we Chans will be spending our day napping.

Saturday 26 March 2016


Sei-Chan: Dear Friends! I last wrote two days ago, on Thursday, and believe or not, I was hauled off to Dr. C's again yesterday! Truth be told, #1 noticed that, all of a sudden, I was basically going from one litter box to the next and depositing only a drop here and a drop there. Every warning light inside #1's head lit up and she was on the phone to Dr. C's office the minute they opened. They said to bring me in and that I might have to stay. Fortunately, I let her catch me quite easily. We also took my favourite pink blankie along and I of course sang the whole way there. I am happy to say that I did not have to tsay.

Dr. C examined me thoroughly and concluded that I had a kind of stress-driven cystisis and that the most important thing was to help me relax. The last few days have been stressful, and the change in diet hasn't helped. The most important thing, according to Dr. C is for me to feel calm and serene again and if that means that I get some of my regular food too, then so be it. She is very hopeful that the Semintra will bring down my urea levels to close to normal. If I absolutely refuse to eat any kind of renal food, then there is another medication that can be combined with regular food for a similar effect. But #1 has ordered me a bunch of different renal foods so maybe there will be one in there that will be OK.

In the meantime, I am on Metacam for five days and Zylkene for ten days. Zylkene has not been available in North America until now but it looks like it is going on the market in late March. It is a wonderful stress reduction medication that is based on the Casein protein in milk. It is in powder form but tastes nice and #1 sprinkles it over my favourite Laughing Cow soft cheese. I take it as though it was a treat! The Metacam and Semintra are liquids that have to be syringed into my mouth so that will remain a challenge. #1 can hand me up the little pieces of cheese up into my basket on the study shelf:

Here is a better view of the basket:

I can keep an eye out for kidnappers from there!

Anyway, if I could possibly ask for a few more purrs and crossed paws? I very hope that things will have settled down by next week.

Friday 25 March 2016

Frootbat Friday!

Genji: I think we can never have too many Frootbat posts and we really don't have enough of them, so here, in honour of the Easter Bunny, is a Frootbat free for all!

I am going to start with a SingleBat photo of me:

Followed by some BeebBats!

Some nicely glowing TamaBats:

And some SeiBats to round out us Chans:

 We also have a special contribution from Da Trav:

And a slightly blurry Flying Ears shot from Tommy:

We wish you all a Batty Friday!

Thursday 24 March 2016

Thoughtfully Thankful Thursday

Sei-Chan: #1 said I could have an extra post today to tell you about my visit yesterday to Dr. C. The whole affair was torture because I was in solitary from the afternoon before and was starved overnight and into the morning. I sang "the song" in the car all the way there. I was most thankful when we finally got there.

I am usually quite well-behaved at the vet, sticking as close to #1 as I can during any and all procedures. They shaved me at the throat and stole my blood. We are grateful that Dr. C has all the analysis equipment onsite so we just had to wait about 30 minutes to get the result. It turned out that #1's suspicions had been right and that my urea levels were above normal. However, there is some good news in that they came in at 1.09 g/l which, although higher than normal, is a long way from catastrophic (that would be 4.0 and above). Dr. C told #1 that there was a relatively new drug on the market called Semintra which she had recently started to use on her own cat, and which is supposed to be not only highly efficient but efficient for much longer than previous renal medication. It is a liquid that had to be syringed or mixed with food once a day. From what we can see so far, it is available in Europe and Canada but not yet in the States. Anyway, it is fairly pricey so Dr. C and #1 are trying to figure out where she can get it for the best price (that's the kind of vet that Dr. C is!).

In addition to the Semintra, I am supposed, to the extent possible, to get renal support food. The problem, of course, is that there are four of us, and what Genji is supposed to eat is the polar opposite of what I should be eating (high protein/low fat for him and low protein/highish fat for me), so that will be a bit of a challenge.

So, we are thankful for Dr. C and that this was caught early, but also thoughtful about what the future holds. For the moment, anyway, I am not showing any signs of being ill. And boy did I enjoy my nap when we got back!

As for Da Beebs, he was, as he expected, perfect in every way. He rode shotgun for #1 on the way:

And purred his way through his examination and shots...


Wednesday 23 March 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Da Beebs: This morning, I am going to Dr. C's along with my sister Sei-Chan. In my case, I am just going for my annual check-up and shots, and probably to be admired by Dr. C who always tells #1 that I am perfect (who knew?). As you already know, Sei-Chan is going in for a blood test so we can ascertain whether there is something serious behind her increased drinking and peeing. We are all crossing our paws for her.

Sei-Chan was put in solitary yesterday afternoon. #1 saw her in the guest bathroom, which she had already set up with everything needed (beddies, litterbox, food and water, and carrier), and shut the door. She left her food until the evening and then took that away too. Sei-Chan was not amused...

We should get the test results whilst we're there as our vet had the analysis equipment on-site. We will update the blog after we get back, but would appreciate a few crossed paws in the meantime.

UPDATE: We have just returned from the vet. Da Beebs got a clean bill of health. As for Sei-Chan, she is in the very early stages of renal insufficiency. Dr. C hopes that, since we caught it this early, treatment will be very effective and Sei-Chan can thrive for many years. More details tomorrow.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Tama-Chan Tuesday

Tama-Chan: I am not ready! I have probably been too busy lying in sunpuddles and haven't thought properly about my post. Sorry, everyone! Let me see what I can find at the last minute.

Here I am napping in one of those sunpuddles:

On supervisory duty:

Non-supervisory duty...

Making myself (even more) beautiful:


Not too bad, eh, for having winged it!