"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twas the week before Christmas - Day 6

Our sweet Christmas kitty Dagi is 14 years old today!

When we got Dagi 14 years ago, the vet had the assistants come into the surgery to look at him. He said he used to see Javanese or Mandarins (half long hair Siamese) often when he had a practice in The Hague but we were the first he had ever had here. He had to help us with a problem from the start as Dagi was allergic to cat food. We have fed him on Hill's science diet only from that day on and he is doing well ever since. The vet warned up that Dagi is a breed that does not get old so we would have him for a short time.

Joy of joys! Dagi has become our little old man. He is turning white from his old age and moves slower with stiff joints than he used to. He is my companion who is constantly on my lap even when it is not convenient. He talks my ears off until I ask him to shut up and then he looks at me, meows okay and keeps on chatting. He is my quilt tester who is now also my afghan tester since I learned to crochet. In this photo, he is trying out Jos' new afghan which I am crocheting now. He is my cuddle toy while I sleep. AND he is a dear cat who I am grateful for each and every day!

Happy birthday!


Used-to-Bees said...

Have a very Happy Christmas! Well done to Dagi for defying the odds - he sounds very companionable! The afghan looks great!

Rowan said...

Happy Birthday to Dagi and may he have many more!

Jackie's Stitches said...

Happy Birthday Dagi!

He's adorable - and looks more like a Big Cat than an house cat to me.

Deborah said...

Happy Birthday to Dagi! May he have many more.

Mac n' Janet said...

Happy Birthday Dagi, hope you have many more.

DebbieSFL said...

Happy Day Dagi!!! He is a stunning cat---anything new for his wall for his birthday?? :)

Nancy said...

Hi Dagi, you are still beautiful. I know how Dagi yells at you both, not talk, yells. haha.
You are still king Dagi, so don't worry. Happy Birthday.
Love Gramma/Mom

Linda said...

Happy Birthday dear Dagi
Happy Birthday sweet kitty

Linda in VA

Susan in SC said...

Happy Birthday Dear Dagi! I hope you have many more!

Ginny said...

Happy Birthday, Dagi! And Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Dagi and hope he has many more years in a happy home.

Have a lovely Christmas Heidi and Jos and good health for 2012.

Looking forward to seeing your photo's of the quilt party(have seen some on Saskia's blog)

Love Hazel

Vicki said...

He's your miracle cat. And he's very unique-looking!

My old-man cat is also part Siamese but he's coal black. Little Tiger (he came with that name; I was third owner) is now age 15. He adopted us because he didn't like his previous owner; he seemed to know the man was threatening to dump him in the desert.

My other old-man cat, Softball, who lived to be age 16, agreed that Little Tiger could stay with us. In the first month, Little Tiger broke his leg while jumping from a too-high fence. He's used up several of his nine lives. As the young one, he is who kept Softball young.

When Softball died, there was still Keke, the big Maine coon cat, to lead around by the nose. Keke came to us out of the hillside after two years of coaxing; the veterinarian thought him to be as old as age 18 when he, too, passed away (we had him 12 years).

When Keke died, Little Tiger was depressed, yet would allow no other cats back into his life, now that "his" two cats were gone. Four years later, that's the way things remain. He has gained too much weight from lack of activity but, after all, he's old now, and loves his sleep. I supervise him closely; he's losing his hearing.

All of our cats have had to be out of the house due to my asthma, which is not optimal, but the garage where they've lived (while the vehicles sit instead on the driveway!) is an oasis of climbing stairs of varying heights, "view" beds (five large windows, South/West/East), insulated/heated and covered cat "houses," toys and feeding stations. My past has been one of taking my meds for the asthma, then going out to love and hug on them, rocking on the porch with one on my lap or one at my feet, only to go back inside to shower off their hair and wash my clothes. It's awful having to be allergic to your own pets. I don't have this problem with dog hair; only cat hair. Anyway, it's been my daily routine, for 22 years.

I know both my old-man Tiger and I miss out on the kind of inside-house life we could have, if he could be curled up on a chair while I keyboard, or sitting on top of the table as I pay bills, but we do the best we can.

I didn't grow up with cats. My husband came with Softball. I didn't know cat guardianship could be so rewarding. Too many are homeless; they ask for so little, if people would just adopt. We feed and "water" five feral/strays at my mom's; they won't come but a few feet from us, but I at least try to feed them the best food I can. (We were able to catch a momma and her kitten to spay/neuter, with the help of our animal control officer in the town. One of the strays is "fixed" already as evidenced by the universal "ear notching" from whatever veteranian was previously in his life.) I think cats must be pretty tough. These five have survived like this for the past 4 years, refusing to go in covered shelters I've made for them and instead preferring bushes on the hillsides. They must be afraid of predators (raccoons). Life in the wild is harsh for them. My Little Tiger and your Dagi are the lucky ones!

Vicki Again said...

I would like to apologize for the length of my previous comment; I got carried away on the subject of cats.

My husband and I have been involved in informal "rescue" of dogs and cats over the years, often in connection with our veterinarian, and you could say we've seen it all in terms of neglect, winding up with the "throwaways" who've done nothing but bring us the greatest joy. We currently have three dogs. The shepherd was dumped at 9 weeks in our neighborhood, anemic from flea infestation. The beagle was sold four times in 8 months due to an irreversible trachea problem.

The oldest of the three is a spaniel mix who is now coming up on age 10. He was never supposed to live for very long. His former owner refused to immunize him. Knowing he was terribly ill, she left him outside (essentially for dead) when he contracted distemper at age three months. I followed the case and cradled him every day at the county animal shelter's hospital, who kept him for a month. He almost died three times. As a result of this terrible, preventable puppy disease, he could never digest proteins again...he couldn't eat any kind of dog food whatsoever. We were all desperate, trying to figure out what to do. I was having to hand-formulate food in the blender, but worried about nutrients; he needed to build his strength and grow (just a little baby still). His colon was compromised, permanently.

Hill's Prescription Diet Z/D (not obtainable in stores) was the answer and he's never eaten anything but that since the year 2002. (I'm so glad my veterinarian knew about this and could order it.) I would love to vary his dry dog food diet but any time I've tried, he gets so sick. He has thrived, with average weight at 40 lbs. His baby teeth came in pitted from the disease and the drugs for it, but I think the dry dog food has helped against decay (I was told he'd probably lose every tooth in the early days; instead, he still has all of them and, last teeth cleaning, it wasn't so bad; the pits just trap food and do give him doggie breath, so we're doing toothpaste-brushing now). Also, it was very likely this dog would develop neurological problems if he lived to be as old as age seven, but it's never happened and I do believe it may in large part be due to the purity of that Hill's food.

Again, your Dagi and my old boy have indeed defied odds...thanks to Hill's and just common sense care. Between us, my husband and I have had nine special-needs dogs in the past 25 years and, while it's technically impossible to pick a favorite, I would go thru it all again with our colon-damaged spaniel because he is a gift like no other...even though his dog food is about the most expensive on the planet! What we do for love...