Back in 1999, I met my wife Debbie, now Debbie was somewhat of an unusual person in the sense that she was a cat lover. I never was much into the felines until I met Debbie and she showed me just what cats are all about. Well, it was more than just Debbie that educated me about the feline creatures, you see, we had a stray female that came around twice a day and Debbie would feed her like clock work. She was somewhat if a loose feline in that she had a litter about every 6 months but she was too wild for us to get close to so we could take her to get her spayed. This is not her actual picture but it looks close to the grandma to Bootsie.
The second litter she had produced a female tortoise shell coarse coated long haired cat that was a beauty. Here is her pic below! Anyway, I fell in love with this cat, but like her momma she was very frighty. We could not get close to her at all and we had no idea exactly what breed of cat she truly was but when we found out, it made her all the more precious! I named her Bootsie because of her white feet as you can see from the picture.
Bootsie had her first litter after she was 2 years old and she produced two short hair tabby, a male and a female. We named the male Rambo and the female Susie. A long hair black and white female tuxedo we named Maggie Mae. She also gave birth to a long-haired coarse coated tortoise-shell male that look identical to his mamma and I am gonna withhold the name for just a bit though because this story has a tragic twist! Now Bootsie was not a very trusting momma cat because about every other day she would move her litter. There were 4 places that she moved them to because Debbie watched very intently to keep track of these kittens, She gave birth to them under our wood deck at the back door. Then she moved them to the neighbors back yard, then back to our yard into a pinned in area we had for another one of our cats. And finally she took them across the street one at a time, this went on for two weeks but she never missed a meal until one day she did! As I stated earlier, these babies momma never missed a meal until June 21, 2001. It was on a Tuesday evening. Debbie yelled and hollered for a couple of days and worried frantically over how those baby kittens are going to get fed. Finally and unfortunately on Saturday I found Bootsie lying beside the pen where we keep our outside cat Socks. She had passed away and it wasn’t until 8 years later that we kinda figured out how she died. We were in the process of replacing our deck in the side yard. So I painted one of the posts and used adhesive vinyl lettering, put her name and the date she died on the post and buried her there under the deck!But more importantly she had put the babies inside the pen with Socks on her final move. We saw it as a sign of the trust in us that she had. So at that time, here we were with 4 kittens that were only 2 weeks old. Their eyes were not even open yet and we had to take a crash course on the up bringing of these baby kittens. First thing we did was call an emergency vets office for advice and was informed that we needed to bottle feed these babies, help them learn to potty, and I mean literally too. Basically our lives were revolving around these kittens. After about a week, we began assigning names to them and Maggie Mae was mine. Now there will be another entry later about Maggie so I will keep you informed. But the biggest kitten of the litter, had the biggest appetite, and was an exact twin of his momma…. I named him Bootsie in memory of his mother. After they were weaned off the bottle and they were old enough, we then decided that all the love, dedication, and time we put into these baby kittens, they were not going anywhere. We kept them all! We had an idea what we had in Bootsie but it wasn’t until we took them to the veterinary office for their check up that we found out. Bootsie was a pedigree full blooded Maine Coon. As he began to grow and develop he was the most beautiful cat I ever saw and had the most desired personality of any cat I have come in contact with! Bootsie grew alright…to a whopping 18 pounds and when he walked through the room, his tail was full and stuck straight up in the air. Now Bootsie did have some issues though, his coat was so full that he didn’t always get his fecal matter off his behind when he went to the litter box. And man, when we had to trim his bottom with the trimmers, he would put up a serious fuss. Also he had a lot of hair mats that we had to take the time to brush or cut them out of his coat. He had all the traits of a pedigree Maine Coon such as tufts on his ears and feet ( which he loved to pull at and chew, the ones on his feet not his ears of course) a beautiful full maine just like a lion from Africa would have, and a crook in the tip of his tail! This cat was so full of himself and proud that you could see it as he strutted through the house. The more I was with Bootsie the more I loved him. He would lie with me when I watched TV, sleep with me whenever I would lie down and generally if I was home he was with me.
He would kind of look like he was sneaking in the room like he was on the prowl, then when we would say something to him he would strut in like king of the castle. There are so many other things that my big baby boy would do and I could go on and on but I will continue to write to keep my memory of Bootsie alive. My baby, we often asked our vet why these kittens were so devoted to us. We explained to him that wherever we were, those 4 kittens were right there too. Bootsie and Maggie, as I stated earlier belonged to me, or as Debbie puts it I belong to both if them. Maggie Mae also turned out to be a maine coon as well. However the personalities were as different as night and day.
Yes our cats are amazing and it really wasn’t until we were blessed with these 4 kittens that I became a cat person, well I am all in now! They react and do the silliest things and I am just amazed by them.Well, back to Bootsie, unfortunately I lost my best feline friend to a cardiomyopathy just a couple of years ago and he was at the tender age of eight. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him terribly. After talking to doctor Hall, we also determined that Bootsie’s momma also more than likely died of the same condition probably while giving birth to this litter. This is probably why she moved the kittens to all the different places until she found the perfect one and left them there. She knew we would discover them and take care of them. cardiomyopathy is unfortunately common in Maine Coon cats but they really do not know what causes it. Maine Coon cats are the best pets you could ever find! So the circumstances and events surrounding Bootsies passing went like this. On or about October 20th we took him in to the vets office for what we thought was an upper respiratory problem. His vet gave us some antibiotics to try to clear it up. But the some really odd actions on Bootsie’s part began to happen. He began immediately sticking to Debbie like glue and never left her side as long as we were home. Then at about 5:30 am November 17th 2010, he became paralyzed in his back-end. He was in severe pain and was screaming and very frightened. I gently put him on the bed and Debbie walked onto the bathroom to dress so we could take him to the vets office. As soon as she left his sight he began screaming again and I demanded she dress in the bedroom where Bootsie could see her. He was so terrified and confused at what was happening to him that he could no bear not being close to Debbie! She did as I asked and he calmed down considerably and when we got him to the Vets office, Dr. Hall took his back paw and laid it on the table and put all his weight on it and Bootsie never felt a thing. Dr Hall said that this was what he feared the most. By then Debbie and I were bawling our eyes out because we knew Bootsie would not be coming home again. Dr. Hall said that he had thrown a blood clot and it wedged itself back by his tail and blocked off all the blood flow to his hind quarters. He also said that there is nothing he can do for Bootsie except make him comfortable and take him away easy and very gently. So we put my baby to sleep that morning, cardiomyopathy is what Dr. Hall diagnosed his case as. I just know that Debbie and I have never been the same after his loss. As I stated earlier I have never been a cat person but after spending 8 wonderful years with my baby boy Bootsie and these other three kittens, I am now an cat person for life! We had Bootsie cremated and his urn sits on the fireplace in the bedroom. When it storms we put him under the bed because he was always afraid of the lightning and thunder, that is where he hid! R.I.P Boots, as I stated before I was never a cat person before I got with Debbie and these four kittens came along but now, I will take a Maine Coon cat over a dog any day of the week!