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Spatz Our Cat

Updated on January 12, 2015

Welcome to the family!

Spatz, AKA Gamas, was 16 years old when we first got her (that's 80 in human years).

She belonged to a friend of ours who relocated to a home which did not allow pets. She had to get rid of the two cats they had or move out. Her mom took the younger cat but the older, Spatz, had nowhere else to go. If we did not say yes she would have been sent to the SPCA, but with her advanced age, they would have surely put her down, how could we say no.

Photos displayed on this article are ©Jolene Belmain.

She was like a little grandma and so Gamas she became.

She started out as Spatz, but when she arrived in our home that name just no longer seemed to suit this little black and white cat, and her advanced age earned her the new name of Gamas.

Gamas is a very shy cat who it seems is terrified of her own shadow so it took her quite a while to open up to us even though she had met us many times before in her previous home. She had even allowed us to pet her in her old home but once in our place she really seemed to not want much to do with us at all.

I guess at first she just was not quite sure if she wanted to live with us, and coming from a quiet home, in ours she was suddenly thrust into the hustle and bustle of a home with 3 young children. She would start by coming out of hiding once the kids went to bed, watching us, yet keeping her distance. She would brush up to the furniture and roll all over the carpet wanting love... but still too afraid to take that extra step closer to us. We would talk to her a little bit while also playing it cool and ignoring her just enough for her to edge closer to us on her own terms.

Hiding spots

Her usual spots were under our bed, and after a while she would sleep in the closet where all of the shoes went. She is very sneaky... a black coat had fallen down in the corner of the closet, but with all of the coats hanging there we couldn't see it unless we moved the coats, and when she laid onto it, it just looked like a coat tucked in the corner. It took us months to realize she was actually sleeping on this black coat in the back of the closet.

One day I had been looking for her everywhere and calling for her, but she was nowhere to be found..... checked under the bed, then in the closet. Then I noticed something unusual in the drawer that I had accidentally left open earlier that day. It figures that she should fit in so well with clothing, with her black and white coloring, she is somewhat of a tuxedo cat.

Cat bed for the shy cat

Armarkat Cat Bed, 18-Inch Long, Brown
Armarkat Cat Bed, 18-Inch Long, Brown

This cat bed is perfect for the cat who is "afraid of their own shadow" and like to hide a lot. An enclosed cat bed will help even the most shy kitty feel safe as they are able to peek out at the world around them. Available in a cute fish style.

 

Hide and Seek

I feel a tickle from whiskers

and a little wet nose,

I look down at my feet

and yep, there she goes.

I can feel my face,

my lips give a grin,

I get up from my chair;

here we go again.

I tippy-toe quietly

down the hall,

stop by the door,

press up against the wall.

Peek into the same room

she went to before,

there she is in the corner

curled up on the floor.

Paws over her eyes

tail up in the air,

since she cannot see me

she thinks I am not there.

I creep up behind her,

finger is ready,

I'm almost there

just hold it steady.

I tap on her back

she jumps up in the air,

she turns and then stops,

giving me that same stare.

She just tries so hard

but can't figure it out,

I give her a giggle

cause it's the fun it's about.

©Jolene Belmain

Bring out the playful in your cat

SmartyKat Catnip Kiss Cat Toy Compressed Catnip Ball
SmartyKat Catnip Kiss Cat Toy Compressed Catnip Ball

If you have a cat who is too "mature" to play... try catnip, it always seems to do the trick. Old cats suddenly turn into kittens when they have the opportunity to play with a little cat nip.

 

Back from vacation

We went on a vacation during the summer, so we left some music on so Gamas wouldn't get so lonely. We also had friends and family checking up on her every day. They open the window so she can sniff the fresh air and give her some fresh food, and check her water, and spend some time with her to give her the sufficient amount of love that she would require.

Well two weeks later we all returned home, and she must have missed us and the noise we all usually generate because when we walked through the door, she talked to us for a good hour or two asking us where we had been I would imagine. She totally had let her walls down for the first time, not caring who was there and who was touching her... she just enjoyed every minute of it.

She has been a lot more open ever since that day (I think she realized how dull life would be without us in it).

Did you know there are game apps for your cat?

To The Vet We Go!

One year down the road from when we had first welcomed her into our home (which makes her 84 now), Gamas started chewing on herself, and by the time I could get her in to see the vet, she had chewed a hole and it was festered very badly. I thought for sure this was going to be the end of our newest family member.

The night before I had called her previous owner to prepare her for what may be to come, and the morning of I had all of the children give her a pet and a kiss to wish her well at the doctors office... but they knew why I wanted them to give her one last little hug.

She is going to be alright!

It took her a few days to get used to it, but they fixed her problem and sent her home with a cone and some medication. She had to take them twice a day for 2 weeks... she is finally getting back to liking me from forcing her to take them. I did try everything... crushing them up and putting them in her food... leaving the whole pill in her food to just eat... didn't seem to help. She would just eat around it every time (even the fine powder in the crushed stuff seemed to be left at the bottom).

The meds are done, and today is the first day we have taken off the cone for the entire day to make sure she doesn't disturb the area. She's done good so far. We were all so happy to have her back home.

Adopting An Older Cat?

I’m not sure who wrote this, but I saw it on a picture of an adult/senior cat on Facebook one day…

“Too old to climb on your curtains,

but young enough to climb on your lap.

What’s not to love?

Adopt a senior cat!”

Our Gama's

she just woke up from a nap, hence the look

Gamas is such a beautiful and loving cat. We realize that she getting up there in age and isn't going to be around forever, so we like to make her life as happy as it can possibly be for an indoor cat.

She is special so we let her enjoy the little things in life which cats seem to love just so much:

We open a window and let her breathe the fresh air, open the curtains and let her see what's going on, treat her like a queen, and give her plenty of love.

Cat condo for the shy yet playful kitty

73" Leopard Skin Cat Tree Condo Furniture Tower
73" Leopard Skin Cat Tree Condo Furniture Tower

This condo has a ton of places to play, along with enough hiding places for the timid cat, or the hide-and-go-seek cat.

 

My poor, sick Gama's :(

January 11, 2012, I noticed Gama's was very stiff and moving slowly this morning, and by nightfall she was limping on her right side. I couldn't pin point what exactly was bugging her.

The following morning she was hinting she wanted under the blankets with me, (which never happens with her - she hates to be in a confined space, or held where she feels like she cannot leave on her own terms). So I lifted the blanket and, sure enough, she climbed right in beside me and laid down. She even let me put the blankets back down on top of her and myself. When it was time to get up she tried to also, so I helped her down off of the bed so she wouldn't hurt her already sore right side.

She didn't seem interested in food, and even when I tried to feed her some treats she only ate a couple and left the rest on the floor where I put them. She limped more and more to the point where I was lifting her up and down off of the couch, she would just sit there and look like she wanted up or down... but you could tell she was very hesitant of jumping.

Once I got back from taking the kids to school, I made up her blanket so there were no lumps in it, and put her onto it. My green blanket was sitting on the couch so I decided to cover her up since she was so interested in being under the blankets on the bed earlier. She stayed there literally all day. She got off of the couch once, but was back very shortly, other than that she only got up to switch sides to sleep on. I made sure to keep her covered and tucked so she was nice and warm.

Our weather had changed on the 12th and dropped at least 10 degrees Celsius, this is when I realized that arthritis was most likely her problem with pain. I have heard of people with arthritis getting pain the day before a cold snap or rain. My poor Gama's has arthritis.

I grabbed the children's Advil and took a couple of slivers and fed them to her for the pain (I do not condone this to anyone, you should always call your vet first to find out what you should give her). She passed out about 40 minutes after me giving her the Advil. I guess I gave her the right amount of Advil and her pain had gone away enough for her to be able to sleep without moving and switching sides. She spent that entire day on the couch curled up in her little blanket too.

By the evening she had started to feel better and was walking around a bit more and was limping less. She even ate a bowl of food before bed.

February 9th, 2012, I am saddened to say our beloved Gama's has passed away. We will always love you, and hold you deep within our hearts.

Our card from the vet clinic

Our card from the vet clinic
Our card from the vet clinic

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth

It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colours

Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows,

Hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.

There is always food and water and warm spring weather.

The old and frail animals are young again.

Those who were made whole again.

They play all day with each other.

The nose twitches! The ears are up!

The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet,

You take him or her in your arms and embrace.

Your face is kissed again and again,

And you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together,

Never again to be separated.

-author unknown

© 2011 JoleneBelmain

Do you have a special pet in your life?

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    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @Margaret Schindel: although I assumed ailurophobe meant fear of cats, I had to look it up just in case. I know know of anyone with that disorder, I do know of so many people that are allergic to them. Great Danes are beautiful dogs, a friend of mine has a Great Dane and a Chiwawa, and the Great Dane is almost afraid of the Chiwawa it's hilarious lol.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @Susan Zutautas: Our newest family member (we will have had him a year in October) weighs in at 20lbs the last time I checked him, his is huge. My mother-in-law has a Shih tzu poodle cross and is pretty large for a small dog, and Sheldon (our cat) is bigger than her. They play very well together, it's awesome to watch. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      My mom was an ailurophobe and my husband is allergic to cats, so I've never had one, but I've had several very special dogs in my life (mostly Great Danes) and am aunt to my sister's cat who lives next door. Losing a pet is incredibly difficult, but the pain is nothing compared to the joy and love of sharing one's life with him or her. Thank you for sharing your precious Gamas' story with us!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sorry that Gama couldn't have been in your life for longer than what she was. I always enjoyed reading about other peoples pets. We used to have a cat named Rambo. When we first got him as a kitten we were told that he was a MaineCoon and expected him to be at least 20 pounds. The most he ever weighed was 11 pounds. He was a very tiny cat. We now have 2 Newfoundland dogs.

      Congrats on your purple star!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @suepogson: It was truly our pleasure to have her join our family in our home. We were blessed to have her in our lives for the last couple of years of her life. She is very much missed, and will always have a place in our hearts.

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      It was lovely that you helped to make Gama/Spatz' twilight years happy - sad for the previous owner who had to give her up. I'm glad you have welcomed another cat into your lives.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @delia-delia: That's adorable (The name thing). We had no choice in our minds. We had to have her so that she could continue to have the life she deserved. So glad you have found a special family member as well :) we are so blessed!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      How nice of you to have given Gamma a fur-ever home at her advanced age...I'm sorry for your loss. We have a feral cat named Kitty (see her lenes) and hope she has a long life, we love her dearly, she's part of our family.

      When I saw the name Spatz (means sparrow in German) I had to smile, my nickname as a child was Spatzi.

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: She did have an amazing life, and made our lives complete. Blessed we could allow her to live out her life right to the end, instead of her possibly having it ended early for her.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Otto Phillips: I had to give up two of my cats years ago, but was fortunate enough to have friends and family who would take them in and treat them like their own. They both lived very happy lives, and I could visit them any time I wanted :)

    • jenms lm profile image

      jenms lm 5 years ago

      I'm so sorry you lost Spatz! She reminds me a lot of my kitty Raven that I lost last year. I had him from when he was a kitten until he was 15. Almost a year after his death, it's still hard to think of him without getting emotional!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Yes ... all rescues wih sad stories. I'm sorry you lost your sweet girl, but she had a nice life with your family and was very loved.

    • Otto Phillips profile image

      Otto Phillips 5 years ago

      I had a cat named Cleo (short for Cleopatra) who was white as snow. She also thought she was a dog! She would answer to her name when called and even panted on some occasions. I ended up having to give her to the SPCA when i moved from the town i was living in. Very sad to give her up but i could only imagine what it would have been like if she had passed away.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @jenms lm: Awww, I'm so sorry! It's just like losing a blood related family member, they touch our hearts so much, and it takes so long to grieve.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @cmadden: Awww I am so sorry for Sir Montforth, but am glad that you have 3 more beautiful kitties to keep you company. Our friends sure do leave behind a great impression in our hearts :)

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Spatz was a beauty! We lost Sir Montforth the BunnyPaws in March, leaving us with three kitties, every one special.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @anonymous: We were so very blessed to have such a wonderful and loving cat as our family member :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Yes Spatz certainly will live forever on this page and in our hearts :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Spatz the Cat, cool name for a cool cat! What a loving home you have for any cat, especially Spatz! :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I just came back to visit with Spatz. She will live forever on this page.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Harmony, the tabby, is our special pet, who loves this lens! So do I!!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank-you so much for the congrats... hope you enjoyed your visit :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations for being featured on Squidoo's 50 Cats We Love Monster Board

      Blessed by a Squidoo Angel

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @norma-holt: Thanks so much... you are right we were truly blessed to have her in our lives, and we enjoyed every day we got to spend with her.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Emotional, compassionate and beautifully written tribute to you lovely Spatz. She did well to reach such an age and you were truly blessed when she was with you. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen and also on Pets Health. Great job, hugs

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @squidoopets: Thank-you so much for stopping by and paying your own tribute to Gama's... she will always have a place in our hearts.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I read every lovely word of this precious tribute to loving an older cat.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thanks so much for the visit today... It's so very important to adopt the older cats along with the kittens. They need love too :)

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Such a wonderful story and so glad you shared it. Spatz the Cat (or Gama) is featured on the Best of Pet Rescue on Squidoo. And enjoy a dusting of Angel dust for Gama.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @imolaK: Thank-you for taking the time to read about our special family member.... she is loved more than she will ever know :)

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story with us. Blessed!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
      Author

      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: We are lucky to have Gamas as our family member :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Gamas is very lucky to have such a special family to live with.