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It is with huge sadness that we relate the loss of Mustrum, a snow spotted blue-eyed Bengal, and the last of our Bengals.

He was officially An Old Man, and we could see it. His teeth were gone, his spots were gone, even his wonderful voice disappeared for a few days (which worried us enormously!) but it came back. But he was forgetful, and we worried about him getting lost, and then his back legs started getting weak. We had known the time was coming for a few months, and we did what needed to be done. Sarah, our vet, was wonderful, and I held Muss as he slipped away. We miss him dreadfully, but we did the right thing.

We got Mussum at the age of 12 weeks; we’d gone to buy a Bengal and found it hard to choose … we came home with Iggy, but went back for Muss a couple of weeks later. We actually traded him for a web site (long gone now, like the breeders).

He was always, somehow, Essence of cat. He loved life, and food (Big! Dinners!), and exploring, and people, and getting wet and being towelled off. He loved Moo the best of all; she was our stripey Bengal, prettiest cat in the world, and they were so, so close. He was devastated when we lost her to a car accident. And he was a big solid cat, his fights with Iggy were epic.

But his defining characteristic was his voice – he would squeak, and shout, and gurgle, and miaow. He used to like to be slapped too, and would shout for more, until the weight started falling off him.

We miss him so much, but it was time, and I’m not sure he would have coped with our recent move either.

Go well, Mussum – good hunting.


Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Mustrum. Old man snoozing in the sun.


We’re thrilled at the prospect of the new arrivals, but let us not forget Mustrum, our ancient and venerable Bengal. Born in October 1998, he’s now 15. As the vet said to us, “that’s a good age for a Bengal”, thus implying he wouldn’t be with us for too much longer.

He’s losing weight, has hardly any teeth (and those he has could do with attention, but the vet doesn’t want to do a general anaesthetic on him), and his elite jumping skills are not what they were. He spent pretty much all summer out on the shed roof, basking in the sun, and now that the box of warmz is being lit of an evening, he’s quite happy in front of it.

We’ll miss him, and his extraordinary vocal range, so much – but he’s led a full and interesting life, involving blue coloured alcoholic drinks, and ASBOs, and sideways baseball caps :), We just hope we’ll have him a lot longer than everyone expects. Perhaps the Piranha Sisters will give him a new lease of life …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Mustrum ... the Essence of Cat

On 18th November, I Twittered that I hadn’t seen Mustrum that morning. And we didn’t see him again for ten days, by which time we were both sure he was gone for good. He is microchipped, but a lot of places don’t automatically scan for them, I know.

He was a real roamer in his day, but Mussum is 13 years old now, and likes to be at home in the warmz, with his blobs to make a fuss of him, and it’s really not like him to be away for any length of time any more. We put notices up on local web sites, and went calling him – not helped by the fact I was ill and had lost my voice. We resigned ourselves to never seeing him again, and I felt positively cheated that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

On the 28th, at about 10.30 in the evening, Pete was talking to me; out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw Mussum in the living room by the sofa. I looked away, and looked back and HE WAS. He was home! I just croaked at Pete, right across what he was trying to tell me – we were overjoyed.

Muss was thin – about 20% of his body weight, I would guess. We live in a grid of Victorian terraced streets, and he’s never been far; our feeling is that he got spooked by a car or a dog, and just ran for it, and then got completely lost. We opened two tins of fatted calf meat (well, tuna Hilife) – one for him, and one for the rest of the Tribe. He got his bowl up on the worktop, and shouted while he ate it. I think he was as pleased as we were to be home. The others, remarkably, stood back and let him finish their bowl too, so perhaps they missed the old chap as well.

Two weeks on, he’s putting some weight back on, and settling back down. He was very clingy for a few days, which is why we believe he was lost and confused.  Mind you, he’s often confused; I maintain he is not very bright *at all*, although Pete says I’m being unkind :)

Anyway, he’s home. Don’t do it again please, Mustrum – my nerves couldn’t take it.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Mustrum ... the Essence of Cat

I haven’t written anything here for ages, mea culpa – life has been hectic and difficult, and both blobs and Tribe have been feeling the strain while we had a lot of work done in the house. The cats very much approved of the installation of a woodburning stove just before Christmas, which they treat as their own personal box of warmz. They coped remarkably well with the french doors being put in, and the back door (complete with their cat flap to the yard) being removed. But when it came to five weeks kitchen renovation, they got a bit fed up, and so did we.

Having said that, they all coped reasonably well, except Mustrum – which is odd, as he is generally a very laid back sort of chap. But it suddenly struck us yesterday – things have been in constant flux in the downstairs of the house, while stuff got moved around to make way for fitters and plumbers and electricians and [scream] dry rot menders. Furniture was Freecycled, things changed all the time.

Mussie was really spooked – running in and out of the house through the front cat flap, very clingy and attention seeking, As soon as we went up to bed, he would arrive, squeak a lot in his endearing fashion, and generally demand a lot of fuss; what we saw as jealousy may well actually have been a need for comfort and reassurance.

He’s has had a squint since we got him as a 3 month old kitten, and we have remarked over the past few years that it seems to be getting worse (he’s going to be 13 – I don’t believe it – in August). And it suddenly struck us yesterday that he may not be able to see very well now; constant change in his environment would really upset him if that is the case, and would explain why he spends most of his time upstairs, where things are relatively unchanging.

How does one a cat’s eyesight, I wonder? And would it gain anything if we did? Within the next week, please $deity, all will be finished down here – only painting and floor laying to go, and he should be happier again. Let us hope so.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Apologies for the lack of posts – I do have stuff to write, but have lacked the time and energy to write it! But I will soon, promise.

This is a photograph of Mustrum who, like all the others, is enjoying this time of year when the sun falls into our bedroom (which is large, and has two tall windows facing south.). They move sleepily across the floor – the cats, not the windows! – following the sunshine, and Mussie is under the chair.

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We have a large bedroom here, with two tall, south facing windows, so the sun streams in there during the day (when it shines at all, of course).  We set a chair that is very like, but is not, an Ikea Poang by one of the windows – it’s a nice quiet place if one of us wants to read or listen to music. And we assumed that the Tribe would love the chair, and bask in it during the sunlit afternoons.

But no – they never went near it, not even when I put one of their cat rugs on it.

I try very hard not to dump stuff on the chair, but a few days ago I left my swimming bag on there. And the next morning, when I got up, I most definitely didn’t see Iggy and Lily on the chair. No sirree Bob. Nor, at various times, have we seen Ron on the chair, or Mustrum (curiously, Henry has really not been seen on it). Iggy and Lily are on it now, in fact – they have spent every night on there since the bag arrived.

We can only assume that they’re now using it because it’s no longer clearly *meant* for them – ornery creatures, cats.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We had to take Iggy and Mustrum to the vet this morning – they are going to have to go into a cattery for a few days in a while, and so they needed some jabs.

They don’t like cat carriers.  They don’t like cars.  They don’t much like being indoors at all when the weather is nice, which it is, so we felt that the whole episode was going to be fraught.  But actually, it went remarkably well.

I went down to the bottom of the back garden and did the “iggy” cry, which is a particular tone of voice that means waffer thin ham might be in the offing, and that brought him in – a trail of ham then neatly led him into the carrier and the door was firmly shut.

Then I went out the front (Mustrum’s stomping ground) and did the same thing, and it worked again!  I bet I’ll have to think of a new strategy the next time.

We conveyed them to Vim, who checked their teeth (not many, but fine), general health, and weighed them – they both weigh 5.1 kgs, which makes them fairly substantial chaps.  Nice to know they’re in rude health.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We bought a cheap little camera in town yesterday, a Pentax M50, to keep downstairs - this is the first video, which didn't come out too bad at all.

Henry likes to chase the shadow of his tail - he does this a lot, for a very long time usually. Except, it seems, when there's a camera about. But there's some nice footage of Mustrum, who is a very fine cat indeed, and some of Iggy too.

The "red or green" question, incidentally, was to do with what colour of chilli was wanted for the tomato sauce for supper.

Originally published at the Tribe.

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a snoozing Mustrum

Originally uploaded by ramtops

Sitting on my desk this afternoon, with a nice rolling web log on the monitor behind him.

Mustrum is absolute essence of cat, and we love him to bits.

ramtops: (aliss)

Mustrum and Henry

Mustrum used to have an unfortunate tendency to, er, press his affections on our late and much lamented Moo. Although she wasn't keen, she never stopped him, and he has never really come to understand that he's been neutered.

He appears to have transferred his affections to Henry now, who seems equally submissive, if a tad wild-eyed, as can bee seen in the photograph. It's all very odd, really

Originally published at the Tribe.

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... than to get involved in a full and frank exchange of views between the spotty boys.

Got a nice gash across the knuckle of my right thumb for my pains. Both boys now banished outside until they learn how to behave (well, I can dream ...)

Originally published at the Tribe.

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the mighty hunter

Mustrum came in through the study window this evening with a blackbird in his jaws. It was, sadly, deceased.

It's very unusual for him to catch anything, or at least to bring it home - he's quite indolent, really. Although he has been a little bit out of sorts for a week or so, to the point where we were discussing a visit to Vim the Vet, just in case, so perhaps he is proving that he's actually fine.

I do hope it's not the Mr Blackbird from the Mr and Mrs Blackbird who have been around the front gardens for literally years, building their nest in one of next door's shrubs. They seem to be a devoted couple, so that would be very sad./

Originally published at the Tribe.

ramtops: (aliss)

cognitive dissonance
Originally uploaded by perlmonger
The spotty boys, Iggy and Mustrum, have had a turbulent relationship since they arrived. We got them ten days apart, on 4th and 14th December respectively, in 1998. Which means we are almost at our 10th anniversary, the three of us!

read more at the Jordan Cats

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Lilith and Mustrum

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


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March 2016

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