Based on the title you might think we have kids of the human kind, but nope, we don’t. Our “kids” are of the four footed, very furry, meowing Himalayan variety. We currently have two boys Sparky and Gizmo. Hobie, and most recently Chooey have sadly passed on to the great campground in the sky but we will always carry their memories with us.
All of them liked both the boat and the motor home. That is until the key is turned in the ignition and then they become flying furballs, scurrying to find a place to hide. The picture to the left is of Chooey and Gizmo hiding under the sofa!
We thought Sparky and Gizmo would eventually get used to the engines and they actually have! That doesn’t seem to bother them now. But, they are not so keen on the motion and go hide when we start to move, not venturing out until we land somewhere. Actually it works out well, they are quiet and out of the way and no one has ever been sick or had an “accident”. As far as we know they are comfortable. Once we are on a mooring or parked at a campsite, they reappear. In fact, on the coach they now know that when the slides go out they are safe, so take that as their cue to come out of hiding! As Chooey, who is no longer with us, got older he would sit on Mom’s lap for most of our driving time.
I remember when Rob and I first met that he thought that cats didn’t have any personality. Since he grew up with dogs and never owned a cat, that was understandable. But he has changed his mind since then. I grew up with both dogs and cats – in fact my Mom used to breed Persian cats so we often had as many as 14 cats in the house at any given time. His first indoctrination into the world of cats was with Muffett ( a stray that I had found) and Romeo, a Himalayan adopted from a local shelter.
Then when we lost Muffett, to keep Romeo company we got two kittens, Hobie and Chooey. Romeo died at the age of 14. After Romeo died we were down to two cats again, and for some now unknown reason, we decided to get another kitten. Well, somehow one kitten turned into two because we couldn’t agree on which one to get. Look at the picture on the left (Gizmo & Sparky). Do you blame us? So at this point in time (2004) we once again had four kids (Sparky, Gizmo, Hobie & Chooey). Its important to note that our decision to go nomadic was not even a glimmer of a thought at this point in time.
Hobie died at the age of 12 from pancreatitis on June 13, 2009. He was really sick for about six months, requiring a feeding tube, a slew of medications and constant visits to the vet. It was really tough on all of us! As his name might imply to those sailors among you, he really enjoyed the water and spent a lot of time with us on our boat.
We love all our boys dearly but gosh are they high maintenance! Constantly demanding attention! And why do they demand it when you are in the middle of trying to do something – they never bother when you are sitting in a chair watching TV.
Here’s Chooey, born on May 8, 1997, named for Chewbaka. Poor Chooey was diagnosed with irritable bowel disease and went on a gourmet high protein diet of rabbit, venison or duck at well over $2.00/can. No meat by-products, grains or fillers for him! He had lost a lot of weight, down to 7 lbs. 14 oz. from his younger days when he weighed over 11 pounds. On his new diet he gained some weight back.
Nothing lasts forever though – Chooey’s health continued to deteriorate. Sadly we had to make that awful decision back in December of 2013 so Chooey is no longer with us. We miss him as we do all our other kids!
So today we are once again down to two kids. Sparky and Gizmo are brothers and were born on June 26, 2004. Sparky, aka the brat, is Rob’s cat, following him around like a puppy dog and constantly screaming at Rob to play with him. When Rob isn’t around Sparky will use me as a substitute. Sometimes he is a scare-dy cat, getting spooked by silly noises like sneezing or the ice cube dispenser. And he certainly doesn’t like action packed movies – the sounds make him cringe! At other times he is Braveheart and gets into all sorts of mischief, especially on the boat where he has no qualms about walking around the deck at 3 am! He sure makes his parents nervous sometimes.
And last but not least is our not so photogenic Gizmo. Gizmo is a handful, I’m not sure if attention deficit disorder exists in cats but if it does, that would be Gizmo’s diagnosis. He screams and claws if you try to cut his nails or give him a pill. He pesters like crazy when he wants attention, rolls over on his back for a tummy rub when you walk by, frantically meows to let you know he is in the room and climbs up your leg to get you to pet him. Every night, it is a ritual that he has to have his treat of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, otherwise he harasses the heck out of me until I give in and give it to him. But in his quieter moments, he is extremely lovable. Although I must say I could do with a little less love when he is sleeping on my pillow with his whiskers tickling my face and keeping me awake with his purring at 3 am.
Here are a few more pictures of the boys! Click on an image to enlarge and scroll through the entire album.