Sunday, February 9, 2014

My New Furry Bundles of Joy...aka THE FELLOWS

In July last year, my beloved cat Dexter passed away and my home felt empty and lonely without him. The time was right in December last year to fill that void, so I popped on to the net to see how things looked. I will say that I struggled with the thought of not going to a shelter--it’s not my style to not go to one, after all, that’s where most of my animals in the past had come from, and will again someday. This time, I wanted to do things differently.

I wanted a kitten--but a unique one. After a little research, I discovered the lynx breed was for me. Initially, I contacted a fellow in Alaska, and when he sent me pictures of an actual full desert lynx kitten (he was only 4 months old and already 50 cm from nose to tail!) that was playing with a live porcupine, I had to decline. I would like a pet that won’t eat me as a late night snack while I’m sleeping, please. I eventually found Trilhouette Heritage Farms (, run by two wonderful ladies that breed domesticated lynx cats. I drove all the way out to Mission--eek--it’s far, but well worth it, because as soon as I walked through the door and saw Merlin for the first time, I knew he was mine. I’ve always had black cats in my life since I was little, so why would my 40’s be any exception? He was a gorgeous, black desert lynx who stared up into my eyes when I picked him up. Yes, he was the one. He wasn’t ready to come with me just yet, and I was taking a trip to see my Grandparents, so we agreed that the beginning of December was perfect timing.

When I returned from my trip, out to Mission I went again, this time with my Mom in tow. My parents have always been part of big events in my life, and this was no different. The intention was to only get one--Merlin--but I ended up coming home with two. Magi was the other black kitten there--they were from two separate litters and two different breeds (both lynx)--he was so sweet and appeared to be taking care of Merlin. He would affectionately come over to me, rub up against me, and look at me with those big, adorable eyes. How could I do it--leave the last one behind when he was so diligently looking after his little friend and working his magic on me? And so, with a stunned look from my Mom, I packed them both into the cat traveller. What can I say, I went with my gut. As a point of interest, it takes MORE than two cats to make one a crazy cat lady, just incase you were wondering.

And home we drove from Mission that night, bringing them into their new home, or, as they would call it if they could, Disneyland. You have to see my place to understand that these cats, which are part wildcat, could see it as a curious paradise--plants and trees everywhere, nooks and crannies of all sorts in each see my point.

The first night.
The first night I camped out on the sofa so they could just settle in the one space versus having a plethora of rooms to create mischief in. And, after they had a good sniff around, to sleep they finally fell, together in the little bed I bought (remember, there was only supposed to be one).

These guys are special--they are each a mixed breed of domestic cat and jungle cat or bobcat. Merlin is a desert lynx and Magi is a highland lynx. The are both black melanistic lnyx which is a rare colour--they have really neat ghost spots that can only be seen in the light. They also both have polydactyl feet (Merlin on all four and Magi on his front), essentially giving them little hands, if you will. Given their breeds, they will grow to an above-average size relative to the typical domestic cat--about 18 to 20 lbs each. I knew this going in, so that means I have no right to complain one day when I have 40 lbs worth of cat trying to take a nap on me. Incidentally, they have grown exponentially since I got’s a tad worrisome.

Magi having a snooze.
What amazing little personalities they have! Magi is true to his name--he is the protector, the watchful eye--he is graceful, majestic, and is a little more wound up. He has a good healthy appetite, and refuses to be manhandled. He watches over Merlin, cleans him on occasion, and will steal food and treats from him in a heartbeat. Magi also likes to stalk and kill his treats before batting and chasing them around the house, then finally devouring them. If you decide to infringe on his feast, he will growl full-on, which, when I heard that the first time, I was a little concerned. 

Merlin having a stretch.
Merlin is the laid back boy--he’s my Dexter re-incarnated. He rubs his gums on everything, especially my computer, he tries to escape out the front door every chance he gets, and he and I have hugs each morning, just like Dexter and I used to. He’s a bit clumsy and does not have the poise or prowess that Magi seems to have--he’s just a cuddly ball of fur.

They are certainly living up to the cat-like nature of destroying my bath time by making sure I am nicely settled in my beautifully scented bath first before each taking a big sh*t in the litter while I am helpless in the tub. They are definitely nocturnal like most cats, and in such a short time, have already mastered the art of running across my face in the middle of the night routine. Sitting over my breathing passages will be next I’m sure.

Together, they spell trouble with a capital T. I knew that going in--they would keep each other company, in good times and bad. The fact that nothing has been destroyed in my home as of yet (and we’re going on to month No. 3) is a miracle, or the best is yet to come--we’ll see. They have an over-abundance of toys that light up, squeak, etc. and they are so much fun to watch. It’s so good to know that all the money spent on toys becomes redundant when you can throw down a bottle cap or a brown paper bag that cost nothing and it’s way more exciting than the expensive toys. And anything can become a toy--including my Betsey Johnson rings, so I found out. The breeders did a fantastic job training them to scratch on the scratching pads, so my furniture is safe from their very sharp little dagger-like claws (fingers crossed). I have yet to venture into the territory of attempting to trim them--it needs to happen soon though. Apparently to them, my hands are fun things to play with while I’m sleeping--not so easy to explain to clients the next day when it looks like I don't know how to use my cutlery.

My home feels alive again, and I couldn’t be happier. Am I seriously sleep deprived and concerned for my overall well-being at night? Yes, I am. It doesn’t matter though--having these two beautiful creatures, to love and take care of is a joy all of its own. I believe in life being able to connect with life--no matter what species--the animal kingdom demonstrates that to us all the time. I feel lucky that I’ve already established an amazing connection with Merlin and Magi (aka: The Fellows)--one that I know will last a very, very long time.