Our sweet Bella

Goodnight sweet Bella

18th August 2005 – 26th March 2015

 

They say memories are special, maybe it is true, but I never wanted memories, I only wanted you. A million times I needed you, a million times I cried, if love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. I wish I’d once more hear you, with your softly, rumbling purr, to hold you in my arms again, and stroke your kitten soft fur. If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane, I’d walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.

Goodnight our sweetest baby Belle. Know that you were loved and our hearts are broken that you left us so soon. We know you tried hard to stay with us but were just too tired to stay. We will miss you forever.

I write this post with tears pouring down my face. Last night, Bella crossed the rainbow bridge after suffering two heart attacks and respiratory failure after having a mass removed from her chest. The mass was discovered on 3rd March 2015 but sadly, the specialists to whom we entrusted our beloved girl waited too long to remove the mass that was compressing her lungs.

From the moment she entered our lives, we have been Bella’s adoring slaves.  When she climbed into my arms and looked up at me trustingly, she had my heart. Bella gave us unconditional love and brought us comfort when we were down. Knowing that I will never hear her squeaky meow, have her sit on my chest at night expectantly waiting for her treats or to be able to bury my face in her fur, the pain is almost too much for me to bear.

I wanted to share some new, never seen before, photos of our Bella as a celebration of her life. I take comfort that she is no longer suffering but David and I miss her more than I can express in words.   She was taken far too soon from us and I don’t know how I will cope without her. Good night my baby girl, you are free….

Cinders

Cindy’s eye ulcers: an ongoing issue

Cindy’s eye ulcers appear to be an ongoing issue.  The day after I took this photograph (24th February 2011), Cindy was diagnosed with yet another eye ulcer – this time it was in her left eye.

The day had started off quite normal.  Both Cindy and Bella were their usual silly selves and there was certainly no evidence that there was anything wrong with Cindy.  I popped out during the afternoon to get some bits and when I got home, Cindy was in the hall, as per usual, howling to get into the garage.  I scritched her head as I always do in greeting and noted that she was hunched up under my hand.  I thought it was quite cute and assumed that she was simply enjoying having her head scratched.  She was so compact that I could not help but want to pick her up for a proper cuddle.

The temptation proved to be too much for me and I did try to pick her up.  However, she struggled against being held so I let go.  That’s when I noticed that something was up – instead of running all the way up the stairs and then howling at me as if to tell me off for trying to cuddle her, Cindy hopped up the next step and huddled into the corner with her back to me.  As I stroked her, she moved away from me again, hopping up to the next step and huddled into the corner again.

I climbed past Cindy and made out that I was ignoring her.  As I headed into the kitchen, I looked back to see what she would do.  Cindy followed me to the kitchen where in the bright light, I could see that her left eye was half closed.

I couldn’t have been out of the house for more than half an hour tops and I know for a fact that Cindy had been perfectly fine when I popped out.  The speed of her deterioration was alarming.  I promptly called Companion Care and was advised to bring her in immediately.

Now, as any cat owner will know, trying to catch one’s cat to put into a carrier for a visit to the vet is never easy!  In our case, if either cat gets under the bed in the spare bedroom or behind the sofa in the lounge, it is pretty much game over as there is no way we can get to them.  Catching Cindy would need tactical planning.

She KNEW she had to go to the vets, so as soon as she saw me approach her, Cindy ran straight upstairs and under our bed.  I quickly shut all the remaining doors upstairs with the exception of the bathroom and then ran downstairs and shut all the doors bar the kitchen.  I then went back upstairs and crawled under our bed to try and reach Cindy.  She bolted out of the bedroom and headed downstairs.  I hurriedly crawled out from under the bed and quickly shut the bedroom door behind me.

Cindy now had only 2 places to go – the bathroom and the kitchen.  Neither room offered her anywhere she could go to hide where I couldn’t get to her.  I felt so bad as I watched her stare at all the closed doors downstairs before rushing back upstairs only to stop short, when she saw all the closed doors bar the bathroom.  Cindy crept behind her tree but as I made to grab her, she bolted past me and ran downstairs to hide under the radiator in the kitchen.

I closed the kitchen door behind her before going downstairs to retrieve her carrier from the garage.  When Cindy saw me come back with the carrier, she knew she had lost.  As I opened up the door of the carrier, she walked towards me meowing her protestations.  She gave me a reproachful look before walking into her carrier.  There was no fight or struggle to get her in.  The little angel made it very easy for me and I loved her for it.

After an initial wail as I started up the car, Cindy settled down nicely.

This eye ulcer was the worst that Raj had ever seen Cindy suffer from.  It covered ¾ of the pupil and ran down into the ciliary body which was badly swollen.  He performed a Schirmer test on both eyes to make sure she wasn’t suffering form dry eye syndrome.  The results proved to be normal.  Next, he tested her for Feline Chlamydia.  While we waited for the results to come through, we discussed what could possibly be causing Cindy to have so many eye ulcers in such a short space of time where the problem would alternate between both eyes.

Since both Cindy and Bella do not go our per se, infection caught from another cat was immediately ruled out.  The girls have access to outside space via balconies on the first and second floor only, so grass seed getting into her eyes was also ruled out.    We discussed the possibility of the injury being caused by Bella when the girls fight – however, since there was no evidence of scratching on Cindy’s eyeball, this was also ruled out.

The test results for feline chlamydia came back negative.  The only other possibilities were something bacterial or a virus.  I gave Raj permission to take samples to be tested for Herpes and Celici and a swab for a bacterial culture.  Poor Cindy was not a happy girl at all but to be fair, I don’t think I would have been either if someone had been poking at my eyeball!

We went home with a tube of Fucithalmic, the same medication that we had been given last time and instructions to come back for a check-up on Wednesday morning.  We were to try and apply the drops 3 times a day but in reality, it was only ever going to be twice a day since David works and I can’t eyedrop Cindy on my own.

When we got home, Cindy walked out of the carrier, looked around her and  walked straight back into her carrier.  She remained in it for a good 2 hours or so.  I can only conclude that she felt vulnerable and the carrier offered some sort of security.

David and I religiously gave her the Fucithalmic for the next 5 days.  After only 2 days, Cindy was clearly feeling better as she became more vocal and demanding of attention.

This morning’s check-up went well.  All signs of the ulcer are now gone but Amy advised me to continue treatment for a further 2 days, by which time, the test results should have come back.

We also discussed whether there was anything in the house that could potentially be the problem – food, air freshners, cat toys… all were ruled out with the exception of the cat trees.  The ones we have are made of sisal and over the years, Bella and Cindy have pulled much of the sisal loose.  Amy commented that the loose sisal could be shedding fibres that were getting into Cindy’s eyes.  This is a possibility, but if this really was the case, why was Bella not affected?

I guess we will just have to wait for the test results before deciding on our next course of action….

Cat's eye

UPDATE: 8th March 2010

I received a phone call from Amy at Companion Care this morning with the remaining test results.  Herpes and Celici came back negative.  Attempts to grow a culture from the bacteria failed meaning it’s not a bacterial issue.  The only conclusion they can come to is that something in our house has changed OR the cause is Bella and Cindy fighting.  However, Raj had ruled out the cat fighting to be a cause.

In the event that Cindy has another eye ulcer, she will be referred to a feline eye specialist as our vets have now exhausted every test available to them.

For our part, I am going to start working my way through the house to try and work out what has changed in an attempt to try and help Cindy.  First things to get packed away are the Kickeroo toys.  Her eyes get very wet when she plays with them and their introduction to the house coincides close enough to the start of the recurring issue to make them a prime candidate.

Beautiful Bella

Bella and Cindy aged 5½ years old

It’s been a long time since I took photos of the furbabies using a proper camera so today, I decided to rectify this.  For those of you who are new to my site, Bella is a black British Short Hair and her sister, Cindy is a black smoke (but looks grey).

To view a larger image please click on a thumbnail.

220303 - Mittens eating snowdrops

A Tribute to Mittens

Whilst updating parts of my blog, it occurred to me that I hadn’t read the diary I had created when Mittens was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus for quite a long time. I don’t know why this popped into my head. Perhaps it was because part of the tidy up included making some changes to my blog post about Mittens. Anyway, I went to my space on MSN and the first thing that popped up was a notification saying that MSN Spaces was closing down! Luckily, there was an option to upgrade my blog to WordPress so that is what I did. I had the option of simply adding Mittens’ blog to my existing WordPress account but for now, I have decided to keep it separate. Perhaps one day, I’ll be ready to share my record of her progress, if only to help other cat owners who’s cats have been diagnosed as diabetic, but for now, it will remain private.

Bumpkin Black Smoke Cinders

The Eye Ulcer Is Back!

Since just before Christmas, Cindy has been rather snuffly.  It was most noticeable when she was eating as she sounded like she was snorting.  David and I originally put this down to her having a cold as we had heard her sneezing occasionally.  However, we are now into January and the snuffles don’t seem to have gotten any better so on Wednesday afternoon, we decided that we would make an appointment with the vets just to get it checked out.  The plan was that I would call Raj on Thursday morning and see if he could see her the same day.

However, by early evening, I noticed that Cindy wasn’t behaving like her usual self.  When I checked in on her, she was sat on the floor in the middle of my study and her right eye didn’t look right – it was half closed as if she was suffering from an ulcer.  I immediately rang the vets and asked if I could bring her in that evening and they said yes, so with David’s help, we got Cindy into her basket and off we went.

Upon arrival, we were seen by Amy as Raj has Wednesdays off.  I explained about the snuffles and snorting and asked whether perhaps this could be affecting her eye.  Amy used her stethescope to listen to Cindy’s breathing for a good few minutes before ruling out liquid in her windpipe or nasal passage.  Her nose was clear as were her ears.  She did however, have a bit of a temperature – 39.5 to be precise.  To be on the safe side, Amy prescribed Synulox to prevent any type of infection occurring.   She warned me that Cindy might get a bit “foamy” with the drug but it was nothing to worry about.  Then she put some dye in both Cindy’s eyes to see what was going on….

We were unlucky.  Cindy had a large eye ulcer on her right eye – it was in the early stages but it was still quite big.  Rather than prescribing the usual Ciloxan, Amy wanted to try Cindy on Fucithalmic.  She explained that Ciloxan was the most powerful eyedrops and she didn’t want Cindy to build up a resistance to it hence wanting to prescribe Fucithalmic, which was the drops that she normally prescribed for eye ulcers.  Unlike the Ciloxan which was like traditional eyedrops, this new stuff was part liquid and part cream so came out looking like gloop.

She gave Cindy a shot of antibiotics and some drops before we left.  I think Amy might have been a bit clumsy in administering the antibiotics because Cindy yelped as the needle went in – something she has never done before.  Amy also put a smart collar on Cindy to prevent her from rubbing her eye – something she did as soon as the drops went in.  We were told to come back for a check up on Sunday where Raj would perform some tests on her eyes to see why the ulcers were coming back so frequently.

On our way home, Cindy was extremely quiet.  As I parked my car, David took the basket upstairs and let her out.  Like all cats, she did not like wearing the collar at all.  She was extremely wary around us and walked with her head down, swinging it from side to side as if to work out where she was going.  She eventually made her way upstairs and into the igloo where she remained for the rest of the evening.  David and I checked on her regularly but it was clear that she was very unhappy.  I handfed her some tuna which she ate with some difficulty on account of the collar.  Drinking water was the same.  Cindy was clearly thirsty as she kept licking her lips but she wouldn’t drink much.  Before we went to bed, I took up a bowl of dry food and and a bowl of water for her.  I left the food under the igloo and the water just at the entrance of my bathroom so she wouldn’t have to go far if she needed something to eat or drink.

Cindy posing like a model

Much to our surprise and pleasure, Cindy decided that she didn’t want to stay in the igloo all night and came into the bedroom, not long after we had retired.  She spent about an hour under the bed before jumping on top to settle down on my legs.  She didn’t look especially comfortable but we think it’s because she felt vulnerable with the collar on and so was positioning herself in such a way so that she could look out of the room – just in case.

I didn’t sleep especially well as I was worried about Cindy but everytime I woke up, there she was on the bed.  When it was time to get up properly and to administer her meds, Cindy was gone.  Typical!  Upon investigation, I found her under the spare bed, with absolutely no chance of getting to her or getting her out.  David had to leave to get to work so I left her alone in the hope that she would come out of her own accord.  She did so eventually around 11am but went straight into the igloo.  My attempts to get her to eat anything was not especially successful – she ate a few treats and then turned her face away from me.  I could hear her licking her lips so offered her some water but again, she refused.

By 1pm, I was getting very worried.  She had barely eaten or drunk and to my knowledge, she had not been to toilet since she got home the night before.  I took the collar off, telling myself that we could put it back on when it was time to give her her medication.  Cindy was a completely different cat with the collar off.  The first thing she did was to give herself a vigorous clean all over – this took about 10 minutes or so.  Next, she went over to the water bowl and had a good long drink.  Seeing the amount of water she drank and the subsequent amount of food she ate, I knew I had made the right decision in removing the collar.  For the rest of the day, Cindy was her normal self, running around and howling at everything.

When David got home, we collared her again to make it easier on ourselves in administering her meds.  Cindy took the meds with grace but was clearly upset about being collared again.  As soon as we let go of her, she jumped down from her tree and went into a crouch just outside our bedroom door, all wary again.  We resolved to leave the collar on for a couple of hours to give the eyedrops a chance to work.  When I eventually went looking for her to remove the collar, I found Cindy hiding under the spare bed looking sad.  As soon as she realised that I was trying to remove the collar, she came closer to make it easier for me to do so.  Collar off, she was her old happy self again and went wandering off for an explore.

Administering the meds on Friday morning was surprisingly easy.  I caught Cindy as she was wandering in the kitchen.  Rather than stress her out by looking for the collar and putting it on her, I held her tightly to me as David gave her first the Synulox and then her eye drops.  She wasn’t best pleased at being medicated but at least she didn’t run away or hide.

For some reason, we forgot to give Cindy more meds until Saturday evening.  The original plan was to collar her but it was as if she knew it was time for her medicine as she made it extremely difficult for us to catch her.  In the end, I tricked her onto the bed with her favourite Dreamies treat.  We got Cindy onto the bed ok but she struggled as David tried to give her the Synulox and eyedrops.  With hindsight, we should have put the collar on her first as this would have helped calm her down.  As it was, we didn’t, and the moment we let her go, Cindy started to foam at the mouth and ran away to hide under the spare bed again.

Although Amy had warned me that Cindy might get “foamy”, it was quite a frightening experience seeing Cindy foaming at the mouth and struggling to breathe and spit out the foam at the same time.  She ran out from under the bed as soon as I went to look under and took refuge in her igloo.  This worked for me as it made it easier for me to get to her and help her through the foaming.  I went through loads of tissues wiping the foam from her mouth – it looked like she had a pair of white shoestrings hanging from her mouth.  I tried to offer her water, but she didn’t want it.  All I could do was sit outside the igloo, watch her foam and wipe it off when she allowed me to.  It seemed like an age but was probably only a few minutes before Cindy stopped foaming.  I gave her a few Dreamies to ensure that the Synulox wouldn’t work on an empty stomach and she ate these enthusiastically.  Once I was sure that she was back to normal, I left her alone.  Cindy came out of the igloo and promptly jumped onto my study windowsill, howling at me as she went past.  She seemed perfectly normal but I was still worried, mainly because the foaming had frightened me, even though I had been warned that this might happen.  I fed her a few more Dreamies on the window sill and left her to it.

This morning, after we eventually caught Cindy (I think she is becoming suspicious whenever she sees David and I standing together), I took her back for her checkup and tests.  Her eye was completely clear so Raj said we would have to wait until she got another ulcer before they could perform the tests.  He believes that the eye cleared up so quickly because we caught the ulcer early this time.  As for the tests, basically, they wanted to take cultures and send them off to find out what could be causing them.  I have my suspicions on the cause but more on that later…  With her eyes clear, Raj took her temperature and checked her breathing.  Both were normal but he told me to continue administering the medication until the 7 days were up, just to be sure.  I asked if he could help me with the eyedrops and synulox as I had been instructed not to medicate her until after we had been to the vets so that the drugs would not interfere with the test results.  There was a reason for my request – I figured that if Cindy started to foam at the mouth again, he would at least be present to help me.  Typically, Cindy didn’t struggle as Raj first gave her the drops and then the Synulox.  Thankfully, she didn’t foam again.  Raj explained that if we gave her the drug slowly in drops, it would help.  He also suggested that we use the pipette rather than the syringe.

So for now, Cindy has a clean bill of health again (apart from the fact that she is still a bit snuffly).  As to my theory on her eye ulcers – the first time she had one of these was back in September 2009.  It was almost a year before she got her second one and then she had two in quick succession.  I think that when we are playing with string, when Cindy pulls the string away from me, it sometimes comes into contact with her face and possibly, her eye, so for now, I have put the string away and we will have to find other toys to play with.  I’m really hoping that my theory is correct as it would be nice for both us and Cindy to not have to worry about painful eye ulcers for a very long time to come.

Cindy extreme close-up

paw prints for blog

The Most Beautiful Thing You’ll Read Today

I am an Animal Rescuer.

I will never bring about world peace.

I’m not a brain surgeon and I’ll never transplant an organ to save a life….

I don’t have the ear of a powerful politician or world power.

I can’t end world hunger.

I’m not a celebrity, and God knows I’m not glamorous!

I’m not looked up to by millions around the world. Very few people even recognize my name.

I’ll never win the Nobel prize.

I’ll never save the rain forest or end global warming.

There are a lot of things that I’ll never do or become.

But today I placed a cat!

It was a small, scared, bundle of flesh and bones that was dropped off in a shelter by unfeeling people that didn’t care what happened to it, but yet who were responsible for it even having existence in the first place.

I found it a home.

It now has contentment and an abundance of love. A warm place to sleep and plenty to eat. A child has a warm fuzzy new friend who will give them unquestioning devotion and teach them about responsibility and love.

No, I’m not a rocket scientist but today I saved one of God’s precious creatures. Today, I made a difference!

I am an Animal Rescuer.

My job is to assist God’s creatures.

I was born with the need to fulfill their needs.

I take in new family members without plan, thought or selection.

I have bought dog and cat food with my last dime.

I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand.

I have hugged someone vicious and afraid.

I have fallen in love a thousand times

and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body.

I have Animal Friends and friends who have Animal Friends.

I don’t often use the word “pet.”

I notice those lost at the road side

and my heart aches.

I will hand raise a field mouse

and make friends with a vulture.

I know of no creature unworthy of my time.

I want to live forever if there aren’t animals in Heaven.

But I believe there are!

Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind?

We may be master of the animals,

but the animals have mastered themselves.

Something people still haven’t learned.

War and abuse make me hurt for the world,

but a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for humankind.

We are a quiet but determined army.

And making a difference every day.

There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan.

Nothing more rewarding than saving a life.

No higher recognition than watching them thrive.

There is no greater joy than seeing a baby play

who only days ago, was too weak to eat.

I am an Animal Rescuer.

Note from Talk2PN: I received this post from Dorian of YourDailyCute. It is so beautiful that I felt I had to share this with everyone I know.  Please follow her on facebook and twitter if you are an animal lover – she is doing some amazing work and could do with our support!

Surprised Cindy

Cindy and Feline Eye Ulcers

It may not be obvious in my photos but Cindy has a rather flat face and with it, comes the usual problem of the occasional weepy eye. Back in May 2009, we noticed that Cindy’s right eye seemed to be especially weepy. So much so that it seemed to be sealed closed with gunk. We wiped it clean but the eye wasn’t right so I took her to see our vet, Raj, down at Companion Care.

After putting some stain on the eyeball, we could immediately see that she had an enormous ulcer on her eye and it looked really really painful. Raj immediately gave her an injection of antibiotics and pain relief. He then prescribed Cindy eye drops and said she would have to wear an Elizabethan collar for the interim.

what are you looking at

What are you looking at?

The next 10 days seemed to drag. With the collar on, Cindy’s movements were severely restricted and she clearly felt sorry for herself. Walking, eating and drinking were all huge issues and I felt terrible! I so wanted to remove the collar but didn’t because I knew it was for her own good. She took her eyedrops gracefully but I suspect that the collar had much to do with this.

After the allotted time had passed, Raj pronounced her eye to be completely healed and that the collar could be removed. I’ve never seen a happier cat!

Fast forward to September 2010. We noticed that Cindy’s left eye was gunked closed. Suspecting another eye ulcer, I whisked her off to see Raj again. My suspicions were correct. Cue more antibiotics, painkillers and eyedrops. This time however, she didn’t need a collar. Administering the eyedrops was not at easy this time but we somehow managed.

Tonight, I came home from work and noticed that Cindy seemed to be having problems coming down the stairs. It was almost like she was stuck. After a couple of minutes, she finally made it into the kitchen and began to eat her dinner. As soon as she had eaten, she headed for her Felix cushion. I expected to see her knead but she didn’t. Instead, she squeezed herself under the barstool bar and half lay on her cushion. That was when I saw her right eye. It was half closed and her third eye was immediately visible. Cindy wasn’t behaving like her normal self. She seemed extremely wary and when she walked, it was more like a scurry. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

Companion Care was closed so I rang the emergency vet who suggested that I bring Cindy down to be examined. Jim, the attending vet confirmed that she had an ulcer on her right eye. I couldn’t believe it. It was just over 4 weeks ago that she had an ulcer on her left eye and now she had one on her right eye! She was given a dose of pain relief and some eyedrops. These ones were different from her usual prescription but Jim assured me it was fine and told me I should see Raj the following day just to see how she was progressing.

I watched Cindy very carefully that evening. Her eye showed none of the usual signs of almost immediate improvement and she was very skitterish. It was almost like she couldn’t see out of her right eye at all. At bedtime, she refused to come to bed, choosing instead to hide as if she was scared of me.

October 6th – This morning, there was still no discernible improvement, so I called Companion Care and made an appointment to take Cindy down to see Raj. He had the day off so we saw a lady called Amy. Amy was suspicious as to the cause of the ulcer due to the frequency of recurrence but cat flu was immediately ruled out on the basis that both Bella and Cindy are up to date with their vaccinations. The dye used showed that the ulcer was covering the entire pupil thereby impairing Cindy’s vision and explained why her behaviour was different. We decided to put Cindy back on her normal eyedrops and see if that would help. She was also given a shot of antibiotics and pain relief before we left.

Cindy seemed perkier and friendlier when we got home but her eye was still not as open as I would have liked and she was still not back to her normal self.

Tonight, David helped put her eyedrops in. It was quite difficult as she was all claws! As soon as she was free, she proceeded to rub the bad eye. I managed to stop her twice before she gave up. For a few minutes, her eye actually seemed worse for the drops but that seems to have cleared up now.

Here’s to hoping that there will be a marked improvement in the morning.

October 7th – woke up to an empty bed. Once again, Cindy had chosen not to sleep with us. A quick search around the house and we found her hiding again under the spare bed. We decide to leave her alone for the day. When we eventually got home at around 11pm, Cindy was less nervous and her eye seemed to be a bit better. Our joy swiftly turned to concern however, when I went to clean out the litter tray – there was signs of blood in the urine. I won’t go into the furbabies’ toilet habits, suffice to say that I knew it was Cindy. I googled the symptons and didn’t like any of the search results that came back so resolved to call Raj in the morning.

October 8th – To my surprise, I woke up to a dead weight on my legs – it was Cindy curled up asleep. I was loathe to disturb her so I asked David to grab my phone for me so that I could ring the vets as soon as they opened. Raj was reluctant to prescribe more medication for Cindy and suggested that I watched her when she went to use the litter tray. Based on what I saw, I should call him back and he would decide what the next steps should be. If we were lucky, the blood we were seeing would simply be down to stress and not a urinary infection. We got lucky!

October 12th – it’s been exactly one week since we discovered Cindy’s new eye ulcer. Her eye is recovering nicely but it still has a glassy look to it. Her behaviour is 99% back to normal but as she is still being medicated, her slight timidness is to be expected. I’m due to take her back for a follow-up checkup tomorrow morning. Here’s to a clean bill of health!

October 13th – so we went to visit the vet and Cindy was given a clean bill of health. The ulcer is all but gone but we’ve been advised to keep administering the eye drops for a further 3 days. Cindy and I were both very relieved!

Cindy perched on sofa arm

paw prints for blog

The Royal Treatment (another did you know?)

The popularity of cats around the globe can be traced to admiration in high places.  In seventh century Japan, for example, cats were the companions of Buddhist monks but became an integral part of Japanese society after A.D. 1000, when 13-year-old Emperor Ichijo introduced a litter of kittens at his palace in Tokyo and indulged them with the finest of food and luxuries.

I think Mittens must have been descended from this royal litter of kittens as we used to give her smoked salmon, shrimps and freshly cooked roast chicken!