Thursday, December 20, 2007

Siamese Temperament

No wonder Kiko loved riding on my dad's shoulder! Now that I've read extensively about the Siamese breed, it is reported that "they delight in riding on their owner's shoulders." The Siamese cats are active, and their minds seem to be whirling with activity. If they do not have a playmate, they will create one out of anything. Height beckons a flight up or down; they delight in jumping and have been seen to leap five feet (!) in any direction with ease. They demand attention and affection, and most will sleep under the covers with their head on the pillow as close to you as possible. Achoo!

Fan Tee Cee

Some believe that the Siamese breeders were greedy in their desire to obtain that "certain look." In the 1960s and 1970s if the cat had that look it most probably had a cat named Fan Tee Cee in its background. Tee Cee was reportedly the Siamese that changed the whole concept of the Siamese. He abruptly appeared on the show scene in the early 1960s and blew every other Siamese clear out of the field. His head and body were very long; his eyes were almond-shaped; his coat was short. Some judges and breeders could not stand his extreme look, while others longed for it. To have Tee Cee in their cats' pedigrees was good; a double-up of Tee Cee was even better. The risk is always high, in doubling up, of bringing two unwanted recessive genes together. And the more inbreeding, the more chances of offspring becoming smaller and smaller.

Siamese Origins

The Siamese cat is reported to have originated in Siam (Thailand). Old paintings show a cat with darker color on the ears, face, paws and tail. There were large classes of Siamese shown in the U.S. in the 1960s. The large Cat Fancier's Association show in Houston, TX, quite often had as many as 65 to 70 Siamese. This is not true in the 1980s in the U.S. Eight or ten Siamese are considered a large class; two or three is an average entry for most shows. What happened?

Remembering Kiko

Kiko, a beautiful female Siamese, was one of our family's first cats when I was growing up. She was pretty, and she knew it. Her coloring was tan and chocolate, and her little face had the exotic look of the Siamese breed. She favored my Dad, and would hold out for him when it came time for jumping up onto his shoulder and looking smugly down at us. She outlived him, and when he died, her affections were transferred to my mom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Allergy Advice

Cat Fancy's May 2007 issue suggests that to further prevent allergen collection, experts recommend replacing curtains and drapes with blinds, verticals or solid shades. (already have those) "Make the home easier to keep clean," says James M. Seltzer, an Oceanside, Calif-based allergist and chairman of the Indoor Allergy Committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He suggests replacing carpet with hardwood or tile flooring (have that), minimizing upholstered furiture (forget that) throughout the home, and using throw rugs that are washed easily. Above all, keep bedrooms off-limits to cats--aha--there's my plan! My house is tiled but has carpeting in the bedrooms, and shades on the windows. I'm going to try to clear Gigi out of my bedroom and see if that helps. The problem is not keeping her out at night, but during the day. Her princess pillow is on the windowsill in there. . . and I don't know if I have the heart to move it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Allergy Answers

Well, it may be difficult, but possible to keep Gigi out of my bedroom. But there are some other things I can do to minimize my discomfort. Cat Fancy's May 2007 issue reports that one of the easiest solutions may be giving your cat a bath(!) Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say that regular baths have been proven to reduce Fe1 d1 amounts in a cat's skin and pelt.
Well, I don't think it would be so easy to give Gigi a bath. . .unless of course I hire someone else to do it. William Ambler, owner of a pet grooming salon in California says that many of his allergic clients gain relief from having their pets groomed and bathed regularly. Something to consider I suppose.

Banned from the Bedroom

I'm thinking about banning Gigi from my bedroom, since I am allergic. However, according to Cat Fancy's May 2007 issue, cat allergens are sticky, adhering to walls, bedding and other surfaces. And, allergens accumulate over time. Carpet (which I have) and upholstered furniture are reservoirs for pet allergens where, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, they can remain for weeks. What's an allergic person to do?