This month we had an immense pleasure to meet another one of our pawsome cat guardians. Dear readers, please meet Kayla and her lovely Basepaws cat Tommy Gargoyle.
Kayla has had many pets over the years. Tommy grew up with guinea pigs, rats, a dog, cats, and a few birds. "We stopped with rats in 2010 and have two small parrots now. Our dog died a few years ago, and we quit guinea pigs this summer." - said Kayla. Right now, Tommy shares his home with three other cats: Yue, Stewart and Amelie. We asked Kayla how Tommy first paws his way into her life:
"Yue had an issue with slapping my dog upside the head in a fly by for fun. I wanted to get her a cat. My partner told me about this blue cat I was going to end up with that he had a dream about. I didn’t know what a blue coat was. I found this blue cat on display in the cages at Petco, but he was weird."
"He wasn’t sad, bored, sleeping, reaching, meowing, classic kitty jail cat. His papers said he was neutered two days before, and he’s on a shelf chasing his tail. Falls down. Hops back up, and keeps chasing his tail. He made eye contact me with once (hi there) and fell off the shelf, hopped back up and chased his tail" - shared Kayla. She ended up adopting Tom, and he has been with her ever since. Happy and content!
Basepaws cat Tommy sleeping
Yue was his only cat sibling for a while, until other joined the clowder. "Amalie is the oldest, and was declawed before we met her. She has cranky back pain and doesn’t like Stewart. She’s never liked him, actually. Some days she doesn’t want any cats near her. Stewart moved in still partly feral, and a late neuter, almost fully grown. He’s not bilingual. It’s great. He never meows or says anything the other cats do. They understand him, and we learned how he communicates. He didn’t adapt the ‘we speak this way for humans’. Yue and Tommy grew up for a few years together before the others joined the clowder."
Among all her pets, Kayla says she doesn't have any favorites. Tommy, however, did make the cut to be a tattoo model for Kayla. " I did something impulsive and I had Tommy’s paw prints tattooed where he usually wuffles as he fluffs me. It’s behind my ear, down the hairline, and his feet are HUGE. Not my favorite tattoo sitting." - Kayla shared.
Tommy likes to eat, and he struggled with weight in the past. "He was 21 lbs, and I got him to 13 lbs." - explained Kayla. "When we first put Tommy on the program, it broke my heart to schedule small meals and tell him ‘no’ so often. There was no way this guy could be 13 lbs. It took us 4 years." Now that he's so fit, his second favorite activity became parkour. He also loves to explore "forbidden" areas in the house, and he likes to carry his favorite toy around, all "while meowing loudly, looking for his humans. His mouth is stuffed, bellowing meows, pacing through a three level home. When he finds you, he drops it on the bed or sofa and lays down."
Basepaws cat Tommy with his hooman Kayla
Aside from the weight issues, Tommy is also struggling with FLUTD. "His first blockage involved struvite crystals, but the next two didn’t, and catheters can scar the urethra to make it smaller, so we had a new one created unfortunately. He had a PU surgery 2 ½ years ago." - we learned from Kayla.
Kayla describes Tommy as the Bell of the Ball, and adds that he is very creative. "We’ve had to get him off the roof because he popped the window screen. We had to get him from the bushes because we thought he could fly after a moth on the balcony. He heard about Spiderman and started climbing straight up the stucco exterior of a building I was living in. He decided to be the first to greet the new neighbors moving in, and they found him lying on their daughter’s bed." - shared Kayla.
Basepaws cat Tommy with his hooman Kayla
We asked Kayla why she joined Basepaws and what her thoughts on the report were: "I know Tom is a mutt, but I was curious what they could find out about his breed similarities, and later what would be available on the health reports. So far, he’s negative for all the tested gene variants, except one which is inconclusive." The breed report showed that Tommy is largely a polycat, without any high breed matches in comparison to other cat. Our database is growing and we will be adding more breeds, however, so this might change in the future. Kayla was happy to see the Russian Blue among the top matches: "I laughed when I saw the Russian Blue because he resembles them so much, and he’s about 13% similarities. HA! I TOLD YOU!" - she shared happily. Kayla also tested her cats Yue and Stewart, who participates in one of our research programs."Amalie has not been tested yet, but if research wants to study genes for cats with FORLs, she’s your man." - Kayla added.
Basepaws cat Tommy with his late dog sister
Kayla, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with our about your Basepaws cat Tommy. We loved hearing about his life and your thoughts on his report. We hope to work with you on your other cats' stories in the future too, and to cherish you with some pawsome report updates very soon. Meow!