Meet our Luton Vet Michelle, as she talks about her first cat, Egyptian Mau, Sekani
Three and a half years ago, I drove home wondering whether I’d taken leave of my senses. Next to me in the footwell was a cat carrier containing a 13 week old kitten loudly expressing his indignation at his first car trip. I’d never owned a cat before, but being lonely in a house by myself and lacking the time to walk a dog, I’d decided to get a cat for company. I’d spent hours reading about behavioural needs, feeding requirements, etc. and yet nothing completely prepared me for the ball of fluff that would both dominate my heart and terrorise my feet.
Sekani is a male Egyptian Mau. He is silver spotted tabby with gooseberry green eyes, a sleek build, bundles of energy and a permanently mischievous look. I’d visited the GCCF Supreme show (cat equivalent to the Kennel Club’s Crufts show) and saw a paw playfully attempting to catch handbags as they walked past the show pen. I knew then that was the breed for me.
Sekani is highly motivated by food. He eats all types of cat food, but he will also eat all meats and fish, all dairy products, most baked products, various vegetables and any leftovers he can get near. As you may guess, Sekani cannot be left with any type of food unguarded or have free access to food; he must be fed a set amount each day. Once, he nibbled into a bag of cat food and helped himself for a week before I found out – and put on a whole pound (0.5kg) in that week!
He is very people orientated and will readily perch on a knee or cuddle with anyone, even a complete stranger. Despite not growing up with children, he has been excellent with my stepchildren no matter how roughly he is handled and showed exemplary behaviour when we visited schools or brownie groups to talk about animal care.
He loves toys of all kinds – and anything not nailed down is a potential cat toy in his eyes. He loves feather wands and balls to chase, and has a long memory as to where I hide things like my feather adorned hair fascinators (as seen in the photograph after he crept into my wardrobe). He has been trained to sit, offer his left or right paw as appropriate, respond to his name and (on a good day) play fetch. This is excellent mental stimulation for an intelligent cat and just requires sufficient patience and bribery.
I love my boy to bits and that’s what I remember when I’m working in the clinic. If everyone feels about their pet how I feel about Sekani, I’ve got all the time in the world to reassure them because I remember how I felt when Sekani was admitted for 48 hours on a drip after getting hold of a lily. I’m going to do everything I can to make their pet’s stay as stress-free as possible, because I wanted the same for Sekani.
Michelle Dawson is our Principal Vet at Vets Now Luton