Kitteh contest entry: Butter

Another shelter cat whose life was saved, this time thanks to owners Steve and Terri. Here is Butter, an awesomely fluffy Himalayan entered in the Big Kitteh Contest.  This is his story:

Found by a State Trooper near I-25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming—where he was  barely surviving on grasshoppers for at least a month—this extra furry Himalayan came to the Humane Society.  His adoption photo named him “Shnozzle”, and showed him wearing a big blue ribbon to try to make him presentable, even though he was close to death.  But we had been chosen (by the kitteh sign of a headbutt on the forehead); we brought him to Colorado, where we had to deal with the sequelae of his rough adolescence—both anal glands had to be removed due to recurrent infections, an intestinal blockage required emergency care, and his FHV infection (acquired while in contact with other cats in the shelter) mandates a lifetime of management with lysine and antibiotics to keep outbreaks under control.  The struggle for this little scrapper was worth it, as this picture demonstrates.

We renamed him “Butter” not only because he loves butter and he is the color of butter, but he butts his head repeatedly to communicate (i.e., he´s a butt-er).  On bad days, he´s head-butt, butt-head, you name it.  While it is tempting to think the flat aspect of his face was due to extreme head-butting, it is actually the culmination of an intelligent design mechanism that began in the 1930s and sadly continues to this day.  Due to a fondness for baby-like faces, their designers continue to breed maladaptive noses, making breathing more difficult.

I’ve since received several more photos of Butter.  Here’s the adoption photo of “Schnozzle” that persuaded Steve and Terri to take him.

And a couple others (click to enlarge):

24 Comments

  1. Marella
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I think my next cat might have to be a Himalayan, Butter really is gorgeous!

    • Marella
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      Except for the squashed face, Butter’s isn’t so bad but others I found on the web are a worry.

    • steve oberski
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      As the owner of several Himalayans over the years (all sadly gone to visit the ceiling cat), I can say they are very affectionate and even tempered.

      The “flat face” does impeded the proper drainage of the tear ducts and there can be a build up of discharge around the eyes.

      Some lines do have a tendency to cardio myopathy, we had 2 kittens from the same litter with it, one died before she was a year old, the other lived to the age of 22.

      Our other Himalayans all lived into their early 20’s.

      Invariably it was kidney failure that did them in but I think this is common to cats in general and not the breed. You can give them additional years of comfortable life by the use of sub cutaneous saline (Ringer’s lactate solution) injections, Himalayans are placid enough the I was able to do this myself at home for most of them.

    • sasqwatch
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Steve here… Butter is my first Himmy. Terri has much more extensive experience with them from before we met. She told me that they are unlike other kittehs – and boy, was she not kidding.

      As Steve Oberski mentions, they are indeed affectionate and even-tempered – amazingly so. They have a tendency to fixate on one person; it took years before Butter adjusted to being able to tolerate both our affections at the same time. They need routine. One should not get a Himmy unless you are willing and able to keep them brushed, their tear ducts cleaned, their butts washed (really helps to keep their underbelly and “saddle” clipped). And if you get a shelter kitteh, chances are it will have FHV, as they are especially prone to acquiring feline herpesvirus, and most shelters will not have the available facility to keep cats separate.

      The payoff is enormous. Though I’m not fond of dogs (at all), this little guy has some of the loyalty qualities of dogs. I get my coffee, and Butter follows my every move. When I’m done showering, he’s always there to clean the tub. Brush my hair… pow, he’s in my face for his brush. They are not aloof like other cats; they crave constant affection. They are also obsequious and uncomplaining — you need to pay attention to detail, because they provide few clues when they are not well. It’s a good idea to pay attention to their ear temperature, gum color, redness of their sclera and their shortness of breath. I’d advise against getting one unless you are willing to make that kind of investment. (I even got a Hyla water vacuum to keep the stray fur out of the air and off the rugs)

      That being said, he’s a delight. Right now his routine is converting breakfast to calories and using them to warm my feet.

      • daveau
        Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        I haven’t had a million cats or anything, but neither me or the spousal unit has ever had an aloof cat. Cats are exactly as interactive as you want them to be, meaning that they respond in kind. The more you play and pet and groom, the more they will come running when you call, follow you around, and love you to pieces. You have to work for it, but the reward is great.

        • daveau
          Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          Why, yes, I do know the difference between subjects and objects. I done it all wrong on purpose-like.

        • daveau
          Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          “Steve” is an alias, right?

          • sasqwatch
            Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            Yes. My Christian name is really Stephen.

        • Susan Robinson
          Posted January 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Same here: Less than 1 in 100 kitties would I describe as aloof. They are cautious until they get to know you very well, which is quite wise considering humans are the most destructive species!

      • sasqwatch
        Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Okey-dokey. I take that “aloof” thingy back. It’s just the most common complaint cat-haters make — merely because cats don’t fawn over them like their poorly-trained and occasionally-beaten dog does. There’s a difference — and it is frequently described. Words fail me now, though.

  2. frank sellout
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Excellent cat, great story.

  3. Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Awwww-his name is Butter ’cause everyone melts when they see him :-))

  4. daveau
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Butter is adorable. Congrats to Butter, Terri and Steve on their happy family.

    If you want a Himalayan or a Persian, try to avoid the “Peke” (Pekingese) face, or the extreme faces, as they can have severe nasal and tear duct issues. Doll face and appleheads should be fine, but the moronic breed standard leans toward the extreme. You should also avoid, or thoroughly research any Maine Coon or Ragdoll you are considering, as cardio myopathy is pervasive in those breeds. HCM is what we lost our little Bryxie (British Shorthair) to last year.

    • sasqwatch
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      We’ll never know how Butter (a “flamepoint” Himmy) got to be out on I-25, but our guess is that it was some moronic breeder in Cheyenne who loosed him into the wide world simply because of a few color imperfections around his nose and mouth. (he was found as an adolescent, between 1 and 2 years old we think)

      Kittens can fetch about $3000 apiece, which keeps the breeders in business – and many of them are unscrupulous. It’s sad, really.

      • sasqwatch
        Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        “flame point”, two words. sorry.

    • Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Bryxie in autumn has been my desktop photo for the past week, I hope you don’t mind.

  5. Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Butter is so sweet. That asleep with feet off the edge picture slays me.

    • sasqwatch
      Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Here’s a few more, just for you, Ophelia. This is Butter, the first time he saw my new Blackberry.

      img441.imageshack.us/img441/8473/whazzat.jpg

      …when he was hunting 3 deer in the backyard (really). You have to look carefully – he’s at lower right. A clear demonstration why this breed sucks so bad at hunting.

      img513.imageshack.us/img513/8787/butterhunter.jpg

      …and finally, a demonstration of how well he blends in his natural environment (taken moments before the photo we chose for the contest).

      img703.imageshack.us/img703/8089/butterflaged.jpg

      • Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Ha! He looks very censorious about the Blackberry.

      • steve oberski
        Posted January 20, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        We have one of those brush piles in our back yard, the cats love it, a never ending supply of rodents.

        And since we put the cat door in, a never ending supply of furry “gifts”, usually alive, much fun ensues trying to capture it (with much “assistance” from the cats) for release.

        No deer yet though there have been reports of them locally.

  6. Derek
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    That is a truely awesome Kitteh.

  7. Diane G.
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Butter is adorable. Congrats to Butter, Terri and Steve on their happy family.

    + 1

    And a wonderful rescue story, too. Sort of increased everybody’s well-being.

  8. Malus
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I did not know where to post this video, but I am sure prof. JAC will enjoy it! (so will other kitteh lovers):

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Too cute!


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