“I sat on the couch. Dora climbed out of the basket and proceeded all the way to my left shoulder, and it sounded like she whispered in my left ear ‘mom’. I was holding back tears, just like I am now as I am writing this. I told Nan I would take her. She wrapped her in a towel and I drove home holding her. She immediately started to explore, so I named her DORA.” – hooman Caterina on her Basepaws cat Dora.
Last week at Basepaws we took the time to speak with Caterina, one of our most loyal clients to date. Caterina is a proud fur-mother of four, and today we are proud to share the story of her lovely Basepaws cat Dora. Dora is a 3-year-old female cat who pawed her way into Caterina’s life at the age of just 25 days. She currently shares her home with three other cats: a girl named Jubilee and two boys named Sammy and Grizzly.
Dora is the oldest of Caterina’s four fur babies. Multiple cat households are always a lot of fun, so we were curious about how well the four kitties get along. “Dora and Sammy used to be best pals, but about a year ago, Dora just started to hate Sammy. He is a bit of a bully, and he loves to antagonize her. He thinks he is a dog.” – revealed Caterina. She added that Sammy tries to tackle Dora, while still trying to be her friend. Dora, of course, doesn’t want anything to do with this and she will use every opportunity she can get to slap him, even when he’s just minding his own business.. She will also meow a few mean words at him: “It sounds like ‘tt’, which could be translated as ‘get lost’.” – explained Caterina. Dora gets along pretty well with Jubilee and with Grizzly, as long as they are reminded that she is the boss, of course.
Sammy, Jubilee and Grizzly weren’t always Dora’s only adoptive siblings, however. Back in September of 2016, when Caterina first started looking for a new cat, her family still had three other, older cats: Teddy, who was nearly 18 at the time, and Bobby and Shelly, who were a year younger. Teddy was adopted together with his sister Lilly when they were 6 weeks old, back on a horse ranch where Caterina’s family used to live. Bobby and Shelly were two of four kittens Lilly had when she was 11 months old. Lilly sadly passed away from a rattlesnake bite in September of 2012, and her other two kittens, Daisy and Spiky, had both also passed away from different health problems years later. At the time of Dora’s adoption, Teddy, Bobby and Shelly were all very old and not in the best health condition. “Shelly was nearly blind, and she had hyperthyroidism and kidney problems. Bobby had problems with his hips and Teddy also had hyperthyroidism. They were all on meds, however, they no longer worked for Teddy.” – explained Caterina. She was very scared of losing her cats, but she knew in her heart that another cat out there had to be waiting for her.
“In September 2016 I casually started to look for a kitten. I wanted a female that was unusual and special. I was looking at different sites.” – said Caterina. One day she got a text from her good friend Nan. “It was a photo of the cutest calico kitten. She was so tiny. At first I thought Nan had gotten a kitten, but then I learned she had actually found and rescued 3 kittens by the dumpster. Having 3 dogs and having to take care of her mom who had dementia, Nan couldn’t keep any of the kittens to herself. I went over to her place to see the kittens. Dora was by herself in an empty laundry basket, and the 2 others were bundling together. I sat on the couch. Dora climbed out of the basket and proceeded all the way to my left shoulder, and it sounded like she whispered in my left ear ‘mom’. I was holding back tears, just like I am now as I am writing this. I told Nan I would take her. She wrapped her in a towel and I drove home holding her. She immediately started to explore, so I name her DORA. She is also aDORAble.” – shared Caterina.
After taking Dora home, Caterina ran out to Petco to buy a kitten milk formula and bottles. After feeding her, she had to go back to work, but she was worried about Dora staying home alone. “Dora was so tiny. I didn’t know if she would stay alive by the time I got back home. Oh yes, she was. She was meowing, and I immediately fed her again.” For the next few weeks, Caterina had to feed Dora several times during the day and night. She had to juggle the full-time kitten care and work. When she took her to the vet for a check-up, they told her she was too tiny and they doubted she would pull through. Dora also had a cold and was infested with fleas. She was treated for fleas and was put on antibiotics for the next 10 days.
“Teddy was her mentor during this time. She would follow him, sleep on him, play with his tail, etc. 15 days later when I came home from work, Teddy was having seizures. He had gone to heaven peacefully later that night.” Dora woke Caterina up when she realized something wasn’t right with Teddy. “Dora was walking around him with question marks in her eyes. Why was his tail no longer moving? I took her in my arms. We were both sad. I told her we would see Teddy again.” After Teddy’s passing, Shelly became Dora’s new mentor and auntie. “And then, In July of 2017, I had to send Bobby to heaven. He was hurting too much. Sammy came into our lives 2 weeks later. At first, Dora was very jealous of Sammy. They eventually became best buddies, until one afternoon, a year later. God only knows what had happened that afternoon between them. Dora seems to hold a grudge towards her baby brother. Maybe one day they will be friends again. Funny enough, Sammy doesn’t care one bit about Dora’s warnings. It is quite comical.”
Today, Dora spends most of her time napping in an old chair, which Caterina wanted to get rid of, but thanks to Dora she now can’t. She also enjoys sleeping in Caterina and her husband’s bed (as long as Sammy isn’t there), or on top of the treehouse. Her favorite activity, however, is listening to music with Caterina’s husband, who is completely in love with her. “He calls her Dora Dora from Bora Bora. Dora absolutely adores him. She is also his alarm clock. She would knead his chest very gently and stare at him. If that doesn’t work, she will put her paw on his forehead and gently caress his face without ever using her claws. She does this with me too, but mostly with my husband.”
Dora is a shy cat, and she likes to hide when Caterina has visitors. She loves being photographed though. “I have tons of photos of our Dora The Duchess.” – said Caterina. “She is very feminine. As a human, she would be an actress and/or a model. She is a snob. Yes, you read that right. She has perfect table manners. She is very clean when she eats, unlike Sammy who makes a total mess (although he cannot help it due to his gingivitis). When Dora drinks, though, she doesn’t tilt her head. She looks straight ahead and the water runs down her neck, so she constantly needs to stop drinking in order to clean herself. It is quite comical. We keep on telling her to look down, but she is set in her ways.”
Dora, Sammy, Jubilee, and Grizzly were all tested with Basepaws. Dora’s test revealed that she is most similar to Western breeds, of which she is more similar to Maine Coons than 99.21% of all cats in the database. Her other two top Western breed matches were Ragdoll and Siberian Forest Cat. Caterina, thank you for joining Basepaws and sharing Dora’s amazing story with us. We appreciate you and we hope to deliver some pawsome updates to your cat reports soon. Meow!