"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ― Anatole France

Pets, pets, pets! They are treasured family members in two-thirds of American households (about 71.1 million)! They may bark, meow, chirp, squeak or quietly swim around, but one thing is for sure: they are our favorite life companions and our best friends who keep our hearts warm, loved and happy.

“They show us what’s missing in our lives, and how to love ourselves more completely and unconditionally. They connect us back to who we are, and to the purpose of why we’re here!” – Trish McCagh

Furry or not so furry, happy International Pet Day to all the little minions out there! To celebrate this special day, we decided to share one of the exceptional and inspirational stories from our dear Basepaws family members! Today, we are proud to share the story of our dear customer Stephanie and her wonderful little bundles of happiness.

Stephanie’s story

Please meet Stephanie, a proud fur-mother blessed with three amazing little bundles, all saved from the streets and all with unique and truly inspiring stories behind them.

Stephanie’s family had cats before, mostly Maine Coon mixes. Sadly, several years ago they lost a very loved cat to neurological disease and were left lonely without felines. Today they once again happily share their home with new kitties – Anders, Helga and Brynni – whom they shower with an amazing amount of love and attention every waking moment.

Stephanie’s family turned to Basepaws with the desire to do the CatKit test for their kitties because they wanted to know their familial histories and learn their risks and genetic predispositions early own in their lives. Stephanie explained to us: “I want to learn everything about my cats because I want to offer them the best life possible. We already lost a cat to a neurological disease before, and I want to know if my cats are predisposed to certain diseases and help prevent them. We rescued cats before, but we had no options then. Now we do have an option!”. So far, they did CatKit tests for two of their cats, Anders and Helga, and they are planning to do the test for their third baby, Brynni, shortly as well. “Brynni a little bit feral and we are still working with her. It would be too hard to obtain a sample. But we are definitely planning to do a test for her too very soon.” – said Stephanie.

Anders is the boy in the family and he is 1 year and 8 months old. Adopted from the Kitty Bungalow-Charm School for Wayward Cats, this once feral cat from the streets of LA is the ultimate lap cat today! Always looking for a scratch and a pet, Anders is truly the dream cat! He is cuddly and sweet and he warms up the hearts of all his family members. The favorite toy of this little playful creature is Da Bird!

Anders

When they first got this snuggly little bundle, the family thought Anders was a Maine Coon mix because of his appearance. When the CatKit test results came back… they took Stephanie by a complete surprise! Anders turned out to be a mixture of a Burmese, an Egyptian Mau and a Ragdoll. “It makes sense”, agrees Stephanie, “he truly does have the fur texture of a Ragdoll and his personality is similar to that in the Egyptian Mau. But Burmese… We would have never said! He looks nothing like a Burmese!”. Stephanie explained that knowing her cats’ pedigrees is very important and useful to her because she wants to be able to address preventative treatments properly and she wants to know what to be particularly on the lookout for. Anders is allergic to broccoli and plastic.

Helga and Brynni are sisters who are 1 year and 1 month old. Adopted from The Cat Cove, they were rescued from the streets just like Anders. Today these two lucky kittens found their home with Stephanie’s family. When asked if she had a favorite feline, Stephanie laughed: “You know, I can’t say that I do. Anders is our lap cat. He’s lovely. But, Helga, she’s my little girl. She has that sass I always wanted in a feline. She’s my sassy little girl.”.

Brynni and Helga

Helga and Brynni were said to be Siamese mixes. The results of Helga’s CatKit test showed that she was a Himalayan, a Tonkinese and a Siamese. “It explains her blue-pointed coloration and slightly crossed eyes. And she totally has the Siamese attitude. She’s always on the go!”. Helga has many toys because she’s energetic and active. “We got her a cat-wheel runner. We would give her treats so she would relate the running on the wheel with something positive. But she’s too smart! Now she runs to get us to treat her. We’ll get ready for bed and she’ll start running so she can get another treat.” Her favorite toy is the desktop computer.

Helga on the wheel runner

Stephanie said that they couldn’t wait to learn about Brynni too. “I’m always refreshing the page. I want to learn everything about cats and offer them the best possible lives they can have”. Brynni is prone to respiratory infections and her favorite toys are springs and scratching posts.

Brynni

“We were part of the Alpha report and we learned what wildcats are present in our cat’s genes. Anders had puma, serval and fishing cat DNA, while Helga had jaguar, puma and ocelot. That was fun to hear! After learning this, we really started recognizing the similarities!”

Anders, Brynni and Helga

We absolutely loved talking with Stephanie and hearing out the story behind her little felines. All three of her cats are pawsome and we could hear the love she has for them in her voice. We were honored to help her get to know her little felines on the molecular level and we can’t wait for Brynni to get her CatKit too!