Titus and Siegfried – Ragdoll Kittens of the Month

“Hey Mum, We Can Flush the Toilet!”      A Tale of Two Hong Kong Kittens

Titus and Siegfried
Titus and Siegfried

The sight of two four month old kittens squeezed on to the cistern of my toilet, blue eyes wide and ears perked was enough to make me crease up with laughter. I’d wondered what had happened to the bathroom, was I imagining the sound of flushing? No one else was in the house. Oh no, there they were, looking very proud of themselves, together in their naughtiness, the culprits, Titus and Siegfried. Just to make sure that I realized it was them, they did it right in front of my eyes, pushed the button down and kept their balance (an unusual occurence for them!)

First day home
First day home

Titus and Siegfried had joined us from their breeder mum a few weeks before, adorable bundles of fluff with those beautiful eyes. The world must have seemed huge to little kitties but they soon took charge of the entire household and had their humans around their little paws. What am I saying? Little? They seemed to grow like bamboo; every day I was picking up more kitten! They scoff raw beef heart, scallop, prawn, chicken and even sneak the remains of yoghurt and oatmeal if I don’t hide it in the morning.

Titus and Siegfried
Titus and Siegfried

So far they have one destroyed lamp, dented silver photo frames swept off a table; “Didn’t you know Mum that this is OUR spot?” and gleefully scattered carefully arranged piles of books and letters every day. Cat Hockey is played regularly in between jousting bouts between the brothers. How they can be at each other’s throats one minute and grooming each other the next I shall never know! They tussle like a white tornado, a blur of white fur and grey tails but seem to hold no grudge.

Titus and Siegfried
Titus and Siegfried

Titus (named for an ancestor of mine) and Siegfried (we love Wagner!) have filled the void left when our last cat, Oscar passed away. Oscar was a ginger from the gutter quite literally but a cat of character. It’s amazing to see Titus and Siegfried using his toys happily and I’m pretty sure that Oscar is quite happy with the new members of the family. Titus is definitely Alpha Cat… ambushing, leaping and seemingly half strangling his brother. When feeding time comes Titus looks across at Siegfried and inevitably leaves his own bowl to push his brother out of they way just in case his food is better. Dear Siegfried amiably transfers his appetite to the other bowl. No dramas!

So far they really are just like the puppycats of legend. Forever underfoot, wanting to be with their humans and generally making their presence felt. We wouldn’t be without them and are so pleased that Maggie of Dolly-Chiny Cattery in Hong Kong thought we would be good parents!

Brenda Scofield in Hong Kong

Yes I got a Mother's Day card from the boys!
Yes I got a Mother's Day card from the boys!
OK Mum, we'll be good; just don't shout at us
OK Mum, we'll be good; just don't shout at us
Just guarding these dogs!
Just guarding these dogs!
Would you just keep still while I bite your ear?
Would you just keep still while I bite your ear?
Website | + posts

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. So sorry to hear of your loss. I lost a wonderful gray tabby to the wet form of FIP, but he was probably 7-8 years old. We were never exactly sure because he showed up in the neighborhood and decided to come live with us after a neighbor had rescued him from a gas station dumpster but couldn’t keep him indoors. My mother fell in love with him, and he had that kind of personality. Everybody loved him! When you talked to him, he had a look on his face like he understood every word you were saying, and often reacted appropriately to what you’d said. We called him Frankie. My mother didn’t want him in the house (she was funny like that), so he was our outdoor kitty, living around the garage and spending a lot of time greeting guests as they arrived or watching the front of the house, like a little guard kitty.

    He’d been with us a few years when he started sneezing all the time and having runny eyes; we didn’t know if it was allergies or a URI, and the vet told us that a lot of cats seem to get a chronic URI that’s hard to cure. It was spring when there was a lot of pollen in the air, so we thought at first it was allergies. As it dragged on, we just figured he was one of those cats who had the chronic URI and lived with the sneezing.

    About a year later he developed something the vet diagnosed as pancreatitis. I’d notice him squatting in the middle of the lawn and obviously suffering from diarrhea; when we had him in the house after he’d been at the vet, he would sit behind my chair and just moan; my mother said it sounded like he was “lovesick!” We had to keep him on a special food for the rest of his life, one we could only get at the vet’s office. I started calling him our “million-dollar alley cat” due to his expensive illnesses.

    About 6 months later, I got an e-mail from my vet’s office reminding me to bring in Frankie for an FIP vaccine. I’d never heard of it before, so I called them to ask why he hadn’t been given that with all his other shots he’d just gotten about a month prior. They said that was an auto-generated e-mail, and they didn’t actually recommend that FIP vaccine, as it was not really effective, and just to disregard the e-mail. So I Googled FIP and was astounded to read how the symptoms of the first two stages were very similar to the two things Frankie had already experienced. But he seemed to be very healthy and happy, so I tried not to think much about it…but it was still in the back of my mind.

    Then the following year, on Valentine’s Day, Frankie was breathing very shallowly. I looked down at him from above and he was shaped like a body builder: abnormally huge in the chest area, and very narrow at the hips. After some deliberation, I rushed him to the emergency vet (it was a Saturday night). They put him in an oxygen chamber (a plastic storage box with an O2 tube going into it), drained the fluid from his chest & kept him overnight. They let him come home the next afternoon, but said he was still a very sick kitty and needed to get to his regular vet on Monday. That Sunday evening, he was so happy to be back home! We let him go outside for a little while, worried that he’d go off somewhere to die, but when I went out to get him, he was on guard in the front flower box and didn’t want me to bring him in. But once there, he laid on his back in my lap purring up a storm and kneaded the air. Even my mother, who was not one to suffer cats to sit on her lap, held him in her lap because she knew it was probably his last night with us.

    The next morning, Frankie went to his regular vet, who also kept him in the hospital. I went by to visit with him a couple days later, and he looked awful. They had a chest tube in him to drain off the fluid, they’d shaved him in some places to make it easier to give him shots & take blood, and he didn’t look comfortable at all. But I still didn’t want to believe that it was FIP; that was a disease that killed cats as kittens, not those who were several years old! Even the vet didn’t acknowledge that it could have been FIP, even though looking back on it now, the symptoms were textbook for it. Frankie died that Sunday night in the hospital after a full week there, alone in a cage instead of at home with us, where he would have died “on guard” lying in the front flower box if we’d have let him. I still regret that I didn’t just accept his fate and let him die at home as he would have wanted. It couldn’t have been any more horrible for him than the way he went. And it would have saved us a few thousand dollars in futile treatments.

    I wrote a blog post about Frankie here: http://bit.ly/f7fvLO in which I mentioned a possible treatment for FIP called T-cyte that someone had told me about while I was at Global Pet Expo in 2011. I haven’t heard much more about it since then, but it was encouraging to know that progress is being made in looking for a cure. I’ve heard it said that if FIP were a disease that affected dogs, it would have been cured long ago.

    A little less than five months after Frankie died, my mother also died. I know that he was waiting for her and happily jumped into her lap again when they were reunited.

  2. I’m so terribly sorry, Brenda; there are simply no words to even begin to ease your sadness after losing darling Siegfried so heartbreakingly soon. Hopefully you and Titus will be able to go a long way toward healing each other’s hearts while you’re waiting for the new babycat.

  3. My little girl, Juliet, sits before me as I type this. She has been reduced to a mere skeleton. She has FIP. It has totally destroyed me to watch the progression of this awful disease.
    She became lethargic and feverish about 2 weeks ago. Took her to emergency because of the Labor Day weekend and I didn’t think she should wait until Tuesday. They gave me antibiotics, gave her some fluids and a vit. B shot and sent her home with some a/d diet.
    We switched antibiotic after 7 days and began to suspect FIP. Nothing could lower her temp or bring back her appetite.
    It tears me up when she looks up at me and wants me to carry her in my robe. I can’t bring myself to euthanize her. She doesn’t seem to be in pain, she still purrs and kneads when I snuggle her. She is eating just enough to keep going. This is so unfair!

  4. So sorry for your loss. Fip is a terrible end for kittens and cats. I am happy to hear you will get a replacement. Love the kitty you still have as they also feel the void in their lives.

  5. Rebekah C says:

    Darn smart phone!

    Anyway, making a book helped us to preserve some of the memories since they fade quickly. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you and Titus help each other get through this and know that time will help lessen the pain. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  6. Rebekah C says:

    I am so terribly sorry to hear this. Our first ragdoll kitten, Jasper, died of FIP at 6 months. We were devastated, so I know you are going through a difficult time. It is sad that our babies were taken away so soon and had such short lives. After Jasper passed, my husband and I spent some time writing down ALL of our memories, nicknames, etc related to him. Then I put together a photo book from shutterfly and included all that we wrote down. It hel

  7. Very sad news… Siegfried (Kitten of the month) died suddenly from Feline Infectious Peritonitis a short while ago. It was a terrible shock; he was seven months old and seemingly in great shape with the exception of the day before he died. We rushed him to hospital but he arrested in the night and we couldn’t save him. We’ll have a new kitten in the New Year from the same breeder but Titus, his brother is missing him and we feel dreadful. Does anyone here have experience with FIP? Seems that the tests can often produce negative results (as did his firsts ones) but the autopsy confirmed FIP.

    I’d appreciate any feedback you might have about this disease. Brenda in Hong Kong

    1. I forgot to tell you through e-mail. Rags (the reason for this site) came with his brother Cosby and Cosby passed of FIP at age 10 months. Our vet told my mom Rags would never have it since he was exposed to it and wasn’t effected. Rags lived until 19.5 years old.

    2. Oh Brenda, I’m so sorry to hear about Siegried 🙁 That is such a heartbreaking, devastating tragedy. We lost our first Havana Brown kitten to FIP as well at 7 months. We had our Ragdoll, Tyco, at the time as well and he is in perfect health. From my understanding, FIP is an unusual mutation of a common “cold” virus that cats can get, and tests and vaccines for it are still hit or miss. Titus should be safe from FIP if he’s still okay now. He will have been exposed to the same (original, unmutated) virus and if the virus didn’t mutate in him to become FIP, it more than likely will not mutate in the future. I’m not an expert, just speaking from experience.

      Again, I’m so sorry to hear. Bless you for giving Siegried a good life in his short months. Please keep us posted on your new baby. XOXO

  8. Love the story of your boys, and all the fabulous pictures; what utter DARLINGS they are! (Also, you now have me wishing my house was equipped with the type of toilets that flush with a button rather than a hard-to-push handle, LOL… watching your clever Raggie boys operate yours must be beyond delightful. :))

  9. judy Lynn says:

    They’re beautiful! BUT! More important is that I’m sure they have great, loveable personalities! We have one Rag at the moment (after losing two), and I think we need another. The “playmate” he has now is a female older Maine Coon mix (about 7 yrs-old) who isn’t enamored with his playfulness. He wants to run and chase with her so badly. I’m afraid he’ll lose his “play gene” so I’m thinking of finding another Rag about the same age. (two yrs-old). Does anyone know if, when I find one, it should be another male, or a female? or even if this is a good idea, especially with the older cat. ??

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