Bru, Cheeky and their siblings as babies
(Bru is back right, and Cheeky is back left)
Looking for a New Home
They were the second generation from the Abyssinian outcross that we did with our Ocicats, to improve the genetic diversity in the breed, out of our Ocicat Variant girl, Grace. Bru went to a new home when he was a kitten, but came back to us a few weeks later because he had picked up an unidentified infection that his owner (who was a vet student!) said was "too much hassle" to get a diagnosis on. It turned out to be a simple chest infection that required only a course of ordinary antibiotics, but I feel it was a lucky escape that we were able to get him back from someone who obviously cared so little for him.
Bru on Richard's lap
As it happens, when we were investigating his chest infection, we found out that he is one of only two cats in veterinary records to have developed with only one lung, the other such cat having been born in the USA in 1980. Around one in every 20,000 human babies is born with a single lung, and the only symptom usually seen is a slightly increased tendency to chest infections in childhood. This was borne out with Bru, who had three chest infections by the time he was about ten months old, but had no further problems after that.
Bru and Cheeky cuddling
We considered keeping him ourselves, but if there is any lingering increased susceptibility to respiritory infections, then living as part of a large multi-cat household as we have here, was likely to increase the risk. When he had his last infection, we separated him off to live with just his sister and one other cat, and saw no further issues, so we felt that it would be better to find him a home where he could live in a similar environment but without having to be shut away as he was with us. He and his sister, Cheeky, are very close, so although we had intended keeping her as a show neuter for ourselves, we decided that the best option for their happiness would be to look for a home for the two of them together.
We showed both cats up to Premier while they were living with us, so they are officially PR Cagaran Brucach and PR Cagaran Bragoil. Thankfully Bru was insured with Agria, and the insurance policies were able to be transferred to their new owners, so their cover remains intact, giving peace of mind that he will be provided for if he ever did have an issue in future.
Thankfully we were contacted by a lovely local family in the autumn of 2014, and they came up to meet the cats, falling in love with Bru and Cheeky immediately. Both cats were very shy when they first arrived in their new home and there were a few teething issues with Bru wetting the bed, though we suspect that might be because he was remembering his previous disasterous move to a new home. Now that they are both sure that nothing is going to hurt them and that they are in a safe place, they come out readily for fuss and to play and there have been no more issues with inappropriate toileting. I can't thank Sharon and her family enough for giving Bru and Cheeky a wonderful home and persevering for the couple of months it took to get them settled. I hope they have many happy years there.