Bea.....



F2 Savannah - 7 years old

I had a one week old Savannah litter that was not being cared properly by their mother and while the kittens appeared to be nursing it was clear the kittens were failing. The queen wanted to be a good mother but she absolutely refused to let the kittens nest on any type of bedding. No matter how I tried to intervene the queen would return the kittens to the cold flooring. The kittens were of course cold, miserable, and struggling to breath and within a short time one of the kittens died. I knew if I left the remaining kitten with her mother she too would die. After some thought I decided to pull the remaining kitten from it's mother. I brought the her upstairs to the nursery where I wrapped her in a warm towel and began to treat her for congestion and dehydration. At first the kitten was to sick to really put up much of a fuss, but once she could breath better and was warm she began to fuss and squiggle. To give her something to snuggle with I placed fluffy, soft Beanie Babies next to her in the nesting box and that is how she ultimately ended up with her name. I affectionately named her Bea, after the Beanie Babies that she was first comforted by when I pulled her from her mommy.

A few days earlier I had a Papillon mother who had a litter of puppies. The puppies were small and Bea was a bit longer and fuzzier, but weighed about the same. I knew the female Papillon was as sweet as sugar and would not harm the kitten, so when Bea began to cry and make a fuss from being away from her mother I put her in with the Papillon female and her puppies, more for warmth and comfort than anything. (If all else fails, improvise! Right?) The fussing kitten quickly settled down and was instantly content. The Papillon mother however seemed a bit puzzled at first when she smelled her, and at times I did get a few strange looks from the her, but overall the Papillon mother settled in with her odd new brood and appeared content.

To be able to compare the two species side by side was incredible and it was very obvious that the wild part of Bea's heritage definitely expedites development! The kitten gained rapidly and quickly dominated the puppies at every turn. We quickly began to supplement Bea several times a day to slow her down at the prime location on the milk bar and everyone had to be weighed daily to insure that all were gaining as they should. It was amazing to watch the kitten's development compared to the Papillon puppies. Even at one week old the kitten was far more advanced than they were and her survival instincts were apparent from the start. Her eyes were completely open at 4 days old and by three weeks old she was eating mush out of a bowl and climbing the sides of the puppy pen. Paris, (her Papillon mother) would just look at me in dismay as if to say "I just don't know what to do with her...You deal with her she's yours!".

As a young kitten Bea was very "intrigued" by the other Savannah kittens at play, but did not immediately rush to join them. For hours on end she would sit and watch them from afar however, after a week or so of watching all their "kitten antics" Bea finally gave in to her own "wild" kitten desires to be naughty and rowdy and finally joined in on the fun! While she will rough and tumble with the best of Savannah kittens she still prefers the company of puppies and humans. I am forever chasing her out of my puppy pens or "firing" her from her self imposed dog grooming duties where she swats and bats at Papillon tail and ears as I groom. Bea will instantly stop whatever she is doing to playfully stalk and chase the dogs as they come and go from the house but she absolutely refuses to acknowledge any low life "cat" in the house....after all she is a spotted Papillon trapped in a cat suit!