PET BIRMAN OF THE YEAR
AWARDS FOR 2015

Well! What a fantastic competition this has turned out to be. The standard of the entries was just amazing. Every story so enjoyable it is going to be a pleasure to print them all for you. Thank you so much to our entrants who took the time and effort to write about their wonderful and very special Birmans. It was a difficult decision for us all on the committee but we enjoyed every minute. There were 8 entries altogether, some long, some short but everyone meaning the world to their owners. Birmans that once again touch our hearts and our lives in that wonderful way that only they have. As in past years the owners details have been withheld and the stories judged on their merit alone. In this winters edition we will be publishing the Winner and two runners up followed by the entrants in the summer magazine. Everyone will receive a rosette and certificate for their special pet birmans. We do hope to meet our winner, runners up and any entrant that can attend at our AGM Meeting in May where the awards will be given out. We would so love to meet you all.

Graphic illustration by John Assiter-Tuppen, © The Birman Cat Club


PET BIRMAN OF THE YEAR 2015
Owned by Alex & Coleen Smith

Hello My name is Tilly and I'm told I am a very pretty Seal point Birman over 15.5 years old now, with Champion parentage on my papers Mum says. I have never been to a show I have only owned humans for a living. I started my life going to a lady and her husband with a British Blue cat for a companion. That was ok, we got along fine but then the lady wanted children and after a few years they became toddlers that tormented me relentlessly night and day! I became very nervous and frightened. The family eventually decided they would move abroad. Their parents took my British Blue friend but didn't want me! I was only 6.5yrs old. Luckily my new Mum and Dad came along to meet me and they fell in love with me! Dad could see how scared I was when the children came screaming into the room after me and he had decided along with Mum that they weren't going to leave the house without me.

I came home with them to join a cute little Tortie point girl named Gladys that was lonely when her brother Norman had died from a mass around his heart that the Vet had found when he got ill. We girls go on famously and would sleep together as well as enjoy each other's company. All was great, we even entered the Birman Cat Clubs "Pet Birman of the year" together as a duo!

Then sadness came again when we lost little Gladys to kidney failure in Dec 2010. Mummy and Daddy were very sad. Mum cried alot, Gladys was such a little angel.

We went on for about 9 months with just me in the house as Mum and Dad were so upset after losing the brother and sister Birmans that were their first pair, within about 4 years apart. I was always a lap cat, sat in Das lap for many hours, but I was also sad that I no longer had any feline companions to talk to.

Mum and Dad had a short holiday and the lovely cat minder that came in every day, several times to feed me, told Mum and Dad about this when she could see how sad I was. So they then decided that they would once again adopt a Birman or two.

Luccius, a gorgeous big lilac male and his sister Matchka, a little chocolate point, both 5.5yrs old came into our lives then. They loved to race up and down the stairs together as a threesome, on the sofa or with Mum and Dad in bed. We also made a lovely threesome when it came to asking for our food in the kitchen. We were all a very happy family until tragedy struck suddenly in June 2015 to our lovely little home once again. This is where my health comes into the story:-

A few years back I was on regular cat biscuits and food and I could easily eat anything my feline friends were eating, but then I developed a few "runny" episodes and just couldn't make it to my litter box! Mum and Dad were very concerned and took me off to the Vet. Now I don't mind really but whenever even the tiniest thing doesn't look right with us cats, Mum whips us off to the Vets. Of course he or she (as I have had several Vets from our surgery who have looked after me over the years) pokes and prods my belly and then gives me an injection and horible pills for Mum to pop down my throat twice a day. I huff and puff at him growling and hissing is not my style. He laughs and says only Birmans do that! During this occasion I was diagnosed with something called Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Mum and Dad have to buy me special food through the Vet. Anything else gives me terrible runs! So I am not allowed to eat my friend's food but Mum keeps this all in order. We all have our own bowls in the kitchen to eat from.

Then, from time to time Mum discovered that I wasn't making it to my litterbox for a wee in time. I was finding that I just couldn't make it that far and as soon I was done I felt as thought I had to go again and again. Mum and Dad never scolded me even once. They knew somehow that something was wrong off to the Vet I would go. More poking and feeling my tummy, then a jab and when I got home the next morning Mum getting a pill down my throat. So rude! But ... I have to admit, by a day or so I was feeling much better and my waterworks seemed to be working better too. I no longer had to go every few minutes and my tummy felt better.

Did I mention that along with Feline Dementia, which I have a touch of (See? I forgot to tell you that) I am also deaf!! Mum and Dad discovered this a couple of years ago when I wouldn't react to my name or other sounds around me, it doesn't bother me abit!

In June of the last year 2014 I had a really bad bout when I was passing blood as I tried to get to my litter box. Mum and Dad had moved my litter box downstairs as I was having trouble with the arthritis in my legs by now (after all I was heading towards 15 years old) and although it was much closer, I was feeling really ill. Off to the Vet I went pronto. Mum and Dad were worried. The young female Vet wanted to keep me overnight for bloodwork and other tests. She mentioned a bad word, it must have been bad, Euthanasia as a possible outcome, because Mum burst out crying. But the next day they returned for me. The vet said it was something called a high white cell count indicative of yet another infection. I was feeling quite poorly for a few days but with those familiar pills I was again on the mend.

It is now 2015, I have slowed down even more. I used to at least make it up the stairs and onto the bed to sleep with Mum and Dad and my 2 other Birman friends but not now. I have something terrible growing in my tummy that the vet says is a tumour. It has made me poorly at times with more infections and I felt so bad back in June that after a vet visit and even a shot to boost me up, I decided that I just wasn't interested in food anymore. Mum tried every meat and treat in the book, including my favourite chicken several times a day. This went on for a week and near the end of that week, I was offered some of my chicken and a tiny bit of yogurt on a plate. It smelled good so I tasted it and decided to eat some, I discovered I was hungry so I ate a little more and this continued until I was back to my old self once again.
I don't do alot these days, I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, even leaning against my food dish in the kitchen if I feel sleepy at that given moment. But I do enjoy my food, my cuddles from Mum and Dad which keep me going. I wash my face after I eat, enjoy a short romp out in the garden with Matchka daily, just so I can show her where the best grass to eat is found and I can still jump up on Dads lap for a nice warm spot to sleep for the afternoon. Lifes not too bad for an old Birman girl considering Mum says I have not only 9 lives but 90 lives! They haven't given up on me yet and I'm not ready to leave them so I'll try and carry as best as I can.

At the time of this writing August 2015 Tilly is still with us. She has been to the vets again today with you guessed it, another infection. At least that is whet the vet feels and we do too. She presented with frequent spot urination so this lead us to believe this is the case. She is also on diuretic pills to keep the fluid down in her tummy. This has made her much more comfortable for the last couple of weeks as her abdomen was tight like a drum with fluid. We know there is a tumour there but at present it's not pressing on anything vital, she is pain free, so she continues to have a good quality of life and this is all we can hope for.

We continue to treasure every moment we have left with this remarkable little lady of a Birman. Even as I finish this story she has come to me and meowed loudly (as she's deaf) and pawed my leg to pick her up, whereupon she is sitting purring on my lap. In spite of all her infirmities, can anyone ever have a more loyal friend?

To have this kind of a companion is to be truly blessed!

Alex & Coleen Smith

Tilly was sadly put to sleep early September as the committee were in the process of voting. She was very much loved and treasured by her doting owners. We are proud to have voted her Pet Birman Of The Year 2015 winner!

Owned By Kathleen Martin
For Great Companionship & Mischief

Owned by
Clare D'Adhemar
A PAT Therapy Cat