Tuesday, January 08, 2008

On Bengals....

Ten Things You Need to Know About Owning a Bengal Kitty That the Internet Won't Tell You or a Short Introduction to What is Really in Store For You ( And Why it is Worth It )

1. Bengals ARE domestic cats. Yes, bred from the Asian Leopard Cat, but they are not classified as wild animals. That said, they are not Cute Little Kitties with Spots. They are LOT of cat. Kind of like Extreme Kitty. Superhero Kitty. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Or leap onto you.

2. www.softpaws.com is your friend.

3. Bengals are interactive creatures. There will be no " Hi Kitty , thanks for waiting so patiently for dinner, eat up and go lie by the fire in my lap while I pet you from time to time. " They will tell you, vocally , about their feelings on being made to wait for this dinner, what they think of said dinner, and it will take them 30 seconds to eat it, after which, they are ready for the evenings entertainment. This will generally involve stalking their prey.

4. If you do not have a LOT of toys to play with, WITH your Kitty, this will be you. ( They invented " Fetch" Dogs only stole the idea ) If you have a computer, get used to them running across it. These Kitties are constantly online and in contact with SOMETHING. They can also take DOWN a roll of toilet paper . They will save you from it. And tell you about it in detail. Vocally.

5. If you have lovely net curtains on your canopy bed, you will have new adventures in decorating and get some funny looks when people come over and see the shredded remains....They also love to creep under your covers. In the night. While you are sleeping. See # 2.

6. Bengals like to climb. ( Like say, French Doors, those lovely squares of glass separated by squares of wood?? Walk in the park. ) They can manage leaps of up to 8 feet. Remember tho, what goes UP , will come DOWN.

7. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qit3ALTelOo . Watch this video. It will make you happy. It will make you smile. It will stay in your head, and you will send it to all your friends. One fact for you tho, the Kitty in this video is an Egyptian Mau . This is what was bred to an Asian Leopard Cat to create the Bengal. Enough said.

8. One question to ask is , Do you have the kind of friends who will mind, when they come to dinner, your Kitty leaping up to share the feast ? On the table. From your plate. And theirs. You can of course shut your Bengal in another room. Then your friends will wonder what the heck you have locked in there, as the door is pounded and shakes and screams ensue. This may cut down on your dinner parties. Which could be good or bad.

9. Get used to hearing strange crashes from the other room. Get used to saying " HOW IN THE HELL!!!!!!!! WHY????" Get used to getting no answer from them ( and they will answer you ) but " Well , it seemed like a good idea at the time, what the heck is your problem. Can we eat now? "

10. F3's? Don't do it. This tells you how far you are from the Leopard . F4 is your pet. At least 4 Kitty generations from WILD. Only people who are at home a LOT and know what they are doing have any business with an F3. Yes, we all have the nice fantasy of the Wild Creature who is our friend. They call it reality for a reason tho.

All this being said, and trust me when I tell you and this really IS a short introduction to the breed, they are as loving, sweet, intelligent , entertaining , loyal, playful, fun and wonderful as they are demons from the deepest darkest corner of doom. I adore them. They are not pets. They are family.

If you have the time and patience and understanding, they may be your breed. If you want a sweet easy Kitty, who will lie by your fire, and sit in your lap, your local shelter has LOTS. And they are beautiful. And they need homes.

If you decide , after reading everything you can find about these cats, that you want one, consider adopting one thru one of the MANY Bengal Rescue Associations . Too many, far too many , people acquire them, and find out they have WAY more Kitty than they bargained for, and these Kitties need homes.

Again, that being said.... .,

They will love you . Totally.

And you will love them.


Love and Magic Kitties,


At 6:24 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

My aunt's house is an ark. Cats, dogs, birds, anything that wanders by and looks in need of shelter. She's a regular animal whisperer, getting them all to get along. And when you eat at her house, the smaller animals with you. Often from your plate. There's nothing like having a bird perched on one site of your plate and a cat sitting on the other.

At 6:52 PM , Blogger Karen B. said...

re: #8
Yes, I've met cats like that -- dinner is served and they're right there, wanting to know what are WEEEE having???

Yep, cats.

At 7:15 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

And the looks of total disgust when you have , say, salad and veggies. The Look says so clearly " we expected better of you " ( or in case of Wee Bengal....You Will Regret This...)

I wish I had more Whisper in me. Still trying with Zoe and Venus, lots of hissing, and Zoe won't eat her diet food. Which, one supposes, will hasten the process...

At 8:28 PM , Blogger Rick said...

Correct on all points. I would have a cat like that in a minute if my wife would be willing to put up with it. :) 100% Cat

At 9:44 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Your wife might well fall in love with Kitty...They are truly wonderful. Go to www.petfinder.com and enter cat and Bengal. There are over 200 looking for homes, and your heart will melt...

Mine did.

Spread the word.

If even one finds a family and home because of this, I will feel I made a difference.

At 9:50 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

Wow, QUiche, you are going to be a MAMMA, for all those lonely misunderstood kitties, keepin' em off the street--i will be their fairy godmother along with Mistress Malenka...You be the Mommy though.
Batman would be so confused. He is such a furball.

At 10:03 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Tell everyone. These things can spread like wildfire. We can make a difference.

If everyone did something the world would be a better place.

Any small thing, no matter how small will make a difference to someone, somthing , here.

That's what I am about this year.

Google " Lesson of the Starfish "

At 11:22 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Of course I would suggest to build a padded cell in the spare room to lock in the creatures when you have guests, but they would only shred it to pieces...
The climbing and being vocal about the state of service in your house reminds me very much of my two Norwegian Forest cats, except that they are sweet huge fluffy things.
I love cats. When I am older, apart from being a batty old lady, I shall be a cat lady too.
It is so cruel that the bengals should be abandoned because they don't meet the owners' unrealistic expectations. Possibly the vendors are not doing a thorough job of explaining how much they are NOT your usual kitty and what the owner should expect...

At 3:41 AM , Anonymous Starseekr said...

Oh! Bengals! :) You just got to see one to fall in love. Which is what I did to my boyfriend who was very reluctant to bring a cat into the house - I brought him to a litter of bengal kittens, and he was sold after just 15 minutes. We now live with two of them.

What you write in your post is true! They are just everywhere, checking everything, tasting everything, and telling you about it all the time. Can I bring a little advice? If you get yourself a Bengal - you might as well get two. Because with their energy levels, I think both me and boyfriend (and most of our furniture) would be worn out after just a few months... But with two of them, they burn out some of that energy chasing each other. And what chases! Ah, great entertainment.

At 3:44 AM , Anonymous Starseekr said...

Oh, and then I see you allready do have one *blushes*

At 7:16 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hi Starseekr!

Not to worry, easy to miss. I have Freaky Venus , 8 mo. and am getting the new Kitty in the picture in a couple weeks EXACTLY for the reasons you mentioned. Misty-girl was not up for Bengal energy!

Speaking of Misty, she is , we believe, a Main Coon, and THEY are decended from the Norweigien Forest Cats, that the Vikings brought over ( LONG before lame old Columbus thought of making the trip )

Norweigien Forest Cats were what I always thought I wanted before I met Bengals, they are truly the most beautiful.

Spacelaw- Nous serons de vieilles dames folles de chat ensemble

At 7:40 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Puis-je être une vieille dame trop fou?

Aussi, je pensais spacedlaw était italien.

At 8:07 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

Norwegian Forest Cats are beautiful!!! and so are Main Coons. The first cat I ever knew was Kona, a Main Coon, and she was like my sister since she was in the house before I was and I understand she used to 'protect' my baby carrier. Kona lived until she was 19 and I was 17, so she really was kind of like a sister to me (I was an only child otherwise)and it was really really hard to see her suffer old age.

I didn't know that about the history of Main Coons... thanks for the tidbit.

At 10:11 AM , Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

I'm so glad you wrote about petfinder and rescue services! Yay for that. The looniest, funniest, goofiest, cutest small dog ever (that would be my little Jewel Monk) I got through petfinder from a rescue facility. She had been horribly abused and it took several weeks to get her used to us . . . but now she loves us and makes our life so much brighter!! The cat T.I. remains irritated that we brought such a peasant into the house :-) instead of more aristocrats/aristocats like him, but, well, it's what happened. I saw her picture on petfinder and fell in love. So so happy that you, and your nice Boss, are directing others toward that good work!! (And are you serious about your birthday party and us'ins being invited? 'Cause I would think about making that day trip, you know . . .)

At 3:52 PM , Blogger LaM said...

Mais oui, Danth Guyth. We will all be crazy old cat people together.

I am trying to learn French, but am not so good. Spacelaw helps me and writes to me in French and tries , I suspect, not to laugh.

If she isn't French, she does a mighty fine job of masquerading as such...Who can say? Personally, I think she is some sort of International Spy, a women of mystery, have gun , will travel...

( Sounds a lot like our Malena. )

( Now that we know, will they have to kill us??)

At 4:59 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I took four years of French in high school. I did alright, but it was a constant struggle. I don't remember much of it anymore, alas.

For a while I wrote poems in French, trying to internalize it better. That part was fun.

At 10:12 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Je voyage un peu (aujourd'hui, je suis à Paris) mais je ne porte pas de pistolet car je préfère les armes blanches...
Ton français ne me fait pas rire, Lorraine!

At 11:00 PM , Blogger tuaregblue said...

I wish I could have a couple of Bengals..but it will have to wait until I have a MUCH larger and more cat-proof space.

It makes me sad that there have to be Rescue Associations for cats (and dogs) because people just don't do their research, but at least they exist.

At 8:11 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Turegeblue, consider forstering one, they are in so despatrate need, all you need is an area , a room, where Kitty can be kept separate from any other cats.

( and part the foster agreement is that once you foster four, you can adopt one for no charge...At some point in the future. It will be so very worth it. )

( An adopting a pure bred Bengal is $150, instead of the $600-$900 from a breeder )

And now for the Bi-lingual portion of this blog...

Je me ris ! Je volonté me suis penché pour parler français. Que diriez-vous d'une arbalète ?

At 12:59 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

hello and greetings from winter wonderland,
today was spent doing work errands and such in anticipation of the Great SnowFall of 2008 (which has now been reduced to one inch, what!?!)

and now for a little Francias to get in the spirit:
this is a quote re: movies (quote from Quiche Lorraine):

je l'observerai s'il a des vampires ou des loups-garous ! ! !

At 1:07 PM , Blogger LaM said...

J'amie des Vampires . Loup-garou de Damm.

( hee-hee )

Spacelaw will be so proud of us. If she is not sadly shaking her head saying things like, " Those wacky Americans..."

At 1:52 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

...while we wacky Canadians have flashbacks to manditory french lessons in high-school... don't ask me why I know what loup-garou means... I have no idea where that knowledge came from.

I'm more interested in Italian or Japanese as languages... of course having a French-Canadian boss who laughs at you when you try to read them their e-mails may have been what turned me off French.

At 4:59 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:02 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Excusez-moi, mon cheval a eu une petite mal saisie.

At 5:54 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Darn limited knowlage..You horse had a small evil WHAT???? Dan???

Turn out Venus is loving our Miss Kitty. So is Zoe, whe women is COVERED in comics and cats. I am making her chicken soup.

We are in PJ's and doing some MOVIES!

At 10:40 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Covered in cats?
Sorry. I meant to say: Couvertes de chats?
Je suis TRES jalouse.
(Il n'y a pas de chats à Paris).

At 11:10 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:12 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Il n'y a pas de chats à Paris???? juste comme dans Rome, oui?


il y avait un grand nombre de lapins à l'aéroport à Paris.

I love Babelfish... and Douglas Adams.

At 11:40 PM , Blogger Malena said...

The below passage sounds like you are talking about ME Dev.
"All this being said, and trust me when I tell you and this really IS a short introduction to the breed, they are as loving, sweet, intelligent , entertaining , loyal, playful, fun and wonderful as they are demons from the deepest darkest corner of doom. I adore them. They are not pets. They are family."

hmmmmm. I thought I was a snake, but maybe I'm part cat. I do have claws and fangs.

At 2:52 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

"Excuse me, my horse has had a petit mal seizure."

More fun than "Ou est la biblioteque?"

At 11:06 AM , OpenID mistressmousey said...

Ooh! Moi aussi! Mais, je parle TRES en peu du Francais... and my spelling is atrocious.

Actually, my biggest problem with the language is that I know just enough of it and of Japanese that I can speak pretty significant conversations just so long as I mix the languages together. Weirdest part of that is that it also comes naturally to me to blend languages, as my mother (Japanese) has been doing it to me (J. and English) all my life.

Mmm... Bengals. I'm more an Aby fan myself (somewhat less insanely wild, slightly more lapcat, but still a bit insane). Wouldn't mind rescuing a cat or 10, but I miss having rodents (and that would just be EVIL or everyone, having a Bengal AND a rodent in a small living space together). Soon as we get a big enough place for it, I'm getting a guinea pig for me n' the beebe.

At 2:03 PM , Blogger LaM said...

Hmmm...That DID sound a lot like Malena. No wonder I love these Kitties so...

Just got approved as a Foster Mom to Bengals, and I am next in line for getting a Kitty! More on this as it develops....

Also , I got an actual French Learning group of cd's today, so I may soon learn what the heck I am doing. My spoken French is horrible, but I can read it pretty well. Saw Amelie last night, which was good for listening ( and loved the movie!!!! )

May make our poor sick Miss Kitty wantch Underworld again, in French , with French SUbtitles again tonight .

( see if she ever comes back to my Spooky House again..Whwhwhahahahaha! )

At 10:33 PM , Blogger Starshadow said...

Dear Ms. Lorraine,

Hi! I stumbled on this link (in, of all places, an Anderson Cooper admiration blog), read it, saw the word "bengal", and immediately thought of you.

Here is the link: http://www.bundascattery.com/catwheels.htm

You might want to take a look at it, if you haven't already.

cindyg aka starshadow rivaulx
(aka mother of nine domestic shorthairs)

At 1:50 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Actually, if ou cna watch French movies in the original with subtittles, it is a good way to learn.
Tha's how most Dutch people learn English and even the kids in the streets speak it because all the programs on TV and the movies are in the original language (and most of them in English).

At 12:39 AM , Anonymous StarseekR said...

I would love to have a woodfairy cat! (Norwegian forestcat.) I sort of wonder why they aren't more popular here ... there are some forestcats and some Maine Coons, but not all that many. Weird, since it's our national cat.

But since BF is kinda allergic, Bengals works better - short fur, and they don't mind the weekly shower, actually they think it's great fun :)

At 9:01 PM , Blogger Karen B. said...

Ms. spacedlaw, I started learning French by going to see Diva lots back in the '80s. (I hear it's coming out on DVD soon, too, so now I'll know what the words look like too.)

Blending languages can be weird and fun, but it's tough to share unless people know the same combos (not as common in the US as in Europe, I expect). My learning Latin and German turned out to be an odd combination -- and then I switched to an English major and read Chaucer.


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