Jake and Bathsheba

A blog by two cats who used to live in the same house in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, they are both no longer with us.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tribute to Shy Precious of Schick, March 8, 1978 - April 20, 1997

This is Shy Precious of Schick. We called her Precious.

She was the best sister ever. Mom says that she was her favorite cat ever, but we are not jealous because we all loved her so very much. Her birthday was March 8, 1978. She died nearly 10 years ago at the age of 19.
She was a beautiful fluffy Maine coon cat. Her coloration was called "torbie," a tortoiseshell patched tabby.
Precious was a "show cat." She was born in Richmond, Virginia and was later bred and shown by Sharon Bass of Fairfax Station. Mom was living in a townhouse with two friends shortly after college and she was sad and catless. Her landlord had a "no pets" clause in the lease, but he was a reasonable man. Mom had a friend who had a friend who was friends with Mrs. Bass, the owner of Schick Cattery, named for her and her husband Rick.
Well, Mrs. Bass had a three-year-old Maine coon who had been bred and she wanted to find a good home for her. She didn't show as well as she might because she was shy around judges, and she didn't get along well with the other females in the cattery. Apparently the females were allowed out of their cages to roam the house when they were not in heat, but Precious didn't fit in too well with them. She had already been bred a couple of times. Mom was taken to see her, and Mom thought that she was the most beautiful fluffy cat she had ever seen. It was settled and the deal was that Mom could have her free of charge, but she had to agree to have her spayed right away.
Mom negotiated with the landlord, and the amended lease specified an exception for "one cat." Yay!
Mrs. Bass wrote a book about Maine coons, and Precious is pictured on pages 12, 107, 116-117, and 144.

Here is her centerfold photo that does not do justice to her

Once Precious overcame some of her shyness, she and Mom bonded right away. Mom loved to cuddle her and nuzzle in her fluff. Except for all the fluff, Precious was an average-sized cat. Mom had thought that Maine coon cats were huge, but later learned that it was males, not females, that were generally large.
Mom and Precious lived blissfully for several years until one of Mom's housemates decided she wanted to get a cat. By this time the group had moved up to a big single-family home from a townhouse apartment so there was plenty of room. Vickie adopted little Gus, a too-young black kitty whose mean owners wanted to put him and his littermates down and wouldn't even let Gus continue to nurse. Mom was worried that Precious would not do well with Gus because she seemed to hate all cats, especially the back yard intruders who would torment her at the sliding glass door. Well, guess what? Precious LOVED little Gus and she was even tolerant of his suckling on her. Gus ended up as Mom's cat a few years later, and one of the reasons was that Vickie didn't want to separate him from Precious.
Mom, Precious, and Gus moved to the house we live in 20 years ago. Poor Gus died at the age of six of stomach cancer. It was a very sad time for Mom and Precious. A few months later I, Bathsheba, came into the picture:

See how nice Precious is to me!

And even though she was already 13, she enjoyed playing with me.

She was 16 when I, Jake, came into the picture, but she was just a wonderful cat mother to me and she still liked to play. She took an instant liking to me (who wouldn't?), and I think that's what put Bathsheba against me. She was jealous because Precious loved me, but it's not like she stopped loving Bathsheba.
Precious was lovely and even tempered, but she never had much to do with Mom's roommates unless they were the food source when Mom was out of town. Precious remained somewhat shy as she always hid when Mom's "squeally" young nieces came to visit. But she wasn't all fluff! When she went outside, she could defend her territory like no other. She was fierce. Even as an old grande dame, she could chase Casey, the neighbor's male Siamese, from the yard fleeing in terror. She developed kidney disease at the age of 18, and Mom somehow learned to give her subcutaneous fluids. She trusted Mom with that and was amazingly cooperative. Mom was pleased that Precious lived to the advanced age of 19, but Mom always felt a little cheated because she didn't know Precious for the first three years of her life.
These few paragraphs cannot do justice to the love and loyalty that she showed Mom and us. We still miss her after these ten years. Happy Birthday, dear Precious.

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At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 11:45:00 PM, Blogger Lux said...

Precious is gorgeous! I'm so glad you both got to meet her, and that she was nice to you ... it sounds like she was very loved.

Happy Birthday, Precious!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 12:02:00 AM, Blogger Rosie & Cheeto said...

Happy Birthday, Precious! She's luking over yoo all and thinking just how lucky she was to have such a great family and a grate family legacy with Jake and Bathsheba (even if you weren't related).

Owr favurite picktur is the one where hur back is towards us and hur head is turned us. She luks like she's been practicing that pose fur howrs in frunt of the mirror! A beauty for sure!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:13:00 AM, Blogger McSkeezix said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing the storey of Precious! She was a vary glamerus and byootiful cat!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 2:57:00 AM, Blogger Skeeter & LC said...

19? Wow, she sure had a good long life. And with such good friends and beans!

Such a lucky kitty!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 4:37:00 AM, Blogger Bad Kitty Cats & Megan said...

Oh wow, what a beauty Shy Precious of Schick is, and thank you for sharing. It made our mom cry a bit ...

Indeed Happy Birthday Precious!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 10:05:00 AM, Blogger Kaze, Latte, or Chase said...

Thanks for sharing that story! Precious sounds amazing and obviously she will never be forgotten.


At Thursday, March 08, 2007 11:47:00 AM, Blogger Daisy said...

I am so happy to hear the story of Precious. What a great cat she was. Even though she is gone, she will always be in yer hearts. Happy Birthday Precious! I wish I could have known you too.

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 3:52:00 PM, Blogger Phoebe said...

Looking at the pictures of Precious is almost like looking in a mirror! I don't have any papers or anything (I was a homeless street-kitten), but my people say I must be part Main-coon or Norwegian Forest cat. They aren't really sure the differences.

I'm glad Precious had such a nice long life. Tracy had a cat before us who died of kidney failure too. She says she cried and cried. We weren't around then.

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 5:06:00 PM, Blogger Fat Eric said...

Precious was a furry beautiful and special cat. You were all so lucky to have known her.

Thanks for your sympathy over my "weekend of starvation" trauma. I'm just checking back into the blogosphere after spending 4 days eating non-stop to make up for it!

At Thursday, March 08, 2007 11:49:00 PM, Blogger Tara said...

What a wonderful tribute to Precious! And what a lovely cat. Very special indeed. She lived a long and obviously well loved life!

At Friday, March 09, 2007 12:12:00 AM, Blogger Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Happy Birthday Precious, what a lovely kitty you were. We'll send a purrayer to the one who came before at the rainbow bridge to find yoo and say hello from us.

At Friday, March 09, 2007 12:47:00 AM, Blogger o'jeter harris said...

happee birfday deer precious.
i wunder if she haz met mi sistah tm hoo iz at da rainbow bridge. she wuz mi mom'z first wite cat ... an she lived to be 22 yeerz old.

At Friday, March 09, 2007 3:07:00 AM, Blogger Dragonheart said...

Precious sounds like a wonderful cat. She was beautiful! My mom lost a cat to kidney disease too - he was just two month shy of 20 when he passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

It's great that you both had a chance to meet Precious. It sounds like she was a good kitty mmomy to you both.

Happy Birthday Precious! I hope you are celebrating at the Rainbow Bridge.

At Friday, March 09, 2007 7:54:00 PM, Blogger Eric and Flynn said...

Happy Purrfday Precious. Yoo were furry beeyootyfull and obviously much loved

At Saturday, March 10, 2007 11:52:00 AM, Blogger Forty Paws said...

What a beautiful girl Precious was! And obviously well loved. She had much love to give to the little ones that came into her life. How sweet and what a lovely tribute to her life.

Luf, Us

At Saturday, March 10, 2007 1:47:00 PM, Blogger DaisyMae Maus said...

What a lovely story, Jake. Our Maine Coon, Fudgie, looks remarkably like Precious 'cept he's darker colored and a boy, of course.

Now that Mom's on vacation, you can teleport over anytime you want. We're having 70+ degree weather and the birdies are cheepin' in the trees (they're LOUD) ... Meow?


At Saturday, March 10, 2007 8:26:00 PM, Blogger Mimi Lenox said...

Hope you're having a great weekend. Please contact Mimi if you'd like to participate in Peace Globes again this year.

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 4:20:00 PM, Blogger ML (Mary Lynn) said...

What a sweet story. I am so glad you posted that, I feel as if I know Precious now. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful loyal friend.

At Tuesday, March 13, 2007 6:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

our Lady and her mom LOVE Maine Coon kitties. her mom had 2 brothers who've now gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Precious is absolutely beautiful and sounds like such a sweetheart. thank you for telling us about her!

At Friday, March 19, 2010 8:37:00 PM, Blogger diana said...

Hi hi,

I'm Diana Verhaegen, maintainer of the Maine Coon ancestor gallery in Pawpeds.
Today I've entered the photo's of your darling Shy in our database
Now she is immortalized between our beloved Maine Coon.

With lots of prrrrsss,


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