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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:43 am 
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Bengal Kitten
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:09 am
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Greetings all,

I'm a 26 year old guy from the Netherlands, who grew up with three cats. One being mine, other being my sister and the last one was an unplanned adopted street cat named Thomas, Tigre, and Tammy (all unknown breed cats). Thomas was the super intelligent playful rascal, Tigre the cuddle and Tammy was a shy cat who didn't fancy me. I was never really into Tigre and Tammy, but Thomas was an amazing companion for me who left me a bunch of fantastic memories.

Many years have passed since all three passed away. But since about a year I kept wishing for a cat to my girlfriend, who isn't particularly fond of cats (she has a small dog, Jack Russell/Chihuahua hybrid herself). And while she didn't prefer to get another animal, my wish kept growing and growing. I started doing a lot of research into cat breeds. I wanted one which would resemble my favorite companion. Intelligent, playful and yet affectionate. The bengal race quickly came to mind, and i guess like a lot of us on here it was love at first sight when you saw the breed.

I'm not a rich guy, my girlfriend has a normal job and I'm self employed going through a little rough time. And thats where the problem starts. A bengal cat is incredibly expensive (including all products along with buying a cat). The average price here is around 900-1100 euro for a bengal kitten from a licensed cattery.

23rd August

After weeks of searching the internet I found a batch of home bred Bengal kittens for 450 euro. Immediately excited I called and arranged a meeting. After a 1 hour drive I met three tiny little kittens just 5 weeks old raised in a house with 3 grown bengal cats, young kids and dogs. 2 Females and one Male. The females were affectionate, you could pick them up and they would just stay still and you could pet them. The male gave you a struggle and found ways to escape my hands to climb onto my back to make his great escape. But hearing that he was the playful rascal, my mind was set. I chose the male and named him Rengar. Whilst knowing that Bengal kittens should leave the nest at the age of 13 weeks as recommended the breeder insisted 9 weeks were fine. Who am I to doubt someone who has 4 grown bengal cats and multiple nests before? She even had a full grown one from an old nest who was stunning and very affectionate.

I go onto a shopping spree, buying everything I possibly can to give him an amazing new home. A big cat tree to play in, a box full of toys, the best food and traits, the glowing balls on speedrails, luxury cat tray, sleeping basket and sacks. You name it. I fel in love with a kitten I just saw once, for 30 minutes.

7th of September

The day I had waited for, the day I could pick up Rengar as today was his medical checkup where he got his vaccin shots. Arriving late at night full of excitement the breeder stands waiting for me at the house with Rengar in her hands. But when I see him, i was a little bit surprised and shocked of his size. He hasn't grown at all! I did a lot of research on Bengal cats, but not on kitten growth or anything. I couldn't remember how Thomas and Tigre were as kittens. It has been over 15 years.

But excited as I am, I take him home into his new house for the first night. He was shy, very skinny and sat still in a corner and meowed a lot looking for his mom and sisters. I assumed he was the "weaker" kitten in the nest and that he had a fat sister who simply ate most of the food. Eventually he sought attention and came to us. From that moment on he stuck to us like glue. Except for when he got his evening wet food! Which disappeared within seconds. We went on to spend the night in the living room, sleeping on the couch to make him feel loved and sought after by his new parents.

8th of September

After a decently quiet night, he got introduced to my family and they all immediately noticed how skinny and tiny he was. Yet no alarm bells rang for anyone and everyone just assumed it was "how it was meant to be". He meowed a lot and sometimes extremely loud and disturbing. Who cares? Its a kitten its normal he misses his mom on the first day. Wanting to give him some support I bought him a snuggle pet which was recommended online for kittens who are still pretty young and missing their mom and siblings. But Rengar was just happy as it is. Glued to me or my girlfriend being cuddled 24/7 and sleeping on my shoulder, in my bathrobe or on my chest.

One thing I did notice was his lack of energy, he never made any playful move and never curiously searched through the house. So we introduced him to our dog, who was excited to meet him and the meeting was fantastic. They were both excited, they hooked up immediately and Rengar started following around. He looked so much happier with the dog around.

Bedtime, meow meow meowwww. Realising he was highly disturbing my girlfriends sleep I took him into the living room where he both fell asleep. Even though I knew that this behavior should not be rewarded with what he wishes as he will quickly learn to meow for everything at any time, i felt sad for him the first days and just accepted his wishes. I stayed up all night till my girlfriend woke up to take care of him.

9th of September

The champ already used the litterbox perfectly, yet still quiet, skinny and meowing a lot. He still seemed perfectly happy sitting on my shoulder behind the computer or on my chest on the couch. Any attempt to play with him quickly got refused by a "uninterested" stare.

But things quickly changed for the worse. He started to have diarrhea. I was well prepared (knowledge wise) about the dangers of diarrhea for kittens but i also knew this was a side effect of switching food (the breeder didn't specify what food to use, her answer was "we use everything, so he gets used to everything and won't have problems" but the food hes on right now isn't available anymore. So I convinced myself to wait a little bit and see if the diarrhea persists.

But the thought of "if" kept haunting me. Luckily he ate pretty good (specially his wet food) and he drank decently aswel so i wasn't that worried about dehydration. Cuddly as he is, we continued to spend the day together and he even cuddled up to the dog to fall asleep half on top of him!

10th of September

Nothing changed with his behavior, he still had diarrhea and then he made meowed in a way that broke my heart. Enough is enough, I'm taking you to the vet. The vet saw him and immediately noticed his tiny skinny body. And instantly said: There is no chance this kitten is 9 weeks old unless he got a serious condition, I believe he is 5 weeks old maximum. Shocked as me and my girlfriend were we expected that this could be easily resolved. We couldn't care less about money if our lil buddy gets out good. Give him whatever is possible.

He got fluid injected into his skin by a needle. He got weighted 450grams, while the vet claimed he should be atleast 800-900grams at 9 weeks. He also looked at his papers and raised eye brows at how its possible that another vet gave this kitten a medical check up on Monday and gave him vaccination without noticing this huge difference of weight and unhealthy state of the kitten. He then found flee's and suspected worms as well. Both being possible reasons for his condition. Even tough the breeder claimed he got treated for both worms and flees.

After going home, he went back to his usual behavior. The vet already said infant his diarrhea will continue due him getting the worm treatment. So indeed his diarrhea persisted and the day went on with our buddy attached to us. We decided to sleep in the living room once more to monitor his condition.

And then at 5 in the morning he woke up. SLASH! He randomly started jumping onto toe's under the blanket! He was playing! Regardless of the time me and my girlfriend woke up with giant smiles on our faces "he is getting better!".

11 September

The tragic day as it is, Rengar started peeing on the carpet, poop on the blanket he we slept under and pee on the dog's pillow. As the day went on he started having more diarrhea and then we noticed a little bit of blood. Alarm bells immediately rang and we called the vet. He calmed us saying its a possibility due his worm treatment and if it persists until tomorrow then we should come back. Rengar didn't play like early in the morning. He just sat with us again all day unless he had to go to the litterbox.

More diarrhea, more blood. He started going a lot. And walked a little bit "wobbly". I called my mom, a huge animal lover also and we decided to call the emergency vet (its friday night). He told me to just wait until tomorrow as its normal that some blood is leaked during the treatment. But if i really wanted to come he could reopen the clinic but i would be charged a minimum of 130 euro. My mom immediately said go if you want to go. Ill cover it.

23:00 we arrived, and the emergency vet had the exact same reaction as our own vet. This kitten is not 9 weeks old, although beautiful, there is something wrong. We gave him his papers and he suddenly said "these are the same covers they use at the animal shelter".He weighted him and now he was 390grams. Tears immediately started coming from me, my girlfriend and my mom. And then it began, on the table at the vet he started getting weaker and weaker. Couldn't stand properly without slipping. The vet gave him fluid shots, anti-colon spasm shot and energy juice for 212 euro. He tried to find a vain in order to apply fluids directly but after trying out both his front paws and neck he couldn't find a vain to insert it in. Thats how skinny he was. Diarrhea leaking, shaved patches on his paws and neck to insert a needle into his vain and him crying for help. It was a nightmare for him and everyone there. Shaking and full of tears we were left in agony. Whats going on with our little buddy that we loved and got so attached to in the last 4 days.

The vet gave him everything he could and did whatever was possible. He gave us a remaining needle full of energy juice (vitamin fluids) as he wouldn't eat. We had to give it to him every 15 min.

The drive home was already going bad, he was slipping from his pillow in his box. He started acting weird and weak. We got home, got him a heat pack, turned up the temperature and just give him nonstop love and wishes for him to get better. He started to lift his head up so high while meowing extremely loud that i was worried that he would hurt his neck. I picked him up and began to just hold him and pet him through this nightmare of an evening. He got weaker and weaker and barely breathed. Every single time we lifted up the blanket we put on him to keep him ward we were afraid that he stopped breathing as his eyes were closed and gave us no symptoms of life often.

For the next 10 min he switched from quiet asleep to a big exhale. And as the minutes went by the exhales got smaller and smaller.

Around 2 am our little buddy, my new best friend dropped breathing. Everyone screaming, crying I made a last attempt and gave him mouth to mouth till they dragged me off him. I sat there with him in my arms crying for the next god knows how long. Till we finally kisses him goodbye and put him in the blanket we picked him up in in his box. The little kitten who stole my heart was now gone. Just 4 days. 4 days of being with me 24 hours a day cuddling. 4 days of pure love. It felt like we knew him for weeks, maybe months.

Full of tears, we comforted each other. But one thing quickly came to discussion: The breeder. The woman who lied to us about his age, who forged his documents checking that he got vaccinated and worm/flee treated. The woman that gave us so much pain by introducing me to my new best friend just for such a short period of time. The breeder had multiple nests, she knew there was something really wrong with him yet didn't tell us or do anything about it herself in the weeks before. If you had multiple nest you knew this kitten was half the weight he should be at. Why did she not do anything about it? Simple. She doesn't care. Its all about money.

Rengar is getting examined tomorrow to determine the cause of death. If its a virus, then i will do whatever i can to find the other owners of his sisters to inform them as they will have it as well. This is if they actually have other owners as she claims, i got a weird feeling that one of them is actually already dead.

The reason why im telling you this story is because I want to make sure people don't make the same mistake i made. By going to a non licensed breeder to get my kitten. I'm lying if i would say i regretted it. The 4 days we spend with him were amazing, we bonded so much mostly due him being so affectionate due his condition. And if I would travel back in time knowing what will happen, i would still take him home to spend those amazing 4 days.

But I would never again make the mistake of going to a non trusted breeder. Even tough the price difference is 500 euro's. The pain this caused us, and the nightmare it was to see our little buddy go through this evening was horrific.

Save a little longer, but be sure you never ever have to go through what I went through tonight.

I will miss my buddy forever, and will cherish the scars he left on me while climbing me.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Such a heart-breaking story! He looks like such a sweetheart curled up on your shoulder!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
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Devastating for you all. My thoughts are with you.x

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:26 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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That's a really heartbreaking story, and could honestly happen to most people. When I was your age, and in a similar circumstances, I could definitely see myself doing exactly as you had done, and falling into the same trap. And to be perfectly honest, it does work out for some people. And in fact we've heard lots of stories here over the years of people going to seemingly much more reputable breeders, getting all the vet checks and care and everything and still having their kittens pass away days or weeks or months from getting them. It's pretty great that at least you were able to be with him in his time of need.

The evils of back yard breeders are frequently discusses here though, and there are even stickies on the topic, so it's a shame you didn't join sooner.

If I may make a suggestion: once you get to the point where you are ready to share a home with another cat (and it sounds to me like you will get there eventually)... get one from a shelter. Bengals are not known to be cuddly kitties anyway, they are fun but they can be pretty aloof, and like you said are very costly. At a shelter at least you'll know that a cat has been checked by a real vet, and you'll have a wide variety to choose from, so you can find a snuggly friend.

Good luck, thanks for sharing, and sorry for your devastating loss.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Bengal Kitten
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brianj12 wrote:
That's a really heartbreaking story, and could honestly happen to most people. When I was your age, and in a similar circumstances, I could definitely see myself doing exactly as you had done, and falling into the same trap. And to be perfectly honest, it does work out for some people. And in fact we've heard lots of stories here over the years of people going to seemingly much more reputable breeders, getting all the vet checks and care and everything and still having their kittens pass away days or weeks or months from getting them. It's pretty great that at least you were able to be with him in his time of need.

The evils of back yard breeders are frequently discusses here though, and there are even stickies on the topic, so it's a shame you didn't join sooner.

If I may make a suggestion: once you get to the point where you are ready to share a home with another cat (and it sounds to me like you will get there eventually)... get one from a shelter. Bengals are not known to be cuddly kitties anyway, they are fun but they can be pretty aloof, and like you said are very costly. At a shelter at least you'll know that a cat has been checked by a real vet, and you'll have a wide variety to choose from, so you can find a snuggly friend.

Good luck, thanks for sharing, and sorry for your devastating loss.


Eventually I guess. This has been a completely different experience for me which left me. I've had to say goodbye to plenty of animals I've been with for a long long time. But this was different. I couldn't say they lived a long happy life, being taken care of with lots of love. This was an innocent kitten who suffered for weeks most likely (given the condition i received him in). And due him being so ill, you spend triple the time with him. You give him double the love and attention, and take care of him in ways you wouldn't expect.

Im not a fan of cuddly cats at all. I like the ones who go their own way, have a blast playing and have their own personality instead of being an object in my living room. But this kitten being so cuddly/attention needy just broke something inside of me within the second i hold him. I felt there was something wrong, but didn't know what or how serious it was and just instinctively start nurturing him constantly. I guess thats why I cherish the cuddly moments so much while i normally wouldn't.

But if I ever get one again, and most likely I will but not for sure not for a while, I would just save longer and always go to a trusted breeder after doing a bunch of research on them or the animal shelter as you mentioned. Although they are mostly limited on kittens, even if they would have a batch I would be very afraid to not knowing any history on them like their parents (health wise, I know how this sounds). The breeder of Rengar fooled me into believing that his parents were perfect registered animals with all the documents, and seeing his mom and earlier gen sister made me convinced. Never knowing would just make it a nightmare for me after what happened to Rengar. The feeling of "safe" in the future would be my main priority.

Then again, im just scared and a liability atm. Im in no shape or mental form to take in another kitten for a long time.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:47 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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This is such a tragic story. I am so very sorry! Don't beat yourself up over this. Most members here are familiar with backyard breeders and stay away from them. You spent money on the little guy and it wasn't enough. At least he had a couple of days with you -- what a sweet kitty on your shoulder. You've learned a great lesson -- and I hope someday you're willing and able to open your heart again to a bengal kitten. They are wonderful creatures. Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss. {{{HUGS}}}


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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I am so sorry for your loss. It's so devastating when you lose a fur baby like that. *hugs*

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