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 Post subject: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:58 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 7
Good morning. I am a brand new member. I didn't know of your forum until today. I have a purebred show quality Bengal about 8 years old named Tomyris (named for an ancient Scythian warrior queen; the name is appropriate!).

I recently lost my precious kitty Cleopatra, who was also a purebred Bengal cat. I got her as a kitten, 8 weeks old or so, from a local breeder who is still in the Phoenix, Arizona (US) area, although she and her husband no longer breed Bengals. They do however rescue. I am still in touch with Catherine.

Cleopatra was purebred (not show quality however; she had the cutest little beard, a feral remnant), and verified at 24 years and 3 months plus years old when I helped her to go. I have her original registration paperwork. She had a good last day, really good. She did her last walk about the house to make sure everything was to her liking and then the traveling vet who came to the house to assist me on that very difficult night helped her to pass after talking about her for a good 45 minutes and marvelling at her energy. It was instant and painless. She was brilliant until her last moment. The vet was astounded at how beautiful she was and how active. And her age was incredible to her. To everyone. My vet practice is very large and all the vets knew her and all there had cared for her over the years and she was beloved by everybody. She had the most unique personality (pretty prickly when she was much younger!) and the prettiest little face. She was tiny. At the end she had been in kidney failure for at least 4 years, and possibly suffering from some sort of blockage in her throat which was preventing her from eating and causing dramatic weight loss. We were unable to determine the cause but she weighed under 3 pounds I think. At her heaviest she was only 8 pounds. Her kidney values were actually stable until the end incredibly and her heart was strong. Not typical for today's Bengals I understand. She'd been on subQ fluids for 4 years and a kidney diet. She was an F3, which you cannot purchase as a pet any longer. I think her wild DNA kept her strong and robust throughout her life in spite of a few health crises here and there.

I'm sharing her story with you all so you know that it can happen and that there was this amazing little creature named Cleopatra. She had a profound and lasting impact on every human being who ever met her. I would post a picture of her here for you, if I knew how to do that.

Peace and long life, health and happiness to you and your precious Bengal friends.
Bridget


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:38 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
Oh, Bridget, what an amazing story! Cleopatra lived a LONG, LONG, happy life!!! Bengals are not known to live as long as regular kitties. You must have contributed to her longevity with your love. My Raiden is just 9-1/2 years old. I did have to put a beautiful tabby down at 17 years old.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 720
Oh my goodness what an extraordinary kitty you had. She sounds just amazing. Would love to see any pictures you have. I had a DSH little grey female cat who lived to 23 called Socks. She ruled the roost and totally dominated our huge male cat. She never missed an opportunity to put our black DSH boy in his place. He was twice her size and half her age. She was such a character. I love hearing stories like yours!

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Melissa

UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:11 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
Posts: 673
Wow, what an amazing story, she sounds like she was a wonderful cat, you must have been doing something right for her to live to such a grand old age.

I hope you will be able to put some pictures up, would love to see them.

I have not heard of any bengal living to that age, in fact not many domestics live to a good age like that.

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Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:17 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 7
Thank you everyone. Your notes mean a lot to me. It's so hard to lose such a wonderful friend. She was unique and I loved her very much and for a very long time.

I'm going to try to post a link to a photo I uploaded to Snapfish.com. Hopefully it will appear. If anyone knows how to do that if it doesn't show up here, please let me know.

Cleopatra, 2011, Snapfish.com

Bridget


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:51 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 720
She was a gorgeous kitty!

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Melissa

UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:18 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:24 pm
Posts: 308
It's really nice to hear when one makes it to a grand old age though. Just know eventhough she's not with you physically she'll always be with you in your memories and in your heart. She was a really beautiful girl.

That is amazing age though my little girl only made it to 16 and I was told that was a great age for a Bengal but I feel if she hadn't developed kidney issues she might have survived longer. She was never the best eater and she was a Bengal that was on the small side as well 8lbs when she was in her prime and she turned into a little skeleton due to the kidney problems I was having so many issues with getting her to keep any food down and she was super fussy anyway. Part of me wonders if it was pkdef as they didn't health screen for that back then as I know she was anemic as well towards the end. I do keep hearing though that most people seem to lose them eventually to kidney issues or complications due to it. Also I've found it's often the smaller ones that live longer maybe because of less strain on their organs.

I eventually found some comfort in getting her great niece (Arya) as I wanted a piece of her back and that really did help.

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- Sarah
Arya 24/04/16 - Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Griffith 16/04/16 - Silver Seal Lynx Point Rosetted Bengal
Mina (in my avatar)- 1999-2016 - Seal Mink Spotted Bengal (Snow) - run free at rainbow bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
She was a beautiful lady!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 7
Thank you ladies. She was amazing and such a gift.

16 is very old too for any purebred cat. My Persian made it to 18 and we think he had a stroke. My previous vet told me most purebred cats who are sheltered and vaccinated and well cared for usually outlive their organs, primarily their kidneys. They just weren't designed to last as long as cats can now live when they're well taken care of.

I found with Cleopatra's kidney issues it was actually fairly easy once I got over my needle phobia to take care of her and keep her kidney values fairly stable. At age 22 or so they actually started improving and if I remember correctly somewhat dramatically. My vet was truly shocked at how well she was doing with the basic kidney regimen of fluids and the aluminum powder in her kidney food.

The combination of subcutaneous fluids three times a week at first and then every other day near the end plus a special kidney diet, medication called Mirtazipine which is a people antidepressant compounded into a topical cream massaged into the ear skin helped stimulate her appetite which decreases with kidney failure, and adding a form of aluminum in powder form to her food help to keep her phosphorus levels from rising which can calcify the kidneys overtime. It sounds like a lot but it was actually only a few minutes a day and I managed to continue most of that for about four years or more. I think that plus a drinking fountain where the water was running all the time helped her to get enough water which also helped. Mostly though I think she just wasn't ready to go home. She had work to do here. I'll always be grateful I had her in my life


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
My kitty was diabetic and went into renal failure. She was getting two insulin shots a day and subq fluids twice a day, plus the powder in her food. It helped her live a while longer, but eventually, she stopped eating and she looked worn out. We had to put her to sleep. I did not want to let go of her, but I she told me it was time. I did not want to get another cat after that and only took care of some strays that came into our yard and disappeared over time. Then Raiden showed up and his owner gave him to me because he didn't have time to deal with him and allowed him to roam the neighborhood. Raiden is 9-1/2 now and I dread the time when I may have to deal with something like that again. Bengals average about 12 to 15 years. But, at my age, Raiden just might outlive me. :biggrin:

I know what it's like to have to schedule your life around an ailing kitty and subq fluids, once you are trained, are fairly easy to do. My kitty tolerated that huge needle more than I ever did! Plus, the insulin shots.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:06 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 7
It sounds like you did your best for your kitty. My kitty was a trooper and tolerated her regimen too. And better than me too. It's so hard to let them go whatever their age.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:52 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:08 pm
Posts: 6
I am fascinated by the story of the 23 year old Bengal. I recently lost my dear Sappho at 17.5 years. It's been 11 months now since she passed away from what appears to be kidney failure and I am still extremely sad, despite the fact that her life, up to her final day, was truly PERFECT. And, as my wife often tells me, Sappho and I were blessed with almost ideal conditions for those entire 17.5 years.

I am curious if any others on this forum have had any trouble with the grief over the loss of their Bengal companions. I was crying daily for at least 9 months and I really do not understand why. But at 17.5 years, Sappho spent well over a third of my life with me, so maybe having shared such a large percentage of life together is what makes it so difficult. I wish these wonderful animals lived 50 years!!!

Happiness and Health to all of you and your Beautiful Bengals!

PS Though still unbelievably sad, I still have two Bengal brothers that just turned 10 and they are still almost like kittens and require our attention every day. One of them, named Fei Hong, wants to go on a leash walk every day and often jumps into the shower with me in the morning. Bengals are truly special.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:20 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 7
My kitty was actually 24 years and 3 months plus when she died. Incredible and she was beautiful and present until her last hour. I too am grieving really every day for her. She was my best friend for 24 years. And many times my only companion other than my other Bengal kitty who is about 8 years old now, or my dogs who both passed away. She was a very unique pet and not just because she lived so long. I can't explain it better than that, but our relationship was very special and I felt very close to her. I am not anthropomorphizing here, she and I communed on a special level. I think grief is grief. Whoever you are close to, whether a human person or an animal companion, they are your friend and you love them. They are not people, but in many ways they share things with us and the emotional bond with them on both sides of the equation is strong. I have a very intuitive friend who was there for me when Cleo was failing, and she said to honor the grief in whatever way makes sense and feels right for you. Celebrate them and your relationship with them however feels right to you. And don't feel embarrassed because you have strong feelings for your animal companion, living or deceased. It is real and it is love. Some people who are not "animal" people don't get it, so I don't share these things with them. But with people who are, they understand exactly how I feel and it feels better to share it with them. I say a prayer for her and send her love. In my view, she is receiving it and that makes me feel better. There is no way I can ever repay the unconditional love she shared with me even when she was long past really being able to stay here, but continuing to love and honor her is a way I can try.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:26 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:08 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks so much for sharing your story.
Losing pets is so very difficult.
I still cry when I talk about those I have lost over the years.
But I feel so blessed to have had them in my life, they really do make life so much lovelier.

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Bengal cat?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 720
What I find the hardest about losing a cat is that a lot of people just cannot comprehend the depth of your feelings for your cat. I literally ache when I have lost pets. It is physical and emotional and pure hell. At least, on this forum, I know that everyone understands this depth of feeling, love and loss.

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Melissa

UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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