Adopted by a Cat – the Story of tomcat Bram
This is the story about our Tomcat Bram, who came to our home, looked around from a distance for a few months and then decided to spend his further life with us. So it was not us who adopted this tomcat, this tomcat has adopted us. Most of the cats we’ve had and still have are stray cats, who wandered into our lives one day and never left again until the day they died. Tomcat Bram was one of them and I am so glad that he decided to stay at our home, because Bram was a very sociable, very sweet and very special cat.
Bless his little soul. He gave us so much love in return of the caring and feeding, which we did with great pleasure.
Copyright all photos and text, if not mentioned otherwise: Titia Geertman
The story of Cat Bram started a long time ago
Once upon a time, somewhere in the middle of the year 1994 we noticed a stray cat around the house. He hardly showed himself, we only saw flashes of a running cat because the moment he spotted us he was gone again. At that time we had a black and white tomcat who had choosen to live outside the house. How hard we tried, he never felt at ease when he was inside the house, so he got his food on a plate outside. This cat wasn’t friendly towards other cats, but to our amazement, he let the stray cat eat from his plate.
That went on all summer and winter long, then one evening in the summer of 1995, when I had been watching the telly and was ready to go to bed, I found this stray cat sitting inside the house on the stairs. I was cautious, because we had had stray cats before who weren’t nice at all if you approached them too closely. So I put on my jacket and put on some garden gloves for just in case, but when I approached the cat, he jumped off the stairs and walked slowly to the catdoor. He turned his head and looked at me for a moment, before he disappeared.
Next day late afternoon, we were sitting in the garden, enjoying the last warmth of the sun and suddenly this skinny, but beautiful dark tabby cat came walking down towards us, looked at each one of us and lay down on his side as if he had been here and had done that for ever.
Since then I always say: it wasn’t us who adopted this cat, this cat has adopted us and the night before he was just inspecting the house to see if we were fit as adoptive parents in his eyes. So we passed the test I assume, because he never left us again.
And we called him Bram
He had quite a personality
Tomcat Bram had quite a personality: he was the most sweetest cat I’ve ever known. As he was about one or two years old, I took him to the vet to have him neutered (we use to call that a ‘you know what’ tomcat), because we do that with all the cats who come to live with us. There are enough cats in the world, no need to let them make more.
Well I don’t think it was exactly what he had planned, because he was gone for two days, but then returned, accepting his fate. Bram was a big cat with a heavy bone structure. According to the vet he belonged to the European Shorthair breed, a very nice dark tabby, with the M on his forehead.
I don’t know if this M is significant or not, or that the vet was just telling a story, but I’ve always liked this cat’s tabby pattern and especially his big eyes.
There’s also the The American Shorthair
He wasn’t always social, sometimes he was a tiger
Tomcat Bram was a friendly cat and rather sociable to all the other cats in our house and even the dogs respected him. I always said: “Authority comes natural to Bram”.
But though he was a stray cat himself, he couldn’t stand other stray cats strolling in our garden. I only once or twice saw him act up towards another strange neighbour cat and this cat was so lucky that there was a window between them, because Bram turned completely into a tiger.
So strange cats had better not mess with him, he would tear them apart I reckon.
Bram loved to sleep in boxes
He managed to fit in every box he encountered
After dinner he always took a nap – Our stair is 70 cm (27.6″) wide
Of mice he is not dreaming, he is too lazy for the chase,
he rather took a nap as very often was the case.
He doesn’t move all night or day, he let his dreams fly free,
sometimes blinking with one eye ‘Why are you bothering me?”
Once a stray cat, he’s chosen our home because it was warm,
Bram is a cat with quite some humor and lots of charm.
When he’s purring you think you’re hearing a car’s engine
lifting him, is like lifting eight bags of sugar, can you imagine?
This is his favorite spot when below the stove is burning,
although he’s big and fat, his mind is quick at learning.
He is a very happy cat as you can all see clearly,
He is my own sweet tomcat Bram and I love him dearly.
We often had to laugh about Bram
Tomcat Bram was a funny cat who gave us a good laugh at times. When growing older, he also was growing fatter. My vet however said that he wasn’t fat, but he was blocked. I always doubted that. Fact was that Bram had a very heavy bone structure. I could lift the other cats with one hand, but with Bram that was impossible, also due to his size. He really was a big cat. At one point he weighted 8 kilos ((17.6 lb), so yes in my eyes he was a rather fat cat.
He was a bit lazy too. One day one of the other cats brought in a living mouse who escaped and had hidden herself under a big chest (too low to the floor for the cat to crawl under). The cat who had brought the mouse in was sitting in front of the chest waiting and watching. Bram thought ‘Hey, let’s go see what’s going on there’, so he walked towards the other cat, sat beside him and tried to understand what the other cat was watching. You could see him thinking ‘ Hey bro, what’s up?’.
At that moment this other cat took a big leap, I heard not even a sound and off he ran out through the catdoor into the garden with the mouse between his jaws and then you should have seen Bram. It clearly went all too fast for his mind. It was like he was watching a tennis game, head turned left, turned right, turned left and turned right again and then he looked at me as if he wanted to ask me: ‘Hey sis, can you tell me what all the fuss was about just now, because I really don’t get it’.
On the windowsill, he’s sitting every day,
my big fat tomcat Bram, he’s going his own way.
Every time I wonder what he’s thinking in his mind,
but how I seek and ponder, there’s nothing I find.
Does he think of mice?
I doubt it, he caught none.
While he is thinking twice,
the mouse is already gone.
Yet on the windowsill he’s sitting every day,
my big fat tomcat Bram, who’s going his own way.
Staring at the horizon, or maybe at some sparrow’s flight,
his mind could well be empty, Oh that would be a sight.
Does he think of food,
while he’s dozing in the sun?
Bbrings him in good mood,
I’m sure he thinks that’s fun.
So on the windowsill, he’s sitting every day,
my big fat tomcat Bram, just going his own way.
Why should I break my head, over what he’s thinking now,
I’m sure we’ll never know, it just might be about that cow,
across the road.
Our ‘you know what’ Tomcat became a Transsexual Cat, because he had severe peeing problems
At some point in his life we noticed that Bram had difficulties with peeing, so we went to the vet and it appears the problem was huge. The vet advised to operate the cat to remove his penis and make it so that he could pee like a female cat. Otherwise the surely returning urethral blockages would kill him one day. Bram recovered very quickly from this operation and the whole changing into a transsexual cat, didn’t bother him a bit.
Urethral blockage is a common disease with tomcats, though female cats can suffer from it too. These blockages can be caused by four different things:
- Crystalline plugs
- Mucous plugs
- Small Stones
- Urethral sphincter hypertonus
In all four cases it’s vital to go to your vet as soon as possible, because if a cat can’t pee, he/she’ll be dead in only a few days.
As English is not my native language, I feel uncomfortable to describe the whole cause, disease and treatment and prevention here, because I could make a vital mistake. I’d rather send you to a website where you can read the whole thing.
I found a well written explanation at the All Feline Hospital website about Blocked Tomcats, so if you want to know more about it, you’ll be better off reading what they have to tell.
Bram became a sick cat
Eventually Bram got Kidney problems – We knew his time had come
In his 13th year he was with us, Bram got kidney problems and he lost weight. He got medication but that helped for only a while.
He had developped a strange attitude, he only wanted to sit or lay down at an old, but high chest. At first he could still jump up there, but as that became more difficult for him, we made is as easy as possible for him to climb up there, by puting the table close to the chest and boxes on the table. You can see in this last photo that he was definitely at the end of his beautiful life. He worsened perceptibly and so one day we decided to let him go and free him of his daily pain. Bram died on October 1, 2008.
Bless his little soul.
He was a cat with character, with charm and a very good social behaviour towards other animals. All that came natural to him. Bram was special and he will always be in my heart.
Bram is burried on our property, just like so many of the cats and dogs who lived their happy life here at one time.
Their are so many cats who need a good and safe home – So if you’re thinking of having a cat, please adopt one
When you’re thinking about getting a cat in the house, think of adopting a cat. There are so many cats waiting for a little love and caring and they’re willing to give you back all the love they have, which is a lot and unconditional. The only thing they ask from you is taking care of them, providing a good and safe home, getting fed in time and a little attention and a lot of love.
It’s much easier to have a cat in the house when you’re away during the day or night, than a dog. A cat goes her own way in and out if you give her/him a cat door. It’s so much fun to find someone greeting you when you come home of a tiresome day. A cat will share your happy and sad moments, you can tell them all your secrets and they will not gossip about them to others. A cat means company when you’re alone.
You’ll sure will find an asylum or whatever organisation close to you where you can adopt a cat. Think about adopting an old cat who couldn’t stay with his/her owner because they’re either passed away or had to move into an elderly home. Those cats deserve to live their remaining life in a safe and warm home.
Where ever it is warm, Bram is on top of it.
So even when it’s burning, on antique stoves he sit.
His belly won’t be burned, the upper half if for baking bread,
but once he jumped on the other stove
and I won’t tell you what he said.
Cats may die, but their memories stay forever
I’ll never forget my beautiful tomcat Bram