A history of KushkaPress – and Kushka (Jenuine Wildtansy)
The girlie below was the first cat I adopted as an adult. And, of all the things I could tell you about her, the biggest thing was she was extraordinary. All pets are, but Kushka… She was an old soul.
We adopted her in 2007 – just as I was finishing my first year of Uni. Kushka came with her name, her history of five owners that we tracked, minimum. You see, Kushka – or Jenuine WildTansy – or my favorite, Office Cat, if she wasn’t getting Kush or Kushie was an F4 bengal.More than that though, she was my companion, my beloved, my little sparky dreamer Bengals shimmer – its to do with their hair shafts) and that shimmer was the least remarkable thing about her.
One of the major problems she had was a permanent respratory infection. What that was was a fancy way of saying all she did was sneeze, poor thing. Constantly, like clockwork, we had her at the vets for antibiotic shots, but she also needed some interesting things fixed. like a prolapsed eyelid, pancreatitis and more.
For all that though, she was a doll. If you’ve never encountered a Bengal, they’re loud, boistrous cats, that do a tonne of mischevious stuff. They’re bred down from leapord cats, down to F4, when they become Bengals. Before that, they’re hybrids.
From what we knew of Kushka, she was a foundation Bengal in the UK – or at least, one of the first F4’s. I’ve not been able to track her family line really – a few award winners that were her kits, but what we also knew was that she wasn’t a cat that was kept, as far as we knew, as a pet. She was a commodity, a valuable breeding tool. I’m not saying she wasn’t cared for, we don’t know that. What we do know is that she hadn’t really gotten to stay in a home for more than a few years, if she was bred from then passed through several households. There were five on her list when we registered her with the pedigree tracking group. And when we moved house, the genuine fear she exhibited was…heartbreaking. We made jokes, but we both thought she was terrified that she was being sent away.
But we didn’t. She came with us. Because she was sick, we could never kennel her, not really, so we’d either get a housesitter, or she’d travel with us to Scotland. And travelled well. We knew she came from somewhere north of our hometown, but she was sweet tempered, clever, lithe and just…one of a kind. She’d sit and give paw, mostly on command (that’s a big deal for a cat), she knew when it was 11am and cuddle time and would close my laptop. She played games with us. Peek-a-boo with Tempus, who she’d come down and give a hard time if he paused longer between peeks around the corner. Our office chairs were hers. Our blankets too. She’d steam while I was having a bath – so every evening, I’d put her pillow on the toilet seat and she’d jump up and go to sleep. She played fetch and fishing, but, as we think she was primarily bred from, she didn’t really know some games cats do, so we taught her. Catfishing with yarn was her favorite. Which made knitting more of a chore than it should have sometimes. Mostly, she was my shadow. I’ve never known a cat to be such a little ghost to another person, but though she loved Tempus and the kids, she was definitely my girl.
In February 2013, I had to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done – supported and backed by my partner. She was my girl, so I held her when we had her put to sleep – catastrophic pneumonia, unseen till then diabeties and a growth – we just couldn’t fight the tide any more. It still aches to think about. So…that’s why I named the press KushkaPress. So my girl, immortal in the hearts of our family, could live onin other ways.
Kushka though, is other things, in the real world. It’s a river, in Turkmenistan, and is considered to be part of the range of the Persian Leopard. And, I’m pretty much of the thought that words and knowledge should flow like rivers untouched. So, there’s multiple layers if you go looking.
Above though, you can see the logo, and two photos of her.
She was, and remains, my little love, though, we have adopted a half Bengal-Half Norwegian loudmouth bigger love called Eiryss, and her sister by household, Haley, who we suspect is a lot Russian Blue, but mostly, British shorthair. Life goes on, even if sometimes we wish it didn’t, but Kushie will always – always – have a special place in my heart, and my books. And she showed Tempus WHY I’m so obsessed with Bengals as a breed. We rescue, but we were lucky – our first rescue was a Bengal.
https://www.facebook.com/haleyandeiryss/https://www.facebook.com/haleyandeiryss/(and yes, you might be forgiven for thinking the tabby is Kush. Its not. Its Eiryss, while the grey is our Haley Boo.) These little superstars have their own page and Instagram too! We adopted them a few months after Kushka’s passing, from a lovely woman who we remain in contact with to this day. Haley is hand-reared and a wee lovebug, Eiryss is a bit more standoffish, but purrs so loud you can hear her down a floor. And drools when she does. Both are wee superstars.
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