The Schnoo was nine years old when Dharmesh and I adopted him in 2001.  I had the opportunity to cat-sit him for a couple of weeks while his first Mom, Lana, was out of town.  It was to be a temporary visit.  I had recently started considering adopting a cat, but I wanted a kitten ... a kitten from a shelter.  Definitely a kitten.  The strongest bond between feline and human occurs during the first two months of a cats life, I had read.  After 8 weeks that window is gone.  You can and will likely of course develop a strong bond with an older adopted friend; but it will not be what it could have been.

This beautiful, angora-soft visitor was a Zen cat, mellow but astute, and intensely interested in people.  It took about two days for me to fall in love with him.  When Lana came to pick him up, I think it was obvious to her that the Schnoo and I had developed a bond. She took him home; but a few days later she called and asked if I would like to adopt him.  Yes, yes, I would love to .... thoughts of kittens were long gone.  

He,  "Shane" (his given name - on his pedigree slip),  "Shiva" (the name currently on his medical records - we were looking for something which sounded close to Shane, "Sid" (what we later decided his name should be for his Zen-like qualities and regular yoga routines, "Schnoo" (the loving  appellation he has heard, ... the name that brings him to your side)  has been an absolute joy to have in our lives since the very first day he came to our home.   He is the "The Hug Monster".  When the Schnoo feels like snuggling, it is impossible to escape his efforts.  Relentlessly poking his head above and below your arm, prodding your face gently with his paw, he tries to become the center of your attention.  If none of this works, he just gently starts climbing on you ...and somehow finds a way to wiggle his fluffy body into your lap, placing a paw on each shoulder and rubbing his head all over your face.  When he is in the mood, a short hug session will not suffice.  His preference is hours - perfect for watching a long movie with an extra soft, purring bundle of heat laying on you.

The Schnoo's need for loving, along with his gentle astuteness and regular yoga stretches has made us postulate that, in a prior life, he was a Buddhist monk, and has been reincarnated in this one as a cat.  The negative karma that brought him to his current feline form? - excessive need for love and affection.  He had been a devout monk, knowledgeable and well respected among his peers.  However, his gentleness and charm made the hearts of women flutter, and his desire for love and affection lead him to stray from his spiritual duties a few too many times.  We have no doubt that he will reach nirvana in just a few more life cycles.

We've had the Schnoo for six years now.  He turned fifteen in January.   We've been through a lot together.  For a little over a year now, we've nursed him through renal failure.   His kidneys started to give out just before last Christmas.  After a horrible month of multiple stays at the Metro Cat Hospital, we stabilized him and now monitor his health with monthly visits to the vet.   His list of meds have grown over the year. He has developed anemia and high blood pressure along with his failing kidneys.   He receives 125ml of fluids twice a day, an injection of subcutaneous epogen twice a week, and six tablets daily for various ailments.   We don't know how long we will have him.  Dr.  Kaplan originally told us - anywhere from one to two years.  It is quality over quantity of life that matters most to us.  For now, he is still his happy, loving self.  We will continue this intensive care as long as the good days out number the bad, ... as long as he still finds the need to plaster his little face all over mine and be loved.

He has been the inspiration for many pieces of artwork:

To see more about this amazingly little creature visit his album.