The Tale of the Little Prince, Bouvier!
As you may have heard, we have a new little feline brother and he is a Sphynx Cat! You know, one of those naked guys!
His name is Bouvier and he is 3 ½ years old.
The Story of Bouvier
Sadly, one of mom’s dear friends passed away suddenly and left his cat to her. She knew that she was in his will, as he had asked her ahead of time would she be willing to inherit his cat when the time came.
She said yes as she had a soft spot for Bouvier from the minute she met him. Little did she know that he would pass from heart failure a mere 7 months later.
Mom was the one who called the police and sent them to her friend’s house on a wellness call after speaking to some mutual friends who expressed concern that the friend didn’t sound like himself.
The minute the news reached mom that he had passed, all thoughts immediately were directed to Bouvier! With the police in the apartment, she instructed them to locate Bouvier and put food out for him as he must have been starving. They were very helpful and agreed to work with mom to help find the cat as he had gone into hiding the minute they entered the place.
Meanwhile, she was firm in telling them that they can’t keep the front door open in case the cat tries to escape. All the officers had to be on high alert that there is a cat loose in the place and to not let him get out.
Poor Bouvier was in the apartment when his human died and that has to be traumatic. You don’t know how the cat will behave. Thankfully the police worked with mom and another friend who showed up with a carrier, but unfortunately, they could not find the cat that night.
The next day, mom and two friends drove to the apartment to find Bouvier. Armed with fresh tuna and a carrier, they opened the front door and there he was waiting to be rescued. Vocalizing and crying out for food, he inhaled the tuna and then finished another can.
Mom said later that should have been a tip-off of what was to come!
How Beau & I Got to Know Bouvier
Suffice to say, Bouvier arrived at his new home and immediately went into quarantine downstairs in the studio with our pet sitter who has been living there for a while. For the next 7 days, he stayed there and there were no introductions. Mom wanted him to settle down and start to feel secure with one person, a man, since his human had been a man.
In the subsequent weeks, mom started introducing us to Bouvier for a 2 hour visit after dinner at first, then for an afternoon and eventually for the whole day.
For the first month he still slept downstairs with his buddy, our pet sitter.
He went to our vet and was considered healthy and well.
How Mom Helped Bouvier Gain Weight
Right from the start though, Bouvier was always crying for food. We are a raw food only house and mom looked up what a Sphynx cat should eat based on his weight of 7.7 lbs., and they said 4 oz a day, which is what Beau and I eat a day and we weigh 13 lbs. Wow!
She read that they need more food than the average cat because they have no fur and their metabolism runs at a higher rate to just stay warm! She increased the food to 5 oz a day which is more than we bigger guys get!
The other issue was that Bouvier was an only child cat and did not know how to behave around other cats. And he had no manners! He would get in Beau’s and my face and sit back on his haunches and want to box and growl to show me how tough he was! Really?!
Mealtime was particularly crazy with him meowing constantly and doing about 10 360’s while mom is trying to serve him his food!
I guess he needed to feel secure that he would get his food in spite of these other two “street thug cats” hovering, that’s mom’s slang name for me and Beau – Bouvier is “The Little Prince”!
Mealtime security is a big deal for us cats! We are social animals but like to hunt & eat alone. Mom respects this and I dine in the guest bath, Beau in one area of the kitchen and Bouvier in another, with their backs to each other out of sight.
Afraid that somehow his food might be taken from him, he would “hoover” his food up and then try to stalk Beau and I while we were leisurely enjoying our meal. He continued to be aggressive with hissing and growling - making mealtime end in a boxing match!
Meanwhile, mom joined a couple Sphynx cat Facebook groups to get to know the breed more and that is when she learned some eye-opening facts about Sphynx kitties – starting with the fact that they need to eat 8% of their total body weight per day just to stay healthy and in shape.
After posting a few photos of Bouvier, the admin of the group immediately weighed in that he looked very underweight!
Furthermore, mom got a hold of Bouvier’s previous vet’s records and in September 2019 he weighed 8.8 lbs and now he weighed 7.7lbs. How and why had he lost a pound over the last year?
Mom was so upset and felt terrible that she had failed at recognizing what she didn’t know about the breed sooner because she now felt she had been starving him for the last 4 weeks. Also of concern was that perhaps her friend had been sicker than we knew and had been skipping some of Bouvier’s meals by accident over the last several months. And then factor in that he had gone through his human’s passing.
Immediately, mom increased his food to 10 oz a day, spread over 3 meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and added a half of an egg yoke for added fat and nutrients. She gave him the same rotation of various animal proteins that we get which includes beef, pork, turkey, duck and rabbit. She also puts a total of 1 cup of water per day in his food to keep him well hydrated.
Three weeks later, he looks like a different cat! He now weighs 8.6 lbs and he is filling out nicely and you no longer see his spine and hip bones. He no longer cries constantly for food, and he has gained confidence that he will get the quantity he needs to thrive. Meal prep times are calmer and he only does a few twirls on the way to his dining spot!
It is incredible what a high-quality human grade raw animal protein diet can do to make an immediate transformation in an animal who had lost 15% of its weight in a year!
Bouvier Before & After
Meanwhile, it has been almost 2 months since he arrived and Beau and I have figured out that The Little Prince isn’t going anywhere and he is here to stay. That’s ok and we are getting used to having him around, though we are not up to the “play stage” and definitely no mutual grooming yet!
Mom says she is just happy that Bouvier has a full tummy and is calming down. He is very curious about Beau and me and definitely wants to hang out. There are still a few hissing events with a few whacks thrown in, but it’s becoming fewer and fewer.
Mom wishes he was a little more affectionate with her as he has only sat next to her a couple of times on the couch. He remains a little skittish and doesn’t like being picked up, nor does he want to sleep in her bed, which suit Beau and me just fine!
But she accepts him for who he is and says that it is always on the cat’s terms and not hers! She is confident that he will come around eventually and settle in just fine!