Just one life, but many years
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News June 25, 2012 2:50PM
Sassy, a healthy Himalayn who belongs to Bonnie Strysik Scott of Crest Hill, was 19 years old on June 21. Because of her socialble nature, Sassy is well acquainted with many people in the area. | submitted photo
Updated: July 27, 2012 6:05AM
Happy birthday, Sassy!
Bonnie Strysik Scott’s Himalayan turned 19 on June 21 and, except for deafness, is “purr-fectly” healthy, playful and a lover of catnip toys.
“She still purrs,” Scott, of Crest Hill, said, “and she sits right on my lap when I’m on the computer. She’s such a silly girl.”
Sassy is also gentle, friendly and calm. Guests who think they don’t like cats often will like Sassy, Scott said. Sassy has seen her fair share of people in her 19 years because Scott, a hairstylist, once used to own a home business.
“Sassy acted like a dog,” Scott said. “She greeted anyone who came to the door and she didn’t run away. She would come when called and sit on people’s laps.”
According to www.Petfinder.com, Himalayans are ideal indoor companions. In addition to their genial personalities, Himalayans dote on affection, yet, unlike other breeds, won’t pester you for constant petting, although they do enjoy petting and brushing.
A cross between a Siamese and a Persian (the first pointed longhair was born in 1935, but the initial breeding attempt had been 11 years earlier), Himalayans are more talkative and friskier than Persians are, but quieter and more laid back than Siamese cats. According to www.catster.com, Himalayans weigh about 13 pounds.
Scott had grown up with cats. Her mother was fostering cats before it became popular to do so. Five cats generally inhabited Scott’s childhood home at any given time. The breed did not matter.
“My mom was partial to Siamese cats, though,” Scott said.
A friend had introduced Scott to Himalayans by giving Sassy to Scott when Sassy was a kitten. Sassy enchanted Scott, who then decided to breed her so others could enjoy a Himalayan cat, too. Through the years, Sassy presented Scott six litters of kittens.
Because Sassy was so personable and friendly, it was easy for Scott to develop routines and play games with her. Sassy loved running back and forth between Scott and her husband, as each one called her name by turns. At night, Scott’s son would call for Sassy and she would scamper off to bed.
Although Sassy can no longer respond to her name, she still knows where Scott keeps her special cat treats and doesn’t mind traveling to the basement, near the water heater, to her litter box.
She still cooperates for her annual “lion cut” to help her stay cool and to reduce hair balls, which, according to www.vetinfo.com, can be problematic with Himalayans because of their long coat. Worse, a hairball can block the intestinal tract and require surgical removal.
Himalayans can be prone to kidney disease, but luckily, this isn’t an issue for Sassy. Scott believes Sassy’s excellent health is due, in part, to not allowing Sassy to play outside. Also, Sassy doesn’t have any claws. Scott had small children when she adopted Sassy, so the declawing decision was a prudent one.
“I don’t believe in outdoor cats,” Scott said. “I think staying indoors contributed to her longevity.”