I’m so excited that I got to interview two, sweet dolls – Dezi and Raena from Deziz World! Here they describe a bit about themselves and their lives as service cats. Yes, service cats! Isn’t that MEOW – AMAZING! I name them ‘Service Kitties Extraordinaire’, ’cause they do extraordinary things for their momma, like give her massages and drive her wheelchair! They trust in their momma as she has put complete trust in them and their trainings, and together they make a loving family.
NAMES & MARKINGS
Valentine: Hello Dezi and Raena. I am tickled that you both agreed to do this interview with me! We have known each other only a short time, but I already consider you my dear friends. You both have such lovely names! How did your momma choose those names for you? And how long have you both been with her?
Dezi: Y, Fank you Valentine, and fank you fur havin’ us fur an innerview. We consider you to be family. We always say you’re only a stranger till we meet ya’; and you’re only a visitor once, then you’re family. Me has been with mommy since me was ‘bout 2 ½ – 3 weeks old and me will be 8 years old this year. Mommy and me’s then sis Lexi had just lost a beluvved Service kitty when mommy got a call from a dog rescuer ‘bout a litter of Ragdoll kittens they had saved from a backyard breeder. They didn’t have a clue what to do with kittens so they called mommy. On her drive over to see us, mommy told God, that ifin He wanted her to adopt one of us, we were gonna have to choose her, cuz she hadn’t really started to look fur another helper yet. To make a long story short, when mommy arrived, me was da only kitty out o me’s litter of 11 that went to mommy straight outta the basket. And mommy picked me up off her lap and held me close to her heart and said, “You’re my destiny, and I’ll love you forever.” So me’s name became Deztinee. Mommy likes to be different and spell our names uniquely. Me’s full name is Deztinee Izabella; and of course me’s last name is the same as mommy’s.
Raena: It’s mine’s turn now, sissy. Fanky fanks fur innerviewin’ us Valentine. Mommy and sis Dezi had lost their bootyful beluvved Lexi befur I’s was even born. Since sis Dezi needed help helpin’ mommy, they had been lookin’ fur a new Service Kitty in trainin’, but just couldn’t seem to find one. That’s cuz God wanted ‘em to wait on me. Anyways, when mommy found me, she was thrilled. The day she picked me up, I’s was so scared. I was almost 6 weeks old, but had lived mine’s life in a dark, stinky corner cage at another backyard breeder’s house. I’s was sickly and small fur mine’s age. On the long drive home, mommy kept tellin’ me that she luvved me and that everythin’ was gonna be alright and that I’s was gonna be with her forever and ever. She also kept callin’ me all kinds of things. I’s didn’t respond to anythin’ she called me. Mine’s furst night in our home, I’s didn’t know the rules, so durin’ purrayer time I’s just kept meowin’ at the top of mine’s lungs. That’s not pawlite ya’ know. But then mommy said, “Raena, we’re thanking God for sending you to us, so hush now and let’s pray.” I’s didn’t meow again, till the amens. Mommy says mine’s name means New Beginnings, and that’s just how they felt ‘bout me. Mine’s full name is RaenaBelle Maycee. And of course I’s have the same last name as sissy and mommy.
Valentine: You are Ragdoll kitties. How would you describe the special markings on your coats, and your personalities? Do you like to chatter and sing often like Siamese kitties or are you more on the quiet side?
Dezi: Well Valentine, me’s called a pointed Ragdoll. Me’s actual color is a Mink Tortie Point Lynx. Meow that real fast. MOL The Lynx means that me has the tabby M and some noticeable tabby stripes as well as the longer ear tufts. Raena is a Mink Tortie Bi-Color; but it is pawssible that she will darken with age and be a Chocolate Tortie Bi-Color. Cuz we’re the purroduct of backyard breeders’, our markings aren’t purrfect. There were papers, but mommy never cared ‘bout that and never bothered with registrations cuz we couldn’t trust the breeders knew what they were talkin’ ‘bout and we’re considered rescues. ‘Pawrently, they didn’t get the whole ring of breeders and Raena and me are actually related. Mommy says we’re the most purrfect-est kitties in the universe, and that’s good ‘nuff fur us. We have typical Ragdoll purrsonalities. We’re both laid back luvvin’ lap kitties who luv, luv, luv bein’ with our mommy. ‘Course, Raena’s a typical kitty, and is non stop action, adventure and fun right now. And yes, we luv to meow and make conversation.
AS SERVICE KITTIES
Valentine: Mom and I are super impurr-essed by all of your accomplishments as service kitties. You help your momma out so much! For those that aren’t familiar with your work, can you summarize it a bit – what your typical day is like?
Dezi: Oh MeOW, A day in the life. MOL Well, it starts furst thing in the meownin’ when we wake up. Mommy’s meds have worn off and her muscles have “froze” over durin’ the night and she can’t move. We both start massagin’ mommy’s arms and legs to get the blood flowin’ and warm up the muscles. Then, we push/roll mommy off the bed and into the wheelchair so we can drive her to the bathroom. Right now, me’s the only one that mommy trusts to drive us. Raena’s still learnin’. After we all avail ourselves of the facilities and mommy brushes her teeth, we head to the kitchen so mommy can make us brekky and get her some coffee. After mommy sets our plates down and gets her coffee set by her “sittin’ lift chair”, she parks the wheelchair and plugs it in to charge. Then, we watch over her and make sure she can safely crawl/pull to the sittin’ lift chair befur we start eatin’.
Most days we’re gonna alert mommy three to four times that she’s gonna pass out and needs to sit down and stay safe till it happens or the danger passes. It’s not uncommon fur mommy to fall a couple times a day either. When this happens, we’re there to stand watch and make sure mommy doesn’t need us to call fur help. We can dial 911 ya’ know. Anyways, at some point, mommy’s gonna take a shower. We’re there to make sure she’s safe and push/drag her head outta the stream of water when she passes out. In between all this, we play and nap and act just like every other kitty in the world. Then bedtime comes, and mommy carries us to the bed where we purray and fank God fur all the blessings in our lives and ask Him to watch over all our furiends. Then we snuggle together and dream sweet dreams till we start the day all over again.
Valentine: What do you like most about helping your momma?
Raena: Oh, It’s mine’s turn to answer somethin’ sissy. The thing we like the most, is just bein’ with mommy. Cuz we’re her helpers, we get to be with her all the time.
Valentine: I love your blog Deziz World. How long have you been blogging? And did your momma always know that you two were meant to do great things?
Dezi: Fank you Valentine. We luv your bloggy too. Me’s been bloggin’ since February 2014. ‘Course sis Raena joined me last year cuz mommy says we have to share…everythin’. Me didn’t have a clue what to do when we started, but everypawdy’s been so wonderful and helpful along the way. We actually started the bloggy by accident. But we’ve been so blest and have made such amazin’ furiends, that we can’t ‘magine not bloggin’. As fur doin’ great things, me’s not sure how great we are; but mommy says everypawdy/kitty/doggy/anipal in the world has a purr-puss and a callin’ of some sort. She says we’re all special, and it’s how we live our lives and handle our troubles that make us great.
Valentine: What impact do you think you’ve made in the blogging community? Your local community?
Dezi: We couldn’t even begin to guess what impact we’ve made on the bloggin’ community. But our hopes are that we’ve opened some eyes and made people realize just how smart and trainable kitties can be. And just how fullfillin’ sharin’ your life with a cat is. As fur our community, we play Therapy kitties every Christmas fur the Nursing home. Mommy takes us up and lets us bring some Christmas cheer to those who might not have family. She plays the piano and sings carols, and we all have a great time. We used to go to the Elementary school a couple times a year and try to educate the young’uns on respawnsible pet ownership. The board has changed and we’ve not been asked to come this year, but we hope to go back some day.
Valentine: How do you think your work has positively affected your momma’s day-to-day living?
Raena: It’s mine’s turn sissy. Well Valentine, our very existence brings mommy joy. But seriously, cuz we can do the things we do, mommy can continue to live independently ‘stead of havin’ to go and live in a nursing home. Mommy’s even said that without us, she’s not sure she’d still be alive.
Valentine: Describe what you think you mean to your momma and what she means to you?
Raena: Oh Valentine, I’s don’t even have to think ‘bout this one. Mommy says we mean everythin’ to her. She always tells us that we are her whole world and reason fur livin’. I’s know that sis Dezi and me purrobably wouldn’t be alive ifin not fur mommy. Since we were both sickly when mommy rescued us, we most likely would have died befur we even got a chance to live. Y, Sis Dezi almost did die on their drive home. Fankfully, we have the bestest mommy in the universe and she knew ‘zactly what to do and how to help sis Dezi; just like she did/does fur me.
TRAINING WITH THEIR MOMMA
Valentine: You stress in your Monday training blog posts, that your momma believes in positive reinforcement when she is training you. You must get lots of nummy treats?! What is your favorite?
Dezi: Oh yes Valentine, pawsitive reinfurcement’s the only way to train. We actually don’t get a lot of treats. Mommy’s on a fixed income and believes what we eat at meal times is the most ‘purrtant thing she can spend her money on, so treats aren’t a regular thing ‘round our house. But, our favorites when we do get them are freeze dried chicken breasts.
Valentine: In what other ways does she show that she loves you and is pleased with you and your progress during trainings?
Raena: I’s can answer this one sissy, ‘specially since I’s the one technically in trainin’ right now. Mommy believes in and uses what she has termed “Love Rewards”. When we purrform correctly, we get extra luvvin’ hugs and kisses. And of course mommy purraises us by tellin’ us how much she luvs us and how purroud of us she is.
Valentine: At what age did you both start training as service kitties?
Dezi: You wanna answer Raena?
Raena: Fanky fanks sissy. We both started trainin’ within hours of becomin’ mommy’s kitty girls. Mommy didn’t recognize it at furst, but sis Dezi was alertin’ mommy’s syncope incidents (pass out) the meownin’ after she came to live with mommy. And the night mommy brought me home, she said she had a headache and I’s jumped on the back of the chair and started massagin’ her head.
Valentine: Dezi, do you still train or do you have a different role nowadays – (i.e. as supervisor, director, protector, other)
Dezi: Well Valentine, the answer’s kinda both. Mommy says trainin’ is ongoin’ fur life. So every time me purrfurms a trained task purro-purrly, mommy rewards me with lots of luv. Least when she’s conscious. MOL Sometimes the luvvin’ has to wait fur her to come back ‘round, but we always get luvvin’. And me also oversees Raena’s trainin’. She learns a lot from watchin’ me, just like me learned from sis Lexi.
Valentine: What is the most fun you’ve had while training? And what has been the biggest challenge or obstacle that you have had to overcome in training?
Dezi: Me luvved learnin’ how to drive the wheelchair. Me had lots of “oopsies” along the way, but it was lots of fun. The biggest challenge is drivin’ in a straight line when you can’t see where you’re goin’. MOL
Raena: I’s just luv bein’ with mommy. I’s don’t care what I’s doin’, so long as I’s with mommy. So I’s think all trainin’ is fun. Mine’s biggest challenge is learnin’ not to scratch mine’s itch while tryin’ to drive the wheelchair. You know, those joysticks sure are touchy. And, the cat tree. I’s drove right into it the other day, and it just wouldn’t move outta the way. Now that’s an obstacle.
Valentine: What do you think has been the oddest thing your momma has asked you to do in training?
Raena: Odd? What’s odd? (turns to look at Dezi who shrugs) We don’t know what that is Valentine. This is the only life we know, so nuffin’ ‘bout it is odd.
Valentine: Dezi, do you venture outside with your momma in the wheelchair? Do you drive the chair for her, as your sister has been learning how to do? Have the 3 of you gone outside in the wheelchair together?
Dezi: MOL Oh Valentine!!! (Dezi laughs so hard a tear comes to her eye. She reaches up with her paw and wipes it away as she gets serious again and meows) Me has gone out in the wheelchair with mommy befur. One time it snowed. Me had never seen snow befur and thought it would be fun. So mommy put me’s harness on and out we went. It was really slippery, and me accidentally drove us off the sidewalk and the chair threw us into the snow. Me couldn’t get back in the house fast enuff. We don’t go outside in the chair very much. By the time mommy needs to check the mail or take out the trash, she’s able to move and drive herself. We have a stroller that we get to ride in when we go outside.
Valentine: Well, ladies, that is all for this post. But I know there is much more that you chatted with me about that I want to share with my readers, which I sure will. Thanks so much for your time and thoughtful responses to my questions!
Friends, wouldn’t you agree that Dezi and Raena are Service Cats Extraordinaires?! Do you have any thoughts or questions for either of them or myself? Do you know of any service cats in your locale? Your comments are welcome and greatly appurr-ciated! And purr-lease check back to catch part two of my interview with Dezi & Raena where they describe how one becomes a service kitty, things they like to do in their free time, celebrating birthdays, and their love interests. I also encourage you to stop by their blog and follow them on Twitter. You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook. I hope you enjoyed this post and if so please also see, “Valentine the Cat Interviews Fluffy Basil.” Mew Mew!