Luka & Xena

Luka & XenaApologies in advance for the length of this story – I’m throwing three people’s input together at midnight and amn’t going to manage to neaten it up.

Luka’s Story

Jenny rescued Luka and his sister Kia from a farm in West Cork on the back road to Caheragh, between O’Driscoll’s and Skibbereen.

A concerned passerby had reported the state of the kittens to Della who called Jenni – something dreadful wrong with their eyes.  Jenni got in contact with the woman who said they’d had bad eyes for two weeks but had disappeared.  Jenni asked her to contact her as soon as they reappeared.  And got a call a week later.  They were trapped on the 14th of September 2007, three weeks after their eye infections had been noticed.

Luka’s actual right eyeball was swollen, twice the size it should have been.  Not a virus, possibly an infection in the eyeball.  The eye was a purple, plum shade and looked incredibly uncomfortable.  I’d never seen anything like it.

Both kittens eyes were treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories but nothing could be done.  Kia’s left and Luka’s right eyes were removed in November.
Left with a pair of eyes between them the kittens went from strength to strength and their remaining eyes recovered fully, though Luka’s left eye suffers from weeping from time to time.

Kia & Luka recuperated at Jenni’s house alongside the Ms (Magic, Mischief & Magpie).  But as the lot of them grew there just wasn’t the room for them there and all 5 moved into my spare bedroom.  I was reluctant to take in any more foster kittens as I knew we’d ringworm loose in the house.  But there was nowhere else for them to go.  I linoleumed the spare room, defumigated it with bleach and various other products designed to kill ringworm and got it comfy with bedding, coorie holes and playthings.

And in November 2007 Luka & Kia (the One Eyes) and the Ms moved in.

Initially all the kittens were pretty timid, with Luka and Magpie being the worst.  Maybe because of that the pair of them really bonded and were practically joined at the hip.
I felt the kittens were pretty isolated up in the spare room on their own and tried to spend an hour or so up there with them daily as well as feeding and medicating them & litter changing at least twice daily.  But I just didn’t have the time and managed to recruit several marvellous volunteers to spend time with them – thanks go to Nuala, Dermot and Feargal in particular.

It took at least a week before Kia would approach and even longer before Luka realised that laps and belly tickles were well worth associating with the two legs that historically had neglected and abused him.

And, despite my fumigating precautions first Mischief, then Magic and Magpie and latterly Luka showed signs of ringworm.  I’ve learned more about this fungal infection that I ever cared to know this year.  It’s not really a problem for single cat households – the cats get over it quickly enough and are then resistant (though not immune).  But in a household like mine new cats coming in are at risk and nearly all seem to get it.

Anyway, the main reason for keeping this lot of kittens separate was to keep them ringworm free.  Now that they had ringworm anyway I decided to let them loose on the house.  They’d been confined for at least a month and I felt they just weren’t getting enough attention, the space felt small for such growing kittens and they’d no access to greenery at all.

And they were delighted to get out into the wider world and stretch their muscles to their limit.  Luka took a bit more time than the others to explore the whole house but figured out the cat flap pretty quick.  Delighted to be out in the fresh air and equally delighted to come back inside to the warmth once his inital euphoria got rained on.  He took over a week to stop cowering but it was well worth the wait as he’s another writher and loves getting his belly rubbed.

Sadly, when all the kittens Luka knew went to the UK in January he had to stay behind as he still had ringworm. Though he lost his best mate Magpie, who worshipped him, he didn’t seem to be too distressed and proceeded to come out of his shell and asserted his newfound dominance in the house by mildly bullying the two resident adult cats.

Socialisation at Justina’s – Xena

by Justina

Xena is a really lovely cat. Unfortunately like Lemony Snickett she has had a series of unfortunate cat-human interactions which have left her not afraid of people but rather with a real ‘yuck’ response to the idea of being touched by a human.

However she is not anti-people and actually is very interested in them. I’ve been Xena’s foster mum on and off since she came and feel that if she had been able to have consistent time with me she would by now be curling on my lap. But regrettably I had to go on holidays and so she has been moved between the two houses quite a bit. Also I clicked too late that I should have brought her best friend Luka with her from the start as she LOVES other cats, especially Luka and having him with her gives her someone to cuddle and fuss over. Right now though Luka is here with her and it’s given me a chance to observe just how special Xena is and how important it is for her to have another cat with her.

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Socialisation at Justina’s – Luka

Luka – what he’s like in a new place

by Justina

He is very timid and shy. He does like to be petted and will purr on contact but I find that he will break the contact as soon as he can. I think that he is just a slow adjuster and finds new environments very hard to handle. He adores Xena and she is the strong confident one of the pair. His real personality shines out in play when he is mischievous, fun loving and gentle. Unlike Xena he prefers cat/cat play while Xena likes cat/cat, cat/human equally. Also unlike Xena it is better to approach Luka (when he’s in an easy to reach location that doesn’t involve chasing him) and pet him, as, as soon as he feels the contact, he likes it. It’s also good for Xena to hear him purr, so the sooner he settles the better for both of them.

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Luka & Xena

Luka and Xena quickly became a pair after meeting, primarily at Xena’s instigation, and I’d recommend they remain together. Both are very wary of humans at first but have quite different personalities and require different approaches, as Justina has highlighted. I’d just like to add a coupla recommendations and comments…

When they first move in with you I’d recommend confining them to one family room where you tend to spend most of your time. This way they’ll get used to your presence quicker than if they have the opportunity to avoid you. Both are very food oriented so titbits will be good motivators once they’re settled. Both will almost definitely be timid for at least a week, maybe longer. It seems to me it’s new places that freak Luka out more than people (it took him a week to get used to a new room) so he will be very nervous with both new environment and new people. Xena just plain doesn’t trust people; she’s more outraged than scared.

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Medical History






White & black shorthaired neutered male.  White paintbrush tip to his tail. Missing left eye.

Pure black (very rare, very lucky) shorthaired neutered female.  Silky soft coat and stunning amber eyes.


guessing early July 2007

guessing early Nov 2007

Place Of Birth

near Caheragh, W Cork, Ireland.

near Glengarriff, W Cork, Ireland

Wormed & Defleaed

Milbemax wormer 6/6/08; Frontline fleaspray end Apr 08

Place Of Birth

near Caheragh, W Cork, Ireland.

near Glengarriff, W Cork, Ireland

Felocell CVR

near Caheragh, W Cork, Ireland.

28/1/08 due booster 28/1/09


January 2008

May 08

FIV Status

FIV & FeLV Free

FIV & FeLV Free

Other Medications

Synulox & Prednisolone for eye infections. Also Fucithalmic and Chloromphenicol eyedrops.

Marbocyl for slight bouts of flu.

Baytril 15mg Sid for 6 days for mild cat flu

Best Companions


Would be okay as a sole cat, sometimes bullies other adult cats when settled but seems to get on with shy young females (!)


Would be happy with another companion cat.

Other Comments

Both kittens very wary of people and need an understanding home.

Probably best not to be homed with children under 12 or so.

Emigrated to UK



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Posted in Fosterees 2007.

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