NOTE: On October 29, 2002 I lost my beloved Tenz.
Details at the end of the story.


NAME: Mitenza (Tenz)
BIRTHDATE: November 1985
EXPIRED: October 29, 2002
FAVORTE URL: Any site about dogs
FAVORITE FOODS: Chicken, Turkey, bacon, sausage and eggs
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Sleeping and competing with that keyboard for Techniguy's lap


Tenz is loving, sensitive and highly intuitive. She is very emotional and responds positively to music and water or sounds of water. She would rather be home than anywhere else in the world. She coexists exceptionally well with people and other animals. This is an animal who is quite intelligent and adaptable with a gentle nature. Tenz is an affectionate, physically attractive pet who responds to flattery and attention. This animal has a pleasant disposition and enjoys the company of pets of the opposite sex. She has a highly developed sixth sense, especially when it comes to home and family. This is a shy, affectionate animal with a gentle soul. She is best suited to a tension-free environment. She is certainly never dull. She has a dualistic nature being very communicative one minute and sullen the next. She is an animal who is quite intelligent and adaptable with a gentle nature. She is very tenacious and intensely loyal. She is a sensitive, psychic animal who intuitively responds to your feelings and moods. She doesn't like change, and knows how to manipulate and control you when it serves her purpose.

It began in November of 1985 in a small suburb of Los Angeles, California. The family house cat was in labor and having a difficult time giving birth to a litter of kittens. The strain was too much for her and she did not live long enough to see her babies, she died while delivering the litter. I don't know how many kittens were in the litter but only two survived. One was a beautiful tom cat and the other, his sister, is now my Tenz. Her name was not always "Tenz". She was originally named "Muffin" by the family in who's house she was born. With her mother dead and unable to give her milk Tenz found an alternative in the sympathetic female family dog who nursed her until she was able to eat food. Without her mother to snuggle up to when she was sleepy she found some comfort in sleeping in an old shoe. At this early stage in her life she had not yet established her identity as a cat and had adopted a dog as her mother thus taking the first step toward identifying with dogs. When she began to eat food, she nearly starved to death due to a total rejection of cat food. Dog food was better but even that did not please her pallet, in fact, the only things she would eat were chicken and pop-corn but only if the pop-corn was buttered.

I had been living in a somewhat small duplex at the time with my girlfriend and my eight year old German Shepherd dog who was my loyal companion. We had just moved to a larger house and Patty asked me if she could get a cat now that we had more room. I agreed and she began looking at ads for kittens. She found one ad that interested her and we drove to Sun Valley to see the kittens. I waited in my van while she went into the house and five minutes later she came out with the cutest little black and white kitten and put her in the van asking me to hold her while she went back inside. A few minutes later we were on our way back home with our new family member. On the way home, Patty told me the story of the first two months of Tenz's life, still called Muffin at that time. Neither of us wanted to call her Muffin so after we arrived home we began discussing names for the kitten. Patty wanted to call her "Mittens" because she reminded her of a cat she had as a child with that name. I thought that name sounded a bit childish and told her so. Although the kitten was technically her cat she was open to suggestions for a name. I really didn't have anything to suggest but Patty, being very good at coming up with pet names began playing with the pronunciation of Mittens and came up with "Mitenza". That was shortened to "Tenz" and it stuck. Her proper name is still "Mitenza" but sometimes I call her Tenniepoo"...LOL...and often just "Ten".

After we had arrived home and got settled in, we noticed that Tenz was nowhere to be seen. We began searching for her with no results until I noticed my dog "Joe" sniffing at a pile of shoes on a low shelf in the bedroom. When I took a closer look, there was Tenz among the shoes looking back at me.

As time went by, Tenz adapted well to her new home and family and again, she had a dog as a mentor and a friend. Joe was very gentle with her and the first thing he did when we brought Tenz home was to give her a bath in his doggy way. The two of them became very close and were like brother and sister to each other. Wherever Joe went, Tenz would follow.

As time went by, it wasn't long before we noticed our new kitty had a problem. Perhaps a cat food diet might have helped but she would not eat it. To try to get her to change her mind, we gave her nothing but cat food for a week and she nearly starved herself to death. One day I happened to see her nibbling at Joe's dog food but she would not go near the cat food. We finally gave in to her and started cooking chicken for her every night. In the morning she was satisfied with a scrambled egg for breakfast. Today, if she can have some bacon with her eggs that is just super with her, hold the hash-browns and toast please. I have found other things for her to eat over the years but her mainstay is still chicken and eggs. If you ask Tenz which came first, the chicken or the egg? she will tell you it was definitely the egg because she had that for breakfast! Well getting back to the problem I started to tell you about. She started becoming bloated and was having difficulty passing her food through her system. She would develop terrible stomach aches and would stop eating. I found that massaging her stomach would help to get things moving but once it got to the end of the tract, she couldn't eliminate it so it was off to Vet for an enema. That usually helped but was very unpleasant and painful for poor Tenz not to mention the Vet bills.

When Tenz was six months old she went into heat for the first time. We did our best to keep her in the house but one night she got out and that was all it took for her to become pregnant. We were unaware of the pregnancy until later on when she got really sick. Her digestive trouble along with her pregnancy at too young an age was too much for her and on top of that, she got a urinary infection. The food in her digestive system had been stuck in there too long and had become toxic and was poisoning her. Patty and I didn't know what was wrong with her at the time and called the Vet to ask if we could bring her in. Patty was on the phone with him and describing Tenz's symptoms as Tenz lay on the floor almost unable to move. Her eyes were glassy and her mouth slightly open to help her breathing. There was a slight discharge from her genitals and she was obviously suffering with great pain in her gut. The Vet was familiar with Tenz from all the enemas and told Patty that she was dying. Then he said we could not bring her in because he had to leave for a meeting across town and couldn't help us. Patty broke into tears and I took the phone from her to plead with him to help us but he would do nothing. Needless to say I refused to pay his last bill and found another Vet. A friend referred us to a small animal hospital where he takes his cat and we rushed Tenz in there fast. They performed emergency surgery on her to save her life and we had her spayed at the same time. That was when we found out about the pregnancy and that she had a pinched intestine causing the blockage in her digestive system. The Vets there told us there was nothing they could do about the intestine but they seem to have relieved the problem without knowing it because it cleared up after the operation. Now the only problem left was her difficulty in eliminating her stools and the need for frequent enemas. I had to find a solution for that because the Vet bills were becoming a burden and the trips to the Vet, an inconvenience. I tried using a baby enema kit, it was suggested by the new Vet. It usually saved the trip to the vet but it wasn't the final answer. I did soon find the ultimate treatment for the problem though. Upon recognizing her need to use the cat box and being unsuccessful I found I could assist her by squeezing properly with my thumb and forefinger under her tail while she pushed and together we forced the stools out. I still use this technique to this day, but only rarely because I learned that 1/4 tsp of mineral oil in her food once a day solved the problem, and Tenz has not seen the vet since. If she has trouble eliminating by herself on occasions, she lets me know and we take care of the problem right away. Today she remains happy and healthy.

Who's cat is she anyway? Tenz was supposed to be Patty's cat but she seemed to have her own ideas about that. When we went to bed at night, Tenz would join us after a few minutes, situation permitting. She always positioned herself right next to me, never next to Patty. On occasions, Patty would make the comment "she thinks she's your cat!" and I must admit I was becoming very fond of her. One day Patty and I were playing on the bed, having a little wrestling and tickling match. She was on top of me and I began making sounds of distress. Immediately, Tenz came charging into the bedroom and attacked Patty with her claws and teeth. She was viciously trying to defend me not knowing that we were only playing. We got her calmed down and she left the room. Patty, with scratches on her arms, then asked "I wonder if she would defend me too if I was on the bottom being attacked?". We decided to find out and took up the positions. When we each began making our respective noises, again Tenz came charging into the bedroom and again attacked Patty even though she was under me. She had to defend herself with a pillow to keep from getting more scratches and bite marks on her arms and hands and we had our answer to the question. Tenz had made her choice about who she wanted to be with and when Patty and I split up a few years later, I convinced her to leave Tenz with me and Joe. But it was not only me that Tenz cared about. One day I took her and Joe to the park. They were both on 20 foot leashes tied to my van and enjoying the park when two dogs running loose came over to visit. Joe was always very aggressive with other dogs and when one of them got too friendly with him a fight broke out. Look out other dog, Joe has a friend. Right away Tenz attacked the other dog trying to defend Joe. He was a large dog like Joe but Tenz showed no fear as she scratched, clawed, and bit at him. That was all too much for the intruder and he and his companion ran off leaving Joe and Tenz to check each other over for any injuries and comfort each other after the fight. Tenz is very intuitive and when I am in pain or not feeling well, she comes to check on me and I can see the concern and sympathy in her expression.

Tenz thinks she's a dog. She doesn't know how to be a cat. She has never been around other cats except for a very short period of time. She has always been a house cat and is never allowed outside nor does she want to go outside. She is perfectly content to be safe and secure and comfortable in the house. "It's scary out there, with all those fast cars racing by and all those people walking around, and then there is those strange little furry things with long tails that seem to pop out of nowhere. One of them raped me once so I think I'll just stay inside where it's safe." That's pretty much the way Tenz feels about the world. She may get a little lonely when I'm not home but she gives herself a sense of security by sleeping in my place in the bed while I'm away. Tenz does not like cats, she would much rather be in the company of dogs. She always responds with a look of kinship when she hears a dog bark. Although I have said that Tenz is confined to the house it has not always been that way all the time and she has had exposure to the outdoors. There was a period of time when things were not going well for me and I had to live in my van for a period of time. Not that I really minded, it was an extra long one and I had converted it for camping and had all the conveniences from a toilet to a tv and could have lived in there indefinitely though it was a little crowded with Joe and Tenz. The first day we started out in the van, Tenz squeezed into the corner of a lower shelf and meowed the whole time the van was moving. The second day was the same. On the third day as I was driving Tenz came out of her hiding place and hopped up on the platform next to me and began looking out the windows. Joe usually sat in the passenger seat or would go lay down in the back for a nap. Soon, Tenz was enjoying the ride and spent a lot of the time looking out the side windows or lying across the dash board as we traveled. Joe was getting old now and becoming disabled and eventually I had to have him put to sleep to end his pain. Tenz missed him very much for a while but we both got over it in time and still had each other. She assumed the role of my faithful companion at that time. She responded to me the way a dog would and she still does. She knows what is expected of her and follows the rules like a well trained dog. She comes when I call her, she stops what she is doing when I say "NO" she licks my hand in return for a petting and sleeps at the foot of my bed but always comes up to me to say good night before I go to sleep. To me she is an angel straight from heaven and I consider her a gift from God. Before meal times I ask her if she is hungry and she always says "yeeaaaa". When we were in the van I would often stop by McDonalds to buy her some chicken McNuggets for dinner. I would ask her "do you want to go to Mcdonalds?" and she would say "YEEAAAA". When we pulled up to the delivery window she would be standing in my lap and leaning out the window waiting for her order. She knows the meaning of many words now and responds to them the way a dog would. She doesn't like to get wet but every time I go to the sink to wash my hands she is right there talking to me. Maybe she thinks I shouldn't get wet either.

Tenz has been laying by my side the entire time I have been writing this story. She is now 13 years old and is a happy and healthy cat but don't tell her that for she still thinks she's a dog.

UPDATE 10/29/02: I said my last goodbye to my little sweetiepie Tenz today. Going on 17 years old, she recently developed what the vets and I believe is kidney disease. Over the past two months she has not been eating much and had lost nearly half of her body weight. She stopped eating a few days ago and after an examination (the second in 6 weeks) and discussion with my vet, there was no hope that she could be cured and was having some discomfort. I held her little head in my hand and pet her as she passed on. She will always live in my heart but I'll miss her deeply in my life.

Goodbye My Sweetiepie

TENZ 1985 - 2002

Tenz has had a memorial cross and burrial site created for her by my friend Leonard in North Dakota at his Pet Cemetery, and has added a page for her to his Pet Cemetery website.
You can see his page on Tenz and her cross HERE.
Leonards Pet Cemetery site is located at