Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie

  • Friday / July 2, 2021
Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 1

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 01It’s only been a week since they came, and two weeks since he’s gone. It was the hardest thing I had to do: putting down my best furry friend, Rocky, Monday afternoon June 14, 2021. He gave so much and asked for so little—even up to the end. His personality was bigger than his belly! And I’m crying—yet again—just writing this.

This was an end; and also a beginning. Though his sister Rose is still here, it was time to do this once again: get two new Manx kittens to help with the transition. The last time this happened,  my ex Chris & I adopted Rocky & Rose. Literally the day after we put down Chris’ 16 year old Manx cat Mason, we adopted the Manx brother and sister duo, Rocky & Rose. So here I am at another similar moment in time. Rocky is gone & I wanted to help Rose and myself with his passing by getting two new Manx kittens. Enter the Manx brother duo: Rocco & Rudie.

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 02

I spent the week after Rocky’s passing scouring all the pet adoption websites:,,, and others. I was determined to get 2 Manx boy cats if I could. But Manx kitties are difficult to come by—unless you want to spend thousands of dollars on pure bred Manx cats. Yeah. Not going to happen. I almost gave up and decided on two (not Manx) brothers housed at the PetSmart in Manahawkin, NJ. I filled out the arduous application online. They sure did ask a LOT of questions and asked for references! I went to look at them too. I was fortunate that the adoption center people would not be there until the weekend. So I went home and continued my Manx search.

Rudie (L) & Rocco (R)

On Friday morning I checked the PetFinders website, and low and behold, 2 Manx boy cats popped up—and they were an hour away in NJ! Woot! I immediately contacted the rescue: All God’s Creatures. Within 15 minutes I got an answer and an application. I filled it out, sent it off, and within an hour I got a phone call. They were delighted I wanted to adopt both Manx boys, then named Keebler & Ritz, because they were so bonded. I asked more questions, and Staci even eMailed me more photos. I was sold! She told me that they were waiting on getting them to the vets to be neutered & chipped, though that might happen Saturday or the following Saturday—depending on if the vet could squeeze these two cute boys in.

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 03As luck, or fate would have it, the vet had an appointment on Saturday. The were neutered, and chipped & healed enough by Monday morning June 6th, 2021 I was able to pick them up in East Windsor, NJ. I took the hour drive with the empty kitty carrier in the passenger seat & went to meet these cute young boys. Long story short—it was love at first sight! I paid the $250.00 adoption fee, placed them into the carrier, and took them to their forever home. I was amazed at how little they cried. They just cuddled with one another, occasionally popped their heads up to look out the window, and just chilled for the rest of the ride.

Once home, and still caged, I introduced them to my mom & to Rosie, their new older sister. I was surprised, she went up to the carrier, smelled them, didn’t hiss—huge surprise—then just walked away. I took them upstairs to my living space, and slowly released them into their new quarters. They adapted quickly. Though shy, by the end of the night, they were running, jumping, playing & getting into mischief like they belonged here. And—they did!

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 04It’s been over a week now—almost two. I am still having great difficulty telling them apart. There are certainly marking differences: Rudie’s face is rounder than Rocco’s more angular face. Though the most distinguishing difference is a scar on Rudie’s nose. Something happened to him before I got him, that left a mark/scar on his cute little nose. Don’t know if it will ever grow hair on that spot again. It is the mark of a rude boy—I guess. Time will tell if it will heal any more. Rudie is also a bit more “portly” than his lanky brother, Rocco. Rocco also has a vertebra on his short Manx tail that points down. It’s the cutest thing! It’s also something I can feel when it’s dark & they are attacking me in bed at night or at 4:30 in the morning! I may have to resort to collars to more easily distinguish them, until they get bigger & their more adult features emerge. I’ve NEVER put a collar on any of my cats over the years. So I’ll wait and see.

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie 06Had a huge scare with Rudie already. On the morning of Friday June 25th, Rocco came bounding on my bed first thing in the morning. Usually both the boys are on my bed playing and waking my ass up. I thought it was very odd. I got up and turned on a light. I found Rudie by himself near my desk. I called him & when he tried to walk towards me he was dragging both his feet behind him. This was NOT normal. I thought maybe he jumped off something and broke a bone. So I picked him up and gently checked his hind quarters. Other than a little squirming, no yelps of pain or discomfort. I also noticed that someone had vomited dried cat food near the front of my bed. This did not bode well for me. After only a few days after having put Rocky down, I might have another sick cat? I waited as long as I could. Rudie was not walking well on his own, he only ate when I lifted him & placed him in front of the bowl, and was not acting like his hyper kitten energy self—he was very lethargic. I called a local vet and made an appointment at the Berkley Veterinary Center.

I was so afraid of taking him to the vet. I did not want to lose another orange boy cat. It was TOO SOON! The team at Berkeley were incredibly nice, and accommodating. Trying to comfort Rudie & his cat-daddy. Long story short: after X-rays, blood work, and an extensive exam the vet could find nothing wrong other than some “foreign material” in Rudie’s belly that might be food related bones, or minerals. They shot him up with an anti nausea med & subcutaneous fluids & we were on our way. That little event cost me almost $1,000.00! Yikes! But I’d have been a remiss cat-daddy if I hadn’t taken him. He was clearly in distress.

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Fast forward to Saturday morning 5 AM-ish and two orange boy Manx cats are waking my ass up & killing each other—playing. Things were back to normal. I hugged them both A LOT and cried a bit too. I was so glad that Rudie was back to being his old/young rambunctious self.

It’s been a week since “the incident” and both Rudie and Rocco are back to playing, exploring, and getting into plenty of tumbles, tussles and trouble—as it should be.

I’m so glad I got these guys! Hopefully they will be with me for many many years to come.

So please say hello to these two handsome rude boys: Rocco & Rudie!

Say Hello To Rocco & Rudie!

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Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his three cats rudie, rocco, & rose & living to tell tales about it

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