Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Gengler
Cruiser guarding Dr. G’s chair and stethoscope. Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Gengler

    Eddie & Cruiser’s story starts in June of 2012 when they were born and subsequently found abandoned in a culvert in Duvall, WA at the age of just three weeks.  They were found just down the street and across the highway from the local veterinary clinic and brought to the clinic.  Dr. Kevin Sievers, the owner of Duvall Veterinary Hospital at the time, took them in adopted them as his “clinic cats.”  Since they were found together, similar builds, both “long hair”, and the same age, it is pretty well assumed that they are “brothers”, if not, they are definitely “Partners in Crime.”  As clients and patients would come into the clinic they would be greeted by either Eddie or Cruiser as they were free to roam the clinic, although a lot of the time they would prefer to hang out in the cabinets or sit by a sink waiting for someone to turn it on for them.

    In 2013, the ever wonderful, Dr. Michelle Gengler entered Eddie & Cruiser’s lives.  She started at Duvall Veterinary Hospital as a relief doctor for Dr. Sievers.  When she started at the clinic, she was not aware that there were “Clinic Cats” in the clinic.  Cruiser introduced himself to Dr. Gengler during her first shift at the clinic, as she was doing an exam on a dog. Cruiser was hanging out in the cabinet above the sink and being Cruiser he decided he would reach out from the cabinet behind her and touch Dr. Gengler on the shoulder.  Not expecting this, Dr. Gengler turned around and saw Cruiser, and then in true “Dr. G” fashion turned back to the dog and dog’s parent and said, “Excuse me… The cat has a question.  :-)”  Dr. Gengler would continue to work as relief doctor at the clinic throughout 2013 and into 2014, when she finally purchased the clinic from Dr. Sievers in June 2014 as he was not able to return the practice due to medical issues.  Upon purchasing the clinic, Dr. Gengler promoted Eddie & Cruiser to “Hospital Mascots.”  During her time as relief doctor and as owner of the clinic Dr. Gengler would learn that “hiding in the cabinets” was just the tip of the iceberg when it would come to Eddie & Cruiser’s escapades.  When Dr. Gengler purchased the clinic from Dr. Sievers, she asked if he was going to take Eddie & Cruiser, and his response was “No, they go with the clinic… If I were to take them, my dogs would kill them.”

Eddie making sure bills get paid. Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Gengler
Cruiser helping! Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Gengler

    Eddie & Cruiser can get into a cabinet in less than 3 seconds, and that includes opening the cabinet door, and due to their size they can get in most upper cabinets.  They are amazingly smart.  During their time at the clinic, they would hang out by a sink and wait for someone to turn it on so they could get a drink, which this is mostly a Cruiser thing.  Both will drink from the sink faucet but, Eddie won’t stoop to begging for someone to turn on the faucet.  Cruiser on the other hand, will camp out by the sink and as you walk by will reach out with his paw to touch you to get your attention so that you may turn on the faucet for him.  Cruiser also likes to lay in the sink itself as it is a “safe place” for him.  Eddie & Cruiser would enjoy laying on the desk while people are were tying to do work.  Eddie would also like to lay on top of the laundry.

    Eddie & Cruiser would be able to roam the entire clinic during the day, and night when everyone had gone home, their access was somewhat limited.  However, one night the boys got into an area where there were motion sensors for the alarm system, which they subsequently tripped.  This resulted in a call to Duvall Police, to which Duvall Police investigated.  The police ended up looking in the windows of the clinic and saw Eddie & Cruiser.  This has resulted in whenever Duvall Police puts “responded to false alarm” in their “Police Blotter” on Facebook, they say something like “Must have been cats”, or “No cats seen in the area”, or just a simple “Meow!”  Eddie & Cruiser’s night time fun also included breaking into the cabinet that contained bags of food for a “Midnight Snack.”  They have also been known to get into a bag of “Pill Pockets” (essentially kitty treats type things to it make easier to give cats pills) and ate the entire bag.  This resulted in having to keep them in kennels at night to prevent them from getting into to trouble.  Eddie was also known for sleeping on the laundry (clean or dirty).  Both have been known to appear from a cupboard at the most inopportune time, as Angie the Vet Tech once said they were trying to do an x-ray on a very unhappy/anxious dog, and who pops out of the cupboard during this?  CRUISER!

Eddie hanging out on the clinic laundry. Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Gengler

    After about 5 years at the clinic, Dr. Gengler wanted to give Eddie & Cruiser a real home as she felt the clinic wasn’t really what they deserved and that they deserved much better.  In 2017, Dr. Gengler decided that she would take them to her house to live with her family, which included two dogs and several other cats, as since Eddie & Cruiser lived at the clinic they were well socialized with other dogs and cats.  For the most part Eddie & Cruiser got along with everyone in Dr. Gengler’s family, but as was found out Eddie can get a bit jealous around certain cats.  It was found that Eddie would pick fights with a couple of the other cats, and then Cruiser would come to his brother’s aid, and with these two being quite large (Eddie about 15 lbs, and Cruiser about 17 lbs) they would easily dominate the other cats.  This resulted in Eddie & Cruiser being confined to the laundry room, and because of this Dr. Gengler felt she needed to find a better solution/home for Eddie & Cruiser

    In June 2018, Dr. Gengler approached us (Wade & Elisa) about adopting Eddie & Cruiser.  We were at a party at the clinic celebrating Dr. Gengler’s 4-year anniversary as the owner of the clinic.  We had gotten to know Dr. Gengler quite well, as Wade had been taking his previous two cats, Thelma & Louise, to Duvall Veterinary Hospital for 15+ years.  Dr. Gengler was there for us as we had to deal with various health issues with Thelma & Louise as they got older, namely hyperthyroidism and feline kidney disease, and thus she had gotten to know us and Thelma & Louise quite well.  Dr. Gengler was there for us as we dealt with the not so fun end of life issues as well.  When we lost Louise in January of 2017, we told her we would wait until Thelma had passed before we would get another kitty, as the only other cat Thelma had been around was Louise and we didn’t want to stress her out.  Unfortunately we lost Thelma in January 2018, and we did tell Dr. Gengler “We will get another kitty… but want to wait about six months first… (partly due to Elisa’s allergies)”  While we were at the party at the clinic, Wade asked Dr. Gengler, “How many cats do you have?” and the response was her looking at the ceiling kind of like “I don’t want to say…” and she replied with “There was something I was going to ask you, and I know you kind of wanted kittens…”  She then asked us if we would be interested in taking Eddie & Cruiser, and gave us the details of them being at her house, as we had secretly wondered why we hadn’t seen them at the clinic recently.  We said that we would be interested and would talk about it. 

    We discussed it, and made the decision to adopt Eddie & Cruiser and worked out a plan with Dr. Gengler.  The plan consisted of us first doing a “meet & greet” with Eddie & Cruiser at Dr. Gengler’s home before our trip.  This also allowed Dr. Gengler to tell us about Eddie & Cruiser’s “quirks.”  After we got back from our trip, Dr. Gengler was planing on a trip and we decided that would be good time for us to see how Eddie & Cruiser would do at our house, and if all went well they would just stay at our house.  We are happy to say, “It went well!”, and Eddie & Cruiser have been living with us since that time.  One condition Dr. Gengler had on us adopting them is that she would have “full visitation rights”, which we said “Of course!”, as the clinic is just down the his from us.  We know it was tough for Dr. Gengler to not see “the boys” every day, which a couple months after having them at our house we scheduled a nail trim for them and worked with Shannon the receptionist to conceal their identities and make sure it was the last appointment and that was Dr. Gengler that saw them.  We were also extremely honored and flattered that Dr. Gengler would entrust these two cats that she holds so dear to her heart, to us and we try to be the best pet parents we can be. 

    Eddie & Cruiser have have lived with us since August 2018, and in that time their personalities have really blossomed.  In preparation of Eddie & Cruiser living with us, we did our best to “Eddie & Cruiser-proof” our house based on what Dr. Gengler had told us.  The most critical thing was “removal of plastic” or making it inaccessible to them, as LOVE to eat plastic for some weird reason, mostly plastic grocery bags.  They somehow smell it or something, but you can NOT bring groceries home in a plastic bag and set them on the counter and turn your back as they will eat the handles off the bags in about 10 seconds!  This usually results in them regurgitating the plastic some time later like a hairball, but plastic instead of hair.  It was mentioned that laundry detergent pods were a favorite snack as well, as apparently Eddie decided once to do the “Tide Pods Challenge.”  We do our best to keep plastic away from them, and they do their best to find it.  Thankfully the few times they find plastic they want eat, it hasn’t caused an issue, but it could which is why try so hard.

    Eddie & Cruiser have a fondness for water, more Cruiser than Eddie.  We were warned that Cruiser likes to play in the toilet water and that toilet lids need to be kept shut.  We actually keep the bathroom door closed as well (see plastic issue – trash bags).  The drinking from the faucet thing is cool for about the first two months or so.  We would let the faucet run at a trickle so they could drink from the faucet, and then we did the math around how much water that is… It is a lot!  To satisfy their faucet drinking desires, we got them a water fountain that had similar stream of water.  At first we thought the fountain was leaking water as we would find lots of water on the floor all around it.  Remember that Cruiser likes to play in the toilet…  He thinks the bowl of the water fountain is like a small toilet, and scoops water out of the bowl of the fountain before drinking from it.  We now have a towel under the fountain to mitigate the water issue.

    Food is an interesting issue with these two.  When they arrived at our house, Dr. Gengler told us that they only ate dry food, 1/3 cup in the morning and 1/3 cup at night.  We figured would try a little wet food and see what reaction would be.  So we bought a couple small cans of wet food to see if Eddie & Cruiser would eat it.  Cruiser wouldn’t touch it, while Eddie would sort of paw at almost like he wanted to play with it and told him “No, you can’t play with your food…”  A day or two later tried giving Eddie some wet food again, and again he pawed at like he was going to play with it, but this time I was curious as to where this was going to go.  Turned out that Eddie was wanting a small taste before taking bite, who knew.  Eddie would sort of touch his paw against the food and then lick his paw to see if he liked it.  Eddie now gets some wet food with his dinner.  Eddie will also try other foods like roasted chicken or cheese (he is allowed only small amount).  Cruiser is strictly a “Kibble Kitty”, if it is not in kibble form he won’t eat it.  Cruiser also loves treats, while Eddie won’t touch them (he prefers things like cheese and roast chicken).  Cruiser will sit under the cupboard where the treats are and reach out and touch you to signal that he wants treats.  He knows where they are a, and will try to get them from the cupboard that they are in.  We used to keep the treats in a lower cupboard (and lowest shelf in the cupboard) and even with a child safety latch on the door he was able to get bag of treats from the cupboard and proceeded to eat the whole bag of treats (and part of the bag itself).  We know because we have cameras in the house.  Dry cat food needs to be “secured”, as Cruiser will try and get to it.  Have seen him push an unopened  7 pound bag of food of the counter on to the floor and then sit on top of it and try to chew through the bag.  We thought storing the bag of food on the wire rack in the laundry room would be safe as they do no like the wire shelves, but Cruiser still got the bag over and chewed through it to get food.  Extra bags of food are stored in the garage, and when we open a bag it is emptied in a metal tin with a lid, however we do need to make sure we get the lid tight as Cruiser has been known to get it off and have a “midnight snack.”  Given this, we feel it was Cruiser that caused all the problems at the clinic with breaking into the food cabinet and pill pockets.  They also know when mealtime is and in the morning they will be paw at our door and meow as they want breakfast.  In the evening, Cruiser will paw at the food tin containing the food, and both will sit by their dishes and meow to get our attention as we are cooking our dinner.