Archive for August, 2009

R.I.P.

August 18, 2009

2 December 1992 – 10 August 2009

I found him in the snow when he was about 10 months old and my daughter was 10 months old, and so he acquired my daughter’s birthday. He was mewing pitifully and the white on his fur was completely black. He was so starved for affection that he happily allowed me to give him a bath. At the time, we lived in an apartment complex that was mostly students, and we asked around and put up signs if anyone was missing a cat. It was pretty obvious that he hadn’t had company in a while, though. We figured that someone moved out and left him behind. For the first few years of his life, he followed me around like he was a dog, because he couldn’t bear to be left alone. When we moved out of that apartment, he got really stressed out, and didn’t calm down until we got to the new house that we were renting.

At the new house, he started sneaking outside to hang out with the neighbour’s dog. The two of them would play inthe driveway (the houses were really close together). He never got along with other cats, however.

The last two places we lived were old houses with plenty of woods nearby, and both had mouse problems. He was an excellent mouser, and never actually shared his mice with me (thank goodness!). He usually ate them, or if he didn’t want them, he would put them in his litterbox for me to dispose of. One time, he chased a mouse into a trap, and was very upset that now his treat was stuck. Sadly, he also liked to go after birds. My sister and I rescued an injured finch in my garden that may have been his victim.

He would usually sleep with us and watch TV with us, except when he was mad. If we went away, he would sulk and sometimes pee on the duvet to show his dissatisfaction, and then he wouldn’t sleep with us for a month or so in protest.

When Siggi was born, he jumped up on the bed and sat right between my legs to protect me, and he would lay next to Siggi when he was very small.

About 3 months ago, he started living under our bed and didn’t really come out, except to the edge of the bed to drink or eat. We had to move the litter box under the bed (ick!). He was walking with a bad limp. We took him to the vet and she remarked that he couldn’t really see out of one eye, and ran a battery of expensive tests, none of which resulted in anything useful. Maybe a month and a half ago, he started coming downstairs again. He dragged his back right foot and had no feeling in his tail (Ingi accidentally stepped on it and the cat didn’t feel it at all), so it was obvious he had some kind of nerve damage. He was managing to get around OK though, so we thought he was improving.

Then he stopped being able to use the litter box… he would try to urinate but nothing would come out. He was making pitiful yowl noises. We took him to the vet, and whatever nerve problem he had was making him unable to pee or poop. His bladder was completely full, but he couldn’t do anything about it. The vet could show me how to squeeze his bladder to make him urinate, but there was nothing we could do to help him poop, and squeezing his bladder was uncomfortable for him (he cried and tried to bite me), as well as possibly dangerous for him (squeezing too hard can rupture it). We decided to put him to sleep. It was the most difficult decision I have made in my life. I have had pets as a child, but they were never “mine”, so my parents would have that decision to make. The kids hadn’t wanted to go to the vet (knowing what was likely to happen), so Ingi, Siggi, and I sat there with him when she injected him with a sedative to make him go to sleep, and then another medicine to stop his heart. They took him away to put him in a box for us to bury him, and Siggi started to cry. (We wondered if he somehow understood).

We buried him in the back yard next to a maple tree, where he used to chase birds and mice. We miss him very much.

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