Cat is a very shy house panther, and probably for good reason. Cat was about 6 months old when I adopted him from the local shelter. He had been overlooked by a lot of people searching for a cat because at the time there were very few cats in the “cat room” and he was in a top-level cage. Since most of the eye-level cages were empty no one thought to look up. Including me! In fact, I didn’t notice him until my second pass through the room when I heard this horrible painful scream. I looked to where the noise was coming from and there was this tiny black bundle with it’s leg painfully stuck in the cage bars. He had tried so hard to reach out to me as I walked past him that he ended up getting stuck and dislocating his shoulder. So, of course I adopted him.
That same day I adopted another cat, an approximately 2 year old female named Kitty. Oh, I should mention that the shelter had Cat listed as a female as well. I had gone to the shelter to adopt 2 boy cats and somehow ended up with what I thought was 2 girl cats.
Cat’s trauma continued when he was at the vet to get sterilized before coming home. The clinic didn’t do a very good exam and assumed he was a girl, so he had his abdomen opened to be spayed and then they realized he was a boy needing to be neutered!
I got a frantic call from the shelter asking if I wanted to cancel the adoption since my little girl was actually a little boy, but of course I wasn’t going to do that. This poor cat has dislocated his shoulder, been “spayed” and been neutered to come home with me, so he was mine!
His traumas mostly ended there, although he also had a really bad ear infection that caused him pain for a couple months before finally being eliminated. After that he settled into a life of being a pampered city cat with too many toys and treats.
Within a year of adopting Cat and Kitty I ended up with Shiva. Cat and Shiva have always done well together, but Kitty and Shiva did not get along at all. I ended up re-homing Kitty (even though I liked her more than Shiva) because Kitty also had a previously broken leg that had not been treated and it didn’t heal well. The leg caused her to limp and have pain, and as a college student I didn’t have the money for surgery. I found a lovely retired couple with a lot of money who wanted to have an only cat. They adopted Kitty, got her leg fixed, and have been giving her a wonderful life. As of the writing of this post (June 2019) Kitty is still a thriving, happy senior lady, who has not had any trouble with her leg in years.
In his senior years Cat has developed some health problems. He was my first diabetic cat, so I got to learn all about managing that disease. Then he went on to develop kidney disease and intestinal cancer. He also developed a strong aversion to being at the vet’s office, so he’s the first cat in a long time that I’ve had to treat using only palliative care. I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be with me, but he’s currently enjoying all the toys, treats, and outdoor catio excursions his little old heart desires.
November 11, 2019 was Cat’s last day. He was a little more than 16 years old.
In the last few months of his life Cat also suffered from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, causing him to have a lot of trouble digesting his food and led to chronic diarrhea. In the end, it was his broken pancreas that did him in, and not the cancer or the kidney disease like I would have expected. We were able to manage all his other symptoms, but the diarrhea and weight loss just couldn’t be controlled.
Through it all he remained a smart, loyal, affectionate kitty. His last day was filled with cuddles, piles of his favorite treats, and bottomless bowls of his most favorite food. Most importantly he died peacefully at home.
The other kitties haven’t seemed to really notice or care about his absence. Cat was always a bit of a loner in the house anyway. I really hope they are able to continue on as if nothing has changed. For me it’s a little bit harder. Little things like pulling 5 plates out for dinner or 2 insulin syringes at med time are going to be sad habits to break. Cat was part of my world for longer than any of the others, so it’s really sad not to see his face in the morning or have him yell at me for not getting his breakfast to him fast enough. Maybe one of the others will start yelling at me instead? That might be nice. Silent breakfast is really weird.