Friday, March 18, 2011

When you have an old cat, and it gets sick and dies, you sort of expect it. You see it age, and slow, and then the day comes when you realize it's time to see the vet for the last time.   But when you have a young seemingly vigorous cat like Cuffy,  its an outrage to have to have them put down.  He had stopped eating because his mouth hurt.  There was nothing that could be done in that direction, except keep him alive a little longer, and that wasn't fair to him, or us. 
But it's damned hard to wrap your head around the idea of losing such a beautiful cat, and so young.  He had three good solid years here, which is three more than he would have had where he came from.  So, there is that.  He got to sleep on the porch, and in all the chairs, and had his pick of the cupboard for snacks.
Sadly he was too hostile and too alpha to be allowed near the others, and the house became downstairs and upstairs with doors between.  The dynamics of the place changed.  Now, with him gone, the other two have been reintroduced to the cat door, the downstairs chairs, all the things they had been missing.  Albert has been out 10 times and its only early afternoon.   It's quieter.  The catfood cans no longer build up in the sink, waiting to be rinsed and stored for recycling.  

I miss the hell out of him.


  1. Sorry about your cat. I mean this.

  2. I know you are, and I know you do. There's a difference between people who live with critters, and people who choose not to and it has nothing to do with liking or disliking.

    And thanks, Ron.

  3. His mouth hurt?

    Bad teeth?


    I'm....baffled. And speechless.

    That you had to put down a 3 year old cat is awful. I'm sorry for the tough choice you had to make, and for your loss.

    Can you be more specific about his condition?

    I had to have a lovely outside cat who was just transitioning into a really swell indoor cat put down when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which apparently is a fairly common condition in cats and is not treatable. Usually, a cat with the condition doesn't make it to the age of five.

    His name was Junior and he was the most beautiful, friendly, soft, unflappable tabby cat. Gosh, it really tore me apart to make that decision.

    My heart goes out to you. It's tough letting go of our little beasties. They fill our hearts with that rarity, unconditional love.

  4. He was diagnosed three years ago (he was a year old then, so he was four when he died) as an FIV cat, which is like HIV in humans. The vet then said it attacks the jaw, often, and he already had the jaw infection at that age. They cleaned up what they could of it, but we knew that that was probably what would do him in.
    It took a lot of groceries to keep Cuffy full, usually three cans a day plus kibble (see picture, lol), and water and milk.

    And he was a guy cat. At the first sound of an engine, a motor, or lumber being sawed out, there he was, investigating, helping. He preferred the company of men, and was great with people. Just not with cats.

    About a month ago he started getting fussy about his food. He'd eat and then walk away, eat and walk away. A week ago I realized he had lost a huge amount of weight (one third of his top weight of 13 pounds) and was losing muscle mass. When I took him to the vet this week they confirmed that the jaw was the problem, and it was hurting him so much he just couldnt eat.
    That was what I had suspected. And hard as it was, I had to let him go.

    and I know how it pulls at you, Laurel, to have to put down such a lovely creature for no visible reason. The mind rebels at that, and the heart.

  5. A guy's cat. That sounds like my father's cat. He was a real guy's cat. Loved hanging out with my dad when the cat first appeared as a stray in the industrial park where my father leased space to build machines. That cat loved to hang out with my father and the other guys at the machine shop, watching them work, investigating everything they were doing.

    And when that cat had to make the transition to house cat due to a severe injury to one of back legs that resulted in the amputation of that limb, that wonderful cat loved nothing more than to hang out with my father in the basement while my father worked on things and did all the guy things that guys do in basements and garages.

    Your Cuffy sounded like a heck of a cat. I'm so sorry for your loss. Bless you for giving a cat with that initial diagnosis a good home. A lot of folks wouldn't sign up for that kind of commitment.

    He was loved. And in the end, regardless of the brevity of his life, that's really all that counts.

  6. I knew his background, he was a condo stray cat that had been turned out, apparently, and was half starved when we got him.

    I knew he had to have something going on, so I asked the vet not to do anything drastic in case he had leukemia or anything else without asking. Im glad I kept him, I can't imagine putting a cat down "just because" he doesnt come with a bow and a board of health approval sticker.

    They all seem to assign themselves roles to play, his was Inspector of Outdoor activities, and Greeter Cat.