This isn’t a post I really wanted to write because I like my blog to be more upbeat. However, I write about our many cats often and it didn’t seem right to never mention it. Two weeks ago today, on July 10th, we had our sweet WB “put to sleep.” Back in March, he first got ill and went to the vet which I wrote about here. Although he was found to have an underlying immunodeficiency virus (FIV), he recovered and had another good 3 months.
In June, he got ill again and went back to the vet. With IV fluids and antibiotics, he again recovered. But then on July 10th, he seemed ill again, not eating, so we took him to the vet right away. Through x-rays and ultrasound, he was found to have a large mass on his spleen which the vet said was very aggressive since they hadn’t felt it during his June visit. He felt he couldn’t live more than 4 weeks and that he was probably uncomfortable and should be on pain medication. Well, WB was an outdoor cat and that didn’t seem very safe. They had recommended that he become an indoor cat in March after finding out he had FIV but WB was king of his outside domain and extended cat family and that is where he wanted to be. FIV is only spread through deep bite wounds so we didn’t feel he was a risk to the other cats since he was not a fighter. A few years ago, when he was younger and before he was neutered, he was a fighter but the most he did anymore was slap a misbehaving cat on the head.
WB had a great life the last 5 years he lived with us. We don’t really know how old he was as he was an adult when we first saw him hanging around, skinny and hungry (one vet said he was about 10). He quickly became friendly and always seemed appreciative of our affection, his food, and the soft beds he had to sleep in. He almost never left our yard the last few years and he purred constantly and loudly. He would greet us when we came home and when we came outside. Sometimes you have regrets about an animal, wishing they could have had a better life. But even though we think being an indoor cat is the safest way for a cat to live, we still think he had a happy, albeit too short, life. All the other outdoor cats loved him and would butt up against him whenever they returned from their adventures. He held the fort down for them. Even our indoor cats liked him as he would like to come in for a few minutes daily during the hot summer and cool off but he was always ready to go back out to his own territory.
So now, when we come home or go outside, there might be a cat hanging around but most of the other outdoor cats don’t spend all of their time in our yard, unfortunately. They also go in the alleys and some of the neighbors’ yards under bigger bushes than we have. WB was definitely the most loyal. It’s a lot lonelier outside for us and for the other cats with him not here.
The above photo was taken just a few weeks before he died. And these following ones were taken on the Fourth of July. WB did not seem ill until his last day on earth; he was eating fine and acting normally so I think his suffering was minimal until then. I do notice that he seems a little grubby on these last shots so maybe he didn’t feel well enough to groom himself. I thought, at the time, it was just because of the heat.
So, goodbye, WB. We’ll never forget you (well, we’ll never forget any of our kitties we’ve had through the years but WB was a very special cat).
Sadly, we had another kitty death soon after I wrote a post showcasing all of our then 14 cats, indoor and outdoor, back in April. On April 27th, Snowy died. Snowy had been around for a couple of years. He showed up already neutered and ear-tipped so we don’t know anything about his origins. He pretty much ate here for 2 years. Unfortunately, a lot of the cats disliked Snowy and intimidated him. We never understood why, one of those mysterious cat things. Snowy got injured. The vet didn’t know if was a bad cat fight or if a dog got him because he had a lot of wounds. He was at the vet being cleaned up and given antibiotics and they felt he would recover. When Tony went to pick him up around 10pm, they said he was impossible to get out of his cage and into the carrier so they sedated him. He was very groggy when we brought him home. We tried to transfer him to a big dog cage we have in an air conditioned work room but he wouldn’t move easily so we left him in his carrier in that room for the night, assuming he would “sleep it off.” The next morning I was headed to the airport and went to see him at 5:30 a.m. and he was dead! I feel they over-sedated him at the vet but they spent a lot of time denying that, saying he must have had an underlying condition that caused his death, blahblahblah. This is not the first time we have had a vet do something that caused the death of one of our cats but it’s pretty hard to prove malpractice with veterinarians.
At any rate, we hope Snowy was happier here than he had been before, wherever he came from. He enjoyed eating and ate a lot. He was a big, handsome boy. He also would let you pet him and some of the cats accepted him, including WB, although they were never close. Snowy was a loner. We don’t have the same feeling that his life was wonderful like we do about WB but Snowy chose to come here and could have left if he had wanted to so he must have been somewhat content. We’re very sorry he had such a tragic end.
I will have happier cat stories in the future, I hope, although Svengali just got back from the vet yesterday (vets love us). He seems fine, though, and did not have some of the underlying conditions that WB had so we certainly hope we only have healthy cats in our future for a long time now.