March 7, 2008 – October 31, 2012
On the last day of my spring break, I happily got up early to go fill in on Clean & Feed at Good Mews — I’d been missing my Friday morning ladies! After greeting Connie, Charlene, Patty, and Karen, I popped my head into Intake to say hello to the new residents. Almost all the cages were full because we’d been the recipient of an influx from yet another hoarding case, though at least this time the kitties were still in pretty decent shape. When I got to one of the bottom cages, I gasped. The cat in there looked startlingly like Iris! The only major difference was gender — this was a big fluffy boy cat. He was one of the intakes from the hoarder, and had been there less than 24 hours so we knew essentially nothing about him except for his name. I took time out to get acquainted and give him some good snorgles, which he grumpily assented to.
As I cleaned the isolation room, I kept slipping back into Intake just to look at him and coo at him, in addition to discussing him with the shelter staff. At one point Dana told me that he is front declawed, which sent chills up my spine –Iris was front declawed when we got her.
I told DH about Mr. Boots and introduced them the next day, and kept going by GM every day or two just to visit him. It became clear that he was meant to be our cat, so even though he wasn’t fully vetted out yet, we went over the following weekend to put him on hold.
It took a month because of some health concerns, but at the beginning of April Shannon and Dana said that if I could give him the shots of the medication he was on, he could come home now. Otherwise it would be another two weeks. Hey, I probably need to learn to give kitty injections anyway! So Dana showed me how, and he came on home. I put him in his “safe room” away from the others and went out to run some errands.
Three hours later I came back, and there he was at the door, looking for all the world as if he was saying “Okay, I’ve checked this room out and it’s fine. What else do I have here?” So I let him out to explore the rest of the house and meet Sarah and Donovan (and get the requisite hissing over with).
Since then he has become our “Zen Cat.” He loves watching TV with DH, and has learned the word “snorgles” quite well. Like all our cats, he is a “proximate cat,” generally wanting to be near us no matter what is going on.
When I came home from work two nights before Halloween, 2012, I thought everything was normal. We ate dinner (steak!!), and then it occurred to us that something wasn’t quite right — Mr. Boots had not come out to watch TV and cadge a bite or two of meat. Finally I got up to look for him, and found him under the bed…cold to the touch and lethargic to the point of unresponsiveness. After trying to warm him up and see if we could find anything wrong, with no success, it was clearly time for a trip to the emergency vet.
At Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic, he was immediately whisked into a heated cage for thorough examination. After an hour or so, the vet on duty came out and told us that his liver values were elevated off the scale. They needed to keep him overnight and run tests on him the next day, but they brought him out and let us talk to him before we left.
I chewed my nails to the quick the next day as I waited for a phone call. Finally Dr. Boozer, the internal medicine specialist, called and said that the ultrasound showed that his liver was essentially gone, replaced by a no doubt malignant tumor, and there were really no options other than palliative care at this point. I asked her to fax the info to our regular vet so I could discuss options with her.
Dr. G agreed. He might have a few days at this point, but we didn’t want him to suffer. So we opted to go pick him up from CEVC and bring him home for one last night with us. He perked up a bit when we let him out of his carrier, but it was very brief. We slept with him between us under the covers to stay warm and loved all night; then on Halloween morning Dr. G met us at her office (on her day no less) to tearfully send him on to The Bridge to be reunited with his best buddy Donovan. Though we both miss him, it hit Gary much harder because the two of them really had a close and special bond.