Sat, Jan 07, 2017

: Mayhem (1998-2017)

Yesterday I had to say good-bye to a close friend of over 17 years.

It had been coming. Mayhem used to be a big fat cat of 15 pounds, but the last few years he hasn’t been eating much no matter what I did. Various tricks worked for a time — feeding him multiple times, separating from thief Minx, expensive cat food — but he never did eat enough and has been slowly wasting away. Last spring he was down to 7.3 pounds; yesterday he was 4.9.

He stopped eating altogether on Wednesday. The doctor’s diagnosis was the same as for Mischief: kidney failure, anemia, and the body’s organs shutting down. Sad, but I suppose it’s better to die of old age than get eaten by a wolf.

I’ve put together a memorial page for Mayhem — be sure to watch the video of him I made when he was a tiny kitten. It blows me away to see how much of his personality, so evident as a baby, was still there at the very end.

You can also look at his never-updated personal webpage, created 17 years ago in January 2000 when he moved in with me.

Topic: [/cats]


Fri, Mar 25, 2011

: Mischief (1996-2011)

Tonight I had to say good-bye to a close friend of nearly 15 years. A month or so ago I noticed Mischief was sleeping more than usual and he seemed to be a little depressed. He hadn’t been eating well for the past few months. I thought Mayhem was stealing his food, but separating the two didn’t seem to help. After I returned from my week away, I immediately knew something was wrong: he was dreadfully thin and he was so tired he could barely raise his head. He wouldn’t eat and he wasn’t responsive. He just sat and stared in a daze. I took him to the vet. Last time he was there he was over 11 pounds; this time he was 5.6. I don’t think he ate at all the whole time I was gone. Tonight the vet gave me the sad news: his kidneys had shut down and he was anemic, which pretty much means there’s no hope. She thought he had less a week (she was surprised he survived the night, though the fluid treatment she gave him helped). I spent a last few minutes with him. His eyes were alert and was he affectionate, but I noticed he didn’t purr. (He hadn’t purred at all since I returned, even when I rubbed his favorite spot under his chin.) He moved his head actively, but not his body. I think he was too weak to do more.

It’s very sad, but at least he didn’t suffer too much. I knew he was getting old but I hadn’t expected him to go so soon and so suddenly. I was shocked at how emotional I was — I’d mentally been preparing myself for the worst the last few days but it was very hard to let him go. At least I have Mayhem to comfort me (and me him, as I can already tell he’s wondering where Mischief went). Here’s a painting of Mischief I made on my iPad:

He was a wonderful and loyal friend.

Topic: [/cats]


Tue, Oct 17, 2000

: Cat Tip of the Day: Keep Off

Here’s my latest tip for cat lovers. Have a problem keeping your cat off your kitchen table or other non-kitty places? I bought a little battery-operated motion detector alarm at Radio Shack ($25) which is awesome. I leave it on pointed at the coffee table at night. Now when one of my cats jumps onto the table, the alarm chimes, and the cat runs and hides. They don’t like loud sounds. The first night I tried this the alarm went off twice, but the second night only once. I think my cats are getting the message. I figure a week with it on the coffee table will cure them of that bad habit, then it’s on to the kitchen counter!

Topic: [/cats]