Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Sad Day

This was going to be my post announcing my birthday giveaway, but instead, we take pause to pay homage to one of our furry family members who passed away yesterday morning. This grand old gentle cat has been in our family since 2005 when we brought him home from the local animal shelter. We were there to pick out a cat for my youngest daughter, Hannah. She was fixated on a one year old, very sick black cat whom I was hoping she would not end up wanting. Then, one of the shelter workers walked in with a box of 2 kittens. One of them was this rambunctious little tabby.  He had been given up by his owner at the age of 14 weeks because he chewed on some wires (something kittens do!) He was such a cutie, we could not help but fall in love with him and he was the kitten who ended up steeling our hearts and coming home with us. 
He was the source of much entertainment. He loved getting into mischief!

Hannah adored him and loved to hug him and carry him around.
He grew to be quite a big cat -- well muscled, majestic. Very tiger like. He was a hunter! He often brought home his catch of the day -- so proud he was to show it off and let us know that he could provide for his family! 😊😺

Tired after a long day of hunting! Chillin' with his best friend!
It was impossible to keep him inside as his hunting instinct was so strong. On one of his hunting excursions about 5 years ago, he did not come home that night. We were worried about what might have happened to him. I put food out for him to see if it would draw him in. After 2 days, he arrived back home, but it was obvious he had been in a pretty bad fight. We took him to the vet to patch him up. He seemed none the worse for wear, but we began being more vigilant about not letting him get outside. He became quite ill, so we took him to the vet. After many tests including specific blood tests, we found out he was FIV position (shorthand for feline aids). It is assumed that he got in a fight with a feral cat who had the disorder. The vet said that while many cat owners would likely put a cat with this down, she said it was still possible for him to have a good life as long as he didn't get too sick again. We decided we would do our best to keep him as healthy as possible and decided to let him live out his life as long as was possible. 

For the most part, he has been pretty healthy and happy for the last 5 years. When he did get sick, we were quick to get him to the vet to get treatment. We continued to be vigilant about keeping him from getting outside. More recently, his health started to spiral down. He wasn't eating or drinking much and he hid in the basement of our home. He lost a lot of weight. He went from being a robust 18 to 17 pound cat to weighing in at about 8 lbs., 4 oz on his last vet visit. Since we had a previous cat who had renal failure, we knew that the signs were pointing in that direction. The vet confirmed that he didn't have much time left and suggest we NOT let him go into renal failure as it would be a very painful experience for him. We had no choice but to help him in his final journey across the rainbow bridge. As you can imagine, this was not a easy decision, but we made the decision to proceed as it seemed as though he was deteriorating very fast. 

So, we had to say goodbye to our old friend. We have spend the last couple of days coddling him and holding him as much as possible. By now, he was not more that a bag of skin and bones, so we know we had to act quickly to keep him from suffering. So, with a heavy heart, but with very good and cherished memories of him, Mittens passed away with assistance from the vet. There have been a lot of tears around here, but we knew it was the best thing to do for him. Goodbye sweet boy!

After things settle down here a bit and we take a little time to recuperate from our grief, I will be putting together the details of my birthday giveaway, so come back to see what the giveway item/items will be this year and the rules of the contest. My birthday was actually on July 13 and it was a big one! Should I make you try and guess what birthday I was celebrating this year????!!!! Nah, I guess I can tell you - I will be Thirty ssssssssomething! Not that is not it. I celebrated my 65th birthday! Yikes, that was hard to say/type! Since this is a milestone birthday, I promise the prizes will be big. There will be at least 2 lucky winners -- one in the US and one outside of the US. There will be completely separate drawing for each of these. 

Stay tuned, I will be back soon with more information.