Requiescat in pace to my little writing buddy

Saturday morning, about 5AM, we were awakened by a yowl from our 14-year old Lynx Point Siamese cat, Frankie.  Those who know, know that he was affectionately known as the Lord High Preventer of Work, or LHPoW for short.  He’s the cat sitting on my desk in my current author picture on Amazon and at the back of my books.  And he spent a lot of time on that desk, “helping” me write.

As it turns out, he had a bad case of congestive heart failure and had thrown a blood clot that cut off circulation to his legs.  Though we got him to the emergency vet very quickly (we were there within 30 minutes), there really wasn’t anything they could do for him.  They gave him methadone to kill the pain and get him back to a comfort level where they could examine him better, but the conclusion was simply that his time had come, so we authorized euthanasia at around 6AM.

Needless to say, my wife and I are both in shock.  Frankie was fine Friday night when we went to bed; he jumped up and lay down on the pillow above my wife’s head as he has done for months.  And there was no indication after that of any problem until he started yowling several hours later and woke us up.

Frankie was something of a feral rescue.  I won’t say he was entirely feral but his mother was more or less feral and of course daddy cat was a traveling salesman.  We got him in 2009, when he was five weeks old, and our older cat, Tiggr (RIP) sort of became a mommy to him.  They were great friends until Tiggr passed away in 2015.  At any rate we always spoil our cats and Frankie was no exception to that rule.  And now he has left a paw-shaped hole in our hearts that will, eventually heal…but there will always be a scar there, just as there is for our other cats, Snoopy and Tiggr.

So the mantle of Lord High Preventer of Work now falls to its fourth holder, our void cat Tux.  The LHPoW is dead; long live the LHPoW.

Frankie, a couple of weeks ago, enjoying the high life.

Rest in peace, little buddy.  Your remembrance shall be for a blessing.

And we move on.

In Jewish tradition, 30 days of mourning are observed after someone passes away.  That time has now passed for Tiggr.

I’ll always miss him, but fifteen years of memories will still be with me. Like how I couldn’t get up in the middle of the night to visit the necessary without him wandering back five minutes after I got back in bed and climbing all over me.  Or how he would lead me to the kitchen for kitty snacks.  Or jump up on the desk just to sit on a warm computer.  Or lie in the back bedroom watching birds out the window, and “barking” at them.

Or, to go back to the first night we had him, remembering how he managed to climb up on the bed and nestle in next to me so I was afraid to roll over in fear that I’d crush him 🙂

I hope he’s glad to be back together with Snoopy.  I know he’s in a better place, no longer sick and in pain.

He was a good cat. Ave atque vale; requiescat in pace.

All is well in Catville

I think this is the first time they’ve done this, unless they’ve been snuggling up at night when we aren’t awake.

2015-08-20 19.45.51Tux was sleepy.  He was looking at me while I set up this shot, but his eyes slowly closed and I punched the shutter directly afterwards.

2015-08-20 20.38.20Poor baby.  Run around all day like a crazed Tasmanian devil, then can’t stay awake at night 🙂  It’s rough being a four-month-old kitten 🙂

Farewells and greetings

I’m finally getting a handle on the fact that my cat is gone.  As my reader knows, we don’t have children (except children-by-proxy, one of whom is the mother of our “grandson”), so for us, the cats are our kids.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a child, but I know what it’s like to lose a cat who has become a member of the family.  Maybe we Americans do treat our pets too much like family, but to anyone who says so, I say fuck you.  Tiggr was my friend and buddy and companion and his absence hurts my heart more than I can express.  When the vet asked if we wanted a footprint cast for him, I said no; his footprints are right here on my heart.*

Meantime, as noted in an earlier post, we brought Tux home on Saturday.  Unfortunately he and Tiggr never got to meet, because we were concerned that Tiggr might not take well to being pestered by a kitten in his condition.  But I imagine Tiggr and Tux communicated through the door of the room where we were keeping Tux, because Tux is exhibiting some of the same habits I remember from when Tiggr was a kitten.**

When I got home last night, I told the lady wife that I thought it was time to let Tux out.  We had let Frankie into the room a couple of times just so they could meet, but the first time Tux hissed and growled at Frankie, and the second time Tux had a complete change of heart and charged at Frankie (playfully, so far as I could tell), and Frankie backed up and hissed.  I said I thought that Frankie might be more likely to chill if he knew he had the whole house to back up into, and she agreed; so we opened the door and let matters take their course.

So far they got along just fine all night, and this morning as well.  Frankie is napping back in the radio shack and Tux is nosing around in the hellhole I call my office, and all seems well in the world.

I still miss my Tiggr, but knowing that Frankie is not rejecting Tux out of hand is helping me cope with that.


* And there is enough of his fur around this house to make another cat.  See, my sense of humor is recovering.

** Although he did not get up on the bed last night and snuggle up to me, with me thinking “If I roll over, I will crush this cat.”  Which is what Tiggr did the first night he came home with us.  So far Tux does not seem to be a climber, although there is certainly plenty of floor space in this house for him to explore first.

Now for something less sad.

We have a proud tradition around Curmudgeon Flats of cats deciding that they are more important than whatever I’m working on at the computer. This tradition has been passed on from eldest cat to eldest cat to eldest cat in an unbroken line going back to at least 2000. Today Frankie took his place as Chief Disrupter of Work as we move into the post-Tiggr era.  (The two in the middle are both Tiggr.  The top one is Snoopy.)

Snoopy in 2009
Tiggr in 2011
Tiggr in 2011
Frankie today 🙂

This is the day that the LORD hath made; let us rejoice, and be glad in it.

Today is the day.  Tiggr has seen his last sunrise and is resting comfortably on the bed.  We’ll take him about 5PM and let him cross the Bridge.  In a few weeks, he’ll join Snoopy under the lilacs, but they’ll already be together in that undiscovered country where all of our furry friends await us.*

Born May 31, 2000.  Been part of our lives since before we were married.  Monster Cat of 27 Lives.

They really become part of you, these furry little critters.  My family has been keeping cats for half a century and it never seems to get easier to say goodbye.

But with the Psalmist, I do rejoice, and am glad, because he will no longer be suffering.


* Or at least, they’d better be. If they’re not there, I ain’t going.

Monday; and a new kitten.

Monday is likely The Day.  🙁

We had to take Tiggr a day early for fluids, because he was not eating again, just sitting and looking at his food.  In addition, last night he was unable to jump up on the bed, which has long been my index for “Cat is having trouble being a cat.”  He’s lost another ounce and just wants to cuddle up against warm things (the UPS that runs my radio, for one) or under a blanket.  And he’s incontinent for at least a day after he gets fluids.

I did not want to take him today for the trip across the Bridge.  I’d rather get him fluids and let him have at least one or two more days feeling a little better.  If he doesn’t improve overnight (it usually takes about 12-24 hours for the fluids to work) then we may take him tomorrow, but I think (hope) he will last till Monday.

And I was also hoping for a bit of overlap, because we are bringing home a kitten tomorrow.  He sort of fell into our laps during the last couple of weeks when we were taking Tiggr in; the vet had three black male kittens for adoption, and the wife has wanted a black kitten for years (she was looking for a black one when Snoopy, the white-with-peanut-butter Turkish Van, chose her), and the timing was sort of reasonable.  Normally I’d prefer to wait a while and look around, but when it’s clear that this little kitten is the one, you just go with the flow.  And, truth known, Frankie is going to need a new playmate.  He’s already freaking out that Tiggr is not interested in playing with him anymore.

It looks like he’s going to have a flash of white on his chest…so we’re going to call him “Tux.”  Short for “Tennessee Tuxedo”.

2015-07-31 12.51.22

I do want to add that by no means is Tux a “replacement” for Tiggr.  There is no “replacing” any animal that has been part of one’s family.  No, Tiggr the Cat of 27 Lives will live on in our hearts, and he’ll be buried under one of the two lilacs in the back yard, close to His Majesty Snoopy I, who is buried under the other one.  And when the time comes, he’ll go to sleep, peacefully, on my chest, right where he went to sleep the first night we met him.

And I’ll be bawling like a little baby.  Just like I am right now.

Tiggr update

I swear, that cat must be on about life #26.

Every time we think he’s about to cross the Bridge, he rallies and starts acting like a cat again.  He spent two days hiding in the back bedroom and coming out only occasionally to lick at the food in his bowl and drink prodigious amounts of water (which he then proceeded to pee out on the bed back there…c’est la vie, we’re going to get rid of that bed and replace it with either a hide-a-bed sofa or one of those storable air beds, anyway, but damn).  Poor kitty.  We were starting to think it was time to take him on that last ride to the vet.

Well, we started him on that vitamin regimen I mentioned in a previous post, and bought some Iams canned food (salmon and chicken, in a pâté form), and for the last day or two he has been really going to town on it.  He chewed my butt twice this morning after the lady wife left, wanting me to put more in his bowl. The second time I think it was just to see if I’d do it, because he then toyed with it and went back to bed.  Sometimes I think his brain doesn’t actually catch up to his tummy.

So it’s been kind of up and down emotionally here at Curmudgeon Flats for the past few weeks.  The problem with the upswings is that we know he’s only got a few weeks left, if that.  And the downswings are just abysmal.



Tiggr may have turned a corner.  He barely ate for two days, then the vet gave him a vitamin B12 shot yesterday.  Today he called back with the blood work results and told us that they indicated a low red blood cell count, among other things.  (His creat level, interestingly, went from over 6 to just over 3.)  So he made up some stuff called Calcitriol solution, which I guess contains vitamin D3 and calcium, which we picked up last night and started Tiggr on.  The vet also told us to get some multivitamin paste from the pet store for him.

All of this was in aid of getting Tiggr to eat again.  The Calcitriol and the multivitamins were for the anemia and general support.  The vet also said, feed him whatever he will eat, tuna, chicken, even red meat if that’s what it takes.

Yesterday he picked at some canned chicken.  Today he ate a little more of that, but his motor really started running when I tried him on tuna.  He’s been a little eating machine since then, and he’s drinking more water than I’ve seen him drink in a long time.

Hopefully this is good news.

(Edited 7/24 to fix time frames and clarify some things…I posted this from my iPad last night and my mind was muzzy.)