Monday, August 20, 2012

R.I.P. Mikey the Cat

 Mikey joined our family over 10 years ago. He was our neighbors cat, who decided that he liked us better. I think we were both the better for his decision.

He was no spring chicken when he moved in, and had gotten pretty arthritic as the years went by. A couple of weeks ago he started drooling, then stopped eating solid food. The last few days he couldn't even sleep for the pain.  I couldn't see anything wrong with his teeth, nor could I see anything obvious with gums and such. He was having issues with his hindquarters in walking, which was getting much worse, and I finally decided the big guy had been through enough. I took him to our vet, and ended his suffering at 4:42pm, 8.20.12.

I've always claimed to be rational about pets, and kidded one of my sisters for the way she treated hers as if they were her kids, or even better than that.
Tonight, I understand that behavior completely. I did the right thing in ending his suffering.

I'm still heartbroken.

To the best cat it was ever my privilege to share a recliner and a grounding strap with.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old cats and decisions

After returning from a Kentucky weekend a few weeks ago, I found Mikey hiding in my closet. When I was able to get him to come out, he was barely able to walk. He favored neither side, and made me wonder if he'd had a stroke. He would come out occasionally, and continued to use the litter box, so I just let him stay where he wanted to. As time went by, he's gotten better, and is currently piled up behind me in my recliner.

The main thing is that Mikey is at least 15 years old, and I'd actually guess a bit old than that. Until the last five years he was allowed outside daily, and was exposed to all of the diseases and critter encounters that goes with being an outside cat. My problem is this: if he hadn't gotten better, when should I have pulled the plug?

Actually, as much as I love the boys, if I think that either of them is in pain, or suffering in some way, I'll not hesitate to take em to the vet and have them put down. Mikey was just lucky in that he recovered quickly, for if he'd stayed in the closet another day, he'd be gone now. Both Gayle and I aren't much for spending a ton of money on pets that have had a longer than expected lifespan, and that covers both of the boys. Julian has outlived 3 younger generations of his barn cat family, and is in fact the last survivor of that particular genetic line. So, not to be crass or cruel, neither of the boys will receive heroic measures if they get ill.

All that being said, it'll be a sad day in Memphis when either Mikey or Jules are no longer here.