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We lost our Rat kitty, but may gain a one eyed kitty boy

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
It's pretty hard to post this but I know a number of you guys knew our 14 year old Rat kitty was very ill. He passed away at home with us in the very early hours of Wednesday morning, around 2AM. He lived for a week after we found out how sick he was. He never recovered from the general anaesthesia he had to have for the Xrays; the vet is pretty sure his kidneys just shut down (they'd always been iffy, as he was born with tiny, tiny kidneys that didn't ever work that well). It was very difficult obviously but he did go very peacefully and was not in pain so we kept him at home, and so he didn't have to go through being terrified at the vet in his last moments- we knew when he was going and were able to hold him and talk to him at the end.

The last night he had with us, somehow he got up on the bed in the early morning and snuggled me, even though he'd been far too unhappy to cuddle for his last week and used up all his energy to do so. I have no idea how he got up there, but he did, and after that he had to be carried around. He lasted about 16 hours after that.

His littermate sister, surprisingly since they didn't really *seem* close- no cuddling or obvious socializing- has been mourning him intensely. Moments after he died she started howling miserably and has been on and off ever since. O.P., his "boyfriend", has been looking all over for him and (like many of us humans!) has been stress-eating like mad; since he is still a bit underweight after his hyperthyroid meds finally got adjusted right, that's fine- if he needs to nosh down two triple-size cans of Wellness wet food (!!! :-o :-o ) in 24 hours he can do that, as long as I don't have to clean it up afterwards! And, though I've been really upset and cried most of yesterday straight, DH has actually been even more upset. It's been really hard on him to lose Rat, and even I took a few breaks yesterday to dry out, but he really didn't :(sad and finally fell asleep at 5PM exhausted.

We had Rat and his sister since he was a tiny, and I do mean *tiny*, baby. We'd casually mentioned to my (future) MIL that we were looking for kittens after we'd moved in together at 19 and 20. She, being slightly overbearing and nuts :naughty: ran right out and acquired two kittens without consulting us and called us and told us to come get them. Well when we showed up, there were these two utterly itty bitty little guys that barely filled even half the shoebox they were stuffed in together. The original owner- whomever that was- had decided to wash them :confused: :confused: before bringing them over and they were sopping wet and shivering miserably. I stuffed them under my jacket and we left with them immediately. In hindsight I'm sure they were not really old enough to be away from their mom- Rat had only one eye open- but what with the idiotic drenching and shoving in the box, I wasn't keen on returning them to the original source person. So that's how we acquired Rat and Sonar.

Rat never quite got over being de-mommied so early in life :tongue: and had the most enormous oral fixation you can imagine. He loved crawling up on my lap, shoving his head under my chin or beaching himself on my chest and kneading like mad on my shoulders or neck. All the while sucking on whatever I was wearing and drooling up a storm. His absolute most favorite thing of mine to suck on was an ugly black nubby sweater I'd owned since I was 12- dubbed the Sucky Sweater thanks to his obsession with it- he'd follow me intently, stalking me to see if I would sit so he could suck on it the instant he saw it on me. The second best sucky object was his fuzzy leopard print Snuggy, which he also adored sucking on if I'd wear it for him. If I was home sick or something he could literally spend endless hours drooling on me. (Two days before his unfortunate final vet appointment, I spent two whole days at home with him and he got as much lap-drooling time as he could handle- hours on end. Which I am so glad I spent with him.) We buried him wrapped in his Sucky Sweater in the garden.

He also loved riding around on shoulders. You simply could not hold him; if you picked him up, he would struggle madly to scale you and then triumphantly drape himself around your shoulders like a scarf, purring in your ear all the while (and usually digging in painfully). After he got nice and dug in like that (ouuuuch!), you could then carry on and he'd just park it there. I've cooked, peed, eaten, done just about anything you can think of with Rat riding my shoulders.

He also could jump higher than any cat I've ever seen. When we were moving two years ago, we had boxes stacked allllmost up to the ceiling. I could barely touch the top one and it was at least a foot past my husband's head. So say, about seven feet up. Rat strolled up to the stack- and you could see his eyes get big and then he crouched, twitching his tail like mad with his eyes all dilated crazily. I just laughed and thought he was dreaming. Nope. From nothing but a crouch- no running start or anything- he *launched* and floated up the top like a fuzzy little feather.

He was the most singularly stubborn critter ever, too. He was seriously, pound for pound, the most willful object in the entire universe IMO. He would fixate on things and not waver in his desire. Frequently, water in exotic containers. You could spend hours trying to keep him from drinking out of something, and usually he would wear you down with sheer, bullheaded persistence. (That, and the woeful green eyeballs.)

Years ago I was adopted by a friend's family. She had a purebred Maine Coon grey-brown tabby that had been a cull- a runt that never grew big. She was *tiny*- like 7 lbs and very lean rather than stocky. She had the most amazing lynx-y ear points and tassely toes. I really thought she was the most absolutely stunning cat I'd seen in my whole life and decided immediately that I would *love* to have a cat just like her when I grew up, though of course I knew I'd never have one since even as a kid I intended to own rescue cats not buy them. In a truly bizarre coincidence, Rat could've been her clone. I mean he was *identical* to Cass in every possible way. Everything. The midget size, the amazing 1/4 inch long black ear points, the pretty, huge green eyes with thick mascara lines, the incredibly long toe fuzz, the glossy, shaggy coat with a mane in the wintertime. And Rat was, obviously, a mutt cat or at the very least only half Maine Coon, who, as I said, we acquired by utter accident. I have no idea how he ended up so pretty and so much like a Maine Coon.

Anyway, DH and I had decided a few years ago, that if we lost one of our kitties we didn't want to wait to get another one. My mom and my sister both vowed to never own another cat because they both felt that it was disrespectful to their own special kitties that passed away in the last couple of years. And that really bothered DH- he felt that since they both were so good with cats and had so much love to give them and so many cats need people and safe, good homes, that it was a selfish decision. So he made me promise we wouldn't do that, and would find another cat that really needed a home. I know it won't make losing Rat any easier. But O.P. is extremely social and the house is so empty without Rat- he in particular took up so much room it's hard to believe. He was the one who'd follow you everywhere in the house. And I did agree; I don't feel like it's going to make me feel like we're trying to replace Rat or anything awful like that. Or that I'll resent the new guy.

Anyway, my best friend, who has been known to impulse cat acquire frequently, was soooooo excited to hear that we were going to cat hunt soon. And she immediately started poking around on various local rescue sites. She found this one cat and called me over- and yes. I think we have to go see him tomorrow. He has one eye like O.P., is a Maine Coon mix, and is not quite a year old. The single eye, and the fact that he isn't a kitten anymore, makes him tough to place. He's huge and puffy and bluegrey. The rescue shelter is a one-woman operation run out of her home, which my friend has adopted through before. She specializes in tough to place cats like this guy. I called her awhile ago and she was thrilled to hear I was interested in one of her special needs cats. So we go to see him tomorrow after work and maybe we'll have a newbie at home soon. I am happy to have something to focus on besides my grief for Rat, though I know nothing can really make it go away except time, but the one eyed kitty just looks so sweet. And is apparently extremely social and loving. We'll see!

Sorry for the novel guys. I'll post some pics later.
 

Trekkie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,303
I'm so very sorry for your loss, LGK.

Like many other PSers I will miss hearing stories about your little Rat.

I'm glad you have decided to open your home to a new kitty. While he could never be a replacement, I'm sure that in time he will help you get over the loss of Rat.
 

LAJennifer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
2,018
LGK, I'm so sorry for what you've gone through in the last week. It is very comforting that you were with him and he went peacefully. I love that you buried him in his Sucky Sweater. I believe that it was "meant to be" when Rat came into your life - just as I believe it is meant to be that this one-eyed kitty is in need of a home at this moment.

Hugs to you and your family. y75666 (this was my cat Seth's condolences to you all, as he just walked across my laptop).
 
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