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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.
 

Selkie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
2,876
So sorry to hear about Rat. What a love he was. It's always tough to read about people losing their kitties, because we've got 5 currently, all rescues, and I can't imagine what it will be like to lose any of them. Good on you for potentially adopting the new guy, too. I'm fostering for a rescue group, and know how hard it is to adopt out special needs kitties. I never quite understood the idea that adopting another was an attempt to "replace" one you've lost, because they all have their own unique personalities, and of COURSE you can't replace them. Doesn't mean you don't still have love to give. RIP, Rattie!
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
I'm so sorry about Rat, LGK. Hard times, saying goodbye. It is good to hear he went peacefully & at home. I've wished mightily with every animal for a traveling vet who realized that putting them down at home is a KINDNESS -- all those I tried were insulted & defensive, one downright vicious, when I asked. Made a sad situation more heartbreaking.

LOVE that you're taking a guy who needs you. When I lost my beloved Bear, a Siamese mix who obviously once had a home but had gone feral in the loooong time he was on the street (he was residing in the back yard when we moved into the house), I felt disloyal thinking about loving another. The Bear had been kicked & hit, could tell from his behavior & terror of shoes, and it took me a year to earn his trust enough to touch him. Starving as he was, with pus dripping from his mouth, fur nearly gone due to malnutrition,skeleton visible, crust around his eyes & an abscess on his head, he would NOT eat the food I brought -- he watched & hissed until I put the dish down & left. Once he was in the house, my God, what a lover-bear! He & I were joined at the soul. This long story to show how much my heart belonged to him & his to me.

Then I realized he had taught me so much about loving, courage, patience. I knew suddenly that he would NEVER want that to go to waste. What's the point of learning & growing in our hearts if we don't pass it on? That's the gift they give us.

--- Laurie
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I'm so sorry for your loss, LGK. Rat sounds like he was a fantastic kitty. Hugs to you and your husband and O.P. Hopefully the new one-eyed addition will help O.P. not feel so lonely, and help you and your husband heal.
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
1,779
LGK, I'm so sorry that Rat is gone. He sounds like he was an amazing, wonderful kitty baby. Thank you for sharing the stories about him, that was a lovely and moving tribute to him. Bringing another cat into your lives also seems like a wonderful way of celebrating Rat's life. After our Lilly died of chronic renal failure, we adopted two kittens within a few months, so I really do understand where you and your husband are coming from on that.
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
I am very very sorry to hear your loss. Hopefully the new kitty will easy the pain and bring cheers into your life~ :saint:
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
Rat sounds like the best kitty EVER. I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope this new guy is just as wonderful for you.
 

stepcutnut

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,445
Sorry for your loss!!! It is always tough, but I hope the new kitty you are going to visit will be a good fit and that he brings some comfort to you and your family during this difficult time.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,866
HI:

Sorry to hear about your beloved cat passing. I know how difficult it is.

When you can share, I look forward to seeing pictures of your new treasure.

kind regards,

Sharon
 

manderz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
1,539
I'm so sorry LGK- Rat sounds like he was so special. I can just feel the love you and your husband have for him. Your post has me in tears, and I'm off to snuggle my furball right now. BTW, kudos to you for adopting a special needs kitty, too.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Rat. I had seen you mention he was ill. I'm glad to know that you are thinking of opening your home to another special needs kitty. I'm sure Rat would approve. ::)
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
LGK, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Rat sounds like a wonderful cat. Your description of him just broke my heart - reminded me intensely of the feline love of my life (also a neck cat), who I lost unexpectedly a few years back. Something about those wiry black cats, man - they're personalities. Getting more kitties afterwards hasn't made me miss her less, but it's definitely added a lot in wholly different ways to daily life. I hope things work out with your MC - and if it helps to talk, will definitely be poking my head into this thread.
 

Blackpaw

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
2,469
LGK, im so so sorry about Rat ;( im thinking of you and i think you and your SO are amazing people for deciding to save a cat in need, despite your grief. Rescues are amazing and every animal deserves a loving home, thank you for being so willing to open yours up.

I shed a tear reading about Rat, he was a beautiful cat it sounds like, im glad he was with you until the end, im sure he felt very loved....
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,076
I'm so sorry LGK...he sounds like he was one special kitty. I hope the kitty you're going to see works out. There are so many
kittys who need a heart to warm there way into.

My Mom just lost her cat about 3 weeks ago. She said no more because they have an RV and travel quite a bit (Cleo went with
them) but, she is already starting to break down. She called yesterday and said she needed to come over and get her cat "fix"
from my two kittys. I predict she will have another kitty by the end of the year. Cats are just so comforting.

Big hug from another cat lover.
 

pixies

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
355
Crying right now! The sweater burial really touched me. I'm so sorry for your loss. Animal stuff makes me so emotional. I haven't lost a pet yet but it makes me break down even thinking about it.

Your sweet Rat sounds a lot like my youngest Chihuahua with the oral fixation and riding on shoulders. His body isn't long enough to wrap around both sides so I have to hunch over while I walk when he decides to venture up there. That's his favorite sitting place on the couch as well.

I like that you are thinking about adopting another cat. It's more like you are honoring him than replacing him --rescuing a feline in his honor.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
Rat was so very well loved....and your everlasting memorial to him is bringing home another. I'm glad that Rat "went" at home.....and that you buried him where he will still be a part of the family. while 14 isn't ancient for a cat, he still had a very long life. it is obvious in your writing that it was a shared love. my Gato, Tom-Tom, Samantha Anne, Cebastian, and LaHonda have greeted Rat i'm sure.

MoZo

ps grieving is part of loving......
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,092
I'm very sorry to hear about your special little guy. Your story gave me nightmares last week.

I'm glad to hear that you're considering a new kitty. We have rescues and its wonderful when people can look past medical issues and give them loving homes.
 

poshpepper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,398
:(( ;( Im so sorry you lost your beloved Rat kitty.
I really loved reading your novel, it was great to hear all the things about Rat that made him so special. :halo:
I hope that everything goes well with your potential new kitty
 

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
So sorry about Rat, but I believe jumping back on the horse is the right thing to do. Rat would want you to love a new kitty, and this guy sounds like he really needs you.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775
Oh, god.

LGK - I am so, so so sorry. :(sad I recently learnt how it feels to lose a pet... I just don't have the words. Thank you for sharing your stories with us - Rat was obviously adored, and I'm very sure he knew that. I'm so glad you were able to snuggle for those two days, too, I can imagine how much that must comfort you.

I also understand wanting - or, at least, having no objection to - getting another pet right away. I think if you feel that you can have a healthy relationship with the new critter then there are certainly lots of cats that need loving homes, and that would be lucky to go to yours ::)


::HUGS:: I'll be thinking of you and your DH.
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
12,394
I am just so very sorry about the loss of your precious kitty LGK - He sounds like he was the sweetest thing ever, I can see why you and your husband are so devastated. Rat had a wonderful life with you, and you did such a fantastic job of loving him and taking care of him. (((hugs))) to you, and your husband too.

And I think you should definitely open up your heart to another kitty if you want to! I think it's wonderful that you are giving a hard-to-place cat a good and loving home. Again, I am so very sorry.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Everyone, thanks so much for the kind words. It really means a lot to me. I know there are a lot of people here that are just as crazy about their furbabies as I get!

We did adopt the newbie. He is super, super cute- almost full grown but not quite; a lovely bluegrey smoke color with medium length cloud-soft fur. And one bright green eye. The woman who had him sheltered at her home, in a room full of other special needs kitties, said "Sit right down- I bet he'll come right on over to you." Sure did. I sat and he was like ON me. DH also made two conquests- a three legged Siamese mix, and one not quite full grown mama cat that apparently was always stand-offish normally but decided DH was *hers* and rolled onto her back and chirped at him, and basically did everything in her power to charm him. Those two fell in looooove with him and like dive-bombed him. It was adorable. I really wanted to take the three legged boy too, but I'm violently allergic to Siamese and we had to leave him, but it was tough!

So, the new guy was originally named Cy (for Cyclops :rolleyes: ) which we rather hated, and he didn't respond to, so we renamed him Dexter. He is obviously a HUGE lovebug- he headbonks you like no other cat I've had, just whacks his head into you really hard to get you to pet him, dangit! He is a bit understandably overwhelmed right now- new home, new humans, new kitties- and has spent most of the evening hiding in various places, coming out to be itched as long as it's safely far down the hall from the others.

O.P., our orange boy who was so upset to lose his Ratty, is freaking *thrilled*. He was like :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: and thinks we got him a new pretty blue boyfriend and immediately wanted to lick him allllllll over. Dex was like "Um, whoa! I don't lick on the first date, man!" and slapped O.P (very gently). O.P. has been sidling up to him, trying to convince Dex he wants to be snuggled and licked. I keep telling O.P. he needs to give him a little space to adjust, and he'll listen for a minute and walk away and sigh, only to sneak up again a bit later to see if Dex has changed his mind yet and if he maybe wants some lovin'. He hasn't quite, yet. He has given O.P. a few growlies, which only seems to make O.P. quite confused. (O.P. is the most easygoing cat I've ever seen- you simply *cannot* provoke him into fighting, either with humans or cats. He has never *once* in the 9 years we've had him used his claws offensively.)

Anyway, it's looking like once Dex gets used to his new environment, he'll be a lovely addition. He's a sweetie through and through.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,270
LGK, thank you for posting this lovely tribute to your dear kitty. The suckling brought back fond memories of one or two cats I've had, especially one that was very near to my heart, who passed away last summer. I'm glad to hear that your new furball is fitting into your home so well. I know he won't replace your Rat kitty, but it sounds like he already has a special place in your heart (and in OP's - LOL!)
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,775
Awwwwwww ::) :appl: sounds like you found a great fit! :bigsmile:

Hopefully he'll warm up to OP's attentions soon - it sounds like he won't have much choice. It must be fun to watch ;)) I confess, Cy for Cyclops gave me a giggle. I'd probably have kept it.


Glad you're feeling better, or at least well-distracted :))
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
5,383
I am so sorry about Rat ;( I was in tears (and dreading) reading this post.

I'm happy to hear that another fuzzy cat will be able to come into a very loving home.

Rest in peace Rat.

*hugs LGK*
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Aw, so glad that Dexter is going to fit right in! (And I would love to see pics of him if you feel like it!) Poor O.P.-hopefully Dexter will let O.P. snuggle and lick him soon!
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
They're cracking me up completely, the pair of them. O.P. apparently decided, sometime in the night, that he was out of patience and was going to make Dex like him NOW DANG IT. So he plopped himself in Dex's little domain and has been parked there ever since, stalking him relentlessly and purring. (Did he read my copy of Twilight or something...?)

It is, actually, working- could be that Dex just gave up when he realized that O.P. was not going to budge, haha. When I was there on break briefly, for moral support for Dex, he was brave enough to walk up and give O.P. a nose kiss :bigsmile: O.P. was thrilled to little bitty bits! I had to go back down to work and they were plopped next to each other, maybe a foot apart, and O.P. was radiating smug like you wouldn't *believe*.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
So sorry to hear about Rat. I've lost many cats over the years and it never gets easier.

The new boy sounds great - and how nice that your other cat already likes him so much!

I totally understand about getting another pet so fast - when my python died last year I went out and found another 2 days later. I just couldn't bear looking at the empty viv.
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
1,779
It's so sweet that Dexter is getting a big welcome from O.P.! Thanks for the update.
 
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