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RIP, Fuzzy

Also known as FuzzButt, StinkerButt, Pooka, and Fangs That Hang So Low (his indian name).

Today was a normal day when I got home from work, until I went to sit on the couch around 6:15 to watch some TV. I heard a strange noise, which I attributed to Fuzzy, who has been known to breathe heavily and sort of half snore while he sleeps. But it sounded different, so I went looking for him. And when I found him laying in front of the litter box and actually heard the noises he was making, I knew it wasn’t good. It was even worse when I picked him up and he was limp.

I immediately called my vet’s office, since I thought they had late office hours—and I was wrong. I then googled emergency vets in our area and there was one, so I called and said I would be there in 15 minutes. She forwarned me it would be a minimum $85 fee, which I honestly didn’t think was too bad. I was out the door within five minutes.

In the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong with him. He has always been a big cat—our “fat cat”—except lately, over the past 6 months to a year, he has lost quite a bit of weight…like maybe 5-8#. I just attributed it to the fact that he was getting older and not eating as much…but in the back of my mind, I KNEW something was wrong. Earlier this week, I actually told mysef I should take him to the vet for a round of tests, just to know what we might be dealing with. But he was still eating fine and drinking a lot, so I didn’t think about it TOO much.

So tonight, while somewhat of a surprise (he seemed fine when I saw him last night), also wasn’t a surprise.

So I get to the vet’s and the tech took his temperature, and then took it again because she couldn’t believe how low it was. It was 86, and apparently a normal temp should be 102-106 (or something along those lines). She got him a warm towel until the vet came in. One quick listen and she asked me if he had any history of liver or kidney problems (no) and then told me that his heart sounded bad, his lungs sounded bad, he was dehydrated, and he probably needed a blood transfusion. His gums were very pale (almost white), which she said was not a good sign, either. She said they could do bloodwork ($150), but even then, they might not have any good news, and even if they could determine what it was, he would still need a blood transfusion. And even then, he may only have a month or two.

It was at that point I decided it was time to let him go… He’s led a good life with me the past 13 years (the longest I’ve ever had any animal—we adopted him from my aunt and uncle when he was just 1.5 years old) and for all the joy he has brought to my life, he certainly deserved to die peacefully and without any more pain…with me at his side kissing his sweet little face. They gave me some time alone with him, then it was over in a matter of a minute.

Rest in Peace, Fuzzy. You will be missed terribly.

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A new one this morning!

So as I’m sure you can imagine with four cats, we tend to get little surprises around the house—we think Bella has gastrointestinal problems that make her vomit for no reason and Fuzzy is renowned for hairballs. (I’m sure the other two have contributed at times, but Bella and Fuzzy are the most well-known culprits—i.e. we physically see them do it.) And of course it’s always a nice surprise when we find one of their deposits…hopefully not by stepping in it first! Sometimes Maggie gets to them before we do, which is gross—but we’ve grown to accept because 1) it’s just food and 2) it’s less for us to clean up. :>>

So after many years of this, I wouldn’t think much would surprise me. I mean, we’ve found piles on the kitchen table, under furniture, on the bed, under the bed, in their beds, on the desk, on the printer, on windowsills—in other words, pretty much everywhere.

But this morning was something entirely new and surprising.

The cats were all whining like crazy, which usually means their food bowl is empty. Except it wasn’t. So what was it? Oh my. Someone (my guess is Fuzzy since it was a hairball) had actually thrown up a hairball in the water dish! 88| Talk about gross—all the food pieces were bloated and had turned to mush, turning the water a disgusting, cloudy shade of tan. Blech!

As soon as I refilled it, everyone was happy!

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Fuzzy on the loose!

So, the cats are always at the sliding doors in the kitchen, meowing like they think they want to go outside. And this morning, Fuzzy was meowing and whining louder than usual, so I told Tom to open the door and see what happened. (We have done this in the past, and no one ever makes a move.) But as soon as he opened the door, Fuzzy darted out—and Bella started to as well!

Well, we didn’t want to have to corral two cats, so he grabbed Bella and handed her to me while he went outside to watch Fuzzy.

Now, it’s chilly out—48° to be exact, so I was guessing Fuzzy wouldn’t stay out too long or stray too far. I did tell Tom, however, to stand at the deck steps because Fuzzy can be quick when he wants to be, and I didn’t want him escaping into the yard (although, even if he did, I can’t imagine him squeezing in between the fence boards OR jumping over the fence).

Well, Fuzzy wandered around just a bit on the deck when the neighbor’s dog saw him and started barking…and Fuzzy pretty much made a beeline back into the house! So, in all, he was outside for less than three minutes!!

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Did we create a monster?

So for almost as long as I’ve had Fuzzy, he has slept with me at night. Most of the time, right next to my head, in fact. Until probably six months ago, when he stopped coming in to sleep with us and Bella took his place. Then Charlie took her place. Then, Bella started coming in again. It was like there was some rotation they were on that only they were privy to!

Well, I had started to miss Fuzzy—he rarely even came upstairs anymore! We thought it was because he was getting old and maybe he had arthritis and didn’t like climbing the stairs….but he would come up every so often when his food bowl was empty! And over the past month or so, he has started coming upstairs more and more often. So last night, I grabbed him and took him to bed with me…and he stayed! (I had tried this in months past, but he left as soon as I sent him down.)

To my surprise, he stayed until the middle of the night and then he hopped down. But then hours later, he was back! (Of course, it was at this point that I remembered why I didn’t like him sleeping next to me—the loud purring and meowing and pawing at my face in the middle of the night keeps me awake and makes it really hard to fall back asleep). But he was LOVING IT! Purring to beat the band. And it was a weekend so I didn’t mind too much!

Amazingly, he stayed until morning. But I may have created a monster….

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I think hell just froze over.

So I was downstairs and all the cats were congregating around the food bowl, whining (not entirely sure why, as they had plenty of food). Surprisingly, Boots was right in the middle of them all…and there was NO hissing, NO swatting, NO stalking—NOTHING. An amazing feat in itself, as they typically hate each other. Or so I thought…

Because then I saw something that made me rub my eyes and shake my head in disbelief.

Charlie was…are you ready?

Charlie was LICKING Boots on the head. And Boots was letting her. And this went on for a good 20 seconds. Then Boots rubbed up against Fuzzy and wandered off.

Oh my.

I think they’re finally friends. And it only took seven months.

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Fuzzy Update

Well, he seems to be just fine. He slept with me all night (a big treat, since we usually lock them all up at night) and it doesn’t seem like anything at all is wrong! So, we’re hoping that yesterday was just a fluke.

We did, however, have a fun challenge getting him his meds—he is the biggest frickin’ baby when it comes to anything like that (pills, flea stuff, etc.). It shouldn’t have been hard—a pill dissolved in water given through a syringe (squirted into his mouth). The first dose (last night) went all over me and him but we were successful this morning (although I was sure he was going to spit it out)!

So, we’re keeping our fingers crossed!!