Saving one animal won’t change the world but it will change the world for that animal.
Not a good week at Chez Tigre.
In early August 2009 I took in a little female tortie and a male gray kitteh with white toes. Kismet was 17 and Toes was 12. Their original names were Maude and Brutus. I couldn’t stand the names. Kismet was easy. Toes on the other hand didn’t come as easily. Kismet never responded to Maude and Toes never responded to Brutus. Kismet was affectionate and thrived on affection. Toes was reclusive, spending most of his time in some out ot the way place where the others wouldn’t bother him. I kept trying to come up with a name for him but wasn’t getting anywhere. One night, sitting on the edge of the bed I was looking at him and said to him , “Well, until I can come up with a better name I’m just gonna call you Toes cuz of your cute little white toe tips.” He immediately responded to the name so it stuck. Kismet schmoozed with all the other cats and loved other two-leggeds. Toes remained reclusive. After he’d been here a little over a year Toes started to come out of his shell. Not a lot but anything was better than nothing. He started hanging out in the kitchen when I was getting ready to feed them all. He loved to talk, a little one syllable meow that I could easily imitate. He didn’t like being held and definitely wasn’t a lap kitteh. He did like me to sit on the floor so he could do that cat thing and walk around me, rubbing up against me and we chatted back and forth. A few months ago he started a habit of greeting me every morning when I swung my legs over the side of the bed. He’d head butt my legs, rub up against them while I scritched his ears and we talked. He repeated the process at night. I was seeing him begin to really socialize and wondered what I’d see after another year or so.
I noticed last week that Toes wasn’t eating well and was losing a lot of weight. Monday I took him in, thinking we were dealing with some age related thing and I would once again be on the pills forever routine. No big deal. Dr examined him for a while and listened to his chest for a long time. Examined more of him and went back and listened to his chest for another extended period and said he wanted to do some xrays. He came back in with a number of films and put one up on the viewer, a full body (neck to tail base) top view, saying, “These are the lungs of a healthy cat.” I knew we were in trouble. Right and left side views of the healthy cat. He then put up the full body top view for Toes. Both lungs covered with tumors. In the left side view his heart was barely visible through the tumors. I’m now numb and in a tailspin. The cancer hadn’t started to spread out from the lungs yet but that was right around the corner. The wasting process, eg, rapid weight loss, had already begun. We were out of options. I had to let him go.
Rest In Peace, Toes.
I’ll see ya at the Bridge. You were special and I really love ya.
Toes (1997 – 23 Jul 2012)