Monday, August 12, 2013

RIP Puss Cat ?-2013

Puss Cat had the most amazing eyes.
My Dad's cat, unimaginatively called Puss Cat, died today. It was a bit of a surprise when he called last night to tell me that she wasn't doing very well, since two days ago, she was completely normal. From there, she went downhill fast.

I'm still finding it hard to believe. I was over at his place for dinner tonight, and I kept looking for her in all her usual hide-outs, even though I knew she wasn't there anymore. I'm going to miss you, Puss Cat.

I don't know a lot about her early life, but I do know that she was a stray, who our then neighbors adopted before they moved to our neighborhood, and that she had a litter of kittens back then as well. At some point after they moved across the street, Puss started visiting, even inviting herself into our home, which was surprising as she was apparently quite a shy cat - which was something we noticed, too over the years since. From there, as they tended to travel a lot, we started taking care of her while they were away. Puss Cat didn't seem to mind at all, having the two homes. Even when they were at home, she'd often spend the day with us, then run back home for the evenings - best of both worlds, I guess, especially in the winter.

Eventually, they had to move, and couldn't take Puss with them, so we adopted her. Or did she adopt us? I still haven't figured that one out completely. For a while, she remained an indoor-outdoor cat, one who excelled at bringing us "gifts". Collars and bells were not all that effective at stopping her successes either. She seemed to have figured out how to move without jingling the bell - or equally aggravating for us, lose the collar entirely.

Her days as an indoor-outdoor cat though, eventually came to an end after a near miss with some local wildlife. We guess that it was a raccoon, but we were never certain. All we know, is that we discovered a nastily infected bite on her throat, which the vet was able to clear up, but we were definitely worried for a while, and you could feel the scar forever after.

After a while, Puss adapted nicely to life indoors - probably helped by the large balcony we gave her access to.

She definitely had a personality though! For a while after we first adopted her, in the morning, I'd find her on the cabinet in front of the window, and she'd chirp a greeting, then more or less demand I go sit on the sofa so she could settle in my lap. I learned to be prepared for that, by grabbing a towel or something to protect my legs - she loved to kneed and purr. And it was definitely a loud purr too - sometimes I could hear it from the next room.

This photo I posted for one of the Saturday Snapshots posts I did a while back is a pretty good descriptor of her personality at times - as was the nickname a friend bestowed on Puss last Christmas: Ebineezer Hiss. She wasn't afraid to let us know when she wasn't happy with something we were doing. Or with my two cats - more than once she threw a pretty impressive hissy-fit when we brought them up for a visit. Or even a couple of large dogs owned by two of our other friends. It was almost as if she was taunting them sometimes.

Whenever people would visit, she'd go hide somewhere - under the bed, in the closet, sometimes she'd settle in behind the cabinet she liked to sit on. It was a rare occasion when she'd come out and actually visit with some of us. I was a bit saddened by the way she started doing the same thing with me after I moved out.

After Dad moved, she slowly became a bit friendlier again, and even - since the yard was fenced, started going out beyond the new balcony a bit.

That's what had happened yesterday. She went out for her usual morning wander, but took longer than normal, so Dad went out to look for her. He found her lying in the wet grass by the gate, which was unusual, so he got her up and she walked a few steps then sat and lay down again in the grass. He carried her in, and she went and hid under the table - normal there. A while later he took some water down to her, and she didn't seem to have the energy to drink.

A call to the vet later, and she was on her final trip. He found out today that it was a mix of things - something to do with blood acidity that needed to be balanced, and then apparently kidney failure. My understanding is that both were caused by the diabetes she'd been dealing with for a couple of years, and she wasn't going to make it.

I'm going to miss you Puss-Cat.

Sitting at the door.
The stare of doom.
Puss Cat's eye, heavily edited.

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