We're down to one monster-cat.
We had to take Greystroke to the Emergency Vet this morning to have him put to sleep.He was about 19 years old and a variety of physical issues finally took him past the point of comfort.
He was truly not interested in eating last night and was having serious problems walking.
And he suddenly had some kind of wheeze that he hadn't had the morning or night before.
I hate having to make this decision, but I hate more that my little grey tabby couldn't breathe comfortably. About 4 AM he seemed to get worse and cried at me as we tried to sleep on the couch. So we went to the Vet in the dark of the early morning. And I came home with an empty kitty carrier again. I no longer have a small pride of elderly cats.
We got to have a few extra months with GreyStroke because we gave him sub-cutaneous fluids 3 times a week, special foods, 1/4 of a pepcid AC pill daily, antibiotic eye drops on and off for months, occasional force-feedings to get him started eating again, and most recently shots to help boost his red cell creation when he was going anemic due to his kidney disease.
Up until this week, he was holding his own (well, with a bit of help from me), and he was still purring a lot and pretty happy to be here.
Greystroke was one of 4 kittens a stray mama-cat brought to the tiny back yard of a studio apartment I had a long time ago. Greystroke would forgo food for petting - hence his name.
One of his siblings was hit by a car, another we got adopted to a friend, and one we could never catch - she'd had a bad experience with one of my neighbors.
Greystoke got to spend his first night indoors in a kitty carrier. He complained a reasonable amount and Gable, my other cat, was not impressed. He was off to the Vet the next morning to get shots/be fixed and when he came back he settled into being an indoor cat pretty quickly. Gable was still not impressed but she tolerated him just fine and they would sleep near each other. However, Gable did think every Vet trip was Greystroke's fault, turning to hiss at him when I released them from the kitty carrier after a tandem Vet trip.
Greystroke was never terribly graceful and never seemed to grow into a mysterious, self-sufficient cat. He always seemed the kitten. He was always loving and would let us rub his tummy, purring all the while. He wasn't fond of being picked up - that was a remnant from his early outdoor days. He also didn't like to be outside, but he reveled in being able to open the back sliding door to be "free" and then dash back into the house at the first sign of anything.
He was Very gentle, nipping me only once in the midst of attacking a miscreant towel on the floor and then quickly giving me kitty kisses when he realized he'd nipped me and not the towel.
He also had amazing LUNGS. His meows echoing around the neighborhood as we walked out the front door when I took him in the cat-carrier to the Vet. The Vet knew he had arrived when we were still in the parking lot. He was known as the "Armadillo Cat" because he curled up into a little gray ball when I pulled him out to be weighed. And there were a few times when Greystroke was at the Vet for the day, that the Vet would call to suggest I could come get Greystroke now with Greystroke meowing Loudly in the background. Yep, that Meow, performed 2 inches from your ear, was not the most pleasant thing to wake up to at 3 AM.
But the little gray purring body snuggled against my back or curled against my stomach was pretty charming.
I will miss my little pooky-cat.
I will see you again later.