Friday, April 05, 2013

Remembering Tigrr (Musketeer) written June 15, 2011 8pm

Tiger (Musketeer) on my jacket - afternoon Dec 10 2009
This is Tiger in Mom's house, after I had come back from a long picture-taking session down at the beach, and a walk.

When she took him from me (1996), I had named him Musketeer, because of his gorgeous Puss-in-Boots coloring. (And he was an exhibit in my list of cat-names-as-self-fulfilling-disasters, since as he grew older he started beating up on everyone.)

I had picked him up (literally) at the feral cat feeding station, behind where I worked, after he'd been there a couple of weeks. Clearly he wasn't wild. Mom had driven down here; I offered him, but she had turned him down. And I was glad, because I was quite fond of him.

But on the day she was leaving, after I had left for work, he jumped up into her arms - and she just took him. Didn't even leave me a note. Took my cat carrier too, although I eventually, years later, got it back.

She sent a couple of pictures of him - all ruffled after the 2-day drive, and calmed down later. And a note written from his point of view.

When I got up to her place in fall 2009, her favorite cat had had to be put down, and Tiger was coming out and sitting on laps and being friendly. He spent a lot of time on her lap at the table, and then on the bed with her. She said "Tiger is trying to help". She also said, looking at her array of pills on the table"I don't know whether I'm supposed to take these pills, or give them to the cat"... Then he started losing weight, and his eyes became totally dilated, but he apparently could still see.

The vets up there and down here did not figure out what was wrong with him, but it may have been a version of the FIP that probably killed Sugar Mouse. It has been amazing that he lasted so long, as skinny as he was. He was eating a can or more of cat food a day, or when he stopped eating that sometimes, baby food.

This week was supposed to be a trip again to Camano, but it got put off. Good thing, because I needed to be here.

Once he stopped being able to walk around, and stopped eating for the last time, I locked the others out on the balcony, put a clean t-shirt on his reflective warm pad on the kitchen floor near the heater, and tried to spend as much time in the chair nearby as I could. School over for the spring, and unemployed. I slept in the chair mostly - and came to really hate that chair. (When I'm tired I get very crabby, and that thing would easily go into an uncomfortable position, but only with great difficulty into a comfortable one - and then it wouldn't stay there.)

He was mostly asleep, but the first several days, he would wake up every couple of hours, and could drink some water put into his mouth with a syringe. Then he slept for over a day, but did wake up one final time and take a little water, the morning of the day he died.

Over all it lasted about 6 days. I wasn't there when he died, but away for a couple of hours.

We should all be so lucky, going quietly and peacefully, in our own home, not thirsty, and with company nearby.

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