Moss…Lessons on the Will to Live

When I woke up this morning…I wouldn’t have guessed before the night was over I would have my kitty Moss put to sleep.  Moss was eighteen years old…actually just three months shy of nineteen.

It’s not like I didn’t know the day was coming…but it seems very surreal.

Just shy of two years ago, I had Moss’ brother Nathan put to sleep.  I never would have guessed that Moss would survive Nathan by two more years.  From the day he was born…he was the shier, more reticent of the two.  Moss was easily intimidated by his less than maternal mother Daisy.  Nathan had some gumption and would not take her guff.  But Moss…he would cower when Daisy passed by.

After Nathan was put to sleep, Moss surprised me and did very well.  He bonded with my newest addition Rudy.  Rudy being the sociable soul that he is, made fast friends with Moss.  I think, in part, that is what strengthened Moss and gave him that strong will to live.

Moss loved Rudy…and whatever affection Rudy would send his way…Moss would take every bit of it. 

Despite being senile, mostly deaf and failing sight…Moss did amazingly well.  Some health issues that he had previously had improved greatly and he was holding his own.  That is until about 4 months ago. 

One day while Moss was standing in the kitchen waiting to be fed I looked at him and realized that his leg looked like it was kind of bowed out.  I wasn’t sure if it was an optical illusion or if something was wrong. 

A visit to the vet’s office revealed that Moss had broken his leg.  As best they could determine, it was because his bones were very brittle.  Like humans, animals can develop osteoporosis.  Who would have guessed that?  Well…that was the beginning of casts. 

Moss had his first cast put on December 5th.  When I brought him home from the vet, I was worried about how he would get around.  I needn’t worry…because before long not only did he walk with ease, he would run when it was time for breakfast or dinner.  Never once did he give any evidence that he was in pain.  That’s why I was surprised at the news at the next doctor’s visit.

Fully expecting news that Moss’ leg was better…I was stunned to find out that it wasn’t healing and was in fact worse.  Without doing a bone biopsy, the best determination was that Moss had bone cancer and that was preventing the bone from healing.  I couldn’t justify having him put through that at 18 years old.  So I made the decision to keep him as comfortable as possible and enable him to keep getting around, as long as possible.  As long as he had life in him…and enjoyed his days.

Each month I would take Moss in for a cast check and to have his leg rewrapped.  Each time…he learned how to walk on the new cast.  Be it a cast up to his elbow or a cast up to his shoulder…he got around.  He really didn’t show signs of being in pain…that is until the last couple of days. 

Even with that…he got around very well.  He ate just fine.  But his meows were incessant…they seemed like they were 24/7.  We were exhausted from just hearing him.  I can’t even imagine how tired he must have been to meow so much.  Not tiny little meows…but ones with a lot of force behind them.

So tonight…realizing that last night wasn’t just a bad night for Moss…it was something more…I made the hard decision to have Moss put to sleep.  The little guy had to have been in a whole lot of pain.  He just covered it up really well…until it hurt too much to cover it up. 

Chris went with me to the emergency vet office and we were there with Moss till the end.  I had to be there you see…because I held him just moments after he was born.  It was only right that I be there to hold him at the end.

This timid and shy kitty demonstrated the strongest will to live.  Pain didn’t stop him; it didn’t slow him down for long.  I think the impetus to live came from the love of his brother Rudy.  Rudy gave him the love his mama Daisy never gave, nor his brother Nathan.  But Rudy paid him attention and showed him the affection we all need. 

So tonight our home may be quiet…but I wonder if I will sleep?  I’m sure it will be a while before it will seem real that Moss is gone…after nearly 19 years.  Good night my sweet boy…sleep tight.  Your mama misses you.

Moss Bunts Wachtel
Born:  June 17, 1991
Died:  March 21, 2010

Ru Tube – Rudy’s Back Yard Encounter

Rudy was enjoying the view of backyard, when what to his wandering eye should appear, but outdoor kitty. Rudy was not pleased. Not pleased at all. Rudy has a tiny little voice. While his meow sounded sweet and cute…he was not a happy camper and made every attempt to let outdoor kitty know that his presence was not welcome! 

Rudy…Guilty as Charged?

AHA, the evidence is over whelming against this criminal your honor. It is obvious he is guilty, he has been caught red-pawed. I suggest you throw the catnip at him.

But your honor, the video has also proven that this guilty party had an accomplice. Your honor, if you’ll notice the camera followed the progression of this crime thereby suggesting that the camera operator was highly involved in aiding, abetting, and allowing this crime to take place. Rather than doing anything at all to stop this crime from taking place, the camera operator allowed it to progress. It is my contention that the camera operator was videoing this crime as a trophy, and to keep a record of this “Christmas decoration destroying gangs” exploits. Your honor, I suggest you also throw the catnip at the accomplice.

I rest my case.

The Honorable Michael Paddison presiding…making his first guest appearance on Susan’s Blog

Really…Honest and Truly

I swear to you…honest and truly…I’m not a bad “kitty mom”. Really I’m not. However…my kitty Nathan may beg to differ with me. His assessment may be a little different after Saturday’s “bag incident”.

When I first saw Nathan having difficulty walking I went to investigate…to see if he got his claws stuck on something. A closer look revealed that Nathan…AKA nosy Nate…somehow got a Starbuck’s bag slung around his head and neck. Kind of like a backpack.

Now a normal mom…would have rushed to his aid and immediately freed Nathan from the bag. That wasn’t my first reaction. Or let me state…I battled between instincts.

I couldn’t quite control the laughter…and I ran to get the camera. As you can see…little Rudy (whose not so little anymore)…wanted to help his brother. Or is that annoy his brother when the chips were down? Anyway…after posing for a couple of pictures (albeit reluctantly) from the laughing photographer…Nathan was freed, no worse for wear from the Starbuck’s bag.

Now you understand why Nathan has earned the nickname “Nosy Nate”.

Rudy the Rookie

While not a tiny little baby anymore Rudy is still a kitten…and learning about the ways of the world. Everyday is adventure for the little feller…and everything is a toy. Whether it be an actual kitty toy that gets lost under the refrigerator…a bottle cap that falls to the ground or an alarm clock that turns on and opens up when he sits on it…nothing escapes Rudy’s attention. Everything is game…in spite of protests by his mom.

Yesterday…was not only a day of adventure…but one that was a little scary for Rudy. You see he has a fascination with water. Doesn’t matter if it’s water in his drinking bowl…or water in the bath tub. Never seen this quirk in a kitty before…but Rudy loves to tap the water in his bowl…causing it to spill out. If it’s a good day…it just spills a little bit. When its time for a bubble bath…I can count on Rudy being right by my side. He loves to sit on the edge and peer in at the bubbles. Sometimes he can’t contain himself…and swipes at the bubbles. So far…he hasn’t fallen in despite some close calls. That is until yesterday.

Now I would have snapped some photos of Mr. Rudy after the shower incident…but because of my state of undress I resisted temptation. Not only does Rudy love bubble baths…but he’s quite fond of showers too. I can count on Rudy being at my side during my morning shower…as he sits on the edge of the tub. Only yesterday…he slipped. It took him a couple of seconds to realize that he was getting wet…as the shock of the water pouring over him finally dawned on him. Soon he realized he was wet and perhaps it wasn’t such a peachy keen idea to be in the bathtub with water touching him…he then jumped out right quick.

Honest and truly I did feel bad for the little feller…despite the laughter I could not restrain. Hey…I couldn’t help it. I was surprised that he let me dry him off with a towel so easily. No protest at all in fact…he was even thankful. If that had been Nathan or Moss…forget about it. Good intentions or not…there’s no way I could have done that with them. But Rudy seemed glad to be assisted in drying off. He has short, fine hair…and he dried quickly.

Well yesterday was Rudy’s day for surprises…because that afternoon he had another one awaiting him. It’s been hot here in southern California In the 90’s…which means it’s time to break out the fans. The fans in my bedroom and living room were keeping things cooled down. Since it was warm…I decided to turn on the ceiling fan in the kitchen as well…while Rudy was taking nap on the kitchen tile.

Since I brought Rudy home at the end of October till present…I hadn’t turned on the ceiling fan…so it was a whole new experience. As I later learned…not one that he appreciated.

While I was cleaning away in the hallway…little Rudy came dashing into the hall with hair raised and hisses coming out of his mouth. I looked to see if perhaps he had gotten into a scuffle with Moss or Nate…but no one was to be found. They were off trying to keep cool on this hot day. Rudy’s eyes were fixed on the ceiling fan as if the devil himself was turning it.

When I was able to get Rudy calmed down…I carried him in to the kitchen to get a better view of the fan. Safely tucked into him mom’s arms I guess it didn’t look so fierce after all. I think we had success when by evenings end…Rudy rested by the door taking in the cool air generated by the ceiling fan.

Everyday is an adventure for Rudy…and he usually generates a few laughs along the way. Daily…I’m ever so thankful that I brought him home that day I first saw him at Pet Smart…he’s been a true blessing indeed.