This Cat Is Now Dead


I wrote about Rikkus earlier this year, in a post titled "This Cat Is Not Dead".  In that post, I mentioned Rikkus had been in poor health and we'd come close to having him put to sleep.  But I'd realized almost at the last minute that adjusting his thyroid medication might make him a little better again.

And it did, until just recently.  He gained back about a pound and a bit of weight.  Still very thin and frail, nothing like he'd been at his peak of health, when he'd been a stocky and robust cat who could hold his own against other cats.  But... okay.  He ate, he slept, he purred when he was petted.  He seemed to be okay with his life.

About a week ago, he stopped eating.  Completely.  He'd sometimes been picky about which flavor of canned food was being served him.  When all else failed, though, he'd always eat tuna.  Not that nasty, smelly, reddish cat food tuna made from scraps and ends, but the good stuff, the Human's Tuna.  He'd never turn that down.

Except now he even turned away from the good tuna.  I hoped maybe he'd get his appetite back in a few days, and offered him bites of various cat food flavors several times each day.  But he showed no interest, and it became clear that he wasn't just sick, he was getting ready to die.

He never seemed in distress or pain.  He was just... waiting.  Occasionally he'd totter over to the water bowl and get a few licks of water, but that was all.  He still purred when he was petted.  That pound of weight he'd regained went away, and more.  He was growing visibly weaker.  He still purred faintly when I stroked him about 10:00 this morning, but it was clear the end was near.  When I woke up about 1:30 this afternoon, he'd finally passed away sometime in those few hours.

We gave him a few extra years by taking him in when his previous owners abandoned him and moved away.  We gave him a few extra months when we adjusted his medications earlier this year.  He was never a snuggler or a lap cat.  But he was a good old guy.  I liked him, and I'm going to miss him.