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The Cats’ Tales

July 2, 2015

There are two members of the family who will not be going with us on our adventure. In theory we could have taken pets to Japan, but it was so impractical that it bordered on the impossible. Perhaps not for everyone, but for me it has been surprising how hard it is to say good-bye to our cats, both emotionally and logistically.


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I’ll go with last in/first out and tell you about Ebony first. I have not been involved in the picking out a kitten phase for either cat, so to my memory she just appeared in the house one day. We have had Ebony for about 7 years and probably the most told story about her is that the day she came home she hid away in the closet for two days until hunger finally made her nervously explore the world. She is an indoor cat and even when the door stands open in front of her she will sniff the air, but usually stay behind the invisible line of the doorway. There is a picture next to her in the dictionary next to scaredy-cat. She never grew very large and is usually refereed to as the Smallish Cat. Our very good friends agreed to take her in and last week Sarah went over and spent one last night with Ebony in her new home. This time she only hid for a few hours before venturing out and was playing before Sarah left the next day. We left her with great friends and I’m sure we’ll see Ebony again during future visits. Who knows we might end up with a house where a cat can live again some day.

And Then there is Rascal. Melanie waited a few days after bring her cat home to give him a name. The fact that she ended on Rascal should give you some idea how well behaved he is. Early in life it was determined that Rascal had to live part of his life outdoors. He was just too much cat to contain. It was not an easy decision, but he would bolt outside all the time anyway and eventually we just gave up trying to keep him in. He always came home for supper. He was a fierce hunter. Small rodents knew better than to enter our backyard. He’s mellowed out a bit in his old age and while he tries to get outside on most warm days, he rarely goes past rolling around in our yard and chewing on the grass. For some reason he likes to sit on my lap over the others. Unfortunately his outdoor life ended up costing him. Over a year ago we took Rascal into the vet because he was sick and they fixed him up, but told us that he had also contracted Feline Lukemia. A fatal disease for cats. He had a year to live and since he now carried the Cat Plague he had to stay inside. [He was separated from Ebony until we determined that she was not sick and she could get an immunization.]  After a year of living inside and eating a special diet, Rascal is in the best health I can remember.

But no one will adopt him. He can’t live with other cats because he is contagious and even the no-kill cat shelters in the area won’t accept cats with Feline Leukemia. The shelters suggested that we think about giving Rascal a peaceful ending. So earlier today Kira and Melanie took Rascal to a farm down south. By which I mean an actual farm, C&W Rustic Hollow shelter, where they accept FeLV cats. After exhausting all possible local options my wife found out about a shelter in Iowa only 3-4 hours away that would take him. This morning she and Melanie drove Rascal there and said a tearful good bye to an old friend.

Enjoy your 10th life Old Man.

Kanji for the day: 猫     ねこ     neko     cat

One Comment leave one →
  1. Janet Koplos permalink
    July 3, 2015 9:08 am

    I think this was a heroic effort to do right by that cat!

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