Search This Blog

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In Remembrance of Takashi

Takashi Kitty 
June 6th, 2007 - May 22nd, 2013.
 I was raised by cats, so naturally when I got married I wanted a cat.  We adopted Takashi from the Salt Lake City Humane Society about 6 months after J and I tied the knot.  I wanted a cat, but J chose him.  He was a year old adult cat who had been there 5 months.  J chose him based on his easy going personality.  He was quiet, well behaved, and did not mind being picked up and cuddled.  As we do not have have children, he became our baby.
He came with his own unique kitty quirks.  He had a phobia of going outside.  Like all new kitties he hid under the bed for the first few days we had him.  After he got used to being in the house and being with us we decided to take him outside to explore his new neighborhood.  J held him and walked out the front door onto the porch.  At this point Takashi became highly agitated and clawed open J's back to get back into the house before the door shut.  This was the furthest outside he had ever been.
He would greet me at the door when I came home from work.  We could leave the door open.  He had no interest in going outside.  What-so-ever.  This was fine by us since we have a lot of cats in our neighborhood and occasionally get the warnings to keep them inside because they kill the birds.  We felt like responsible pet owners when really we just had an agoraphobic cat.
We gave him all sorts of nicknames.  Wo-ho-ka-show aka The Stomach That Walks.  Garfield.  Fuzzy butt. The Fuzzy Bowling Ball.  The Rug.  Fuzzy Worm.  Pudding cat.
We were the proud parents of an 18 pound Maine Coon - American Short-hair brown and black tabby.  He did not start out that big.  No, he was a skinny kitty when we brought him home.  As my Momma always says, "A Fat kitty is a Happy kitty."  He did not eat table scraps though.  He did not even eat canned cat food.  All we feed him was dry cat food, water, and the occasional saucers of milk for good behavior.  Even though he never got canned cat food he always ran towards the sound of the can opener.  We attribute this quirk from his former life before he was dropped off at the Humane Society.  From these photos you can tell his favorite position was on his back.  
He had his favorite spot.  When I sat on the couch he always sat on my right.  He would get annoyed if there was not enough room for him, even if the left side was clear, he had to sit on the right of me.  Every night he would come sit by me as we watched tv.
He loved fitting into cupboard spaces.  We bought him a kitty tree with a cubby hole in it but he never even tried to fit in the space made for him.  No, he just wanted to get in my cupboards whenever I pulled something out.
We had our routines.  He would wait until my alarm went off then he would start meowing outside the bedroom door for me.  I trained him to wait until the alarm went off by throwing shoes at the door to scare him away if he started too early.  I would then feed him in the bathroom.  He preferred to have someone watch him while he ate.  His favorite room in the house was the bathroom / cat food room.  Sometimes while I was in the kitchen cooking he would sit in the middle of the hall and meow and meow for me to come watch him eat in the bathroom.  If I was too busy for him I would turn on the can opener to get him in the kitchen so he would stop meowing in the hall.
After morning feeding time I would go out in the living room and open the blinds.  He would jump up on the back of the couch and look out the window all day.
We put the cat tree by the kitchen window so he could jump up and watch the birds from the front window as well.  This gave him a space other than the kitchen table to sit.  J tells me he caught him on the counter a few times, but I never saw it.  He was really good at not jumping up on the the table once we got him the cat tree.
When we first brought him home we let him sleep with us, but he abused this privileged by playing kitty games all night and knocking things off the headboard.  He was banned from the bedroom at night.  We trained him well.  J would turn the fan on, (J needs white noise from the fan to sleep), and he would know it was time to leave.  He got so good at knowing when to leave J would come into the room and head towards the fan and he would jump off the bed and run into the hall.  Sometimes he jumped off the wrong side of the bed.  He would freak out turn around, jump back on the bed, then jump off the right side and head towards the hall.  It was so funny to watch him when he would get off on the wrong side.
He was so cuddly.  He would let you pick him up and hold him for 15 -30 minutes before he started to squirm.  He never bit or used his claws when he was playing.  He never went after hands, even if you rubbed his fuzzy tummy.  He was so well behaved and gentle.  I know how destructive kitties can be, especially indoor cats, but he was surprisingly not interested in the chairs and couch cushions.  He scratched up his kitty post and we sacrificed a few door mats, but I would much rather he scratch the door mat than the chairs.
He loved being in the same room as me.  He would greet me at the door when I got home from work and follow me around the house.  If I was feeling sad he would sit by me.  Whenever I went to towards the bathroom he would race me and wait by the door.
Around March I noticed he was becoming a picky eater.  You cannot be an 18 pound cat and a picky eater so I started to worry.  I switched cat foods, but nothing helped.  I suspected that he stopped eating all together towards the end of April as I stopped filling his food dish in the morning.  He would still wake me up every morning but stopped coming into the bathroom to eat his food.  He got worse.  We started suspecting that he was not drinking his water either.  He started hiding under the bed and we would not see him all day.  We knew he was sick and going downhill fast so he made an appointment and took him to the vet.
It was the first time he had been out of the house since we adopted him.  They had to give him all his shots and ran blood work.  He was severely dehydrated and had lost 4 lbs.  They kept him overnight with an IV.  His blood work showed that he had liver problems.  We made the decision to get an ultrasound to see how his organs looked.
He had an enlarged liver and both kidneys had stones.  His kidneys, from the blood work, appeared to be functioning, but they were really small and malformed.  He had not eaten or drank water while at the vet.  He threw up IV fluid.  Due to his liver failure he was not making blood clotting factors.  His skin would bruise when you touched him.  He was in a lot of pain.  There was little we could do, the choice was obvious given the general organ failure, but it was still an extremely difficult heart wrenching decision.
We brought him home for one last night and to say our goodbyes.  He spent the entire night under the bed.  
J and I do not have children.  Takashi was our baby.  We let him go May 22nd, 2013 a few weeks shy of June 6th, 2013 when we would have celebrated having him for 6 years.
He will be greatly missed.