I’m going to take the week off from blogging, but will be back next Monday.
Yesterday morning I walked into the kitchen to see Corbie struggling – and failing – to stand up. He was confused and disoriented and scared, and before we could even get him into the carrier to take him to the emergency vet, he was gone.
In the hours leading up to that, he was perfectly fine. He was completely normal at snack time, he sat and stared pointedly at my plate while I ate breakfast, waiting for me to share a few bits of egg with him. He spent a good part of the morning sleeping in his favorite box in the kitchen. Then he was gone.
To say that we’re shocked and heartbroken and incredulous is an understatement. He would have turned five years old on February 8th.
We buried him in the back yard, not far from the patio where he loved to roll around in the sun.
Corbie came to us in March 2010 along with his three brothers Reacher, Rhyme, and Bolitar (later nicknamed Buster). They’d been discovered under a bush near the office where Fred worked at the time, under the same bush the Wonkas had been found the previous fall. They were about five weeks old and started out as hissy spitty little brats, but it didn’t take them long to decide that we weren’t so bad.
From the very beginning, I thought Corbie was knockout gorgeous, with his caramel highlights and his beautiful stripes.
He and his brothers all tested FIV positive at first, which was no surprise to us. The Wonkas (who, we determined, were their half-siblings. They shared the same mother, who was FIV positive, and very sick when we managed to trap her.) Like the Wonkas, Corbie and his brothers – the Bookworms – eventually converted to negative. They were with us a little longer than kittens usually are, since we had to wait to retest them, and during that time I fell more and more in love with Corbie.
The whole litter made themselves at home in and amongst the permanent residents, none more so than Corbie. He became buddies with Jake and Elwood – especially Elwood – and they loved to make trouble together.
We did try to get Corbie’s sweet, gorgeous, wonderful self adopted out. But because he’d been with us so long, he didn’t do well at Petsmart at all. He stopped eating and would do nothing but hide, and we were so worried about him that I went and got him and brought him home. I believe we tried him at Petsmart one more time, but it was clear that that just wasn’t going to work, and so I brought him home for good, deciding that he’d be with us until we could find him a permanent home.
We thought, at one point, that we’d found a home for him, but it didn’t work out. I honestly thought at one point that we were going to end up with all four brothers permanently, but Rhyme and Bolitar (Buster) were adopted at Petsmart, and then Reacher was adopted to Kathy in Birmingham. Which left Corbie with us, and in early 2011 I gave up and announced that he was ours.
The muscles in Corbie’s back end weren’t as developed as they should have been. We weren’t able to determine exactly what was wrong – the vet did tests and found that there’d been some muscle damage at some point, though we don’t know what caused that. Skeletally, he was perfect. More than one vet suggested that it could be due to his being born to a mother who was FIV positive. He got around fine, he was able to walk okay, but he couldn’t really climb, he couldn’t jump, and he didn’t really run. We made it so that he could get up to his favorite window bed by putting a set of steps next to it, and did the same so that he could get up into my recliner. His favorite bed in the house was on the floor just inside the dining room; he’d sit there and watch the other cats go by, and keep an eye on what we were doing in the computer room.
He couldn’t purr – he may have as a kitten, I don’t remember. I think that whatever caused the issues with his back end probably caused his inability to purr – but when you’d pet him, he’d close his eyes, and you could tell how much he loved it. He had such an expressive face.
I never made it a secret that I thought he was the most beautiful cat on earth. I mean, for a while he was the permanent resident whose picture I shared every single Friday, because I thought y’all needed to see his beauty to start your weekends off right. He was beautiful and expressive and such a character. He had a silly, funny walk that Fred called his “Chester Cheetah” walk because his back legs kicked out to the side. I often said that he marched to the beat of his own drum.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
I know not everyone believes in the Rainbow Bridge, but I like to think of him there, rolling around in the green grass, watching birds, running and climbing like he couldn’t when he was here with us. He’s purring, and greeting his old buddy Elwood and making friends with all of those who have gone before him.
And he’s waiting for us.
Goodbye, sweet boy.
If you’re of a mind to, donations can be made in Corbie’s name to Challenger’s House.
They accept donations by mail (check or money order), by phone (Mastercard/VISA), or there’s a Paypal button at the bottom of the Petfinder page.
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773
2014: No entry.
2013: No entry.
2012: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2011: I actually think that Corbie will be okay at the adoption center, because he’s the kind of cat who takes his cues from the cats around him.
2010: “Who, US? We weren’t doing anything, honest!”
2009: From the terrified, practically-feral kittens they were to the kittens who actually seek out human interaction they are now, they’ve changed a lot.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.