June 14, 2009 – December 20, 2012.
Last night, we said goodbye to Elwood. Three weeks ago, he was diagnosed with FIP, a diagnosis confirmed by a second vet. (Note: this is FIP, not FIV. The other permanent residents and fosters were not put at risk.) We were able to get a little more time with him through the use of steroids, but at the beginning of this week he started going downhill and last night we knew it was time for his last trip to the vet.
I know this comes as a shock to most of you – we didn’t really tell anyone that this was going on, because we just didn’t want to talk about it. I kept hoping that we’d get him with us through Christmas, but in the end we had to decide what was best for him and let him go; we didn’t want him to suffer.
He went peacefully, looking at the faces of the people who love him with all their hearts. He was a few months over three years old.
In August of 2009, about six weeks after we’d buried the much loved Mister Boogers, we came back from a day trip to find two small gray kittens playing around our side stoop. They’d been left with a big container of cat food, and nothing else.
We originally thought we’d foster them and then adopt them out through Challenger’s House. That idea lasted maybe 24 hours before we knew they were going to stay with us. To have them – these kittens who looked a lot like Mister Boogers – just show up seemed like a sign.
From the very beginning, Elwood was a love bug. He loved to be cuddled, and he had an easy purr. When he was especially happy, he’d purr so hard that he squeaked.
There were three things he loved above all else: his brothers Tommy and Jake, and Fred. Fred would sit on the couch, and Elwood would climb into his lap and purr, squeaking. Then he’d move over to snuggle with Tommy. Tommy would lick his ears, and Elwood would purr like crazy with more squeaking. He was a sweet, squeaking fool.
He was such a silly boy – usually quiet and calm unless there was food involved (snack time was his favorite time of day). He was a big cat, and his nicknames evolved from Ellie to Ellie-Belly to Ellie-Bells and Belly-Bells.
He was great with the fosters. I’m sure to them, he was just a big warm body pillow, but he’d school them in the proper way to act (especially at snack time!), put up with them laying across him, and he always made sure their ears were clean.
Did I mention that he loved Tommy? Because he certainly did, he loved Tommy with a bright burning squeaky passion.
Although he was a quiet cat, the house is quieter without him here. I’m grateful that we were able to have these last three weeks with him, and that we told him repeatedly how much we love him. Fred buried him in a corner of the back yard, the place where Elwood loved most to lay and watch the birds go by.
If you’re of a mind to, donations can be made in Elwood’s name to Challenger’s House, the shelter I foster for.
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
I’ll be back on Monday with the usual Friday question-and-answer post, and pictures… of the new fosters.
2011: SQUIRREL TONGUE
2010: I love the alarmed look on Bobby’s face, like “I feel a paw on my shoulder, but NO ONE ELSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW!”
2009: I’m starting to think that maybe the floof is in the Kudzu family and we’ll wake up one morning to find it wrapped around the entire house.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: I said, “But (the volunteer) has fourteen cats. FOURTEEN.”
2005: No entry.