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I got an update from Lynn, who adopted those sweet ‘Maters boys, Mr. Stripey (aka Stripey) and Sungold (aka Sunny.)

Robyn, I just sent you a disk with new photos of the boys. These are much better. Thought you might like an update. All is well here. And they are inseparable. One of them sniffed Tabby and she tolerated it for awhile and then slugged him. The other one leaped out in surprise onto Tiki and she let him know that was not appreciated. Both boys just sat and shook their heads, like WTF?

(Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version at Flickr!)

Aren’t they the sweetest things? I just love updates on my former fosters, perhaps I’ve mentioned?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

That’s right, still bakin’. I finally got out the Furminator brush yesterday, and I can tell you that Kate loves herself a good brushing. She kept walking back and forth, purring, kneading, and head-bumping me while I brushed her. I got an impressive little pile, but she’s still shedding like crazy. It’s about that time of year when the cats start shedding anyway, and with her medium to long fur, it seems like even more than it is. The foster room probably needs to be vacuumed every single day, but I’ve been sticking with doing it every second or third day.

According to the spreadsheet, the majority of the guesses are for this week – the most guesses being on Thursday – so we shall see. I can report that she’s eating really well, and if I recall correctly, Maggie and Emmy’s appetites dropped off in the last couple of days before they had their babies, so you know I’ll be keeping an eye on that.

“And I’ll be keeping an eye on your hand. Which is not petting me. What are you waiting for?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Old man Spanky keeps on rollin’. (Pic taken about a month ago.)

Two weeks ago, we got Liqui-Tinic from our vet. (Edited to add: It might be cheaper here. Do a little looking around on Google before you up and buy any online!) The vet referred to it as “a blood builder.” Spanky had pretty much stopped eating anything at all, was doing nothing but sleeping all the time, and had that look in his eyes. (If you’ve had to say goodbye to a beloved cat, I think you probably know the look I mean. If you haven’t, you’ll know it when you see it.)

Fred started giving Spanky Liqui-Tinic several times a day, and within two days, Spanky’s appetite was back, he was asking for food several times a day, and he was bright-eyed and aware of the world around him. He was going outside and walking around the back yard – which he hadn’t been doing – and he was meeting Fred at the top of the stairs every morning. The Liqui-Tinic has been a miracle worker for us these past two weeks. I know it won’t work forever, Spanky’s appetite is beginning to drop off again, but it’s given us some more time with Spanky and has made Spanky feel really good. That’s what we were hoping for.

I know that the time we have left with Spanky is likely measured in months, if not weeks. We have decided that the time we do have left with him isn’t going to be spent carrying him back and forth to the vet. He is terrified of trips to the vet to the point of losing control of his bladder, and just as scared when vets come to the house and try to examine him. He’s an old man and he deserves to live out his days peacefully.

Hey, this is a bit of a downer ending to this post, isn’t it?

ANYway, I wanted to suggest that if you have an ailing old man kitty or even an ailing not-so-old kitty, you might want to ask your vet about Liqui-Tinic. Fred had mentioned it on Facebook back when it started making a difference in Spanky, and Jacquie talked to her vet (who had never heard of it), and started giving it to her 18 year-old cat, with her vet’s blessing. It’s working for them, too, and it’s got really good reviews on Amazon.


2012: Oh, look! Time to eat. That only happens constantly, we’re lucky I had the camera with me while it was happening.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Sometimes the wait is so long and strenuous that he sits there, dozing.
2007: Sugarbutt does his Popeye impression.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-5-13 — 88 Comments

  1. You are doing the right thing, not schlepping poor Spanky to the vet and letting him live in peace. I commend you!!!

  2. Yay for Kate, shes baking you some really good babies I expect. πŸ™‚
    Yay for Old Man Kitties having a peacefull and comfortable sunset πŸ™‚
    Sadly my last two didnt get that πŸ™ they both had some sort of seizure and died too distressed for any comfort from me.Heartbreaking. One didnt make it as far as the vets and the other had to be put down and they left him covered in his own mess. really awful.

  3. Sadly, I know that look. I agree with you that it is all about them and their well-being (comfort, not fearful, etc). Kisses, snuggles and making sure he knows that he is loved and valued is what he and you need. I am sending you both lots and lots of well wishes and tons of hugs!!!

  4. I knew this was coming based on Fred’s recent Facebook posts. Doesn’t make my heart ache any less for you and for Spanky hearing it finally spelled out for us. We made the same decision for the late, great Madame Einstein when it was her time to go. She was so afraid at the vet that I honestly feared she would have a stroke every time we made the trip. Hugs to you, Fred, and Spanky (especially Spanky).

    I think I’ll go cry now πŸ™

  5. Oh Spanky, you’re such a distinguished ol’ gentleman… You stick around, OK?

    My crabby ol’ man Atticus will be 15 this year, he’s a diabetic and is on insulin. I adopted him when he was 5 weeks old, and I can’t imagine a day without him…

  6. This is always the hardest time — when you know that the end is near. Lots of love to Spanky. What a handsome gentleman.

  7. Robyn, loved the photos of my “ginger” boys who remind me of the Siamese cats in “Lady and the Tramp” because they are so inseparable (tho not naughty as those two in the movie!!). I’m so sorry about Spanky, but totally support your idea in keeping him home and comfortable. I had a huge cat, Felix, who died of feline leukemia and I was fool enough to put him thru chemo – which I will NEVER do to another creature. It did not help much or prolong his life and he was miserable. I have come around 100% to letting an animal die naturally (if not in pain) and in good hand with loved ones. But it’s always hard to give them back.

    • Thank you. This helps me validate the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I had a cat Greymokin who stopped eating due to fatty liver syndrome, and his bilirubin was so high they couldn’t control it. They wanted to intubate and give him a stomach implant so that he could eat while they treated him for it, but the treatment would be 3-6 months and there was no guarantee it would work. I decided to have him euthanized instead – I couldn’t justify putting him through that (he was a very shy and retiring cat) for anything less than a definite prognosis. I’ve often questioned whether I was wrong to do that, but … I couldn’t justify putting a cat through that. πŸ™

      • I think there’s often a temptation to Do Something because there’s the option for it. We forget that giving our companion a peaceful and gentle exit IS doing something. It’s the last kindness we can give them, and an act of love. I have done long battles with diseases in my companions, and mostly I’ve learned to only do that if I can be absolutely certain I’m doing it for them and not for me. They only have the days they go through, and you can’t explain to them that it’s for a good reason or a slim hope.

        Last year I lost Tenshi, who had been in my life since he was six month old, and he was nearly fifteen when he developed lymphoma. We fought it for a while, so long as he was still enjoying food and cuddling and sleeping on the couch. When I couldn’t buy him any more good days, I put him to sleep. I promised him “No bad days” once he got sick, and I kept that promise. Losing him hurt, but I knew I was doing right by him, and that was a comfort, eventually.

      • Bless your heart; I am SO sorry! But I’m also so glad you didn’t do that. My treatment for Felix was over $4K – the vet should have told me it would not work (I later did research and learned that once it’s in full blow, it’s fatal; there ARE no cures). Not only did I waste money on worthless treatments dragging him to the vet each week – for only a brief 2 months, but Felix developed high skin rashes and lost fur; he vomited, hid behind furniture and just wanted to die in peace. I put him thru that due to my own selfishness in not wanting to let him go. It did not help him one bit. So do your natural grieving and realize you sent him back to his Creator peacefully and give thanks for the gift that he was to you.

        • Thanks. It’s a hard decision to make, and bless your heart for caring more about Spanky’s comfort than your own wants. *hugs* I’m just so glad that there really are other people who think this way.

  8. I will really miss Spanky, he’s my favourite, but I know you will make him as comfortable as you can and give him lots of love. That’s all we can ever do at the end of the day. But it’s so hard.

  9. You are right that Spanky doesn’t need the stress of multiple trips to the vet. Hug him and love him in the remaining months of his time with you.

    • I have to strike a balance between loving on him and not making him nervous. If he gets too much attention, he worries! πŸ™‚

  10. I went to Spanky’s permanent resident page because I didn’t think he could be THAT old but yeah, he’s 16. I totally understand not wanting to haul him back and forth to the vet if it makes him miserable. Enjoy the time you have left. I love Spanky … When I see him on here it’s like somehow my kitty Snowball got to Alabama. Then Snowball climbs in my lap.

    On a happier note- can’t wait to see those kittens!

  11. I have a serious soft spot for Spanky, he looks like my Rupert’s twin. Rupie is like Spanky, there is no way he’s going through the rollercoaster vet visits at the end, he deserves quality of life, not abject fear & suffering. Thanks for the head’s up on Liqui-Tinic, I’ll be ordering some today. Hang in there, cute kitty, we lurve you!

  12. Robyn, please give Spanky a big hug and kiss from me. He’s lucky to have you and Fred…

  13. Hugs and kisses to Spanky!! You are blessed if you know the love of a senior animal!

    I have such a soft spot for the senior kitties after having my Boo for 21 years. I wish I had know about the Liqui-Tinic for her. Is it a new product?

    • I’m actually not sure if it’s a new product – I had never heard of it before we got it from the vet!

  14. Totally agree on your decision for Spanky. One of my cats is 12 and though she seems fine, I know eventually I’ll lose her. But as long as she has good quality of life, I will keep petting & loving her.

    Can’t wait to see the beebee kittehs!

    • Hi Cara, I am in the same boat. My darling Charlotte just turned 12 and I am already fearing the time she will leave me. She is perfectly healthy but still I know what is coming. They are so lucky that they don’t seem to have any idea of their own mortality. We should be so lucky.

  15. Poor spanky! And thank you for mentioning the liqui-tinic! I think my ancient 20/21 year old could do with some of that.

    Fluffy Kate!!

  16. Adding my best wishes to all the Spanky lurve. He is such a sweet old man – hope to see him around for a little longer.

  17. Robyn, you and Fred are doing exactly the right thing, but you know that. Spanky is a lucky boy. At times like these I ask again why our buddies have such a short time with us. It seems unfair to them and certainly to us. But all we can do is the best for them and hope their transition is easy and happens in their sleep and they wake up with their buddies on the other side of the bridge.
    Got to go now, tears are starting.

    • I once told a friend whose cat had crossed the Bridge, “Their lives burn so briefly because they love us so brightly.”

      Thank you for letting Spanky choose his own path into the sunset.

  18. Spanky is lucky to have you guys and I’ll bet you feel lucky to have him. You know what is best for him. Please give him ear skitches from me and love to you all.

  19. I made the same decisions with my kiddlerat, Katherine. Vet visits and cartrips just terrified her, and I didn’t want to put her through that. Lucky Spanky that his people take care of him with his kitty desires in mind.

    Hugs to you and Fred!

  20. So sad to learn that Spanky is declining, such a sweet kitty!
    I truly beleive it is always harder on us than it is for them.
    So many times I have had fellow animal lovers ask “why can’t they live as long as us?”. I think the answer to that is that it gives us the opportunity to save and enrich the lives of MANY critters during our lifetime.
    I am sure Spanky’s remaining time with you will be filled with much comfort, care and love.

    • I agree. I look at it as giving me the option to enrich the life of another cat. Pumpkin is 13 and I know he won’t live forever, but I’ll take every day I get.

  21. Everyone’s said it all so well–glad Spanky’s there with you still, hope he has longer rather than shorter.
    The update on the ‘boys’ is fun to see.
    And kittens baking!! something to look forward to as well.
    Thanks, as always!

  22. Spanky’s plight brought me to tears because I have an 18 year old who’s still ticking over, but is in definite decline. He doesn’t hate the vet quite as much as Spanky, but still my main concern is giving him a good life and peaceful death.

    We just have to play it by ear, don’t we?

    Hang in there and kudos to you for thinking of him more than yourselves.

  23. Very sorry to hear Spanky is ailing. You are doing the right thing by letting him go in comfort & peace. I made the same decision about my furkids (all are getting older now) some time ago. I had Yorkie that had congestive heart failure that I sucessfully treated for 3 years (meds three times a day & numerous trips to the vet). But the final couple of months weren’t easy & he didn’t have much quality of life. I now know I should have ended it sooner.
    I had to make this decision again this past Feb 27th for my 13 yr old ladycat Rainbow. Won’t go into her story here, but she was comfortable & doing ok up untill the last 24 to 36 hrs. I’d already decided if I couldn’t improve her condition, then I wasn’t going to prolong her life. She had one trip to the vet & 2 rounds of various meds which didn’t help. Other than that, I left her in peace & don’t regret it one bit. She was Queen of the house & ruled the others with an iron(but gentle) paw. I miss her very much.
    Anyway, I totally agree with what you’re doing for Spanky. Also, want to thank you for the tip on LuiqiTinic. My old tomcat Stormy will be 16 in 3 weeks & has slowed down a lot. May have to get some for him.

    • I’m sorry for your loss of Rainbow. I know that when we had to make the decision about Spot several years ago, it was a tough one, and we definitely waited too long. It’s a decision made harder by the desire to keep them with you as long as possible. ::hugs::

  24. Best wishes for Spanky and you and Fred. I think my cat has cramps today. She has been howling and lying around by the fire. I keep telling her “Shush-yes I know what a B being a woman can be.” OTOH, now I really need to call the vet and check my schedule to get her “tubes tied”.

  25. Awwww, Spanky, pretty boy, extra hugs and love for you. I hope you live the rest of your time as a happy boy, out of pain.

    I definitely know the “look”. I had a friend with a first-time pet who was ailing and when she asked me how I knew when it was time, I told her that she would know – they let you know when they’re ready to go, and you just …..know.

    My heart hurts for you, Robyn and Fred. Watching a beloved pet decline is gutwrenching. But I’m sure you’re thankful for the years he was happy and healthy and for the time you have left with him.

    • Thank you, Cheech, we are definitely grateful for the time we’ve had (and have left) with him. He’s one of those kitties who just radiates joy, has never given us a moment of trouble.

  26. One of the reasons I come here is because of this little community. To hear all of you talk about your beloved kitties and how you’ve had to make the decisions you have when it came time. I find so much comfort that you’ve been through the same things… makes me think that my own decision, one I think about every day, may have been the right one (letting my 18yo Tonkinese go last year). It’s never, ever easy. No matter what choices we make.
    Robyn/Fred, I am devastated hearing about Spanky. I’m sorry you have to watch him go through this. And I think what you’re doing for him is wonderful. All the cats you take in are so very lucky to have you.
    *wipes tears*

    • Thank YOU – it’s a hard decision, but I think that most of the time when it’s time, you know. You can second guess yourself forever, but it’s a decision made from love, and it’s a kindness. ::hugs::

  27. Oh, Robyn, I’m so sorry to hear about Spanky. With Kate in the house, this is truly the circle of life. I lost my loverboy, Romeo, in 2009 to lymphoma. When he first ‘messed himself’ on the way to the vet, I assumed it was because he was ill. When he yowled to the point of craziness and messed himself on subsequent visits, I knew it was out of sheer fear… fear of the crate, fear of the car ride, fear of the vet. I made the decision then that NO MORE CHEMO. I don’t think it was really working. I brought his food and water to him in his various hiding places (he just wanted to let nature take it’s course and die peacefully) the last few days. After two days of not eating or drinking anything, I held him in my lap and petted him over and over and over for about three hours. Told him I loved him, cried for him. He gurgled and purred as best he could. His last three breaths were a little violent and gasping and I felt sooooo bad. There was no way to put him in the car and have him euthanized to avoid it. He died in my lap. I held him a long while longer and cried a LOT longer. I still miss him every day. My other cats, while not in the room during his final hours and did not see him ‘pass’ or ‘passed’, they knew. When I finally got up, I wrapped him and took him out of the room. They solemnly filed into the room, sniffed around slowly, and one by one laid down. It was very moving to me. And, while I wasn’t prepared for his last breaths to be anything other than peaceful and part of me still wishes I would have had some way to end it without those gasps, I wasn’t prepared for that. I might’ve changed it – – but I think the car ride would have been his end. Either way it’s very tough, but I know that he knew I loved him! (and still do) Corny, right?

  28. Spanky is such a sweet looking old man! Hugs and scritches to him! Hugs to you all. I hope he rallies, that the Liqui-Tinic keeps his appitite up and he has many more days in the sun! Every day is a blessing, so snuggle all you can!

    Hmm, Kate looks like she could use a good brushing, with those stray bits of hair in her face. I bet she’d like it if you got on that right away! MOL

    Great seeing the orange boys again! So glad they’re so happy!

    • My household gained an orange boy today. A local shelter had put Garfield on their urgent euthanasia list because he developed a cold. He was scheduled to be euthanized at 2 pm today, so I called this morning and went to get him this afternoon. He’s 8 years old and was surrendered by his owners because they moved. He started purring as soon as I got him home and hasn’t stopped. He’s incredibly mellow and affectionate. I told my husband that we didn’t really “need” another cat, but that this cat needed us. He has to stay isolated in the guest room for a couple of days because of his sniffles, but I’m so glad I took this leap of faith for this sweet boy.

  29. Awwww Spanky! Thank goodness for this liqui-tinic! May each day you spend with your family continue to be full of treats, scritches, hugs, love and more treats!

    Take care

  30. I’m so sorry to read about your beautiful old man Spanky. It’s never easy and always heartbreaking, but it’s because of our love for them that we think of them and what’s best and easiest and the softest option for them. I’m weeping as I’m typing this, Robyn. I know Spanky’s still hanging in there (long may that continue – and longer than just weeks or months), but I have seen ‘that look’ in my beloved Mollie girl’s eyes, and my hubby and I both knew she was about to leave us. She died in my arms, after some heartbreaking yowling and some coughing/gasping sounds, as we told her through our tears that it was okay for her to leave, and that we’d always love her, and we’d never forget her. She died gently, and as peacefully and as painlessly as we could possibly make it for her to be (no trips to the vet – she was way too weak and she had, by that time, become unable to make it to her litter box in time, so she was constantly messing herself, the poor sweet beautiful girl that she was).

    My heart aches for you during this time, Robyn and Fred. Take comfort, though, as I know that you are of course, that Spanky has been with you and knows how much – how very, very, very much – he is loved by the two of you. Keep that with you, and hold onto that. Holding onto that has helped me with Mollie’s death, just as it has done with my other beautiful furbabies that have left to the next realm.

    I send positive and healing energy to sweet Spanky, and I send love to you and Fred, too.

  31. Aww, Spanky! What a sweet old man. I want to add my voice to the chorus and say that I agree it’s the right thing. When our old tortie girl Snack developed mammary cancer we decided to have the tumor removed but to do no more than that — no radiation, no chemo, only palliative care when she would need it. She developed diabetes as well, so for much of the last year of her life she was on insulin too. Eventually it was all just too much for her little body, so at the age of about 13 (we adopted her as an adult, so we didn’t really know her age) she was put to sleep. It’s so hard, but so right to give our furry loves a peaceful and painless end. I hope you, Fred, and Spanky enjoy your remaining time together.

  32. I just wanted to add my voice to all those who feel your pain and understand that you’re making one of the hardest decisions ever. Hugs to you and Fred, and kisses between the ears to beautiful Spanky.

  33. I love when you get foster updates, too. And Lillybet is bound to give you some super cute babies to help you over the tough times, whether it’s weeks or months away. I am thinking of you all. I know what it’s like when a senior cat decides it’s nearly time to go. May there be grace and ease in it for all of you. xo

  34. Oh Spanky. I hope that he knows that there’s a huge community out here who think he’s special and want him to be comfortable.

    He’ll let you know when it’s time. Just hold him a lot and cuddle with him when you can.

  35. It’s too bad the mater boys haven’t been able to make themselves at home. Kept in cramped, drafty conditions unable to thrive or grow healthy.

    One of my few rules is that the cats cannot have bigger or more expensive furniture than me. Looks like they don’t have that problem.

  36. I’m currently in love with Liqui-Tinic. I was giving Pet-Tinic to Fleurp for her anemia but then I found the Pet-Tinic… I give it to her every once in a while to hopefully fend off another round of anemia (she’s had two bouts of it now). I am so glad it is giving Spanky a little extra pep in his step, and hopefully you are looking at months instead of weeks..

    Squeaky (aka Eli) says hi..

  37. Saw Batman and Robin tonight and Robin has lost his one white whisker, but Batman still has the little mole behind his ear plus I can tell them apart just by personality. Robin lurves a snuggle. Baby Beans was out with the big guys and played with the feather teaser. Gave me same attitude, but didn’t draw blood. He doesn’t look like he’s growing at all. He looks half as big as he should be.

    • I can’t believe no one has fallen in love with Baby Beans’ sullen, gorgeous, attitudinous little self.

  38. I’m glad you know that Spanky’s time is coming, and can treasure your last moments with him. When my cat died, it was very sudden, and I only had hours with her, but I was in shock and denial and did not believe she was going to die and so did not spend the time with her I feel she deserved. She died alone, a fact I very much regret. πŸ™

    • Hannah, I hope you’re not beating yourself up for this. Of course you would have been with her if you’d known it was her time. What’s important is all the time you had with her before that. She knew you loved her. ::hugs::

  39. thanks. I do beat myself up over it, because the signs were there, but I’d never had a pet die like that before. but thanks for the encouragement, you’re very kind. πŸ™‚

  40. I do know the look, I have seen it with two of my dogs. I’m glad you are letting Spanky live out his days in peace, in the place he loves best. This is the hardest thing about being a pet owner-and there is no getting around it. My thoughts are with your family.

  41. Robyn, I’m wondering how you’re giving the Liqui-Tisin to Spanky. I ordered some for my 20 year old cat and put a dropper full on his wet food and he snubbed it. In fact, he moved to the bowl next to his that didn’t have the stuff added to it. It’s got animal digest in it, so it should taste good to him. Do you have any suggestions?