I had to put down our beloved Mr. Chicago yesterday. We adopted this furry little grey and white bundle from our traveling Vet. She had called me to ask if I would come get a kitten. She had too many and would be in trouble if she didn't give a few away. So I took our oldest with and drove out to the Vet's ranch. She escorted us into a tiny bathroom and out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of something. It crawled up my leg and attached itself to my t-shirt. A little kitten, that was so ferocious. It hissed at me. The Vet tried to get it off but they don't retract their claws at that age and I told her to just leave it.
She said we call that one Mr. Chicago because he has white spats, a white front and a bow tie. I don't really know if you should take him because he is Ferrel and has been bottle raised. He may never adjust to humans well. He has always been a little on edge since we found him, in a dumpster eating a throw away sandwich. He is very possessive about food. Well he was also possessive about me. I just felt that he had chosen me. So we took him home.
He never really bonded with the other girls. He liked Hubby and he liked me. We had to get the girls another cat to play with. Chicago did not play with children. He grew into a huge sleek grey and white Tom cat. The Vet always said to him, " Mr. Chicago you have hit the cat lottery." He prowled and moused and owned the house.
When we moved from the old house into the house we live in now, he knew something was up. No one could catch him. Finally we were into our last load and I sent the oldest and her boyfriend to catch Chicago. What a fight. I have never seen an animal put up a fight like Chicago did, but finally he was in a large box, hissing and spitting like a Tasmanian Devil.
When we arrived at the new house and was released he took off out the back door and I did not see him for 10 days. I tried to work in the yard everyday and once in a while I would see what I thought was him, when I would call out his name; I would get the tail lifted and a view of his back side. He was definitely mad. About 2 weeks after the move he slouched into the back door and demanded to be fed. He then ran downstairs and hid under a bed. Now he stayed under that bed for three days. He only came out to eat. Finally one morning I was asleep and I felt a thud on my chest. Here was Chicago glaring at me. I started to talk softly to him about his attitude and I scratched his head and ears, rubbing my hand under his chin like he loved me to do and soon he was purring away and happy or the first time in a month.
Chicago lived King of his domain through many other cats and batches of kittens. He basically ignored most people unless he felt you were deemed good at petting, then he might give you the time of day. When Chicago was about 11 we got our dog Sandy. She was B's dog. B was home alone so much when she was in High School and she really wanted a dog. We loved Sandy a mutt that we rescued from a Vet that took abandoned animals. She is the smartest dog I have ever seen. Chicago hated her. I mean with a red hot hate of the damned. So he moved next door.
Our next door neighbors had 2 dogs and a cat. The cat lived with us most of the time. I would often find the larger of their 2 dogs asleep with the girls downstairs. Community pets we called them. Chicago could not be convinced to move home. So we left him with the neighbors. They were getting ready to downsize and both of their dogs were gone and I think Chicago was a comfort. He loved solitude and quiet and so did they. But when they sold the house they could not find Chicago. He was not moving again. Cats are smart by nature and Chicago was smart for a cat.
Within a couple of days he was back with me and he was miserable. He still hated Sandy and Sandy loved to chase him. But at 14 he did not want to be chased. Three years ago a new family with 3 children moved into the house next door. It was a young doctor who was doing his residency at the hospital. Chicago moved back to his other home. They got him a heated outdoor cat house. He spent most of his time sunning himself, and trying to get away from the 3 year old twins. He suffered being dressed in baby clothes ( he had certainly mellowed) After the doctors residency was over he moved his family to another town about 30 miles away, but they kept this house as he does rounds down here 2 days a week. Chicago is now a very old man of 17. He is skinny and stiff in the joints. When the doctor would come home Chicago would follow him from room the room and complain. He became very vocal in his last year always chewing doc out for leaving. Doc would lift Chicago onto the counter (what a bad habit) fix then something to eat and then pet Chicago and go to bed. Chicago wanted him there. This relationship went on for about a year. Chicago has always been a fighter and somewhere along the lines he contracted Feline AIDS.
He would only grow weaker and would not be able to survive outside. He was also a danger to our cats and others as he could bite them give them this disease. I called the traveling Vet that had given me Chicago and asked her what to do. She said it was better for him to be put down. She said the late stages of the disease were horrible and I should not let him reach that stage of the illness. So yesterday doc came to the door, got a pet carrier and we went over to get Mr. Chicago. He was laying sprawled out in his favorite sun beam. Both of us called him and he acknowledged our presence with a flip of his tail. Doc picked him up and caressed him and I got the carrier ready. I did not know if this would work as Chicago is smart and has a sixth sense. The first time was a wash, he was out of the carrier in a flash, but doc was too fast for him and we managed to get him in while I slammed the gate. I thought we would now listen to a chorus of Chicago's spitting and grouching, but he was completely silent. He just looked at us through the grates with his yellow eyes.
I called the Vet and she came over about 2 hours later. Chicago slept next to me in the carrier on the floor. He seemed content and resigned. It was over so quickly, just a reach into the carrier and he was gone. We wrapped him in a little blue bag and spoke to each other about his wonderful life. 17 years of Chicago's cat lottery. I will miss him.
I am behind in the shop having to take on the cat yesterday so I must get to work. Who is reading this nonsense anyway? My readership is over 500 a day now it is getting kind of creepy. :)
Out My Window: beautiful, I want to be outside so bad.
Have a great and productive day, more saga tomorrow, sorry running behind!