Photo Comments Sex: Male Weight: 10 lbs.
Leave a treat for Skipper (In Loving Memory)
Catster stats for Skipper (In Loving Memory)
Skippy, Skippy Peanut Butter, Gingerman, Skippy Longshanks, Buddha Kitty, Little Big Man
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being a caretaker kitty, being a next to your lap cat,
he has none
a stuffed bug on a dangly string
Favorite Nap Spot:
next to me on the sofa or on the outer edge of my bed
green peppers and bean sprouts, grapes, cantalope, Pet Guard canned food
many. Sitting up to beg when its time for insulin, detecting smoking pots on stove and warning people, "speaking" when asked
I rescued Skippy from the Frederick County Humane Society in Frederick, MD, where I had been a volunteer vet tech. He was the most beautiful kitten there. When I took him in my arms, he settled down and purred right away. Walking him around the banks of cages, he looked with curiousity at the other cats, but did not growl, hiss or act afraid. I fell in love with him immediately and adopted him that day.
Skipper was an unusually intelligent cat, who showed from the time he was quite young that his purpose on earth was to be a caretaker of others. When Skippy was a year old, I adopted a Siamese kitten (Petunia). He immediately took on the role of BOTH foster daddy and foster Mamacat--letting her nurse on him until she outgrew the need to do so.
When Skipper was 4 years old, he showed me that he was not merely intelligent, he was brilliant. So much so, that he put my Siamese Petunia in the shade, poor thing. When he was about 4, Skippy saved my kitchen from burning when a pot caught fire on the stove. I was on the phone in a back room, too far from the kitchen to smell smoke. Skipper came trotting in, meowing loudly. He went running back and forth between where I was and the kitchen several times until he got my attention. The walls were a bit scorched, but the only thing that was lost was the pot. Skippy earned his angel wings that day, 11 years before he entered heaven.
Skippy had quite a human appetite--he would eat all sorts of things--dried pineapple, banana chips, grapes and even canteloupe. But his favorites were bean sprouts and green peppers. Whenever he heard me cutting up greeen pepper, he would come running. For all his varied diet, he never weighed more than 11 pounds.
Once, I left a plate of Chinese food (Schechuan chicken with chili peppers) on the coffee table for a minute while I went to pick up the phone. Skippy snitched a mouthful, including a chili pepper, and swallowed it before I could get it away from him. Frantic, I called the vet. Fortunately, they said, all it would do was give him diarrhea. I watched him carefully, he never got the runs-- he was fine!. But That was the last time I can remember Skipper ever trying to snitch food off a plate!
At age 8, Skipper developed insulin dependent diabetes and the wide variety of snacks he ate had to be curtailed.. He was very tuned in to th changes in his body as a result of the diabetes. Amazingly, Skipper would sit up and beg at the refrigerator door to remind me it was time for his insulin.
In March of 2011, when my beautiful red tabby was 15, he began to show signs that all was not well. The vet diagnosed Skipper with pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism. Despite his daily regimen of insulin injections, subcutaneous fluids, and several medications, my little Gingerman never growled or got nasty. He was very brave.This earned him the nickname Little Big Man, after Dustin Hoffman's movie role.
One day, when I was sitting on the sofa crying, thinking about losing my beloved little Orangeman, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and looked right into his eyes--Skippy had jumped up to sit on the back of the sofa, and was patting me on the shoulder like a human would do. I sat and talked to him for a bit, stroking his lovely soft fur. Then I started crying again, and turned away, head in my hands. And that little paw reached out and patted me once again.
A few days before he died, Skippy let me know he did not want to be medicated anymore. When I tried to give him his meds, looked right in my eyes, reached out, put a paw on my hand and gently but firmly pushed my hand away. No hissing, no growling. Just "No, please, I don't want this anymore". So I stopped giving him his thyroid pill. He did the same thing when I tried to give him his subcutaneous fluids. So I stopped them too.
Skipper had other mannerisms that were very human as well.He could look me straight in the eyes for long periods without ever becoming uncomfortable and looking away-- unlike other cats. I often felt as if he had a little person inside looking out--or as if he had been a person in a past life. I thought, people like the Dalai Lama can be very spiritually evolved, why not cats? So I eventually decided that Skipper must be not only highly intelligent, but also a highly evolved spiritually. As a result, he earned the nickname "Buddha Kitty".
Amazingly, my little Skippy Peanut Butter never stopped eating until the day he died. He also never hid from the other cats like most kitties do when they're dying.This told me that Skipper, like so many humans, wanted to die at home surrounded by the cats who loved him.So I made the decision that he would be euthanized at home if he was in pain or suffering.As long as he was comfortable, I would allow him to die naturally, in God's time.This turned out to be the correct deciion..
One of Skipper's final acts was to jump onto the bed and lie on the pillow beside me, purring. to the very last, he was concerned about my welfare and wanted to take care of me.
After about 30 minutes, he jumped down to lie on the rug by my bed. Something told me it was time. I got out of bed and lay down beside him. When I reached out to stroke his ribs, he put out a hind paw and gently pushed my hand away. I respected his wish not to be touched, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. In just a few minutes, he raised his head,struggled to take a breath, collapsed and died without undue suffering or extensive pain.
Skipper taught me that cats have the right to make their own decisions about how they want to be treated at the end of their lives. I learned that it is possible to understand what they want if we watch them carefully and are open to what they are trying to tell us. This was Skipper's most valuable gift to me; one that I am now using with his "baby" Petunia, who at age 15, has been diagnosed with cancer.It is truly humbling when you realize that your most important teacher in life has been a little 10 pound cat.
I take care of everyone
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