Likes: Belly rubs, a really good stretch, dinner, poppa's coats, lego, window viewing
Pet-Peeves: Getting his nails clipped, sounds of dogs outside, diets, diabetes.
Favorite Toy: Lego and string.
Favorite Nap Spot: Any sunbeam to be found, crammed inside of a shoebox, soft blanket nests or poppa's coats when they happen to be laying on the ground.
Favorite Food: Carbtastic dry food once he wasn;t allowed to have it anymore.
Skills: Fatsy was a guard cat. When he heard a dog or catfight outside, he would growl and patrol the perimeter of the house, postured like a pit bull or guard dog, tense and ready to protect the house. He always protected Lucky and made syre she was okay.
Arrival Story: When I told my husband I wanted to volunteer at the SPCA as a cat caregiver, he was skeptical... he knew my love for cats was ever flowing, and he feared our household wouldn't be able to sustain the kitties I would be determined to save. "But it's a no-kill shelter sweetie I won't NEED to save them, they will be FINE! I just want to help out and feel useful!".
On my orientation, when touring the facility and visitng the isolation room where all newcomers are kept for 48 hours, I happened upon this empty looking cage, with what looked like a fur hat crumpled up in the back corner. The name on the cage said Charlie, and the cat inside looked like he could use a stiff drink.
I will not lie, Fatsy was not beautiful, well not conventionally anyways... his coat was all dry and falling off in chunks, he had tears in his ears from obvious fights, dirt caked in his ears and a faded old green serial number tattooed on his ear, not to mention he was severely obese and over 10 years old. He looked very sad, and in his eyes I could see that this experience had been very hard on him. It was strange, but I could feel his pain, and it was like he was telling me, he wouldn't be able to make it much longer. I kater learned he hadn't touched his food or his litter, and that he was already showing signs of depression. We learned in the orientation what happens to depressed cats, they stop eating, they stop using the toilet, they stop functioning, then they die...
Hi identification tag said Charlie had been with his last family since kittenhood, and that in that 10 years he was primarily outside, sleeping in a cat igloo on the porch. It said he was good with kids and good with other cats. And that was it, 10 years summed up on a little cardboard index card... poor Charlie!
I asked if I could take him in the private room to spend some time with him... already I wanted to save him. In the room he was calm, he purred a little and rubbed on me, he was interested in the foor, the smells around the room, and he repeatedly tried to get into his shelter box but the door hole was too small and only succeeded in pulling excess fur off of him. I fell in love... I needed him to come home with us and be okay. I needed him to eat, to pee, to live.
I went home and told my husband, who was less than thrilled. We discussed it, I cried when I told him about this cat's struggles, my worries he would die in there waiting to find a home, my need to help him, because he was special, he was so scared, he needed me. Finally the fact that it was to be Mother's day the following day won out, and we went to pick up Charlie first thing in the morning. The minute we got him home, he peed for about 6 minutes straight, and then went and hid.
He had his own room set up, and the hiding continued for several days, until he was comfortable with his surroundings. Little Lucky was very upset at first, he was the first cat she had in her house, but she realized very quickly that he didn't want to take her place, or steal her attention, and she grew to tolerate and eventually love him.
We renamed him Fatso without really thinking about it, because he was indeed very fat, like a little beer keg with legs, scuttling around the house.
Bio: When we first got Fatso we took him to the vet that offered a free checkup coupon with all SPCA adoptions, to ask about his weight and his general health. She said hsi weight was fine (at 28 lbs) that he was just a big boy, and his teeth were terrible and he needed dental cleanings as soon as possible. She didn't even look at his abcess and sent me on my way with $16 cream, and a false sense of security. I should have known better.
I reduced his food intake to try and get his weight down, but it was very inefficient, and he was eating so little already.
One year later, Fatsy began feeling sick, he had diarrhea a few days in a row, and he was very lethargic, I called our regular vet in to inspect. He diagnosed Fatso with diabetes, and said it appeared he had been diabetic for a very long time, and it was likely his family surrenered him to the SPCA for that reason, not wanting to opt for treatment or euthanasia.
We tried to regulate his blood sugar with a low carb high protein diet... it helped immensely, all the signs of illness disappeared, his energy came back, his coat got better, he lost weight at an amazing pace. Even the vet was impressed with Fatsy's lean mean 14lbs. He even asked if we would be changing his name! We were all very hopeful he was getting his diabetes under control, and that he was going to make it, be managed and healthy for a long time.
Unfortunately several months later, he took a sudden decline, and we learned his liver and his kidneys were failing him. After two days of obvious suffering, we had him put to skeep and lost our beatiful Fatsy baby to kitty heaven.
I miss him terribly, and I wish we could have had more time together than out 18 short months. I wish I would have known earlier that he had diabetes, so I could help him get better, I wish a lot of things, but I am helpless to change them, so I just focus on remembering and loving him despite missing him so much it hurts.
Fatsy was the best cat there ever was to hug, the would put his paws around my neck and press his warm pussy willow tummy up against my chest. He was all comedy, with a warm personality and that serious, but always embarassed by comic blunders face. He was very loving and protective of the whole family.
Fatsy had a mysterious history, and serious abandonment issues, he was a very sensetive soul with a lot of baggage, and all I ever wanted to do was make it better, make him happy, melt away his kitty cares and make him smile. When the cats were in trouble, say for scratching somewhere they were supposed to, he would rush off and hop up onto his chair, look up at us like "I'm good see? I'm on the chair!" and be absolved of any further reprimands.
He was truly an awesome cat, and he is loved, missed and celebrated on a regular basis in this house.
To the pit of my soul, I still cannot fathom that someone abandoned this awesome cat. I would have given almost anything for more time with him.
I suppose most diaries are written from the feline perspective, but unfortunately my Fatsy has no perspective anymore, he is at rest. So this is my diary, about him, about how much I miss him, how much I love him, and how much I think of him every day.
I don't know how other people cope with the loss of a pet, this was my first. When I adopted him, I knew he was a senior, and I understood he more than likely had health issues, but it was more important for me to know that he had a home, than to pre-emptively protect myself from the pain I might experience if I were to lose him. At the time logic dictated it would be worth it, and it was, trust me, but I was just not prepared, to love him as much as I did, and to ache as much as I have, when he was gone.
He was the cat who was mine. I was the human he loved. My husband, my daughter, even Lucky, he enjoyed on another level, but I was the one he clung to. That to me was precious.
He spent nights sleeping at my feet, days at my lap, mornings following me around as I got ready for work, evenings watching me go about my routine. He was a friend and a companion, always entertaining, always loving and so very sweet.
When we spent the night away from the house, even for as little as 24 hours, he pouted for days. He was mad at me, he needed me, and how dare I leave him. He was such a vulnerable soul, abandoned by his former family, and seemingly terrified it would happen again.
When we took him to the vet, he cried in the car, he trembled and howled and his heart beat so fast... he thought he was going back to the SPCA, once we were at the vet, and on the way back, he was calm as a cucumber... nestled comfortably in my arms, with his paws around my neck, all he needed was to know he was loved and safe in a home that would never leave him.
I never left him... and he never left me. To this day every time I see a piece of lego, I am reminded of how he would get all kittenish and bound across the living room punching and flicking the lego around, leaping to catch it, everytime I sit and watch Days of Our Lives, I wish he could come and curl up on my lap and cut off the circulation to my legs just one more time... and I never imagined, that little guy could affect me this much...
18 months is just too short. I wish I could have given him 18 years.
When I was having a look at Fatsy's profile, I was reminded by an advertisement, of the invaluable support of felinediabetes.com. There was so much information available, and so many people going through the same thing, just trudging through trying to help their kitties, that it was the single most helpful resource I had during Fatsy's illness. If you have a cat with diabetes, or with severe obesity, excessive urination or any other signs of diabetes, have a look at that website, visit the forums, and read read read.