May 18th 2013 5:41 pm
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Sebastian aka Sab, 13, died Saturday, May 18, 2013, after an extended intestinal illness, with his mom & medical team by his side.
Born Tuesday, June 8, 1999, he was one of 5 kittens born to Hunny and Elmo of the Small Household in Raymond, Maine.At age 8 weeks, he moved to Standish, Maine to live over a yarn shop with his forever family.
Quickly earning himself the nickname “The Delinquent”, he channeled his curiosity by appointing himself Hospitality Manager &Security Inspector for the home. No one was allowed to step foot into the apartment without the full-court press of being greeted, circled, guided inside, then given full attention & a coating of orange & white fur, which he maintained with great pride. As Security Inspector, he unwittingly caused the most trouble, getting himself locked in the shower stall for 12 hours, or spending the night in the apartment hallway because he never told his mother he was making one last pass through her legs. His tenure was also fraught with scandal, such as the day he fled upon the arrival of The Moving People who brought in a new bed, and he spent the day inspecting the top of the refrigerator. Or, while on the first day of duty, he broke the new computer printer because he considered the moving paper a security risk to his mother’s well being. Evenings would find him securing the household after careful inspection of each water bowl, door, and bed, going behind the desk, climbing the bookcase, the bureau, snooping around the bed, and howling his success to anyone who cared to listen. He considered anything near the edge of anything was suspicious and needed to be knocked off with swiftness & accuracy. When foster rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters & mice arrived in the home, he inspected every item in each bag with precision, then spent the fosters’ time in the home watching them to make sure no nefarious shenanigans were perpetrated without his participation& consent. His most daring foster hanky-panky included knocking over the cage where two nervous & pregnant guinea pig mamas were huddled. His proudest accomplishment was making Oliver, his mother’s friend’s toy poodle, terrified of cats, by launching himself onto the dog’s face when the dog dared to enter the carrier where Sab & sister Mackenzie were hiding.
Sab won himself may fans through the years. He eventually found an outlet for sharing his silly stories on Catster, and called it “Silly Sab Stories”. He knew how to spin a good yarn & get all the tails thumping with glee. He was a member of the group The Three Mouscateers, which included his besties Chumley and Jason Hopper. He was sensitive to remembering the souls of friends in his life who died, conducting special howling sessions in the middle of the kitchen around the time they died. He prided himself in his orange brilliance, and is why he never fell for the red laser light, instead going straight for the handheld device in Mama’s hand.
Despite his lifelong issue with asthma, and diabetes and chronic kidney disease later in life, he never allowed these difficulties to interfere with his zest for life. His favorite pastimes included jumping &antagonizing his sister Mackenzie, hanging out with his mama in the evenings,sun worshiping, The Evening Howl, catnip, crinkly toys, creating the Orange Streak of Zoom, Rosie Rat, and his special pink stuffed heart.
His favorite foods included tuna water, deli turkey, eggs, cow's milk & Temptations treats.
He is survived by his mother, Stephanie Umbro, brother Bijou (cavy); and sisters Zena (gerbil) and Sandy (hamster). He was predeceased by cat parents Hunny, Elmo, and his littermates; brothers Milo & Monet (guinea pigs); sisters Mackenzie (cat), Paisley and Taffy (guinea pigs); Henrietta,Reese, and Melody (hamsters); and his human Papa. He will also be remembered by extended family including his human Memere, aunts, uncles, cousins, and his favorite pet sitters, Paulo & Marty. He will never be forgotten by his orange besties: Jason Hopper, Oliver Winston Parsons, and Jasper (of The Manxters), and was predeceased by orange furiends Chumley, Stinker, & Ashley.
A memorial was held at his time of death with a paw print to be given to his family.
Family & Friends who wish to donate in Sebastian’s name are asked to support Diabetic Cats in Need, the organization that got him set up with glucose screenings, blood tests, and insulin supplies when he became diabetic, effectively saving his life. They may be reached at:
Diabetic Cats in Need or
use their Paypal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 18th 2013 7:46 am
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It was time. Sab fought as hard as he could, but in all probability, it was GI cancer. The nausea medication didn't hold him. He'd vomit & it would just knock him off his feet. His eyes would glaze over, and he'd lay there, catching his breath, before getting up to say hi to me.
I couldn't let him suffer anymore. He slipped peacefully away, with Dr. Alex's help, at 9:18am EST. He made me promise, though, to post this last message when I got home.
My heart is broken, and this is now a catless, soulless apartment. It's going to take a lot of time to get used to that.
I will always be Sab's Mama. He touched so many lives & have left so many furiends in tears now that he's gone. Your love & support has meant the world to us - to me - and I promise I will eventually read the messages. For now, Catster is just too painful a place to be.
But here is Sab, to have the last word:
I am so tired, furiends. I just don't have any more fight in me. Nausea medicine didn't help me. I am in pain. I can't stop drooling. My back legs aren't working like I want them to anymore. Dr. Alex is quite certain that I have cancer b/c the medicine didn't work at all. I asked Mama to post this message for me when she gets home, after bringing me to see Dr. Alex for the last time & helping me go to sleep so I don't hurt anymore. I have had the most pawsome life that a cat could ask for. I had my Mama wrapped around my paws from the very first day.
Furiends, if you wish to share your love of me with others, could you do me a favor? The wonderful people at Diabetic Cats in Need helped me out last year when I got sick with the die-ah-beets-ies. Without them, I wouldn't have gotten to spend the last 15 months with Mama. If you want to visit them, they are at http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.com/
May 15th 2013 12:30 pm
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I'll do my very best not to cry on all of you. Had a very long chat with Dr. Alex this afternoon, after he consulted with the ultrasound vet. I must agree with them; there's nothing left to do for Sab.
Dr. Alex applauded my efforts, saying that many people give up on their pets a lot sooner than I did with Mackenzie & wouldn't have gone this far with Sebastian. There's just nothing more to be done.
Bottom line: we are out of time. Sab was given injectable antibiotics & anti-emetics. When he begins to vomit again, I will need to say goodbye. We've got 24 hours to reverse this trend.
We're home, and he's very unsettled. He's pacing. He spent last night vomiting in several places. He's begun hiding. I am not optimistic, at this point, and even a reversal of vomiting is enough.
I'll do my best to keep you up to date.
May 13th 2013 7:20 pm
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here's the gobbly-gook that Mama wrote to a few friends about my test: mis-shaped right kidney, thickened intestinal wall & one swollen lymph node at base of stomach. It could be: kidney infection and IBD, or it could be cancer. Dr. Kristen recommends doing a urine sample first to rule out the infection. While his BUN & creatine levels are OK, the "undefined" right kidney might be hiding an infection. This could be contributing to the sudden horrific urine odor that developed over the weekend & causing his nausea at the same time. She suspects that he's been living with an inflamed bowel for awhile, but with all his other conditions considered, his immune system might be too weak to fight off symptoms. If the urine checks out, she suggests increasing his prednisone. If "all else fails", she recommends a biopsy. Next stop: discussion with Sab's regular vet on the next steps. Came home with Zofran, so hopefully the nausea will be over & he'll be able to start gaining some weight.
Let me tell you what REALLY happened....
Mama puts me in the carrier again & locks the door. Oh no... not again! But this time, it takes forever to get there. Usually we drive for about 5 minutes & we're there. This time, I think we drove to another country.
When we got there, I'd never seen this place before. It was nice & tidy, very nice inside, but it smelt funny. I wasn't happy about this. Mama filled out paperwork & we waited. The dogs & their humans that came to the counter to talk to the ladies were so happy to see Mama. So glad that they didn't see me!
We were called to another room and a strange lady pulled my lid off my carrier. Then Dr. Kristen came in and poked & prodded me and pulled on my skin & ran her hand down my back. When she came back, she took me away & Mama left the room. Mama, where are you going?!
Dr. Kristen shaved my belly, then put cold jelly stuff on my belly before she took pictures. I figured I might as well just hang out & wait. The other girls came over & oooooohed and aaaaaahed over me and they all thought my brilliant orangeness was so handsome. When Dr. Kristen was finished taking pictures, she gave me some treats. I've never had a v*t give me something to eat. I sure was hungry, seeing that Mama didn't give me breakfast. I've decided that I want Dr. Kristen to do all my stuff from now on - she gives me FOOD!
It was a tough ride home. Mama says we were stuck in construction traffic & the sun was really warm. Made me gag a little but I didn't throw up in my carrier. Phew.
Mama gave me the throw-up medicine before supper, then gave me all I could eat of my kibble. Dr. Kristen says I'm still too dehydrated so I've got to have my fluids every day + drink more from my new water fountain.
I didn't tell you about my new water fountain? Mama got it "really cheap" through the animal shelter for me to try out. It's pretty cool. It bubbles my water & keeps it cool, just the way I like it. I don't like the noise it makes when it gets empty, but Mama says this is a good noise b/c it tells her that I'm drinking. It must be a really cool fountain. Even Mama's phone charger decided to take a swim in it & jumped off the counter. Now it's really sick & Mama says it will RIP. I'm just thinking this is a really good thing, because Dr. Alex calls Mama on her cell phone. No power for her cell phone means... no calls from Dr. Alex. I really love the water fountain MOL
May 9th 2013 8:29 am
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Oh, man... I'm so tired of having a sick tummy! I'm so hungry that I could eat a rabbit! How come Mama's not fostering rabbits right now?
Mama's trying her best. She's been giving me deli meat, cheese, tuna, sardines, yogurt, ice cream, my favorite kibbles, baby food (how do they feed that to babies? It doesn't even SMELL like food - I won't touch it!), and tuna. I eat it... but then I have to recycle it because it just gets stuck in my tummy & won't leave.
Mama took me to see Dr. Alex last week. He took Dr. Shawn's place. He stole some blood & told Mama that my albumin level is very low. I've lost over a pound since Christmas. My iron is very low. Do you think that I should do some more exercises? I do know that it's made me feel tired. Dr. Alex says that if I don't raise my albumin levels, I'm going to die. He says "Sab, you've got to eat!"
I'm trying to eat, Dr. Alex! I want to eat! It just hurts in my belly. So I cough it back up. Dr. Alex told Mama that if all I want to eat is Temptations treats, then she should give me as many treats as I can eat. I've never heard such wonderful words coming from the vet. SCORE!
The good news of last week was that my kidneys looked good & so did my sugars. The bad news is that I'm very thin. Mama says I'm just skin & bones now, but she loves me anyway. She promised me that she's not let me suffer if I was in pain, and to please tell her when it's too much.
Honestly, I don't have time to die right now. I've got lots to do. Mama's been really sick herself, and spending lots of time at different human vets to figure out what's wrong. I've got to keep an eye on her, sit on her, make her stay in bed so she can rest her sore head. She feels terrible that when her head hurt her worst is when I started throwing up, and she didn't even notice. I tell her to not worry about such things. Dr. Sab is still on the prowl! Someone has to make sure that the litter boxes are emptied, that my water dishes has fresh water, and that I get my handful of treats every so often. Last night Sandy, the hamster, almost escaped from her tank. Mackenzie used to keep an eye on her, but now it's my job. I had to bang on her tank to make her stop climbing & let Mama know about the jail break!
Oh my... look at the time. It's my scheduled nap time before Mama starts making lunch & gives me more treats. I haven't thrown up yet today so let's hope its a good day!
February 18th 2013 5:39 pm
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I don't know what an o-bite is, but Mama finally gave this to me to read. Oh how I miss my sisfur. I've been so lonely without her. Mama too. *sniff sniff*
Mackenzie “Miss Priss”, age 16, of Standish, died Thursday, January 24, 2013 after a brief illness, surrounded by her family & medical team.
She was born on or about January 1, 1997, location unknown. She made her way to the town of Raymond, Maine, where she attracted the attention of its caring ACO, who trapped her and brought her to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in June of that same year. It was there that she paw-picked her mama. She was adopted by Stephanie U on June 27, 1997.
Mackenzie’s chosen profession was Mother Attendant and counselor which she did with grace and precision. She made sure that nothing her mother did, felt, or said went without notice. She became an excellent shadow. She was an efficient nurse maid, standing vigil when her mother would get ill. She did her best to protect the home from foster rodent invaders, a task that she executed with great zeal. She commanded the respect of every animal who entered through the door, and got it. She refused to succumb to what she considered a detriment to peaceful coexistence among the family under the influence of cat nip, and exacted order with an expertly swung paw & growls of warning. She is remembered as being fiercely loyal to those close to her heart. To be chosen by her as one of her people was a high honor to be treasured.
She exhibited her artistic skills in tossing hairballs, dragging dingle berries, tossing litter, with a special flair for toilet paper remodeling. She won every battle ever waged against the fearsome rolls of white. She also protected the yard from descending fowls outside of the windows, clattering at them to stay away. She was a legendary drama actress. Her most notable performance was convincing her mother that her kidneys had failed simply because she wouldn’t urinate in front of the new kitten. Every trip to the medical clinic, even for routine check ups, was an occasion to convince the world that she was horribly mistreated.
Her pastimes including chasing the red laser dot, thread, and yarn; conquering plastic shopping bags; hanging out with her mama; eating; and counter surfing. Her favorite foods were deli meat, tuna and water, milk, and sardines.
Survivors include her mother; brothers Sebastian (feline) and Bijou (cavy); and sisters sister Zena (gerbil) and Sandy (hamster). She was predeceased by brothers Milo & Monet (guinea pigs) and sisters Paisley and Taffy (guinea pigs) and Henrietta, Reese, and Melody (hamsters), and her human Papa. She will also be remembered an extended family including her human Memere, aunts, uncles, cousins and her favorite pet sitters, Paulo & Marty.
A memorial was held at her time of death with a paw print to be given to her family.
Family & friends who wish to send donations in Mackenzie’s name may mail them to:
Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland
PO Box 336
Westbrook, ME 04098-0336
or drop them off in person at
449 Stroudwater Street
Westbrook, ME 04092
January 24th 2013 4:17 pm
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Mama and I are home now. I'm doing my very best to love on her tonight. We had to say our final goodbyes to Mackenzie this afternoon.
Mackenzie started to not wanting to eat around Thanksgiving. By the week of Christmas, she stopped eating altogether. Mama took her to see Dr. Alex, who gave her some medicine. Still, she didn't eat. So they stole some blood. Her blood told them that Kenzie's liver was very, very sick. Mama decided that it wasn't good to put Mackenzie through more tests. Dr. Alex gave her some medicine to make Mackenzie feel better for what time she had left. That was on January 3rd. Dr. Alex said she might have a few weeks to a couple months.
Kenzie put up a great fight, but her liver was too much for her, Mama says. She couldn't eat anymore & her legs weren't working right this morning. I tried to be near her, to comfort her, but just like always, Kenzie still growled at me. Mama spent today being with Mackenzie on the floor, sometimes holding her, other times just petting her. Kenzie purred the entire time, but I could tell that she was tired & was ready to die. Even on the car ride to the clinic, she growled at me. Granted, I was really worried about that trip... I HATE car rides!
I sat next to her until it was time, and I licked her goodbye. She growled at Dr. Vicki just because she could. Mama held her until Kenzie fell asleep.
I know Mackenzie's gone now, but I can't help but pace around & look for her. Mama didn't fill her food bowl tonight. In fact, Mama took away her food bowl. Mama's been doing a lot of crying on my fur. I've been cleaning it special for her tonight. I sure hope she doesn't plan on holding me & hugging me more!
Mama says to tell you "thank mew" to each of you for all your support & love. Our apartment sure got very empty today.
Will you join me in a final howl for her?
February 24th 2012 7:10 pm
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Hi Silly Sab readers; its Mama!
I know Sab's told you that he was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this month. He's still planning on telling you all about his odyssey and the torture he's been put through, but right now he's taking a well deserved nap.
He & I have been back and forth to see Dr. David just about every day this week. He started insulin on Monday evening. I have been home testing him to keep an eye on his sugar levels.
Based on those tests, today Dr. David declared Sebastian DIET CONTROLLED. This means that putting him on wet food a couple weeks ago was the best step & its been enough! He doesn't need insulin right now! I am so very relieved to get this news. I'm sure he is too!
Continue to purr for him, as this could very well be just a temporary thing. He needs to stay on predisone for his asthma, and that pill can really mess with blood sugar. It's probably responsible for him having diabetes now. Thankfully he's not had breathing issues.
May 10th 2011 6:07 pm
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When Mama got the pmail today that said "Sebastian is Cat of the Week" I did not believe her. After all, she's been saying lots of unbelievable stuff lately, such as "I don't have time for Catster anymore" and "I don't have time to play with you right now".
So when Mama pulled this one out of her hat, I thought she was trying to make me feel better. I've been having asthma attacks of late; you should see the pollen on Mama's car! I just couldn't believe the fuss until I started getting messages & rosettes & gifts from everyone. This is just the coolest thing ever and even Mackenzie's getting in on the excitement by racing around the living room, chasing me! She never does that!
So, since such an honor means your adoration for the coming week, allow me to get in position to receive your respect and homage. Orange Rules!
August 5th 2010 5:45 pm
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I know I've been AWOL lately; please don't blame me. It's all Mama's fault. I just don't know what to do with her! After all, I can't win another "diary of the day" title if I don't post in my diary MOL
She's always got a reason to keep me off of Catster. Right now its "I've got to do birthday shopping for the nieces" and now she's got a new toy: this fancy super-dooper lens that a friend gave her for her camera that Mama says is super expensive and more than she could even dream about. Mama's been taking lots of pictures lately and this isn't going to help!
At least Mama's knee is feeling better and she can move around again. I hate to see Mama in pain. The bad part about her feeling better is that she's not home as much! So I've done my part to make sure she knows I'm still around.
I've been leaving her regular dingleberries about the apartment. Unfortunately she manages to find them before she steps on them, but at least when she does find them, she comes over and bats me on the head with a "keep it in the box, Sab!"
When she's not taking pictures she's been at the animal shelter. She tells me that there's hardly anyone to work in the bunny room so she's been putting a lot of hours there. I tell her "hey, they don't pay you enough to work that hard!" and she says "silly Sab, I'm a volunteer; I don't get any money at all!"
We've had another foster bunny living with us for almost a month now - I haven't even had time to tell you about that! He's white with floppy ears and has a bad head tilt. Mama says he's getting medicine for a parasite infection that cats could catch so Bongo - that's his name - has to stay behind the fence and not come out and play with us. How come she doesn't do this with every bunny?
The not-so-baby nieces have been coming over to visit, too. I guess that they think Mama's the coolest person in the world to come visit and Lucy comes over alot. She likes to try to play with me by putting my boa feather in my face. Mama shows her how to swing it in front of me, but I don't want to encourage this behavior. They got me yesterday, though: Lucy threw my favorite ball at me and before I could think, I was out of my Morgan's Bed and chasing after it. This made Lucy laugh and jump and get all happy. Last time she was here, Lucy stuck her face in the pet carrier where Mackenzie was hiding and Kenzie striped Lucy's face. Mama was angry about that b/c she just missed Lucy's eye, but hey Lucy stuck her head where it didn't belong - even I know better than to do that! Now Lucy's afraid of Mackenzie and I get more preschooler attention!
It's been super hot here; Mama's kept the air machine on for us. Ah it feels so good!
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