I mentioned recently how sick my sweet little Stumpy cat was, and that his condition was deteriorating. We had to say goodbye yesterday. I'm grateful that he was with us for so long. He was the sweetest, toughest cat ever and I did not want to let him go.
The photo above is Stumpy when he was still a stray who came around twice a day for meals and randomly for cuddles. Sometimes he'd even go with us for long walks around the residential parts of the city. See his left eye? He lost vision in it after a mysterious injury. We figure he was either hit by a car or in a fight with another animal. He showed up one day all beaten up with his eye swollen shut and ran off when I tried a warm compress. He went missing for a few days after that, and when he returned, his eye looked like this and he couldn't see out of it anymore. Amazingly, he adapted right away and continued to live outside. He could still hop onto the deck railing or a fence post with no trouble. We found out a couple of years later that it's rare for a cat to survive this sort of injury.
A few years after that, in the fall of 2010, he stopped eating and started acting weird around his food bowl so we put him in a carrier and took him to the vet. That was the beginning of his life indoors. He was diagnosed with a chronic, painful mouth disease and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. The FIV made it difficult for him to fight off infection. This complicated treating the mouth disease which was essentially a raging gum infection. The outcome did not look good. Things got really bad before getting better. But all kinds of people chipped in to help pay for the immediate care he needed, and eventually, after four surgeries and with regular steroid and antibiotic maintenance, he was able to live comfortably.
We worried that keeping him indoors would make him miserable, but he was happy as could be and spent the next six years warm and safe inside with regular meals and snuggle-time. He used to like to flop over on his side and have his belly rubbed. He'd even do that thing where he kicked his hind leg like a dog. Sometimes he would lay in bed on his side at my chest or Mark's spooning. He was such a sweet little monkey. Yesterday morning before we brought him to the vet, I held him for two hours while we both napped on the couch.
Here he is just the other day stretched out on his couch on the porch--his favorite place here in our new apartment.
My heart hurts like it's being pressed into my stomach and I'm being pulled through the floor, and my eyes are swollen and I can't stop breaking down crying, but I'm grateful.
Mr. Stumpy Blackvelvetpants, I love you, my sweet little monkey.