Yesterday was a sad day in the Walker home. I had to take our pet cat of 11 years to the vet to put him down. This picture of our kids and cat was taken about a year and a half ago after he had a serious back injury. The kids felt bad for him so they decided to spend some time with him and “read him a book.”
One evening we came home and couldn’t find the cat. Becky finally found him behind our washing machine. That was not unusual because he liked to hide there a lot. What was different this time was that he was trapped. Becky reached behind the washer and noticed that his back legs were not moving. She called me in and I checked him over a bit. I have never felt a “dead limb” before and that was exactly what it was. It felt so weird to move his legs around and not feel any “life” in his legs. I took him to the vet and the x-ray showed that he damaged his spinal cord at the apex of his back. The best we can figure is that he must have fallen behind the washing machine and hurt his back because there was no way he could have gotten back there with his hind legs paralyzed.
With the vet’s help, slowly, but surely, his legs started to function again. They never were 100%, but he had enough use from them to be able to run/hop if he needed to. Ever since the accident, our kitty never was quite the same. He rarely pooped in the litter box and eventually got to the point where he was peeing on the floor too. We tried every trick in the book to get him to use the litter box, but he started losing weight and just didn’t have the energy that he once did. We talked to our vet a lot and after a year and a half of watching the cat deteriorate, we decided it was time. I took him to the vet yesterday morning where he was injected with a sedative, fell asleep on my chest and was then given a shot that put him to sleep forever.
I’m not much a of “cat guy,” but I have to admit that I am crying again as I type this. He was the first pet my wife and I owned together and was with us for a long time. He wasn’t very friendly to strangers, but wasn’t mean at all either. It was not uncommon for people to be visiting our home and after a few hours we’d see the cat wander out of the laundry room. Our visitors would be surprised that we had a cat.
Oh, you have a cat? What’s her name?
It depends on what he is doing.
Our guest would laugh.
His name is “Squeak”, but we never call him that. Becky and the kids
call him “Mr. Chicken,” but he answers to “Food.”
That cat sure loved Chicken. Every time Becky would prepare it for a meal, the cat was in the kitchen me-owing his little head off. He never was very coordinated though and we use to laugh at some of the dumb things he’d do. One time he tried to jump over the back of the couch and misjudged his jump. He slammed head-first into the back cushion and sort of crumpled to the floor. I guess my favorite memories of him would be when he would crawl up onto my chest after the kids went to bed. He would then give me “love bites” on my nose and would fall off into a deep, calm almost ecstatic state as I rubbed behind one of his ears. He would stay that way until drool would drip out of his mouth and then he would shake his head a get “kitty-spit” all over my face. That would tend to “wake him up” and he would then jump down and walk away.
Mr. Chicken will be missed and we are all having a hard time thinking about him. The kids want a kitten, but we’re not sure what we are going to do. We’ll have to think about it after we get back from our mission trip to Manti, Utah.