Another last minuteFebruary 26, 2017 / byJyllian M / Categories : Age, Cats, Eugene, Everything old is new again, family, Fayetteville, Gratitude, Illinois, San Francisco, The Bean
“There is always time for another last minute”
― Terry Pratchett,
It wasn’t the best news, but we aren’t giving up. And it never gets easier.
Mr. Teatime was named for a character in the Pratchett book Hogfather. Mr. Teatime, when he was a kitten was a tiny little weirdo. All guard hairs and wall eyed. He and his many brothers and sisters and two moms were tossed on the street in a box by some junkies. My brother from another mother, Matt found them. He and his partner at the time saved them all. Got them over ringworm and adopted them all out. I brought over litter and kitten milk and visited as often as I could.
Visiting a pile of kittens and cats for me is dangerous. So dangerous.
Mr Teatime was the only one left. He was the smallest and weirdest looking.
J and I were trying to get pregnant. My maternal longings were off the map. J looked at the picture and said…’If no one else wants him, we’ll take him and call him Mr. Teatime.”
That is how you get a cat, rather swiftly. We brought him home in August. He was probably born in late June, early July.
He’s been with us ever since. We didn’t know it at the time, but I was already pregnant with Em. So he’ll be 17 in July.
He’s always been one of our oddest cats. He’s super skittish. He is scared of boots. He doesn’t like loud noises or small children. He has the tiniest meow. Or he did. Now he sounds like he smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. At one point he was a very very large kitty. He weighed 25 pounds. We’re certain there was more Maine Coon than anything else in him.
I think Matt might have been the one who said “when he meows, his purse falls out.”
He has a British accent. He doesn’t cuddle with people exactly, but he will sit close to you. Bartleby is his little brother and they sleep together a lot. His favorite place right now is an ikea alhagen box I’ve had since I lived in SF filled with plate wrapping paper from our move I meant to throw away. He loves being in his box so much, I save and refresh his paper every so often. When Haru (our rather rotund Cowkitty) decided she wanted in on the box action, I pulled out the other one so Teatime would always have his. Haru is a bit of a bully.
He guarded Em from the start. First bathtub bath he was there sitting behind her. When she ate in her high chair, he sat next to her on the table and when she was finished licked her plate and her face. And didn’t mind how much she giggled and flailed and grabbed his fur. He did the same thing, but even climbed on her when she was in her bouncy chair. He slept above her head in the sidecar bed we had for her next to us. When she was having ‘tummy time,’ he was right there with her on her playmat. Or under it. We called him “secret Tea” then because he would be hiding under the playmat, but he was so big, about half of him was on the outside.
He’s always been a quiet, gentle presence in our lives. For a long time no one believed we had him because he only came out from under the bed or couch for us.
He’s moved from SF to Chicago to Barrington to Fayetteville, AR and now to Eugene. This last year and a half has been rough on him. Because of all the cleaning we did for showings (our place was freakin spotless) and because kitties would sometimes poop in carriers if left alone in the house, he was in the car a lot. He hates the car. He hates the carrier. He has PTSD from selling our house. He hates brooms, the sound of trashbags being changed and when candles are lit. All things we did right before we would scoop him up and put him in the carrier. We’d be out in the car for 30 minutes or an hour or TWO. We’d go to sonic or the cemetery and sit until we got the all clear. Then James drove him from Arkansas to Eugene. That trip involved hotel rooms, his mother’s house and 4 12 hour or more days of driving. With the other cats. He’s not quite recovered from it.
He’s been doing poorly for the last 2 years. He has hyperthyroidism and chronic UTIs. He has had bad kidney numbers that we can mostly get under control. He’s a shadow of his former self at 10 pounds. I should have noticed sooner , but we’d been told to put him on a diet because he was so big and had a heart murmur. We thought the diet was working until we brought him in for his checkup and found out how much weight he’d lost. He’s very fluffy so it can be hard to tell accurately. He’s on special food, he and Zak (17)require special litter and he gets his meds twice a day, but it’s harder and harder to keep his thyroid numbers where they should be.
He was back at the vet last week. His hyperthyroidism is not quite controlled. We are moving to transdermal from pills because we can’t divide those tiny pills into 3/4 plus 1/8.
And his liver numbers aren’t good. There’s an ultrasound next week. I’ve had cats all my life and they have all pretty much lived to be elderly. I know the sound of the vet’s voice and what it may mean.
He is still eating up a storm. He loves his water and asks for it a certain way every day. He has taken to slapping our youngest cat around. Babbage is rather boistrous. He’s still skittish, but he spends more and more time being petted. I’ve never been great at brushing him and he doesn’t like it, but he lets me now.
I love him. He’s a bit of a weird cat, but kind and good. I just never quite knew how to make him happy. I have always felt guilty about that. He wasn’t a snuggler after he got bigger. He did and does like his treats and I kept those stocked up. We played when he was little, but after that he really liked sitting next to you on the couch or bed. Just hanging out. And with Bart. And Em. Now he wants to get closer and he asks for pettings. He a sweet boyo.