My Cat, Elessar, has died: Around 2:00am, 26 June 2013. We believe he was born sometime in October 2007 – thus, he was almost six years old.
[Photo Above: One of the last few photos I took of Elessar, on 18 June 2013 – I wanted to make sure I got some pictures of him, even during his latest illness.]
Elessar came into our lives a little over five years ago (April 2008). We found him wandering in the Island Plaza shopping complex area.
He was quite the mess when we rescued him: He had been through a lot already in his young life. He had a back femur bone that was dislocated from its socket, but somehow he figured out how to walk. A human would have been paralyzed by such an injury, but not Elessar – he had a will of iron.
He also had a very ‘sick tail’ – not sure how to describe it, but it was continuously bloody and scabby – it was a mess. We eventually had to have his tail surgically removed because no matter what medicines he took, it never healed. The Vet removed the tail except the last couple of vertebra because of the nerves involved in the tail area so he could have proper bathroom functions.
Eventually, the tail healed perfectly after most of it was removed. Now, however, we think back on the tail-health issue, and how it never would heal, and we think that that health issue should have triggered a thought in our Veterinary’s mind that maybe he had another underlying health issue: In Elessar’s case, diabetes. Wounds that do not heal should cause a medical expert to start thinking of diabetes: Hindsight is kind of worthless sometimes when you are dealing with a life. Nevertheless, the possibility of Elessar having diabetes never came up until these last 20 days.
[Elessar riding in the car, with hood on, coming home after a visit to the Vet, about his tail amputation. He enjoyed car rides, but not visiting the Vet.]
As far as his bum-leg went, somehow, his leg bone just found a way to work so he could run and jump and play like a normal active kitten: The Vet, when he first saw Elessar said he was an “Orthopedic Mess!” We considered Elessar an “Orthopedic Miracle.”
We named him after J.R.R. Tolkien‘s character in The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn – Aragorn was crowned as King Elessar – so we named our cat, King Elessar Kitty! Considering the king-sized health issues he lived with, the name seemed a good fit.
The “Forever Kitten!”
Cooperating on the Photo-Set…ONLY Sometimes, and on his terms
Even though Elessar liked to mess around, play, and have fun, he could surprise me and actually sit peacefully for a good head shot or portraits. However, with all cats, everything is on their terms, and their time. Us cat photographers are always waiting for the cat-divas to get ready – such is life!
One thing we noticed about Elessar was that he had EXTREMELY BIG, AND SHARP TEETH and CLAWS! I think because he had some disabilities, his body adapted and he developed extreme fighting tools (teeth and claws). IF, he got into a fight with another of our male cats (Avicenna was usually the culprit / instigator of these fights), then I would typically be the one to break up said fight; and sometimes, by accident, I got the bite that was intended for the other cat. Let me tell you one thing: Cat fang puncture wounds hurt – they hurt like hell, especially when the fang goes all the way deep into the knuckle. It has happened a few times, but not intentionally – he was just protecting himself.
[Elessar messing around on the photo set, August 2010, and showing off his fangs!]
[This is Avicenna, taken in 2011.]
Avicenna was Elessar’s best buddy; however, they had a very strange friendship. Avicenna and Elessar, could in one moment be sleeping nose to nose peacefully. In the next moment, Avicenna would be exerting his Alpha-Male’ness on Elessar, and Elessar really didn’t want to have any issues with Avicenna – Elessar was a peaceful and loving cat and really liked Avicenna. However, after so many attempts by Avicenna to provoke a fight, Elessar would give Avicenna his wish, and then, major fights would erupt. Usually, Elessar would kick Avicenna’s ass – remember those sharp teeth and claws? Yeah, Avicenna would get a taste of his own medicine when messing with Elessar. However, Elessar would simply ‘allow’ Avicenna to always believe that he was Alpha. That was the kind of cat Elessar was: He was a joyful and loving cat. However, Elessar’s general philosophy when dealing with Avicenna was this:
“Avicenna – I love you like a brother; however, if you get in my face too many times, and if I can’t take it anymore, I’ll have to kick your ass! But, I don’t give a shit about being Alpha – I just want to have fun, so you have the stress of being Alpha – fine with me!”
These Last-20-Difficult Days
About 20-days ago, we discovered that Elessar had a hematoma on his ear – it was basically a balloon full of blood. We took him to the Vet and he was put on all sorts of medicines. The hematoma got better, but he seemed to be getting sicker for some reason.
Because his health was not getting better, we took Elessar on another ‘fun’ trip to the Vet – I’m kidding of course – Elessar did NOT like Vet-visits. The Vet decided to do a complete blood test to check kidney function; and also, Elessar had an abdomen X-Ray performed. We discovered that he had second, and more major health problems to deal with: He had fluid in his abdomen: this was not good at all. The Vet said it was probably from a failing kidney (or other internal organ problem). With the blood test, we discovered that Elessar had a very high sugar level, and other blood measurements showed that his kidneys were failing: He had a double-whammy – failing kidney and diabetic! I never knew that cats could be diabetic until this incident with Elessar.
TOUCH & GO HEALTH: A REALLY DIFFICULT TIME
From that point, the instant we received the bad news of his ill-fated diagnosis, we were devastated, but cautiously optimistic that King Elessar Kitty could pull out of this one too: He has overcome other health issue and we believed he could overcome these new ones too.
The last 20 days, nevertheless, proved extremely difficult: it was an uphill battle to get Elessar well. A diabetic cat is a very difficult illness to treat: and, he was on more meds than he could choke down. The Vet also wanted us to feed him Science Diet AD food, and this needed to be finger fed to him because he had basically lost all taste for food: He would no longer eat on his own will. As I mentioned, and as the Vet told us – It was a very difficult and uphill battle to get him through this. We, however, wanted to give him the best chance possible, so we did everything for him that we could. We wanted him to stay positive; but in our hearts, we could see that he was slowly giving up hope. Each day was a new, and more difficult struggle with the pills and the food.
- He didn’t want to eat, and he didn’t want to drink water (this is very dangerous for a diabetic cat!); and much of the time, he no longer kept the medications down. Without keeping the medication in, his kidney would not have a chance of getting better.
He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want to take his medications. What he did want to do was to go outside – He would sit at the back door and meow to go outside. So, I said we should let him do anything (within reason) that may make him happier, and going outside seemed to make him a little more chipper. I took a few photographs of one of his last trips outside.