Last night, I spent the night with my Mr. Fiesty, My Chappy boy. In his good days, I could not get close to him except to flea-treat and remove mats once a month. Sometimes, late at night, he would come and visit me. If I was in my chair he would bump the side of the chair so my arm would drop and he could get his “pets” He loved Elevator Butt!
But I could never pick him up- just scruff and snatch as Mike called it- to put him into a small cage designed to medicate cats only. I remember one night during a thunderstorm, I felt a cat jump on my bed and I put my hand out only to encounter a matt! It was Chappy- once he knew he had been busted, he jumped down. Chappy and Dash (mother and son) were our in-house ferals) even though we got them at a young age- they wanted to be left alone and so I did. (Which I will never do again) I will socialize to the fullest extent all house ferals. But that’s how they lived here until that day about 8-9 months ago when the door to the enclosure wasn’t latched properly and all 7 cats escaped. All are back now- except Dash.
He vanished and I searched but not luck. Saturday when I was going out to feed, I saw him lying on the grass! I had to do a double take because he and Dash favor each other- but it was Chappy. I walked up to him knowing full well he would flee, and he laid there just looking at me. So I bent down and just talked to him. I could see the closer I crawled that he was bone skinny, matted, dirty just a mess.
I picked him up! It was raining so I took my coat off and I wrapped him up (no resistance) and ran him into the house and put him in the bedroom. I gave him fluids immediately, offered food, got my clippers started removing the mats on his back legs and noticed a matt covering his rectum! Carefully, I removed the mat and explosive diarrhea was my reward! LOL and ICK!
He was refusing food, so I bathed him, put some flea treatment on him, pushed fluids and pushed some more and Sunday morning met my after hour vet at his clinic.
At first Chappy responded to the fluids, the nutrical, the forced feedings. He was on Amoxy and just TLC. Monday night, he plummeted- and he went fast. Nothing was staying in or down and it went EVERYWHERE! I stayed the night (not sleeping) with him and pushed fluids to replace all he was losing. I prayed a lot because I knew he was suffering. All night, laying in the crook of my arm he would continuously meow softly all night. I kept rubbing him and telling him I was gonna get him help. Just hang on Chappy, I kept whispering to him. “Hang on Little Man.” I knew I had to get to the vet first thing and then I remembered I had told Meowvillage I would be up there at 8. They were taking Delilah and Ashley for me. That offer doesn’t come often from other rescue groups and I didn’t want to lose the spot.
So although is was early morning. I texted Kathy and told her what was going on and asked her if I could come earlier? She said come on down! I was out the door in 5 minutes. I met her and found her to be a wonderful, warm giving loving lady. She just let Delilah and Ashley loose in the house with her other cats (I met 9) and we chatted a bit and I left.
Grabbed Mr. Chappy made a quick call to the vet and we were on our way.
Deep in my heart, I knew that he wasn’t going to come home. I have been in this game a very long time- and I run a transit station for these cats and kittens. Sometimes their journey with us is long- Chappy’s lasted 14 years. I thought he was around 11 until I pulled his file. I got him, his mom and four other littermates, ironically 14 years ago from the same vet who would give Chappy his final time of peace.
When Ben walked in and saw Chappy, he asked me: “Is that the same kitty I saw Sunday?” I told him Yes .
We gently turned him over and he was full of fluid! He was so full he gurgled! I looked at Ben with my heart sinking and said “FIP?”
Ben nodded. “Probably.” Ben grabbed a syringe and attempted to drain fluid from the abdomen- but only air and a bit of blood came out. He tried 3 times- and not one complaint from Chappy.
He wanted to do bloodwork, but we opted for x-rays instead.
I could see it on his face when he came in with the film on his I-POD (boy times have changed!) I couldn’t even make heads or tails at what I was looking at- that’s the mess that Chappy’s internal organs were. Ben explained. Chappy had a mass in his colon- but beyond that, his insides were just a mess. He had a mass in his kidney (might be a kidney stone?) and his stomach was completely full of fluid. I kind of lost it and blurted out- I pushed all that fluid into him?”
Ben looked at me and said “Mary Anne, you didn’t do this. He’s been this way for quite awhile. This kitty is in deep ca-ca.” He started telling me that if they could surgically repair all that was so wrong- there was a strong chance that once they got in there, they’d find they couldn’t do anything and that Chappy might not survive surgery either way. In his words it would be a lot of money spent on a cat with a poor chance of surviving the procedure.
Chappy was on my lap at this point, and I took my hand and cupped his head.Chappy’s head curled into my hand he gently licked my palm one time. He was saying “Good-bye I love you mom.” I bent down and kissed his forehead and told him fiercely that I have loved him his entire life.
Chappy was ready, even before they pushed the plunger he was gone. Not even halfway to the mark and his vein collapsed. He’s had maybe 10 drops of the stuff and he was gone. Yes. he was ready to go and I wasn’t ready to think that yet. Ben checked him pronounced him gone and I questioned him because there was still a whole lot of that juice left in that syringe. But Ben said, yes, he listened for a long time- Chappy was gone.
I brought him home and laid him out so his mom could say goodbye and went back to the garden and dug a hole right next to Turner. After this rainstorm ends, I will buy some trilliums and plant them all around.
Not a lot of pictures of Mr. Feral, but the first photo is him and his family right after we got them healthy. His mom is the one with the white mark over her mouth (hence the name Dash) She would also earn that nickname by dashing out of a room the very minute someone arrived. Chappy is the one lying down with the white chin.
Here are some photos of Chappy during his stay with us-
He had gotten into a fight and had to be caged while he was medicated. THAT was fun!
Wow, I just looked through my entire picture file and there are a lot of photos but only three of Chappy- speaks to how elusive he really was for fourteen years!
Goodbye my feisty boy. Thank you for returning to us and allowing me to have that final moment with you. Despite your feralness-and because of it! I loved you deeply~