Introducing the new cat

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One thing we really wanted to be careful with was making sure our old kitty Stormy didn’t develop a burning hatred for the new kitty, who we renamed Pompeii.* If at all possible, we actually wanted them to like each other, but we didn’t want to ask for too much.

under the door

Luckily, we had been watching this show on Netflix called My Cat from Hell. We love this show and actually learned a bit about introducing two new cats to each other. So we locked Pom in a back room with his own food, water and litter, and left Stormy in the main part of the house. Every night we’d open a can of cat food, open the door and sit between them as we fed them. They were so excited to eat they sat and ate, looked up at each other, ate, looked up, ate, and then were done. Usually once one would try to jump over us to get to the other, but we’d just grab him and put him back.

PomThrough the day, the two cats would paw each other under the door. One day, we switched them – Stormy in the small room, Pompeii in the main house. The next day they had a play date together for 3 hours. The animal shelter recommended we pit a dab of vanilla on each cat so they would have the same scent. Stormy cautiously looked over Pompeii, but Pom was all excited to have a new friend. One more night apart, then they seemed eager to get together again, so we let them together, and they have been ever since. The whole process took about 10 days, which was incredibly fast.

*Stormy’s full name is Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. Adi (who passed away) was Adipose. Pompeii is named after the episode Capaldi was in before being named the 12th doctor. If you didn’t follow that, you should start watching Doctor Who.

New Kitty

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One of the hardest things (besides dealing with seeing Adi’s seizure and my Epilepsy as mentioned in the prior post), was watching Adi’s brother Stormy mourn. The two of them were together since birth: we adopted them together, they were in the same carrier on the drive home, were locked in the same room when they came home, taken to the vet to be fixed together, slept together, played together at 2am every night … you get the picture. Stormy has been inconsolable. He watched Adi die and was given some private time with Adi to see that Adi was gone (so that he wouldn’t think we just took Adi and didn’t bring him back), but that still hasn’t stopped the loneliness. Stormy has been sleeping in my lap or next to me for the past week, wandering around the house looking lost and confused, and cries at 2-3am, looking for a friend or for someone to play with. It’s heartbreaking.

Oso's first dayWith that in mind, we decided to get another cat sooner than originally planned. We were going to wait a while to give us time to think and grieve, but Stormy was just so upset, we pushed up our timeline. I started looking on adoptapet.com and was able to narrow down what we wanted a bit Рa young cat (but not a kitten), who was male, and preferably part Siamese or Abyssinian (for the personality). I found 4 cats who matched, and sent out query emails. I got 2 emails back and was able to set up an appointment to meet one of the cats. Oso ended up loving my daughter, and I was told he was more a beta personality (perfect match for Stormy who is an alpha). Oso was curious and a purr machine Рhe just seemed to be the right match for our family.

We thanked the lady for meeting us, headed home, talked to my husband, and sent in the adoption paperwork. We went to adopt him todayand he was happy and ready to leave with us. After LOTS of talking (seriously, we were there for like 1.5 hours!), we were out the door with our new kitty! They asked us to stop at their vet and they had him put a microchip in Oso free of charge for us. Then we made it home with our new family member. Next post – how we introduced Stormy and Oso (soon to be renamed…)

Adi – Pet Passing

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(Trigger: animal death)

This post is backdated because I am filling in the gaps. It’s written 10/29, but posted the day Adi passed. This is a detailed description about his condition and days before death, but I thought it might help someone going through what we did – and it’s helping me process.

Adi and StormyTwo weeks ago, one of our kitties unexpectedly died. Adi was just about a year and a half old. For a few months he’d been having issues with his eyes – one would dilate and stick. Nothing would make it go back to normal until a few hours had passed. I took him to the vet when it started happening, and the vet said there was nothing to do short of running MRIs on the cat which would be extremely expensive. The vet thought he might be having seizures – a bittersweet thought since that’s my problem (I’m epileptic, if you hadn’t read my bio; the cat was a perfect match for me). We took Adi home and took care of him, noting the eye issues. He seemed fine – no noticeable change in diet or activity, though (in retrospect), he seemed to slowly have lost weight, and seemed to be slowing down; it was so slow we didn’t notice the change. I never saw him have any seizures, though I did see him breath funny, which I attributed to his respiratory issues (which his brother also has). In retrospect, these too were seizures. He was hiding these, and coming out to be around us as he was recovering from them. The breathing looked a lot like he was having a hard time catching his breath (but he hadn’t been running around prior to that to give him a ¬†reason to be out of breath).

One eye dialatedAbout a week before he died, both eyes dilated. We waited to see if they’d return to normal, and when they didn’t, we took him to the vet, who recommended we see an eye specialist. We thought about it overnight (since the visit was going to run in the hundreds of dollars not including medication), then decided to take him. Friday, I drove Adi to the specialist, who confirmed that he had about 4 eye issues going on. Adi looked terrified, and seemed to be hyperventilating on the way home (I realize in retrospect this was a seizure). $500 in vet visit and medicine later, I dropped my daughter off at school and headed home to give Adi his medicine. I got one eye drop in and he freaked out. I tried more medicine later, but he was too upset, and I let it go. I thought he was scared but it seems – in retrospect – to have been a panic attack turned seizure. He went from scared to hyperventilating, to loss of bowel control, to uncontrolled biting. He went in the other room to try to calm down when I heard something that sounded like a slamming door – it was Adi’s body caught in convulsions of a Grand Mal seizure. He was being thrown all over, and finally fell on the floor and shook a few times before taking his last breath. The big seizure lasted probably 5-10 minutes. My other cat (Stormy) was scared, and hid next to me, watching and worried about his friend. I wrapped Adi in a towel, put him in an open box, and after I picked up my daughter from school, we drove Adi to my parents farm, where we was buried under a rose bush.

Adi and Stormy sleepingIt was very very hard to see him seize. Since I’m Epileptic, it hit really close to home. I felt incredibly helpless and saw the fear in Stormy’s eyes and saw what that could do to my family if I was the one seizing. I thought about how Adi’s death was so sudden and unexpected and it made me realize how well I seem to be coping with my epilepsy, but really, what I have is a serious, dangerous condition, and I don’t tend to treat it as such. It was incredibly sobering, and it was horrible for my husband to be faced with the reality of losing me. Losing Adi hit even closer for him since he had watched me seize the last time and knew what it was like. Dealing with the fallout of losing a pet unexpectedly from the very disease I live with has been an enlightening experience and while the past two weeks have been full of tears and fears, I am glad to have experienced the time with Adi and am very glad to have been there for him. I am also extremely glad to be able to face my epilepsy without having a near-death experience myself. Life is precious, and I intend to treat it even more-so that I had prior (and I thought I was doing a pretty good job!)

Family timeI loved Adi. He was a very sweet cat. When I was working, he’d come meow at my feet, then jump in my lap and purr while I was trying to stamp and get things done. While we were watching tv, we’d hear his loud meow from the other room and know he was bringing us a ribbon as a gift. He’d lay on his back with all 4 paws in the air, just chilling. He was happy to have tea parties with my daughter and loved her very much. He was a sweet kitty and will be missed; but we were better for knowing him.