Back in March or so, I put my foot down around here with our pets. We have a houseful of cats and pretty much some super fat ones. Its relatively common for indoor pets to be overweight but since the obesity was affecting the kitty cat cleanliness, I decided to purchase the $35 a bag weight loss control organic stuff and put my 20 pound babies on the big boy diet. We were shocked when portion control and weight loss food kicked into gear. Our long time “fat kitty with a little head” Napoleon started losing weight.
We were proud.
For the first time ever, it didn’t hurt when he walked across your lap.
Now I have spoken about Napoleon numerous times on my blog, but he has never had a dramatic roll here. He was, as all of our pets have been, a rescue.
April 20, 2010 Blog Post: Not weeks later Napoleon came to us as a kitten. The irresponsible pet owners downstairs let their cat get pregnant, threw her outside to have the babies, then moved, took the mama and left the kittens abandoned. We only found the one kitten from the litter. We were also pretty sure the father of the kitten was the cat we had to put down. It comforted us. I trapped the kitten in a cage by luring him with Chinese food. DH will never let me live it down. Napoleon remains our sweetest (and largest at almost 20 pounds) cat and also our biggest baby.
He never had 3 legs like Sebastian:
or a deadly disease like Captain:
so while he has made many appearances…
he may have been overlooked.
But he was my best friend.
Friday morning I was looking forward to my husband coming home. He had been gone since the prior Sunday on a business trip and I was ready to be able to curl into bed and watch the 3 episodes of Big Brother next to him. The kids had been great while he was gone, I had gotten a ton of work done, and the weekend was looking like it was shaping up to include some family fun time. We had noticed that Napoleons weight loss had started getting really dramatic. So much so that I put the “big bowl” of food back down and decided a fat cat was better than a skinny cat any day.
When my husband came home I mentioned that the cat wasn’t acting normal and he noticed it right away and said to call the vet. I took Napoleon in a few hours later not sure what to expect. Turns out he had advanced diabetes. So advanced, in fact, that his glucose was in the 600s (normal high is 200) and was shutting down all his organs.
He wasn’t just losing weight, his body was living off of his fat and there was none left. The Dr said he probably hadn’t eaten in weeks. With 4 cats and a dog, it’s impossible to actually know who is eating and when around here, but I feel so terrible that I didn’t know. What kind of mother am I that I didn’t see this before?
At this point, like most pets, things just turned dramatic so quickly. My choice was to bring him down to the emergency vet and have him monitored for 48 hours while they tried to stabilize him on insulin. He would need it every 12 hours (at the tune of $108 every 5-6 weeks for the rest of his life, plus Dr visit costs) and even then, the Dr wasn’t overly sure at his stage and how bad he was already that it would help at all. She thought even the first shot may put him into cardiac arrest and said he barely had a blood pressure.
After a tough phone call with my family we decided to let him go. He was already so sick and barely moving and the thought of him suffering into a heart attack or worse…our hearts couldn’t take it. I stayed with him and held him while he was put down. He was understanding and loving till the last moment.
I felt his spirit leave his body before the Dr even pronounced him gone.
I will never forget that moment.
I really really loved him. He has been one of the few staples in my life since college. He used to jump into Charlotte’s crib and sleep with her when she was a baby. He purred at me when I said his name across the room. He was the ‘mama’ to all the new kittens that showed up here and was the first to accept Captain and Jedi.
A true best friend that let me cry on his fur in my worst times.
So while he has never had his “moment” on my blog, I want this to be his moment.
Napolean, Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life for the past 12 years. It just wasn’t long enough.
I will always love you.