Tag Archives: Abbey

Abbey Gets Sick

The summer of 2012 brought us bad news. At first we did not know what to think when we noticed that Abbey was not as fat as she used to be. We were a little concerned but when someone is obese, losing weight is usually a good thing. In hindsight, we should have brought her to the vet right away, but our thinking was that endless tests for a problem that may not exist can be very expensive.

We kept an eye on her and the weight gradually came off but she did not act sick. Instead, she seemed to be more active, even jumping up on the counters, something usually reserved for Chris. She also had a great appetite. Nothing we would associate with an illness, except for the weight loss.

Because of her energy levels and apparent happiness, we waited too long. She passed normal weight to slightly underweight when we finally brought her to the vet, by that time, the vet said she had liver failure.

We could have put her to sleep then, but I did not see one once of suffering in her. I decided I was going to give her a little more attention than normal to make her final time on earth a little more pleasant.

I was also not 100 percent convinced that her condition was irreversible. Even though we always had fed them good quality food, I started buying the healthiest food I could find. I was mixing raw food with canned food, which is the healthiest option, but I stopped doing that because none of the cats liked it much and would usually leave half the plate uneaten. I wanted to make sure Abbey was eating enough. I also bought some milk thistle and added it to her food but even that was difficult because if I put more than a very small amount in her food she wouldn’t eat it.

Rose and I decided to keep the bedroom door open so Abbey could sleep next to me. That meant all the trouble we went through trying to keep Chris out became null and void. Chris now had freedom to wake us up at all hours of the night, and he did.

Abbey continued to lose weight and Rose thought I was being selfish because I was not ready to have her put to sleep, but she continued to eat and behave like a normal happy cat. I just couldn’t justify putting her out of her misery when she did not seem to be miserable.

We went on a cruise in September and had someone watch the cats while we were gone. We also had a friend come in every day to check on Abbey. She had the unpleasant job of taking her to the vet if it was her time to go.

When we got back, Abbey looked even worse. We decided to take her in that day, even though she still did not act sick. It occurred to both of us that she was eating because she was hungry and she was hungry because her body was not getting nutrients from the food.

We put her in the cat carrier and made the long drive to the vet. It was long because we brought her to the vet that Rose’s sister, Felice, works at.

She cried for half the trip and I felt very guilty because it seemed like she was asking us to go back home. I opened the door and started petting her until she was crying and purring at the same time. I then felt even more guilty.

After we got to the vet we were ushered into an exam room where the vet looked at her and confirmed it was time. We said our goodbyes and Felice took her in the back. We did not want to be there for that part but Felice said she would stay with her, which made us feel better. Not exactly the best end to our vacation.

Abbey – 2004 to 2012


Top Cat Chris

Chris disturbs Abbey’s nap.

When we first got abbey, we soon pinned a nickname on her, “The Topper”, because she would poop and not bury it. She would just leave it on top for everyone to see…and smell. Chris could also be considered a topper because he is always plopping himself down on top of someone, or something. As I write this he just went from bothering me and plopped himself on Abbey who is graciously licking his ears. (Can you tell I am trying to avoid the lay, lie, laid. lain dilemma?)

Chris napping on Tigger

We feel bad for Chris sometimes because he is like the kid that nobody wants to play with…or nap with. Sometimes we think about getting another hyperactive cat that he can be friends with. That could work or it could be the stupidest idea since New Coke.

Abbey annoyed with Chris.

Chris’s obsession with being on top doesn’t stop with the other cats. As I mentioned before, he is always on my shoulders, especially right after I get out of the shower. He stands on top of the counter waiting for me. This really makes it hard to dry up, brush my teeth, shave, etc.

He also lies on Rose and I while we watch tv. He’s on me for a couple of minutes, then he moves to Rose, then to me, then off to who knows where and soon the cycle starts over again.

Chris on top of Tigger & next to Alex.

Then there’s the cabinets. He jumps on the counters, then the refrigerator, then to the top of the cabinets. Sometimes he jumps across to the cabinets on the other wall. He likes to lie up there and roll around. I always feared he would roll off and fall.

Chris on China Cabinet

He also gets on top the China cabinet. He jumps from Rose’s living room chair to the fireplace mantle and then to the top of the Cabinet. After she decorated the mantle with breakable items and put other decorations on the China cabinet, we assumed he could not get up there so he would quit trying. Wrong! He jumps up there like Ricochet Rabbit without disturbing any of the decorations.

He also gets on top of Rose’s curio cabinet. That is six and a half feet tall and too far from anything to jump from. She also has wooden boxes along the top that he almost never disturbs. It was a mystery how he got up there until I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He stands on the bathroom counter and jumps through the doorway. It’s a long jump and I am worried he will bring the cabinet down on top of him someday. Fortunately he seems to have lost interest lately.
Bad Cat Chris on Curio Cabinet

The Anti Chris

Flash – RIP

Sadly, in April of 2010, we lost Flash at barely five years old. He had succumb to multiple health problems that caused him to stop eating. We might have caught the problem earlier but Flash has always had periods where he would act weird and hide for a week or two before returning to his normal behavior, which was slightly less weird. We noticed his weight loss on a Friday and arranged to bring him to the vet when they opened Monday morning. By then there was nothing that could be done.


I don’t remember exactly when or why, but close to the same time that we lost a cat, we gained a cat. Our oldest cat Princess, who was living with Rose’s son, was returned to us. This brought the cat count back up to five. Chris, who was used to dominating the other cats, was now presented with a cat who, for some strange reason, was untouchable. Chris would basically avoid her like a telemarketer as he continued on to more easy prey…like Tigger or Abbey.

Princess was easy to understand though. She was a spoiled bitch who hated everyone but people and wanted nothing to do with other cats. I think Chris understood this right away, or perhaps princess stood up to him and showed him that she was not the cat to bully.


Abbey, however, was complicated. She was very shy and alway ate her wet food or kitty treats away from the other cats. This is because Chris or Tigger would eat theirs fast and then eat Abbey’s food. When that happened Abbey would walk away and then come back when every one was finished, hoping for some leftovers.

Princess hated abbey and would hiss and growl every time Abbey was near, but shy, timid Abbey would stand her ground around Princess. I think sometimes she would move in closer because she knew Princess hated it and then look around like nothing was happening. Chris played it safe, for a change, and stayed away.