A cat who displays his or her belly is showing that they are content and that they have total trust in you since this is a very vulnerable position. Frankie spends much of his nap time this way.
Our sudden loss of Puck on Thursday made me think about all the happy times we had with him. Sure, the pooping and peeing we had to deal with lately was not pleasant but that was nothing more than a symptom of his illness and perhaps some territorial disputes that were not Puck’s fault. Even during those “bad” times, he remained a good cat. I think he might have even become more affectionate. Puck was the first cat that we introduced to the family after I started this blog so I have a good resource to look back on his life.
Puck was a rescue kitten that My sister-in-law, Felice, bottle fed when he was very young. We visited Felice a couple of weeks before we adopted him (with no intentions of adopting a kitten at the time) and I took photos of a couple of kittens she was taking care of. The following photos are the first pictures of Puck that I have. These were taken on September 1, 2012.
One of our cats, Abbey, was sick at the time of liver failure and passed away a week or so later. Puck just happened to reach the age when it was safe for him to be adopted at the same time. It seemed a bit insensitive to replace Abbey before we had time to mourn her but Puck, who was nicknamed Chowman at the time because of his love for food, needed a home and we had one to give.
We introduced Puck in exactly the way you are not supposed to introduce a new cat, but we have always been bad about that. Fortunately, Tigger didn’t pay much attention and Chris was happy to have someone new in the house.
Puck hid under the bed but was easily lured out with food.
Puck soon proved himself to be capable of handling Chris’s domineering playfulness and Chris learned that what goes around, comes around.
Puck also would play fetch when he was young.
And he enjoyed a good game of solitare.
He turned out to be the best behaved cat we ever had (not counting his litter box issues lately). He never bothered anyone or scratched where he shouldnt or tear up the blinds or anything like that, although he would sometimes follow Chris into the land of trouble.
I would say Chris and Puck were best friends but I think it was more like a father and son relationship. I think Chris took Puck under his wing when Puck was a kitten and that relationship continued until the end.
Puck and Chris did fight occasionally but it was always playful fighting. They were our only two cats that never fought each other to the point of hissing, growling and fur flying. In fact, the last couple of years I don’t recall them in any kind of fight.
Puck never tried to escape but he did love going outside. Unfortunatly, when we moved into our current home he needed to wear a harness. The first time I put it on him and opened the door, a car drove by and freaked him out and he never wanted to go out again. He did get to experience our new catio for a few days (which I still need to write about).
Puck had some favorite spots in the house, among them was on top of the cabinet where he needed my help to reach. He would stand on the kitchen cart (or whatever it is called) and look at me in a certain way while he opened his mouth to let out the quietest of meows. I knew what he wanted and leaned over so he could jump on my sholders. I then walked a coulpe of paces to the china cabinet where he jumped off. He liked it up there because sometimes he just didn’t want to be bothered. I made the mistake of helping Floki up there once or twice and Puck was not happy about it.
The last year or so he found himself at the vet quite a bit. First it was excessive licking. He actually licked off a large portion of his fur.
After at least three vet visits it finally cleared up after changing his flea medication. Appearently he had fleas even though nobody ever saw any on him.
After that is when his bladder problems started and he ended up at the vet six times for the same problem. He did not like the vet and would often hide behind me while we were in the exam room waiting for the vet.
Now that Puck is gone, we wonder how the other cats feel about it. He left the house without any of the cats even knowing there was a problem and he never returned. I don’t think Frankie and Floki care too much but I did see Chris wondering around the house Thursday evening. He would stop every few paces and look around. I felt so bad for him. I haven’t seen him do that lately so maybe he has accepted that he is gone.
We lost our beloved Puck yesterday. It was a complete shock and totally unexpected.
It started Wednesday evening shortly before bedtime. We can’t sleep with our door open, mostly because of Chris, so we have to make sure everyone is out of the room before going to bed. I accounted for everyone but Puck so I looked under our bed and there he was. I got out the Stella and Chewey’s and announced loudly ” KITTY TREATS!” That got Chris, Frankie, and Floki to immediately run into the kitchen but Puck stayed under the bed.
I assumed he wasn’t feeling well and I felt bad but I pulled him out from under the bed and set him on top of the utility cart in the kitchen. It was one of Puck’s favorite places to hang out, which is why we always kept a rug on top of it. But he didn’t want to be there. Instead, he jumped on my shoulders so I could carry him to the top of the china cabinet. He liked it there because nobody could bother him.
I then went into the Florida room to shut the computer down. When I did I put my hand on the chair and into a pile of cat puke. I turned a light on and it looked like undigested food from dinner. In particular, Puck’s special food. It is usually Frankie who pukes, not Puck, so I figured he had the stomach flu or whatever it is that cats get. I thought if he was still sick in the morning I would try to get him in to see the vet.
The next morning he was still on top of the china cabinet. He hadn’t moved from that spot all night.
That definitely wasn’t good so I called the vet when they opened at 7:30. They said to bring him in at 8:20. I had to get a step stool to reach him and at 8:00 I pulled him down and put him in his carrier.
We were at the vet by 8:10 and they put us in a room right away. I opened Puck’s carrier but he just lied there.
The vet tech came in and took Puck to the back room where they do their secret experiments. She then brought him back and the vet came in and examined Puck. The vet said his bladder felt full and he could be blocked. She tried to get some urine out of him but couldn’t. As we waited for lab tests the vet drew up a treatment plan which was going to require Puck to be there overnight and possibly for a few days. I don’t remember the details but she did say something about a catheter.
As we waited for the vet, Puck was lying on the table and he looked so weak. I stood there and petted him for a long time until the vet came back with a list of treatment options and cost, which was not cheap. We then left Puck at the vet.
I was in the car with Rose an hour later when her phone rang. It was the vet. We assumed they were calling to give us an update on their treatment plan because some of the options were dependent on unknown factors at the time. Instead, we heard that Puck’s heart had stopped and they were performing CPR.
That hit us both like a brick. We were not expecting that. If we were home we could have been there in three minutes but we were twenty miles away in Tampa. We could only hope that they could revive him but we weren’t hopeful from the tone of the call. About a half hour later we got the call that he was gone.
It is always sad to lose a pet but to lose one so suddenly at only five and a half years old makes it even harder. It also didn’t help that it happened on the anniversary of my father’s death.
Whenever something bad happens I figure out ways to blame myself. Maybe I should have brought him to the emergency vet the night before. Maybe I should have thought not cleaning pee off the floor for more than a day was a bad thing.
The vet said he was there six times for the same problem. Perhaps I should have brought him to a different vet sooner. I wanted to on visit number five. Puck had seen another vet for his excessive licking problem and that vet was more holistic, which is what I want in a vet, but he was also quite conventional too and not afraid to dole out antibiotics. The problem was that vet was much harder to get an appointment with and didn’t open until 9 a.m. while Puck’s current vet opened at 7:30. I should have risked it.
I also became more diligent about getting Puck to eat his special food. I stopped mixing it with the homemade raw. The food was supposed to eliminate the crystals, not make them worse. I did have a thought about a while back that if the vet was wrong about the type of crystals Puck had then the food could make them worse. I thought about asking the vet what type of crystals they found in his urine but then thought that would be insulting and chose to trust they knew what they were doing.
I don’t want to place blame on anyone here. Sometimes bad things just happen and I do know the people at the vet’s office are very caring people and I also know I am not perfect but not because of lack of effort. What I want is to say I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive and caring since learning about Pucks passing. It is good to have people who understand and care.
I will post more about Puck’s life sometime next week. I hope you will take the time to remember him with me.
My wife would be very jealous if she knew who was spending time with me while she was on her business trips.
Our cats have always been drawn to me more than anyone else in the house, for some reason. So when Floki chose her over me for his number one she became very proud of herself. She likes showing off how sometimes Floki will let her hold him. It’s a real stick out your tongue moment. She would not be happy if she knew what he was doing during he absence.
My wife is away on business so I decided to leave the bedroom door open Tuesday night and let the cats sleep with me. I do that sometimes when she is away and I always regret it. Chris usually bothers me for a little while and then settles in until around three or four in the morning and then he starts back up with his annoying behavior. Wednesday morning it was three o’clock.
I resisted him for a while. I kept pushing him away or I would pick him up and move him to where another cat was sleeping. (I couldn’t tell who in the dark). My hope was that he would forget about me and bother that other cat. It didn’t work and eventually, he forced me out of bed way too early.
Last night I was tired and closed everyone out so I could get some sleep. That lasted until around four this morning when I heard Chris crying and scratching at the door. This went on until 5:30 when I was again forced out of bed early.
I fed them and went back to bed, not to sleep but just to rest for a few minutes. Chris showed up soon after and immediately started bothering me by biting my nose and scratching me. His breathing was accelerated and he was purring loudly or at least making loud breathing noises. After several minutes of this, I decided to get it on film so at least others could enjoy it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that Chris is as loving and affectionate as he is. I just wish he could do it less painfully.
Last Thursday evening I noticed a couple of little puddles of pee in the kitchen. That was unusual because when Puck pees on the floor (which is just about every day) it is one large puddle. I then noticed more little puddles and soon realized that everywhere Puck went he left behind a puddle of pee.
Even though peeing on the floor has become the new normal, this was not normal so I called the vet as soon as they opened and made an appointment for that morning.
I brought the carrier in the house early so as to not scare Puck when it was time to go. Chris and Frankie not only don’t fear the carrier, they were taking turns going inside of it. Chris, of course, was first.
Puck sensed something was up and I had a hard time catching him but eventually we made it to the vet. I opened his cage after the put us in the exam room but he was not interested in leaving.
The vet tech took him in the back room where they do their secret experiments and brought back a cat that looked like Puck but I couldn’t be sure until later when he peed on the floor. While he was in the back they took a urine sample.
After a short wait, the vet came in to examine Puck. The vet tech struggled to pull him out and I suggested we just unsnap the top, which we did. The vet then suggested that she bring Puck over along with the bottom of the carrier. She thought that would stress him less.
We then had to wait for the test results so I picked up Puck and put him in my lap. Apparently, that was not the time or place for doing anything out in the open so he jumped down and hid behind my back.
After a long wait, the vet came back and said that there was no infection but he did have inflammation and he had urinary crystals. She ended up giving Puck steroids.
Every time I write about a vet visit I mention how all pet issues are solved with steroids or antibiotics and each time after that the same thing happens, In addition, I had to buy another case of Hills prescription cat food.
He didn’t pee anywhere the first day after the vet visit but the day after that he peed everywhere, Today he was good but we will see what tomorrow brings.