Monday, April 5, 2010

Large and In Charge

So, last night, Laurie commented on my last blog post and talked a bit about the difficulties of managing a beloved older pet - in her case, an older cat.  That reminded me it was a year ago yesterday that we lost The Big Guy...Lester.   The 22-pound SumoKitty.  The HunkaHunka Burnin' Purr.  The Behemoth.

He was a big cat.  Just a big, big cat.  We rationed his food his entire life.  He stayed a big, big cat.  A big cat with a big attitude and a big personality.  His mother was a stray who was adopted by a friend, and I adopted Lester at the moment he was born, "I want that one."  Three months later, he came home to live with Tittums, Gaspe, and me (Romeo was still just that nice guy who worked in IT who I had lunch with every few weeks).

-The bathroom sink...his favorite place on the entire planet...

He had a good life.  He could be the most affectionate cat in the world or the biggest gangsta, depending on what suited his needs.  The most traumatic thing that ever happened to him was when Romeo and I moved into The Cottage.  Lester was three and had never seen steps before - we had to teach him how to go up and down steps.  He had a great buddy in Gaspe, my tuxedo kitty, and even Tittums, the PsychoBitch, tolerated him as much as she was able.  When we got Wilbur, Lester adjusted quickly to the "big new strange cat" in the house, and it wasn't long before they were playing herding games.

Lester went into kidney failure when he was nine, and I had to give him sub-Q fluids for a few weeks.  Unlike a lot of cats, he was always a good patient, and as long as he had a spoonful of yogurt in front of him, he cared not that I was behind him, pumping him full of water.  We pulled him through, and he thrived for six more years.  Then his thyroid went haywire.  We put him on meds, and he rallied for a couple more month, but he also developed painful digestive problems that threw both his kidneys and thyroid out of whack.  So...a year ago yesterday, four days shy of his 16th birthday, we said a loving goodbye to Lester, proud member of CA (Catnip Anonymous), Chicago bears linebacker wannabe, and just all around marvelous MegaCat. 

We miss you, Les.  Even Wilbur misses you.

A P.S. to Laurie...we've had Wilbur checked twice for Cushing's in the past year.  Will probably have him checked again in a week or so when he has his exam.  He has several symptoms, but his bloodwork always tests negative. 


  1. I had to take the time from busy day at work (tax time at a CPA firm) once I read the comment regarding Cushing's Disease. Our former dog, Zima, had it. She too, was drinking A LOT of water and I had her tested for diabetes and thyroid problems. She was about 9-10 yrs old at that time and a golden retriever/shepherd mix. Those tests came back negative so we just thought it was her. She then started getting scabby, itchy sores on her and due to her thick, long fur, a groomer recommended that we shave her so the medicated shampoo could do its thing. Well, her fur never grew back, and after 5 mos. when I had her in for her shots, I asked about it. That was the final clue to her condition and they then tested for Cushing's which was positive. We did not have it treated due to her age and let her live out her life naturally. She was not in pain, she just looked funny (no fur). She died peacefully and unexpectedly at home just short of 12 yrs old.

    Cushing's is a tricky disease to diagnose because it's symptoms could be any number of other things.

    I hope Wilbur's results are positive. Good luck.

  2. Edit: I hope Wilbur's results are NEGATIVE!!! In my mind I meant to say, I hope he has a good checkup. It just didn't come out that way. Sorry!!

  3. In all the sadness of losing Lester ... you have to admit ...some of that was pretty funny. Love the picture on the bathroom sink. That is one BIGGGG kitty.

    I'm so glad you have such fond memories of him.

  4. My girl Taylor will be 16 years old in June. She was the runt of the litter, now at a healthy weight of 6 1/2 pounds and holding. She has had her issues, some force on us by a stupid vet.
    Life would be so bland without our pets -- oh and husbands!! LOL!!