On January 4th, 2015, our family lost it’s oldest still living cat. Kit the cat was a stray who came to stay when he was about two years old. That made him approximately sixteen years old as of his death.
We had known for awhile that Kit was going down hill, but he honestly didn’t appear to need a vet’s intervention. In fact, when we took him to a vet less than a year before he passed away, he was diagnosed with…old age. He may have been a bit hyperthyroid, and hence his loss of weight and massive appetite as he got older, but it wasn’t anything that required medication.
Kit was my wife’s cat, and one she’d known for nearly half her life. He went into transition late on January 2nd. As far as we could tell, he wasn’t in pain. He laid on the gamer chair in the den for the last two days of his life, and breathed his last around 10pm, January 4th, 2015.
This is the last picture that I took of him, only a few days before he died. You can tell how thin he was at the time. He barely weighed anything. He was, as always, the calmest, most malleable cat I had ever met. You could pick him up and sling him around your shoulders like a boa and he’d just lie there and purr.
He was originally an outside cat, and the story of his coming into the house is famous in our family. At the time, years before I came to live here, my wife’s family consisted of herself, her now late father Tom, and her mother Claudia. And, of course, their cats. These cats included at the time a big, fluffy cat who had been around since my wife was a very young child, named Squeak. A tabby female cat who was basically a permanent boarder, named Ginger. And a blonde fluffy cat who basically belonged to her father named Moe.
Tom was adamant that they would not have any more cats. That there were enough with the three they had, and the fact that Claudia had been feeding this friendly little black cat outside for awhile now was not an indication that he would be coming inside. One night he outright shouted at his wife, “No! We are not getting any more cats!” And immediately after this declarative statement, he opened the door, looked down at Kit, and said, “Get in here!”
Kit came in promptly. Over the next fourteen years, he would get out occasionally – but he always returned to the house. One such occasion happened after I had moved in. Kit had gotten out, as he sometimes did in the spring. He was over ten years old, and so we were worried about him being out there on his own. He was gone for nearly four days.
Tom came home from work one night to find Kit sitting on the back stone fence. Afraid that he’d run away, he came inside and told us. Claudia and my wife came outside and called to him, but he didn’t move. Finally, I started walking toward him and calling to him. I talked to him. I told him we missed him and would really like him to come back into the house. I approached him slowly and, to everyone’s surprise (including mine), he didn’t hop off the fence and leave. After a few minutes, I managed to pick him up, right off the fence, and carry him back inside. Everyone was very impressed, and I kept overhearing Tom on the phone (he was on the phone a lot) bragging to people that I was a cat whisperer.
That was the last time Kit got out in his life. His remaining six years would see him outlive his half brother, AJ, who passed away of bladder stones in 2010, the same year Tom passed away of pancreatic cancer, his sometimes lover, Squeak, who passed away of old age in 2005, Moe, who died in 2001 of a stroke, Ginger, who passed away of old age in 2003, and even Ziggy, the cat who was bought after Moe died – also known as my fuzzy little son – who passed away in 2013. He witnessed the kittenhood of Ziggy, as well as the two still living cats that belong to my wife’s mother, Pablo and Buddy. He also outlived a cat who could’ve been his brother, my best friend Nyx’s cat, Taru, who passed away less than a year before he did.
The day he passed away, my wife and I made the long drive to SeaBreeze Pet Cemetery, where he would be cremated. She picked out a beautiful urn for him, with cat paw prints on it. The next day, we went up and picked up his ashes. They sat on the mantle in our room until circumstances caused us to move him – but that’s another story.
Kit was a survivor, and one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known. He was affectionate and loving, and always ready to be cuddled. Being that he was so bonded to my wife, however, I honestly believe he held on a lot longer than he should have. But he was waiting for something – waiting for the cat who would replace him to be born and be on his way to us.
Thanks for sticking around, Kit Cat. One month and ten days after he passed away, my wife and I met our new son – fluffier and much whiter than Ziggy. Come back next week to meet Prince James Tumblefluff the First.