Thursday, February 8, 2018

Niki the Cat, 2005?-8 February 2018

She's been surviving cancer for two years, and has lived with us for ten. (She was called Anna by the family who surrendered her to the shelter we got her from.) In the last month or so, she'd been suffering the recurrence (for the second time after the initial cancer surgery on her lip) of the initial tumor, and she'd contracted leukemia (not the feline infectious sort, but the same kind we apes also get). A very intelligent cat, she loved meeting people, though was less generous with fellow cats; in her first year's residence here, the tomcat who a few months previous had been inherited from a colleague at one of the clinics Alice worked at, Domino, did his best to bully her...and Niki, after muscling up with the affection and better diet she had with us, figured out how to beat him up, and for the next nine years he's never won a fight, and eventually stopped trying to start them.  But that also meant she was Very proactive in making sure the two rescued females we later brought into the house, Emma/Emmy and Ninja, also knew that Niki was Top Cat. But aside from her regrettable lack of love for the late Emma or for Ninja, very much with us, Niki was a very good cat to live with, and I miss her already. Alice does terribly. 

23 comments:

Ben Boulden said...

I'm saddened to hear about your loss, Todd. Cats are enigma worth solving and have provided me with many joys over the years. RIP, Niki.

Jerry House said...

My sympathies, Todd. It's amazing how a damned animal can work its way into your life and heart and make everything better.

James Reasoner said...

I'm sorry, Todd. It's tougher than anybody knows who hasn't gone through it.

Paul Fraser said...

Sorry to hear about you loss, Todd, very sad. How old was she when you got her?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Very sorry, Todd. Have never enjoyed the company of animals but can imagine the pleasure and pain.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, folks. Niki was, surprisingly, the first cat we've (either Alice or I) had to elect to euthanize, though the leukemia had gotten bad enough that the skin of her inner ears had gone white through the relative lack of blood cells, and her brain and muscles were starting to show the oxygen deprivation.

Paul, she was, we think, about three years old or a bit less when we adopted her, but it's tough even for veterinarians to tell the age of an adult cat till they're old enough to go gray (and even then). The shelter didn't know or weren't telling. Perhaps she was older.

Patti, those who are in the know in both regards have told me that pet-keeping is parenting very lite...only, with mammal-keeping particularly, it's both parenting and taking care of aging parents lite, if one is lucky enough to have them for their lifespan...

Todd Mason said...

Red blood cells, that is.

Barry Ergang said...

Sincere condolences, Todd. Because of a very aggressive spinal tumor, I had to have my beloved Westie, Duncan, euthanized on New Year's Day, and I've missed him every moment since.

Juri Nummelin said...

So sorry to hear about this, Todd.

Alice Chang said...

Terribly sorry, Barry...and thanks to you both.

Todd Mason said...

That last comment was from me...I forgot to sign out of Alice's login...

Jeff said...

Very, very sorry, Todd.

BVLawson said...

So sorry, Todd. My family had cats while I was growing up, and I still miss Purrfy and Tigger, who've been gone a long time now. They were more than pets, they were friends and family, so I know how hard it is to say good-bye. Kudos to you and Alice for taking in shelter cats! My husband and I are trying to find a good home for my late mother's two cats since our landlady has a firm "no pets" policy. Wish us luck in finding a home as loving as yours.

Jim C. said...

We just lost Felicia, our small but mighty black cat (yes, named after The Black Cat) after 20 years. I still look for her every time I walk into the office, her hangout of choice for the past few years. Please accept my condolences -- it's a hard loss for sure.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, folks. Still no takers on your mom's cats, BV? Och.

We've, in a sense, otherwise taken cats who were shelter-bound...Emma was a street cat who had been lost or abandoned (she was litter-trained and all) and Ninja had been my parents' cat (from a pound a year or so before) when they could not take care of her any longer. And apparently Alice's fellow doctor couldn'find anyone who wanted Domino before Alice volunteered.

Kirk said...

Sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a pet.

Yvette said...

I'm so sad for you, Todd. These animals break our hearts over and over and oh how I wish that they could all live as long as we do.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Jim, and Kirk...wow, 20 years is a very good run, Jim, which makes her loss that much harder to reconcile, I know. My folks had an all-white cat live to be about 18, Dakota Snowball, and obsessive player with string. They knew she was reaching the end when she could barely play with a dangled cord at all.

The tan supermarket bag on the living-room couch looked for all the world, out of the corner of my eye, like Niki curled in sleep as I went downstairs this morning. It might take a while to learn a new default. Felicia seems a good name for a cat, as Poe was no slouch...Felix and all...

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Yvette. It's a messy process, muddling through life, and as BV is finding, sometimes the pets outlive us, too, and sometimes that can be problematic. As with some birds, or koi fish, or horses...of course, the koi probably don't bond as tightly...

Rick Robinson said...

I'm so, so sorry for her passing and your loss. Cats are wonderful creatures; their loss is sad and difficult. Condolences.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Rick. Walking by her favorite toys today was perhaps the most gut-clenching moment.

Mathew Paust said...

My condolences, Todd. I remember and mourn the loss of every cat that's ever owned me.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Matt...I know what you mean. I remember well every cat (and dog and rabbit and hamster, and most of the fish) I've ever taken care of. And the ferret I helped put the guts back into one emergent night while picking up my womanfriend at the vet hospital she worked at.