100_4577Extra the extra black cat2013Extrathruwindow


Meet Extra, the extra black cat, with a heart problem and mosquito allergies. He’s Anna’s special friend. Extra arrived at our feeder as an injured feral.

During his stay at the veterinary hospital, I got a call. The doctor wanted to know if I wanted to have him euthanized because he had a very high-grade heart problem. I declined since it wasn’t my regular doctor, and I didn’t want to do that without another opinion. He was fine for years until he got hurt again. Then, we almost lost him. The vet worked hard to save him. Finally, he appeared stable.

IMG_20140801_201538610I decided to bring him home, yet again, and give him a chance. We offered him heart medication in a dab of tuna, and he faithfully took it every day for months. That was years ago now. One day, he decided he didn’t want the medication anymore.

We know we will probably lose him when he get sick or hurt again, but I wouldn’t change the decisions I made. He’s had many “extra” years of good quality of life, and we made room for an “extra” black cat. Extra stayed on our property too and hung out with his friend Anna until he moved into the new catio.

By the way, he also likes the dog, Happy. He especially likes to tease Happy when we walk him in the yard at night. Happy runs free with the cats indoors and outdoors now that he’s grown up and cat-smart. As a puppy, he was always on a leash. Extra is smart enough not to like or trust strange dogs though.

We still use a leash to walk Happy at night, due to the wildlife. He’s a small dog and an unexpected meeting could be dangerous for both. Extra’s favorite trick in his younger years was to get right in front of Happy and make him nervous–our dog has a healthy respect for cats–or startle him by popping out of the dark while he’s sniffing around preparing to go potty before bedtime.

In the video below, Extra enjoys the sun on an early spring day. The grass isn’t fully green, but he doesn’t care. It’s a warm, sunny day that’s perfect for romping in the yard. Luckily, the catio room also has warm sun coming through the windows.

This year, we discovered Extra may be much older than we would have thought possible considering his medical challenges. One of his medical records says he was estimated to be born in 2002 (!) and one estimates early 2006. This sweet boy may be going on 20 years old. He’s not the first we’ve had come in that made it that long. Still, it surprises us because the early street life, living outdoors, and injuries, take a toll.

The best news this year is that Extra decided he will allow us to pet him. It seems bringing him inside was what it took for him to give up his wild side. He even let our vet listen to his heart with a very strange-looking device (her stethoscope). More good news, his heart isn’t as bad as we feared with the earlier reports and his age. Good boy!