Remembered with Love

A place to remember the kitties who are no longer with us. We love them and honor them every day by loving them in our hearts and loving those still in our care. Please enjoy their stories.

Mr. Gray

Mr Gray on Christmas pillowsIf Mr. Gray had been a person, he would have been described as quiet, dignified, and a thinker. His story is a bit more complicated than most, but he loved life in spite of the many health challenges he endured. We often referred to him as Winston Churchill Gray because of his serious expression.

Yet, all that seriousness could also make us laugh. He was the straight man with the dry humor that showed up unexpectedly when he “talked” with a puffy ball in his mouth or suddenly whacked another cat with a paw for taking his place–after letting it happen for weeks or months.

This sweet boy came to us through a feral colony feeding station. He was thin, injured, and unable to eat. We also noticed a funny limp with one leg, but we couldn’t see an injury. Of course, he was scared and not ready to trust us. It took a trap to get him to the vet, and he had a lot to say about it! The vet fixed his injured paw, took out infected teeth, and discovered the limp was an old injury from being shot at some point. Mr. Gray clearly had had a hard life on the streets. To make matters worse, he was a very small cat.

Once he came home, he showed his personality. Hence, adding Mr. to his name and honoring his beautiful Russian Blue coloring in the choice of his name. Mr. Gray had some very good years with lots of special care. Still, he was very fearful and delicate physically. That’s why he became a permanent resident, which turned out to be a good choice.

A few years later, he developed what appeared to be IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and a heart murmur that made a biopsy risky. Our vets informed us the treatment was essentially the same for IBD or lymphoma (a form of cancer). It took a lot of work and trials to save him. Finally, hydrolyzed food, antibiotics, and steroids worked. Again, he had several good years without much upset, except he had to have his own room because he couldn’t eat even a mouthful of normal cat or dog food without risking a crisis.

About a year ago, the signs began to point more toward lymphoma. Mr. Gray did well again by adding a low dose of a chemotherapy drug to his meds, but nothing works forever. He started to become diabetic from years of steroids, and there was no way to discontinue steroids with his other medical conditions. He started eating less, losing weight, and becoming weaker when he tried to jump and climb. It was very gradual. He still felt well enough to tear apart a puffy and help in the office every day, but his quality of life was declining beyond our ability to keep him safe and comfortable. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye.

Mustache

Mustache

Mustache was a very special boy. He was FeLV (feline leukemia) positive, and he had a medical crisis about once a year. The rest of the time, he was healthy and happy until the end. Even better, he lived many years longer than most kitties with FeLV.

This boy loved cuddles, and his special treat was oven-baked chicken greenies. For entertainment, he sat in the sunny window in his room and talked to the neighbor’s kitty through the window.

He came to us injured and ill with an infection. We were honored to be able to make his life safe and comfortable.

Sweet Pea

SSweet Pea a petite gray tabbyweet Pea was a shy, sweet kitty.  She was always smaller than most of the other cats. We know nothing about her past except that she trusts no one. After a lot of work, we could occasionally touch her briefly.

She died very suddenly. Now, we suspect she had an underlying illness. Some diseases are not easily detected, We were very happy for her when the small colony that lives on the Catnip Casa property accepted her. She now had friends, a safe place to live, good food, and love. We will all miss her a lot.

Vinnie

Vinnie sitting on file boxA very special fellow with a zen personality. Vinnie calmly mixed with cats and dogs, ignored most of the cats, and loved TUNA! He was big, strong, and sure of himself. He came to us as a senior when his loving person lost her home.

Vinnie blessed us with many more years. He celebrated his 20th birthday in January of 2020. Helping in the office was his speciality. Playing with the little dog, Happy, was his hobby. Vinnie aged with grace, and truly was a beautiful old man. We all miss him greatly.

Little Gal (Li’l Gal aka Galadrial)

Galadrial aka Little Gal a silver tabbyWe lost this sweet girl just before Christmas in 2019. We knew she had a heart murmur and possibly a more serious heart problem. What we didn’t expect was to lose her in a few short weeks from a very aggressive form of cancer. There were no treatment options.

This pretty little girl came to us as an orphan, with her brother, Gandolph. She loved attention and loved to talk. In spite of her love for attention, she was close to untouchable. She flunked socializing for adoption, but that worked in her favor when we discovered her health problems. She was already where she belonged–in a refuge for special needs cats with medical and behavioral problems. This little girl came with both. Still, we enjoyed her sweet, albeit challenging, quirky personality for eleven and a half years.

Little Gal was one of the original special needs kitties that prompted the founding of Catnip Casa Cat Refuge.

Prince John (aka PJ)

PJ came to Catnip Casa with his friend, Hiss, that passed before him. You can read their story below. We love this little guy for the devotion he gave his friend. The intelligence he showed in caring for Hiss and guiding him so he stayed safe on the streets and always found food. He took on a big job and did it with all his heart for the rest of his friend’s life. In turn, we honored him by taking care of him for the rest of his life.  PJ loved lying on the shelf watching birds in the catio. He ran up and down the tree trunk behind him, sometimes several times before he sat a while, rather than jump to the shelf. We know Hiss was there waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge.

Tabbytha

Young Tabbytha
Tabbytha peeking through dog dish

Tabbytha experienced multiple health problems all of her life. They didn’t just start in her senior years, although they worsened with age. That’s why we referred to her as special needs, as opposed to senior. Tabbytha began her young life visiting the emergency room with high fevers.  Surprisingly, she outlived many other residents before sucumbing to autoimmune disease and tumors that we suspect were cancerous. By the time we found the tumors, her health was too fragile and her age too advanced to put her through biopsies or surgeries. We maintained comfort care and let her enjoy her life as long as possible.

She never liked other cats, but she loved dogs. Her skill in dog training surprised us all. No dog, of any size, ever bothered her. Of course, we exercised due diligence too. Still, she ran the house, regardless of the species sharing her space.

Tabby’s coat matted terribly regardless of our efforts to groom her. As a result, she received a lion cut twice a year for many years. She looked adorable. However, it was clear that she didn’t appreciate our hair style selection.

Hiss

Hiss a beautiful blind feral
Hiss

Hiss was blind for as long as we knew him. He and his buddy, PJ (Prince John), lived together. They were totally bonded, and we promised we’d never separate them. Hiss was rescued when a neighbor moved after her husband died.

The new owner’s were a house flipping company doing major construction renovations. Hiss and his guide-cat buddy, PJ, were no longer welcome. No one knew Hiss was blind during the years he lived near that home. The stress of age, and the confusion when his world changed, set off severe IBD that required a prescription diet.

Due to his age and difficulty in locating food and litter in a new situation, along with needing a special diet, being dependent on his friend PJ, and years of living only outdoors, life on the street or in another colony was no longer possible and neither was adoption. We provided them with a special catio-shelter combination to keep them safe and comfortable.

Hiss (left) and PJ (right)
Hiss and Prince John (PJ)

Fortunately, Hiss could be handled–carefully. My favorite feature on this guy was his beautiful black eyeliner.

His buddy, PJ, is very feral. Still, Hiss owed his life to PJ, from all those years PJ protected Hiss out on the street. PJ appears to be younger. So who saved whom in the beginning? If only we knew the rest of the story of how they came to be together. We lost Hiss to kidney failure. Of course, we will give PJ all our love and support for the rest of his life too. We owe him that for all that he gave to take care of Hiss for many years.

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