Archive for May, 2011

You Know It’s Bad When I Want to Bake a Cake

I haven’t posted in forever…I think because I knew the next entry I would have to write would be a tribute to our poor little cat’s very, very, short life.

Our first few weeks of life as owners of a feral cat with sniffles involved a lot of back and forth to the vet for exams and getting up to speed on shots. During one such visit, Quinn gave his doctor a shock, because she noticed that where a few days earlier his eyes had been fine, now, one was suddenly not reactive to light at all, and the other appeared to have a film over it.

A trip to a specialist ensued and a diagnosis of FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) was handed down.

FIP is a fatal feline virus that the doctor speculated would spread like wildfire through our kitten because it was already in his brain manifesting as eye problems. When Tom called me with the news, I had an overwhelming desire to make a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. I am a stress baker. And cakes…I feel the urge to make those upon receiving really, really upsetting tidings.

Our poor little guy lasted only a few weeks beyond the diagnosis, but we tried to give him as much love and pampering as we could in those last days in a desperate effort to mitigate the shitty cards he had been dealt and the hard life he had lived up until he moved in with us.

Random Fond Recollections:

  • He loved to hang out on people’s shoulders, both in the manner shown in the photo with Tom below, which I love, or by literally climbing aboard like a parrot, surveying the world around him.

  • Because of his illness, he didn’t grow very large. With his spots and stripes and very sleek body he seemed like a wild cat, writ tiny. We called him our “Manther”, short for mini-panther.

  • His purr was gigantically, enormously, infectiously loud and so remarkable, given his size.

  • He had a special fondness for me, sometimes running and jumping into my arms with a sweet little chirping noise. He adored sitting in my lap, and if I put my computer on the bed, he would always run up and place his paws on it, waiting for me, knowing that he had some good lap time coming!

  • Watching him play with the Zs was a joy, all of us laughing as he would skid out on the transition from carpet to wood floor.

  • As he was dying, and his motor skills were going, he would insist on perching atop the arm of the leather chair, which was both slippery and rounded. He could never sit on it for long before sliding and falling off, but for some stubborn reason, that’s where he wanted to be, so we let him and tried not to watch.

In the end, Zelda and Tom took him to the vet’s office to be put down. (Zoe and I nominated the two more stoic members of our family to do the deed, because we knew we would be a complete, blubbery embarrassment.) Zelda and Tom were incredibly brave, and held Quinn through it all and were with him until the bitter end, going through a whole box of tissues in the process. Tom said he and Zelda could not stop weeping, thereby teaching us that we have no truly stoic members of our family!


Our Christmas present of a kitten for the girls has been a sad life lesson. We still miss the little furry guy.