Today is a strange day. A week ago, not a thing was out of place at our house. Over the weekend, we noticed that Felix was sleeping a LOT. It's hard to notice something like that because our cats sleep 22 out of 24 hours a day. But Felix stopped sleeping at Eric's feet at night and he didn't seem interested in food, even when I opened a can of tuna on Sunday after church. Monday morning he didn't come running to badger Eric for some of the milk in his cheerios. Very odd behavior for our little feline food-monger. Monday afternoon he seemed a little thin to me so I weighed him on the scale...hmm...he'd lost a couple of pounds (and starting out of 10 lbs, that is a large percentage of weight loss!) The more we observed him, the more it became apparent....Felix was sick...really sick really fast. We didn't know why or what was causing it, but he was not himself. Last night, I saw him eating kitty litter. He was literally licking pebbles up off the floor. I thought, 'this is a really bad sign.' I called our vet first thing this morning to take him in. Since we both sensed that he was in really bad shape, even though it was a quick deterioration, Eric said goodbye to him before leaving for work, just in case I would have to make any decisions about him that morning at the vet. After his physical exam, the vet said she suspected FIV (feline HIV basically) and/or anemia. She said we could do a quick blood test to confirm whether it was either of these. He tested negative to FIV but positive to SEVERE anemia. He had a fever and heart murmur as well. I guess normal red blood cell % in cats is 30-40%. Felix's count was at 9%. Unfortunately, the cause of his severe anemia wasn't apparent so we were looking at very extensive testing and bloodwork to pursue possible treatment. Even then, it could be cancer, kidney failure or a plethora of other un-treatable issues. Eric and I knew going into it that we weren't going to spend thousands of dollars on testing/treatment; financially even a hundred or two (knowing the exam alone would cost $45!) would be a stretch. The vet said we could do anti-biotics and steroids to try to fight off a possible infection, but that if it didn't work, he was so low on oxygen in his blood that we might see him start to really struggle, like panting, etc. I shook my head at the idea, there is just no way I could possible stand by, bearing to watch him struggle or suffer. So, I had to say my goodbyes to him. As I rubbed his ears, pet his head, and told him that we loved him and were sorry he was so sick, he starting purring. This was a miracle, because he only purrs for Eric and absolutely never purrs at the vet since he hates being there. Maybe it was his way of saying goodbye to me too.

Felix was the quirkiest and most entertaining cat I've ever known. He was fiesty and FULL of personality. He loved milk (would literally edge you out of your own cereal bowl), cheese, popcorn, doritos (dragged countless unopened bags from the pantry to a hiding spot to tear into), and flour tortillas. He ate all kinds of other stuff too. He purred sooooo loud for food. He would "mark" my coffee cup and his food bowl to save it for later. Poor thing was very uncoordinated and off-balanced (we joked that he missed his kitten "how to jump" training) and had a very high pitch little meow. One of my favorite quirks of his was his love of water. He would unexpectedly jump in our showers and baths (uninvited of course) because he loved water so much. You could dump water all over his head and body and he couldn't care less about being drenched. It was really fun to have a cat that was so much of a goat, dog, cat, weirdo combination.

The house is feeling empty today without him. Marzell doesn't seem to phased by his absence (big shocker, yeah right). I'll miss his sweet little face looking for scraps and him being my buddy at my feet while I cook. We loved you, Felix!

As a kitten, chewing on my keys.

Sunbathing on a bed of sweaters - his favorite.

Helping Marzell break in Sophia's crib/bedding before she was born

Attacking a pizza box.

He LOVED cardboard boxes. Eric spent 20 min building him a fort with tunnels made out of boxes one time....I think it took Felix about 30 seconds to destroy it

Swiping a dorito while he thinks no one is looking...

The sink, a common nap location

His all-time favorite nap location...dining room chair cushion

We loved you, you crazy "wild man" cat!


Katie said...

I'm so sorry Betsy and Eric and Sophia. I loved reading about the fun, quirky personality of Felix and how he added such enjoyment to your lives.
:( :( :(

jay said...

Felix was a one of a kind dude. He will be talked about and remembered along with "Roast Beef", "Casey" and of course our more beloved pet family members that are too many to name.
I loved the picture of him in the standing up box. May he have an infinite number of pizza boxes and Doritos in the great beyond and plenty of sweet dreams of bathing in the milk he so loved.
Much love, Dad

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Anonymous said...

It brought me to tears to think of how hard it must have been to say goodbye. Pets love us in a way that no one else can. I know his memory will be cherished with Thanksgiving for his place in your family. Take care.

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry about Felix. Thanks for sharing your memories in the post. (Hug)

Rebekah said...

So sorry to hear about Felix. He was a good cat and brought you guys a lot of laughs. I remember all of his water stories :) Poor little guy getting sick like that.