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07 September 2011 @ 11:02 pm
My Best Boy.  
This is the oldest of my three cats (all boys).



Back when he was a few pounds heavier.



He always looks a little stoned to me, which is appropriate with how I got him.




I named him Audrey, but now we just call him Papa Bear.

I got him back when I lived in a pretty shit neighborhood. This girl I knew growing up lived around the corner from me with her drug-dealing boyfriend. One night, in the middle of the night, their neighbors just up and left. Were skipping out on the rent or some such thing. After three days, my friend hears this cat crying, all these terrible cat noises, from the garage of her old neighbor. This goes on and on for a few days and finally they can't take it anymore and her boyfriend busts in a garage window to save the cat. It was a momma and it had given birth to some babies. Sadly, the momma and all the kittens had died - save for one.

They took him in and had him about three weeks, but he kept peeing on the plants. And by plants, I mean the drug-dealing boyfriends livelihood. So she brings this kitten to my door one day and begs me to take it, worried that her boyfriend might just throw him out if he pees on the plants one more time.

He was so young, that I still couldn't tell if he was a boy or a girl, and since growing up all my cats had been girls, my brain immediately went to naming him a girl's name - Audrey. When I realized he was a boy, I started calling him 'Drey instead.

When he was not quite two, we moved in with my mom, who had a female cat - (Zippo, the one my sister lost last October) - and neither of the cats were fixed. My boy lasted until I had carried about half my boxes into the house before he was on her. A few months later - babies. (my other two are from this litter).

The mama cat didn't want anything to do with the babies - she tolerated feeding them, but Audrey did everything else for them. Taught them to eat real food, taught them to groom themselves, taught them to use the litter, taught them to "hunt". Hence why he got the name "Papa Bear". Even a few summers ago, when my sister brought home the stray kittens, he groomed them and cared for them like they were his own.

The last year he has gotten really cranky and we just found out that he has serious arthritis in his hind legs and has lost a ton of muscle there. He seems perfectly happy, just seems like he has more trouble walking, especially on stairs. But more and more, he seems kind of confused. He has had IBS (bowel issues) for the last 6 years or so, but they just treat him with steroid shots for that, though they stepped up the dosage when they diagnosed the arthritis. He is only 13, he shouldn't have so many problems yet.

He is really sick tonight with "uncontrollable bathroom issues". And some dry-heaving. I'm going to have to take him to the vet tomorrow and see what they say is going on. I know most cats don't live to be 24 like my mom's last cat did - but 13 seems too young for all this.

I just feel very sad and anxious about it all right now. He is locked in a dog crate in my room at the moment, to keep him from going to the bathroom around the house, which he was doing earlier - so I'm going to get into bed and turn off the lights and hope that helps him settle down.

I know a good Mama isn't suppose to have favorites - but Papa Bear is mine.
 
 
 
Kate: cat faceceitfianna on September 8th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
*hugs* I hope he's okay. He's a sweetheart.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Thank you. I forgot how he whored himself out to you the day you were here! He isn't usually that affectionate with people he doesn't know.

He is home now and feeling much better. They said he had the flu and was very dehydrayted. Because of his age and the meds he is on for other things, they figure it'll be far more easy for him to catch viruses and such. Hopefully it won't happen too often, as he weighs so little already.

We had a nice cuddle and now he is asleep with his favorite pillow.
Why all the pearls?Why all the hair?Why anything?: Buttersrhymephile on September 8th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
Kitteh! I hope it's something minor with ol' Papa Bear. He'll be fine. I'll be thinking about you tomorrow.

Here's a funny story to lift your spirits...Butternut, my kitteh (see icon) was sleeping on my bed this evening when we heard the unmistakeable hhhrghda hhhrghda hhrghda coming from underneath the covers! She didn't even bother to get down from my bed! So I rushed over, banged my leg on the edge of my very sharp IKEA Malm bed (damn those Swedes), and grabbed her from beneath the covers just in time to put her on the hard wood floor to let her hork up the hairball. Crazy cat!
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you. They said Papa Bear had the flu but that he was very dehydrated and since he already weighs so little, they were concerned. He had to stay the night, but he's home now and seems to feel much better. Hopefully none of the other cats catch whatever it was.

Butternut was very comfy under the covers - she can't be bothered to get out just to hack up a hairball! Don't be ridiculous. ;)
elfscribe5: fernelfscribe5 on September 8th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your kitty. They do get issues like this when they're older. Ours is 17 and was doing fairly well, but now he seems to drink water all the time and he is getting really skinny even though he eats a lot. I think he's having kidney issues, which I hear is common for old cats.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
Thank you. Papa Bear has had IBS for seven years now, but I was hoping we had few more years before any other major health problems kicked in. The vet said it was the flu but with his age and low weight, they kept for him for IV fluids. He is home now though, so that is good news. He seems to feel pretty good and is eating okay as well.

Yeah, it does sound like your cat is having kidney issues. /hugs for your kitty/
Jojo: Kittyjojothecr on September 8th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
I hope he'll be okay. Pet him for me, will you?

*hugs*
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Papa Bear is home now, though they did keep him overnight for IV fluids. The vet said it was the flu and to expect that will happen more as he gets older. He seems like he feels good tonight and we did have a nice cuddle - so we are both feeling much better. Thank you. <3
Jojo: Kittyjojothecr on September 10th, 2011 11:15 am (UTC)
Glad to hear that. My cat is 12, so I'm starting to be a little worried, too. He's good, so far, just really thin.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): dudeblue_fjords on September 8th, 2011 11:10 am (UTC)
Awww, sweetie, I hope he's okay! He sounds like such an awesome cat. Strong healthy vibes for Papa Bear!

Heh, he could get a job as a drug-sniffing cat! Though he would be more like a drug-peeing cat. Still, pretty nifty!
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
Thank you. He is an awesome cat! The vet said it was the flu, so they kept him overnight. He is home now and seems to feel much better. Hopefully it won't happen too often as he gets older, he doesn't weigh enough to lose any weight.

lol I'd like to see someone try to walk him through the luggage at the international airport though, while he sniffed around and decided which bag to pee on and suss out the drug smugglers!
Ironlily - Making My Marque: EyesMothvikingprincess on September 8th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your sweet baby.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Thank you. He came home tonight and seems to feel much better. The vet said it was the flu and too expect it will happen more as he gets older. Now I'm crossing my fingers that none of the other cats get whatever it was. <3
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on September 10th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
I'm really, really glad it was "only" flu. Here's hoping it's a LONG time before your Papa Bear has a relapse.
fragrantwoodsfragrantwoods on September 8th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts towards you and your Papa bear. He's a cutie. Hope the new day brings better results for the fellow and for you. Plus, great story :-)
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
Thank you - he is a cutie! Papa Bear spent the night at the vet but he is home now. They said it was the flu, but he weighs so little as is that it was easy for him to dehdrayte quickly. He seems to feel much better now.

I do love how I got my Papa - when my childhood friend showed up at my apartment, she was like, "He keeps peeing on the plants, and these plants are, um, well..." And I was all, "I understand what plants you mean. Hand the kitten over." ;)
wolfrider89: Em smishwolfrider89 on September 8th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
*hugs you* He sounds like an amazing cat, and he's really cute. I hope he's OK. <3
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
I love when people tell me my baby is cute! He apparently had the flu, so they kept him overnight and gave him an IV. He is home tonight and seems to feel a lot better. I just have to make sure he keps getting enough water through the weekend. Thank you, baby!
wolfrider89: 1 amuletwolfrider89 on September 10th, 2011 10:48 am (UTC)
He's totally cute! I've got a serious cat yearnign now, I haven't owned a cat since I was fourteen. :( Huh, I didn't know cats could even get the flu. Poor little guy. Good luck!
Deni: Dean/Cas - Watching over youdenig37 on September 9th, 2011 08:54 am (UTC)
*hugs* Hope he gets well soon.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
The vet kept him for a night but he got to come home this evening and he seems to feel a lot better - no longer confused. They said to expect it to happen more often as he gets older, but now that I know what to look for, hopefully I won't be so freaked out next time. Thank you. <3
ranua: just over the horizonranua on September 9th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
((hugs)) oh babe, I hope everything is alright with your Papa Bear. He looks like an adorable kitty.

The story of how you got him is awesome. :) I'll be keeping good thoughts for you guys.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 10th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
He is adorable, thank you. <3 The vet kept him overnight but he is home now. He is currently sleeping with his favorite pillow. They said it was the flu and the confusion was from being so terribly dehydrated. They expect it'll happen more as he gets older, but now I know what to look for and how to test for dehydration at home, so I will know what to do next time.

I am forever grateful that my childhood friend needled the boyfriend until he broke into that garage and got my baby. I find it funny that for once he was breaking the law to do good, instead of crime. ;)
ranuaranua on September 10th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Oh bb, that is so awesome it was only something as 'simple' as the flu. I was so worried for you and Papa Bear. Hope he continues to improve. ((hugs)) *and gives virtual catnip*
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on September 10th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
I read through some of the comments and saw you post that it was the flu. I hope he recovers quickly from that. One of my friends here is going through a tough time with his cat right now -- it has been having strokes and suffering temporary paralysis. The cat is 18 and has had health problems for a while. The end feels kind of imminent and I know he is going to be crushed.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Papa Bear has many more years with you.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on September 13th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
Thank you, baby.

I'm sorry to hear abour your friend's cat - that is the kind of thing I worry about for Papa Bear, since his health has never been that good. We have never had a cat who spent years in bad health before - it is very nerve-wracking. I hope your friend has more than one cat. I am very grateful that my sister had gotten two kittens the year before her girl-cat got sick - if she hadn't already had the other cats, I know she never would have gone out and gotten a new animal again. This way she had someone to comfort her (and by this I mean lick her nose after she lost Zippo).

Papa actually seems to feel better than he has in a long time. I think he may have been sick for awhile and I didn't notice because he is usually so inactive anyways.

Thank you for your good wishes!