This morning our Maine Coon, Quinn, let us know it was time for him to cross the rainbow bridge. He was around nine years old — not very old by our household’s standards; most of our pets live well into their teens. But Quinnie (as we called him) did not have it easy during his time on earth. He was sickly from day one; when we got him from the Nashville Humane Society he promptly infected everyone in the house with some kind of pneumonitic funk. And from there on he battled skin allergies and immune system disorders.
Friends of the blog may remember Quinnie from his allergy days, when I bought him onesies at Target in an effort to keep his raw belly from getting infected.
I spent a fortune on specialists and allergy therapies; he got pollen shots for years, he took steroids and other drugs until we finally found a protocol that worked. More recently it was lymphoma, which required chemo. The lymphoma went into remission and we had Quinnie for about 15 months after his diagnosis, which is far longer than the vet told us to expect. A couple weeks ago we found a mass in his liver, though. He declined quickly after that.
Through it all he was a real trooper, with a big heart and a great attitude. He was an awesome cat.
One of the most unique things about Quinnie was his love of blue foam balls. Not yellow foam balls, not pink foam balls, but BLUE. They had to be blue. He would pick the blue ones out from the rest until we finally figured out we could just buy him blue ones.
You always knew Quinnie was feeling good because he’d walk around the house with a blue ball in his mouth, caterwauling at the top of his lungs. Sometimes he’d make Quinnie art with them. He’d place them on our bed in very precise, organized patterns. Of course he was limited by the number of balls he had access to but once I gave him a whole bunch and he made a perfectly-centered diamond shape on our bed with one blue ball right in the middle. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. It was his masterpiece.
Below, some memories of Quinn. He’s got quite a crew waiting for him on the Rainbow Bridge: Frasier and Sylive and Feister and Puddin’ and Toots, plus the dogs Cleo and Zelda and Boomer. I hope they’re all having a big party up there for him.
What follows are some memories of Quinn:
Christmas Quinnie! A baby picture …
Quinnie in a new onesie.
I could watch this video for hours:
I mean, it’s got everything. Cats. Moar Cats. Bouncing balls.
I wondered how long it would take for Cat A to destroy this toy. And then, What’s the little guy behind the shower curtain doing? Trying to play with the toy but knowing he can’t because Big Guy has bogarted the bouncing balls.
Hilarious. Oh and clearly Maine Coons. They are the bestests.
Oscar has been with us for about seven months now. He’s a pistol! Cutest little thang. We did have a scare a few weeks ago when Oscar caught some kind of bug. Since he’s FIV+ any little thing really knocks him on his butt. We got him on some antibiotics right away and he was out of commission for about a week but he’s all better now.
He loves to be snuggled and does this thing where he shoves his nose in my face repeatedly. He’s also the only cat I’ve ever known who drools copiously when he purrs.
Oscar adores his big sister Etta, who has figured out she can get away from him by jumping on the bathroom counter. Oscar hasn’t figured out that he can probably jump up there too. Oscar also loves to pester Etta’s nemesis Moses. Moses has attacked Etta violently — we have to keep the two separated at all times — but when Oscar comes around Moses runs and hides like a little girl.
I blame Obama:
Seriously, I have no great wisdom to impart for the new year, and as I’ve already stated, I could care less about the GOP primary, since we all know who’s going to win. So I thought we could all use some dog and cat blogging.
Here’s a new picture of Oscar, who joined the family last month:
Oscar is the most non-photogenic cat I’ve ever known. He can look so damn cute one minute but as soon as I take a picture his fur is standing on end and his eyes are crossed. I don’t know what’s up with that.
Anyway, he’s doing super well. Gained lots of weight, grown, got his strength back, and has really fit into the family beautifully. Everyone just welcomed him with open paws. I told Mr. Beale we had an Oscar-sized hole in our family and we didn’t even realize it.
Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy New Year. Don’t know what the future has in store for us but it’s bound to be interesting.
He's On The Top Of The World!
I gotta tell ya, we were really worried about this little guy. For the first three weeks he basically ate, slept and pooped. I was starting to think he was mentally deficient. But he’s finally, finally, been restored to health and is showing some personality. He’s started scampering around and playing with toys, and he’s made a friend in big brother Moses (the same cat who has tortured and harassed our last two kittens, to the point where we had to find a new home for one of them. Moses seems to like Oscar, though. Go figure).
Oscar is not out of the woods. He does appear to be FIV-positive, though the doctor says we’ll check again in six months just to be sure. And he also seems to have some kind of skin allergy causing him to lick all of the fur off of his belly. We’ve already been through this ordeal with Quinn, our Maine coon. So a trip to the veterinary dermatologist is probably in order.
But he’s a real cutie. Still can’t imagine how he found his way to us or what his life was like before we found him in the street.
Sure Beats Life On The Streets!
First piece of news: We named him Oscar, on the suggestion of several blog commenters. Stinky was a close second, and more apt: his farts could clear the house.
Second piece of news: while we’re still awaiting results of the additional FIV test, we’ve let him out of his room when we’re around to supervise. Mostly he hangs out with us anyway, and no one except the dogs have been inclined to get within two feet of him.
He’s spent the past four days resting, eating, and healing. In fact, today is the first time he’s shown any interest in playing with toys or exploring. I’ve never seen such a mellow kitten, and I suspect it won’t last.
Kitten tested positive for FIV, but the vet says false positives are very common in young kittens. We sprang for the Western Blot test — results due in a week — which should give us a more definitive answer. The alternative is a redoing the ELISA test in 6 months. Don’t want to keep kitty separated from the rest of the gang that long.
Even if he’s positive, the vet says in a “peaceful household,” the risk posed by an FIV positive feline to the rest of the family is minimal. Apparently the disease can only be spread through “intimate contact” and blood. If kitty doesn’t fight with anyone (or vice versa), we may not have anything to worry about.
Still .. it’s a kitten. They play hard. So not sure what we will do if the Western Blot comes back positive.
In the meantime, kitty is in our spare bedroom and, other than being very malnourished, is in good health, all things considered. The bare patches on his shoulder and a squinty right eye appear to be trauma-related. Since we don’t know where this little guy came from, your guess is as good as mine.
So… we need a name. Any ideas? Oliver, Frankie, Willie are in the running … or, we might just name him Kevin. No one names their pets Kevin.
I’m walking the dog after dinner, Mr. Beale is doing the dishes, and at the end of our driveway I hear this plaintive little cry that I think is a child on the playground next door. But I’m not sure and I do my patented “kitty kitty kitty!” call and sure enough, it’s this little niblet:
The dog was curious but didn’t run the little thing off, thank goodness. I was able to bring it indoors, whereupon it devoured a can of cat food and a bowl of water. It is now passed out in our spare bedroom.
Little Cutie is so wriggledy squiggledy, and has such long hair, I have yet to determine its sex. More worrisome is a bare patch on its shoulder (flea allergy? Ringworm? Sign of abuse?) For now we’re keeping it away from everyone else until we’re sure it doesn’t have any communicable diseases.
I’m quite sure there is a sign over our house visible only to felines and dogs that reads “Sanctuary.” Right now my feeling is, if you can make your way to our door, we’ll take you in.
More after a visit to the vet tomorrow.