Monday, March 19, 2007

Quincy

I'm feeling a little freaked out right now.

I was messing around with YouTube, uploading a small video of our cat, Sam, meowing. (Yeh, I was bored) Since I was digging around in my videos folder, I decided to play a video I made in 2003 as a tribute to our other cat, Quincy, who passed away that year.

Then it dawned on me that it was March of that year that he passed away.

It gets even freakier.

I checked my calendar and it was actually March 19th -- THIS VERY DAY -- back in 2003.

Spooky.

Quincy, also known as "Buddy", "Rug", and "Quin" was a Maine Coone variety of cat. When we got him 1993, along with his "sister" Sam. He was so tiny. He could sleep in my hand.

Sam was the same age, but about twice his size. Quincy grew up fast, outgrowing Sam and became the dominant one. He grew into a BIG cat. And he had a temper, when he didn't get his way.

Yet, he never attempted to hurt our kids. He would hiss occasionally, but that was it. He was so tolerant of them picking him up like a rag doll later in life.

I remember when our son was about a year old. He was lying on the carpet, on a blanket playing with his toys. I was typing away at the computer. I leaned over to check on him.

I nearly freaked.

There he was, on his stomach, face-to-face with Quincy. He had both fists firmly grasping the fur on each side of Quincy's face, pulling Quincy's face close to his own.

Quincy had a look of panic on his face, but didn't even try to pull away or defend himself. Poor cat. I rescued him and off he went.

It was pretty funny after the fact.

Quincy had two incidents of FUS (Feline Urinary Syndrome) in his life. The first time was caught early when he was around 4 years old, purely by chance while I was in the basement at the same time he was using the litter box. I noticed that he seemed to be having some discomfort as he went about his business. I checked the litter when he was done and found a small pool of bloody urine. That cost us a couple of hundred dollars in Vet bills, but he recovered fairly quickly.

The second incident was a couple of years later. Again, we caught it early, but not early enough. $600 later, he was home. We changed cat food this time, switching to Science Diet.

Years passed without any further incidents. Both Sam and Quincy appeared to be aging well.

In March of 2003, I noticed that Quincy was looking a little scruffy. Not his usual self. Not as active. I feared that it was FUS again.

I checked the litter box. I dabbed some paper towel on any wet spots on the litter and it left a pinkish wet mark on the paper towel. Must have been blood.

After some initial tests at the Animal Hospital, we had a brief moment of hope that it wasn't FUS, but quite possibly something else and easily treatable. An hour or so later, our hopes were gone. They confirmed that it was FUS. And fairly advanced. He was completely blocked.

We made a difficult decision that day, and chose to put an end to the misery that kept coming back.

I have to admit that I whimped out. My wife took Quincy to the Animal Hospital that night. I pretty much knew what was coming and couldn't go through that. About 7 years earlier, I brought my family's dog, Peanut, there for the same thing. She was very old and sick. But I stayed right to the end.

I couldn't bear the thought of going through that again with Quincy. When I think back on it now, that's something I regret. I should have been there. I owed that to him.

Anyway, that's the story of Quincy. Once the video gets published on YouTube, I'll post a link.

RIP Buddy. We still miss you.

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