Sunday, July 15, 2007

Alex - In Memoriam



Our oldest cat, Alex, is now no longer with us. We have now lost 2 of our 4 cats in the last 3 months. It has been a rough Summer. Alex, as you may know if you read here regularly, had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and had been diagnosed with pancreatitis and soon-to-fail kidneys. He had always had a good appetite and we had the IBD vomiting under control, but during the past month he had lost a pound, then suddenly stopped eating. He was in terrible distress and discomfort all weekend (in spite of his pain medicine he'd already been on for weeks), and had some swelling around his middle and a fever. He was 16 and a half years old! I think that's about 85 in people-years. He had been sick for years, but what a trooper he was!

Alex was named after Alexander the Great, and that was before I knew what a fighter he was, how strong, how determined, how smart, and able to get what he wanted. He was a talker with plenty of charm. Our family-members, who didn't normally like cats, loved Alex because he was so people-oriented and friendly, so they thought of him like a dog. He was completely unshy, and absolutely loved meeting new people. Every time we used to go on trips and leave him in a kennel, they would tell us when we got back how Alex managed to get special treatment -- no extra charge -- they did it willingly. He looked you straight in the eyes and if you leaned toward him he'd give you a strong head-bonk.

I picked him up at the Humane Society in 1991. He was only 8 weeks old and was listed as a "stray". He was definitely "working the room" of potential cat-parents, and we were stumbling over each other to adopt him first! (see his baby pictures at the slide show link at the top) He was so sweet and loving there, then as soon as I got him home, he turned into a screen-climbing, ankle-grabbing, cord-chewing, toe-pouncing, stair-acrobatic Hellbeast. He never relaxed, practically never slept (guess who else was not allowed to sleep?) and didn't mind being squirted with water. In fact, he has actually opened his mouth in anticipation of me squirting him, thinking it was a fun way to get a drink. I had to get my husband to rescue me from him (all the time) when he wouldn't let me walk through the apartment without attacking me like I was a Wildebeest just passing through. Those were his kitten years. (I think he remained a kitten for years... not settled down.)

He was one of those pets who didn't want you to leave him... ever. Those longing looks we got when leaving for work or going somewhere prompted me to bring home another cat (Henry), but we soon found that Alex HATED cats. He never peacefully co-existed with any of the other cats we got. If you are wondering how we ended up with more cats even after knowing about his attitude, well -- that's another story for another day. We would joke that he didn't like his own reflection in the mirror because it was a cat. ;-)


After many years, he did settle down a bit, and became very affectionate with us. He even seemed to pick me as his favorite, and loved to sit in my lap. He'd always ask with a little meow before jumping up. Then he'd just nuzzle, cuddle and gaze at you rather than sleep. He never slept that much anyway. Alex had a personality and a half, and although we are crying over him now, he still brings us a smile under the tears, and he always will.

Click on the Alex label for approximately the last year of posts on him, and the links below are the rest of them (oldest first):

Cat attack

Caffeine Cat Fiend

You Lookin' at me?

Salad and Tummy Troubles

Wyatt Urp needs a bigger tent

Friday the 13th Peek-a-Boo Alex

Love/Hate relationship

King Kong Kat

All the Live Long Day

Tags and links: Friday Ark - Carnival of the Cats - This week's carnival is at TBIFOC - - -

34 comments:

PJD said...

You have my deepest sympathy, my friends. I buried my 16 yr old a few years ago, and she left an indeliable mark on my heart. Think not of the last few months but all the hell-spitting fire and fun you had with Alex along the way.
Namaste
Jazz

Babeth said...

Great memories are left by great companions. Over the Rainbow Bridge one newcomer is now raising holy hell and you can smile sadly knowing that he'll keep an eye on you from there. Our sincerest condolences on the loss of his mortal shell, our sincerest thanks for having met him, however briefly.

Gemini said...

We are very sorry to hear about Alex. KC posted this on the cat blogosphere so we would all know. We are sorry that we did not get to know him.

Purrs.

Riley & Tiki said...

We are very sorry about Alex. Sending you purrs.

The Tower Hill Mob said...

We are sorry to hear about Alex. He sounds like a great kitty who will be missed. We'll keep you in our thoughts and light a candle tonight for him.

Laura said...

Oh we are all so sorry for your tremendous loss! We have just been thru it, and continue thru it, our own selves. There are no words to ease the pain, but knowing that there is a huge collective community that understands 100% is some consolation.
Be very very gentle with yourselves, as he would want for you.
Mosaic Cats & their Mosaic Lady

Victor Tabbycat said...

So sorry about Alex. He was a very special cat. Bonnie was the same way as a kitten, a terror, but she's never become more affectionate. Remember the good times and when Alex was feeling well. His pain is gone now.

Mando Mama said...

That's the best obituary I have ever read, ever, and Alex deserved it. I'm sad for you all but glad to know you are smiling a little behind the tears in thinking what a tremendous personality Alex had. It seems like he had real cat integrity, the kind of cat you don't get confused with other cats.

Hugs to you all and peaceful homegoing, Alex. Rowr!

MM

Fat Eric said...

We are sorry to hear about your loss. Alex sounds like a special cat.

Purrs

Fat Eric and Kate

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We're so sorry for your loss...even when we don't know them personally the passing of a beloved fur friend sends ripples through the community of fur servants (that is what we are) that touch a spot where we all feel the pain of loss. We hope your pain passes quickly, your memories are sunny and that he visits you in your dreams whenever you need him...

jcfloresinc said...

We are so sorry, we never got to meet Alex. He sounded like a wonderful cat. Our purrs and purayers are with you.
Samantha & Tigger

Caesar and Princess said...

Alex was a wonderful old kitty and he bravely stayed just a while longer becuase he loved you so.
16 is old... we are 16.
The charts in the vet office only go up to 15 :-) so he was a great kitty that I am sure enjoyed being with the family that loved him.
Our prayers and strong purrrs are for your you and your family.

Caesar and Princess

Nava said...

Blueberry, losing 2 beloved friends in 3 months - that is indeed rough. I read some of your posts about Alex, and he really does seem like he had lots of personality. So sad to hear that he is gone :-(

Peacechick Mary said...

I did think abut Alex today while I was working as you had asked us to. I kept thinking of this fun, playful cat. I'm so sorry Alex is gone and I know you will miss him terribly. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Parker said...

We are so very sorry! Alex sounds like a wonderful kitty. You are in our prayers.
Purrs....

Cyclone Cats said...

Alex's family...we are sorry to hear about Alex's passing. You'll be in our thoughts and prurryers.

We'll see you at the Bridge, Alex.

Dazey
Jesse and
Conner Cloud

Bad Kitty Cats & Megan said...

Oh No... we are so very very sorry to hear of your loss. It is hard losing more than one family member in such a short time. We certainly understand your pain and heartache. Please accept our most sincere condolences and our love. Give yourself time to grieve too...

Alex Rest In Peace Sweet Baby

Our Tears and Purrs for you

Bad Kitty Cats & Megan

The Meezers said...

We are very sorry to hear about Alex. We lost our 2 senior cats last year within 3 months of each other - they were littermates and lives 19 years. We understand how hard it is.

Rest well Alex. We will see you at the Bridge.

Henry Helton said...

I did not know Alex. He seemed like a nice kitty. I wish I did know him. I'm sure he is having fun at the bridge now.

sammawow-china cat-willow said...

We are so sorry for your loss of a great companion. Our prayers and purrs are certainly with you.

Neil Shakespeare said...

My sympathies.

MichaelBains said...

He looked you straight in the eyes and if you leaned toward him he'd give you a strong head-bonk.

I LOVE cats that do that!

I'm sorry he's gone now, Blueberry. Glad his pain is over though. Hang in there.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Soory to hear about Alex. You have my sympathies.

Blueberry said...

Thank you all for your comments. Still coming to terms about this cat. He was with us for so long he was part of us. Life without him is strange, it still feels wrong. I am glad he is not suffering anymore. We miss him, but not his disease.

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

We are so sorry for your loss of Alex. No matter how long we have them, it is never long enough. We're sending comforting thoughts to you.

muffinmidi said...

My deepest sympathy on the lost of Alex.He sounds like he was quite a cat.
My cay and I share a blog. I was browsing the rest of your site nd enjoyed (agreed with) your entries on Sicko, Lady Bird Johnson
and Bush. I'll be back to visit again. Tracy

Hot(M)BC said...

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrs. We'll lite a candle for Alex and send purrs for your fambly,
Purrrrrs,
Sanjee, Boni Maroni, Mini, Gree and Pepi

Kay said...

I am so so so sorry. I'm sitting here crying because I know it's just a matter of time before my Circe goes.

You have my deepest sympathies. From one cat lover to another, big hug. :(

Shameless Agitator said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

caspersmom said...

So sorry to hear the loss of Alex. He was a really handsome (cute) cat. Your Memoriam to him is really nice, loved reading of his life with you. Purrs and prayers to you.

Mister Crap said...

:(

Irishcoda said...

We're so sorry to hear about Alex :(
Your memorial is very moving, he was very special and well loved!

Ellie said...

I was in Chicago on the 15th and didn't read your blog until today. I am sorry for your loss. And as you mentioned, I too left your house that one time with a special place for friendly Alex. And although your earthly family gets smaller as time goes by, the spirit world each of us knows,grows.

Caesar and Princess said...

16 and a half years was a good long happy life and you loved him and cared for him. We went to the bridge the happiest and most content kitty ever.
We are 16 and we noticed the last time we went to the et... the chart they have on the wall only goes up to 15
0_0

we are sending strong purrrs for you and your family.
Losing two in three months is heart breaking.
(((hugs)))