The Untimely Death of Mitchner McGarrulous

I Was Found

Mitchner on the RugIt was shortly after the untimely death of Mom’s orange polydactyl cat, Pawscar Awesome, in November 2016. She spotted one of the many Facebook postings for animals needing a home shared by Christine from the vet’s office. This courtesy post described a nine-year-old orange cat whose owner had died, leaving him in need of a home. That was me, Mitchner. The family had decided to keep the other two cats, whom they felt would be harder to place. Mom contacted the shelter that posted the ad and gave them her contact information. The owner’s daughter invited Mom to meet me. I guess Mom passed the test because I came home with her on December 3, 2016, and have become a much-loved part of her feline family. My full name was Mitchner McGarrulous.

 

 

I Was Friendly…Sometimes

Mom added the name McGarrulous because I was VERY talkative. When I first came to Mom’s home, I preferred to abide by myself in the kitchen, enjoying a variety of cat beds. Loneliness did not end up suiting me, though, because for a while I enjoyed joining several of the female felines in the bedroom, only returning to the kitchen briefly to play with my favorite cat toy. After some time, though, I started becoming aggressive toward Jenise. Mom thought I followed the very bad example of Rascal Spatz. To prevent conflicts while she was away, Mom decided I should stay in the kitchen. She did allow me to visit the bedroom in the evening…until I would get restless or nasty. It was probably just as well this way; I had inflammatory bowel disease and probably some food allergies, so I had to be on a special diet.

Mom made up a little ditty about me that she sang often:

Mitchner McGarrulous:

Life with him is perilous

‘Cause he’s got claws!

 

I Departed Too Soon

Shortly after I joined Mom’s feline family, I demonstrated some problems the vet identified as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). I got a series of B12 shots and a special diet. Mom kept trying different foods that were created to help my problem, so I would keep eating. I did get a little tired of trips back and forth to the vet, though. Finally, it was decided that I should have a scan to determine what was happening on the inside. Unfortunately, it turned out that I probably had lymphoma. I was able to hang on a bit longer, but I finally stopped eating, and Mom was forced to say goodbye on June 10, 2020–truly, an untimely death!

 

 

Mitchner Moods

Alarm

Mom is good about detecting my moods. I rang Mom’s alarm bell with another bout with my IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). A trip to the vet revealed that I had lost nearly three pounds since my last visit. By itself, this would not necessarily be awful, since I was a rather chunky 14-pound-plus boy; however, there was not a deliberate weight loss effort. Mom had switched me to Science Diet z/d food since Dr. Katie discovered that I had allergies. I seemed to like this food at first, but over time I was less and less attracted to it. Bloodwork taken that day revealed that one of my kidney values is above normal, and the other is approaching the high end of normal. This is consistent with my increased water consumption, which Mom had noticed.

Alternatives

What to do? Mom searched online for other feline fare with hydrolyzed protein, and found alternatives by Purina and Royal Canin. She was able to order the Purina food without a vet prescription, so she did. I seem to like it somewhat better than I did the z/d dry. Mom then ordered some Royal Canin dry food and treats from Chewy, and my vet authorized the purchase. So far, I really likes the treats; my moods have improved. Mom is hoping I will finish the Purina dry food before she starts me on the Royal Canin. She also has started dosing me with 1/4 tablet of famotidine most days to see if that helps keep my stomach settled. I hate the pills, but now I will eat some of the canned z/d chow that I had been rejecting, so maybe they are helping. Next step: Mom needs to take me in for a urine test, but that will involve getting me to consume some gabapentin to relax me and cause me to cooperate with the vet.

Goodbye, Mr. Goopuss!

Welcome

Mom adopted me as a six-month-old kitty with Cara Mia on November 28, 2005. She changed my name from Butterball to Gobblin’ Goopuss. I was a frisky black feline with a loud and continuous motor. In my younger years I derived perverse satisfaction from frequent “cat spats” with my sister Cara Mia and my uncle Charlie Chompers. Like C.P. Pirate, I also enjoyed harassing Googlie Girl. I used to interfere with Mom and the things on her desk when she was working on the computer. As I became more mature, I retained my friendly and talkative nature. Confession: I reaped a bit of what I sowed in my youth. I was often the victim of Rascal Spatz’s harassment; Rascal is a perpetrator of kitty conflicts.

Photos

Farewell

As a middle-aged adult, I had to have surgery for a rodent ulcer and, later, for a growth on my chin. I also developed hyperthyroidism, for which I was treated daily. In late 2018, my appetite decreased markedly. Expecting a flare-up of kidney disease, Mom was surprised to learn that blood work indicated cancer, probably lymphoma. I crossed the Rainbow Bridge on December 2, 2018.

Cara Mia Departs

Χαι:ρε

After Peapurr crossed the Rainbow Bridge in November 2005, Mom was eager to adopt kitties needing homes. Saying “hello” is so much easier than saying “goodbye.” Certainly she was lucky that the kind folks at Gasow Veterinary Hospital had rescued two special felines from the jaws of death. We fit the bill “purrfectly.” Mom officially adopted Gobblin’ Goopuss and me on November 28, 2005; we came home on December 4. Formerly named Taters, I was a lovely two- to three-year old calico with tortie/tabby markings. Because Mom teaches biblical Greek and Hebrew, she wanted to give me a special name. “Cara Mia” means “one joy” or “one delight” in biblical Greek. Since I loved people and cried loudly for individual attention, Mom nicknamed me “WOWa Mia.”

 [Ερρωσο

In August 2016 the veterinary oncologist, Dr. B., diagnosed me with breast cancer. Because of this, Mom has worried about me for the last two years. As a result of my condition, I joined an experimental program that kept me feeling pretty normal for most of those two years. In September 2017 I had surgery to remove the largest of the tumors, which was causing trouble. After recovering from surgery, I did well for some time. Later, in May 2018, I visited the oncologist, who noted that I had lost a lot of weight. When my appetite bottomed out, Mom gave me an appetite stimulant that worked well. Finally, however, the remaining tumors reached the point where they were uncomfortable. I began to exhibit some effort in my breathing. Therefore, our friend Dr. R. and Mom decided that it was time to say goodbye. I crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully on July 6, 2018. I know Mom will REALLY miss me!

New Foster Feline

For many years our mom has had a series of “foster felines” through a cat rescue in California known as Pet Pride. She just learned that her last foster cat, Bandit II, had crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 16. She has now been assigned a handsome orange cat named Sheldon. A nice person at Pet Pride described him:

He is a neutered male who came to us in 2014 due to a death in his family. He is now 6 years old and is still waiting for his “Special Home”. In the meantime, he has lots of fun at the “Home for Cats” and really enjoys playing with toys as you can see in his photo.

Mom is thrilled to support this lovely boy through monthly donations. We would like to meet him in purrson, but Mom says he lives too far away. We think he looks a lot like Mitchner McGarrulous.

Cat Care Reports

Sometimes Mom thinks she spends half her life on cat care tasks. In addition to the twice-daily routine of feeding, cleaning the numerous litter boxes, and providing fresh water, she makes frequent trips with one or another of us to the dreaded veterinarian. The most recent victims of her cat care are Pearl Grey and Cara Mia.

Pearl Grey

I finally reached the “age of accountability”: time to get spayed. Mom took me out in the carrier on the evening of October 23 and dumped me at Gasow Veterinary Hospital. Little did I know the joy that awaited me! After midnight, no one would give me any food. Several people passed by my cage, but no one would throw me a crumb. Then I was removed from the cage. A weird contraption was put on my face, and I fell asleep. When I awakened, I was really groggy at first. Then I noticed that fur had been shaved off my belly, and there were several stitches. Fortunately, they gave me medicine that helped me not feel so bad.

I did wonder where Mom was. At last she came to get me on Wednesday evening. My godmother Mary Jane was with her. I was placed into a carrier, and they took me home. My troubles were not over, however. As soon as I got out of the carrier, they put a weird plastic contraption around my neck. Mom started calling me “Conehead.” I found that I had a hard time navigating with that E-collar. What is worse, it was difficult to eat and drink. To her credit, Mom did try different bowls and dishes to help me. Nevertheless, I was NOT happy that I had to wear that thing for ten whole days.

I had to endure another ride in the carrier, but at least when I got to the hospital someone removed my stitches, and I did not get left there all by myself. Best of all, I am a conehead no longer!

Cara Mia

For over a year now Mom has hauled me out to a place called Oakland Veterinary Referral Services from time to time. My own vet, Dr. T., had recommended that Mom take me there after Mom found a lump or two on my belly. On my first visit there, I was poked, prodded, and photographed. After that I went there about once a month for a long time. Mom started giving me this weird liquid once, twice, and now three times a day as a part of an “experimental study.” I am not supposed to eat at least an hour before or after my dose. Boo hiss hiss!

Eventually the time between trips to the oncologist lengthened to two and then three months. I still had to take the medicine three times a day. The doctor was pleased with my progress. One of my lumps started to give me problems, however. Dr. B. suggested that Mom could arrange to have it removed. She said that surgery would not cause problems because I was “stable.” After a couple of emergency trips to OVRS because of my bleeding, Mom scheduled my pre-surgical testing and my surgery.

I had my surgery on September 14. Like Pearl Grey, I got some pain medication for a few days and had to wear the “cone of shame.” Mom stuck me by myself in the bathroom so I would take it easy. I had to wear that stupid cone and be locked up in the bathroom until September 26, when my stitches were removed. Then I got to return to Mom’s bedroom with some of my feline friends.

I got even with Mom, though. From the moment I came home after surgery until just recently, I decided to protest getting my experimental medicine by drooling profusely after each and every dose. Sometimes the best revenge is just grossing out your abuser! Finally, I decided to take the “high road,” and most times I don’t drool anymore.

Mom took me to see Dr. B. just yesterday. Dr. B. says I am doing great! She told Mom that I am mentioned by name when the study findings (to date) are presented. In fact, Dr. B took my picture so it can be used in the presentations. I am going to be famous. Mom cares less about that than she does about me doing so well. I am quite happy about that, too!

I Hate That Little Fiend!

I have no idea what Mom was thinking (or maybe she wasn’t)! Back in April she came home with this little fiend of a cat named Dusty RoseNose. The minute she arrived, she started hissing and growling at us, It’s not like we could have hurt her or anything. Mom put her safely in a lovely cat cage at first. When Mom let her out, though, she started coming after us with her nasty mouth and evil claws. What a punk!

Well, I have showed her just what it’s like, Whenever I see her (unless I am enjoying some attention from Mom), I run after her, spitting and growling and acting ferocious. She will run away from me, but I can’t seem to banish her entirely from my presence. If only Mom had not decided to adopt her!