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Matt with binkie

Matt was one of my "estate cats." I inherited him from my grandparents when they both died six months apart in 2008. I told them I'd take care of their cats after they were gone. Matt and his littermate Lucy didn't come to live with me until July 5, 2009. We arbitrarily set their birthday at 1/1/1993, so he was 16ish when he came to live with me.

It was a rough haul getting them both used to me and to being inside all the time. With Nanny and Granddaddy, they had been indoor/outdoor cats, staying out most of the day to hunt and lie in the sun and do whatever it is that cats do. Matt was the scourge of everything small and furry or feathered for a long distance around my grandparents' house. His prowess as a hunter of small things was undisputed. At night, they'd come into the (barely) air conditioned house and sleep the untroubled sleep of the feline.

They were both very wary of all people, including me. I wasn't sure the whole 'watching after Nanny and Granddaddy's cats' thing was going to work. I envisioned myself feeding two cats I never saw and wondering where they were hiding.

As it turned out, Lucy was easy to tame. She was missing her rear right leg and therefore couldn't scratch her right ear. So I managed to trap her where she couldn't get away, and picked her up, hissing and spitting and clawing, and forcefully scratched her ear. She melted into cat goo, started purring, and that was that. Took 20 minutes.

Matt was a little harder. He didn't hear so well or see all that great, either. So everything was a muddle with him, but eventually, slowly, he got where he'd let me pet him, and then come up to me and beg me to pet him.

He loved his yellow handled brush more than anything else. Well, more than anything else other than treats and food. Those were his absolute favorites. And sleeping in a sunbeam.

Everything went great until a few months ago sometime between October and December of 2011. He developed a growth on his right rear leg. It quickly grew and grew until it was hard not to notice it jutting out from his hip.

The vet said it needed to come off, so we scheduled that surgery. Even though he turned or would turn 19 at some point during 2012, he was healthy as an ox otherwise, and handled the anesthetic well. The tumor was removed and he began to recover.

And it came right back, with renewed vigor. So the vet suggested that if she removed his leg, it might get the tumor. So we tried that. She warned me that she had to use skin from where the tumor had been to cover up the amputation, and that if she hadn't been able to get all the tumor cells, it would come back.

Nevertheless, it looked like it had worked. For a few days, Matt hung out in my bathroom, hiding from everyone, learning to hop on three legs, until his wounds healed. Then he moved downstairs, and resumed his former routine, minus the whole 'getting up on the couch' part. Brushings, treats, petting...it all returned to normal.

It wasn't until about two weeks ago that I realized the tumor had come back again, and this time with a real vengeance. It grew so rapidly that it was visibly stretching his skin, and it...split open where the sutures had been after his surgery.

He began sleeping all the time, in a dark, small bathroom, curled up in a ball. He only came out to eat, drink, and use the litter box. He'd still come if I called him, and let me brush him with the yellow-handled brush or nibble a treat, but his heart wasn't really in it. He began to lose weight.

This morning, I took him to the vet for the last time. He was in pain. The tumor had spread to the other leg. There was just nothing anyone could do. The vet took one look at him and her eyes misted up. She has been so wonderful during these last couple of months.

Nanny called Matt her "Golden Boy." He turned from a suspicious cat who didn't want to be touched by anyone into a sweet, loving cat who would curl up in my lap and purr while I petted him. He loved my housemate, and would demand that she brush him whenever she sat down. He even got to the point where he'd approach other friends of mine without hesitation and let them pet him or brush him.

He would occasionally sleep with me. And by "with," I mean that he took up 99% of the bed and I could have whatever was left.

He was a good boy. And he was my golden boy, too. And I'll miss him horribly.


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Comments

( 15 hisses — Hiss at me! )
(Deleted comment)
scirocco
May. 30th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
:(
wordsmith101
May. 30th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear this! I thought he was on the mend, so this is really sad news. You and Lucy are going to miss him so much, I know. He sure had a good run, though, and was so lucky to have you. Rest in peace, indeed.
siercia
May. 30th, 2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am so, so sorry.

He was lucky to have had you in his last years.
akiko
May. 30th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry :(
ddreslough
May. 30th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! <:(
*hugs*
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
winkymonkey
May. 30th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
So Sad
I am sorry about Matt. I know you did everything you could to look after him. I recently posted about losing our office cat, Charlie. They do become so dear.
bramblekite
May. 30th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss. You did good by your grandparents & Matt. *hugs*
sydneygb
May. 30th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
*HUG*
I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad Matt had a good life with you. I don't know what else to say. :'(
trilobits
May. 31st, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
sorry man. think of the nice times.
friend_soscho
May. 31st, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
I am sorry to hear about Matt. Thank you for making his last few years filled with Love.
liddle_oldman
May. 31st, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
kiteflier98
Jun. 1st, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
Wow... I am... *sigh* I really didn't think the tumor would come back. Damn. Anything I can do... Let me know.
( 15 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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