May 15, 1999-June 27, 2017
Norman, you dropped into my life in the Spring of 2000. Your history is sketchy prior to that time. I assigned May 15 as your birthday to share the date with my dad, because nobody knew for sure when you came into being. My granddaughter wanted a Calico cat, so my daughter, Donna, got you from a family who had adopted you, but their six other cats terrified you. Being multi-colored, but not calico, you simply wasn't the calico she wanted. My daughter, Donna, convinced me that I might like having a cat. I took you, sight unseen, and you took my heart, completely by surprise. You were a big boy, 14 pounds when I got you, and you had the bluest, brightest eyes I had ever seen in any animal...they were beautiful, and my heart melted for you.
You adjusted to life with me pretty easily, or so it seemed. Mostly, you liked to stay on my bed when you napped. You showed some signs of being a hunter whenever a rare spider happened to skittle across the floor. By your second year of age, you had gotten to be a big kitty of 21.5 pounds, so it was funny to watch you as you spied that rare spider and tracked it across the room in typical "hunter fashion" with your nose to the floor on a serious quest. I liked that, because I don't like spiders, especially in my house.
You had a way of making yourself very scarce (pretty much invisible) whenever anyone came to the house to visit. I remember how, when I returned from a brief few days of being away from home, about two or three years into our partnership, my neighbor, Karen, excitedly told me upon my return home that she had finally seen you. You managed to stay out of view when you didn't feel safe around strangers...even the ones who came to our home frequently. You were always very much in "protection mode." For 6 1/2 years, my mom came to live in our home at the end of her life. She would lean over and reach out, calling you to come over and let her pet you, You got four or five inches from her hand, and then, you would turn and walk away to keep yourself safe. I hope you have met her again since you passed. She just wanted to be your friend, as well.
Hera, my daughter, Deanna's, female Doberman would always come and wash your ears for you when she visited. You willingly shared your cat food with her! The other dogs knew better, but she was a young two year old, and she liked to get up on the bed with you. You had a tendency to be not quite as willingly to share the bed with her, so you would give her a low growl to set your boundary. Just a few days ago, she had a litter of 10 puppies, so I presume the ear washings were practice for her becoming a mother. It always amazed me how liberal you were with her. After you passed, she went looking for you on her first visit here just as soon as she got here, but you were missing. I think she missed sneaking your canned food, as well as missing you.
I carried you outside in my arms two or three times while you lived with me, but you were unsure about the environment, so I was very happy to keep you safe and secure in the house. It was only in the last three to six months that you decided to remain curled up in a ball on the end of the couch when the dogs came visiting. I remember the startled and questioning look that the dogs gave you, because they were accustomed to sleeping on the end of the couch. Prior to the last few months, you would silently steal away into the bedroom and onto the bed when the dogs came visiting, so it really surprised them to find you still on the end of the couch.
For the final few years of your life, you developed kidney failure. I took you for your annual veterinary visit on the 21st of June, and the doctor wanted me to start feeding you special Kidney Failure diet food. I tried that, but you stopped eating, so after a day, I put your regular diet back on your tray. You continued to refuse to eat; however, I was still giving you subcutaneous fluids each day. Because of the weekend, I couldn't get you into the specialist in Internal Medicine until June 26. That was five days that you had not eaten, and was existing only on Subcutaneous Lactated Ringers fluid. We went to bed that evening and you fell asleep in my arms. The morning of June 27, 2017, Dr. Franklin, the veterinary specialist called me at 7:00 AM to ask how you were doing. I had to tell him the sad news that you had passed during the night, alongside me in the bed that we always shared. I knew you had passed, but I still had to get out my stethoscope to listen for a heartbeat and respirations!
I know that this was the best thing for you; however, my heart was broken by your passing. You are so missed. You had the sweetest temperament, and you were so soft. I couldn't ask for a better companion. You were my very special, big boy; and you were always loved so very much!
July 13, 2017