Sunday, June 1, 2008

Goodbye Sluggo

On Thursday, the husband and I had to say goodbye to our sweet, little munchkin Sluggo. The blood transfusions and procrit (red blood cell production stimulant) were just not working. What was keeping him going was probably the prednisone steroid med he was taking. After the blood transfusion, Sluggo was back to his almost normal self. He woke me up one morning around 2 am to play fetch. I happily obliged.

After about one week, Sluggo started to deteriorate quickly. He lost the pinkness in his nose and pads he had gained with the transfusion and laid down in the corner of our closet. I made him a little bed in there with food and water. On Wednesday morning he wasn’t excited about food and only licked the gravy off his canned food. On Thursday morning he refused to eat anything. He was still drinking water but had very little energy.

Sluggo spent his last hours staring out the window, perched on his new window seat. He saw a few birds, including a hummingbird. He would react when I would talk to him or pet him but his movements were very slow.

The husband and I struggled with the decision of when to take him to the vet. We wanted him to be at home with us for as much as possible, as long as he wasn’t in pain. As hard as it was to say goodbye, we feel we made the right choice and our happy that we were able to do one last good thing for Sluggo.

The house seems quite empty without him. We only had him for 1.5 years but his presence was always felt since he was super active. Except in the middle of the day – he was a great at taking naps. He loved playing fetch with his special cat nip stuffed carrot and favorite hair bands. He would love to “help” us change the sheets on the beds but it was more of a game for him in which he would get under the sheets, lay upside down, and stick his legs straight up, claws piercing through the sheets. He always took offense to Monkey’s growls and hisses and he would let Noodles steal his treats every once in a while (but not his toys). When we would sit on the couch, watching TV, he would come over and sit in our laps, kneading super fast, digging his claws into our legs. We would have to use a blanket to protect our skin. He would give us gentle but determined bites on our hands to get us to pet him.

I’m not sure if the other cats know what’s going on. They started keeping their distance pretty early on, except when they would go into the closet to try to steal Sluggo’s leftover food. Major and Noodles are being very friendly and loving towards us and Monkey isn’t as whiny.

Here are a bunch of great pictures of Sluggo, and his BFF Noodles.

Here's a close-up of Noddles (front) and Sluggo (back) a few days after we adopted Sluggo. Noodles was 20 days older than Sluggo and we adopted him about 2-3 weeks before Sluggo.

The kittens really were inseparable until almost the end.

We would joke that we got Sluggo as a chew toy for Noodles. When Sluggo first came home, Noodles was on him like a shadow.

Sluggo came with ringworm (we found out a few days after we adopted him), which is a fungal, skin infection. Ringworm doesn't really bother the cats but is pretty gross and highly contagious (to people too), so we had to give the kittens weekly baths, and daily application of ointment and oral meds. Their "quarantine" lasted about 3.5 months.

Great picture taken at ~1 year of age by my brother-in-law. You can really see the intensity in his eyes.

Sluggo was quite photogenic, despite his solid color.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Sluggo. His nose and ears were very pink.


Will Campbell said...

When I got out of the shower at your place, I saw this paw reaching under the door trying to play. I poked at the arm and Sluggo waved it wildly as he purred. It was the most adorable thing I'd seen a cat do in ages. He'll be missed.

Cleaty said...

What a great memory, Will. He did do that a lot. He also loved to lick the water off my legs when I would get out of the shower. That could hurt sometimes because of his scratchy tongue.

Thanks for sharing that story. Sometimes I think it's weird that I am so crushed over a cat, but they are so loving and unconditional that it's really hard to give that up.

Pablo said...

I am so sorry to hear about Sluggo. Saying good bye to such an adorable pet is always hard. Hope you are feeling better.

Sumana Harihareswara said...

My condolences to both of you. I hope your memories of Sluggo continue to sustain you.

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