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week 14 weekend wrap up

rip, taffy cat

gentle reader, it is with a sad heart that i tell you this is the first time in thirty-one years that my house has been without a feline protector.

kiroman and i bought our first persian cat in 1986. we were very poor college students and i'm sure the thought of us buying a designer cat seems outlandish, at best.

here's the dealio: i had this really weird habit of collecting silver dollars. it started in high school. if there was a silver dollar in the cash register, i bought it. this was something i did the entire time i worked retail.

i used my silver dollar collection to buy palmer. he was pretty awesome as far as cats go.

then we added berry many, many years later. then we added taffy, then we added vin...as far as house cats go. barn cats are a whole different story.

taffy was the last feline standing.

which is absolutely amazing once you hear taffy's story.

he was born a poor barn cat.

his mom had a one night stand with her son and taffy was the inbred by-product.

eewww, gross. i know. it's nasty.

but it was what it was.

and you know me, i'm not going to sugar coat it.

so, we have this litter of kittens who's mom and dad are actually mom and dad/uncle.

the mom, cutter {named after the boat, not someone self-inflicting knife wounds}, wanted nothing to do with this litter of kittens. i honestly think the litter all died except for taffy.

anywho, cutter would take taffy into the woods and dump him. i'm talking within days of his birth. his eyes were not even open yet.

and our golden retriever would do his thing and go out into the woods, locate the crying baby, and bring him back to the barn.

cutter wasn't interested in being a mom so she also refused to nurse this baby.

i know, mother of the year award totally skipped her this time around.

so muscle barbie decides she's going to bottle feed this baby and save his life.

and she does. 

at seven years old, she traipses to the barn multiple times a day to feed taffy.

and taffy is doing great.

cutter quits dumping him in the woods.

we leave for a horse show one weekend and taffy is gone when we return.

muscle barbie is heartbroken.

for days, she cries.

for days, she is angry that we went to the horse show and didn't take taffy.

for days, she cries.

for days, she is angry...

you get the picture.

and then lo and behold, i go to the barn one afternoon and guess who's back?

tat damn taffy kitty is sitting in the hay stall.

so i haul him to the house and give him to muscle barbie.

who gets a dog kennel, puts kitty litter in a small pan and puts it in the kennel and litter trains taffy.

kiroman and I really didn't think taffy was long for this world.

i mean, look at his genetics, for crying out loud.

and then look at him.

his confirmation was pretty hideous.

he was cow hocked.

he had this weird belly fat flabby thing.

he was cross-eyed.

he was just kinda strange looking.

but, gentle reader, that taffy had no health issues at all.

not for seventeen years.

that's not a typo.

we had him for seventeen years.

actually, the only health issue he ever had was getting into an argument with sister {she was our english bulldog} and she knocked his top canine teeth out...about 5 years ago.

other than that...not a single problem was had.

last sunday night, i picked up from the couch to move him and noticed that he was really thin. and his hair coat just wasn't so great either.

then tuesday night, he just seemed off.

so i called muscle barbie to let her know that i thought we were getting down to his final days.

if you are a pet owner, you know you would much rather they make this decision on their own and put you in a position where you have to take them in to be put to rest.

i was really praying that would be how this played out.

so wednesday night, muscle barbie came home to have some cuddle time and say her goodbyes.

let me back up to say that when sister knocked his teeth out, he ran and hid. i looked for hours and couldn't find him.

he always had a special hiding place that i never knew about.

so, i was really concerned that he would skip off to his hiding place and pass away and we wouldn't be able to find him.

wednesday night, i put him in the bathroom on our main floor. he always loved to sleep in there because it's the warmest room in the whole house.

thursday morning, i checked on him and he was laying on the pallet of blankets i left for him but i needed to move him to the laundry room for the day.

we were gone the entire morning and when we got home, i went to check on him and i couldn't find him.

this laundry room is small, gentle reader! and he was nowhere to be found. 

i looked behind the washer and dryer.

i looked behind the furnace. i looked under the furnace.

i looked behind the water heaters.

he was nowhere!

how could that be?

my laundry machines are front loaders on pedestals.

i opened the drawer under the washer. empty.

i pulled on the drawer under the dryer.

it was a little more weighted than the washer drawer.

and there was taffy.

all snuggled in there!

i found his secret hiding place!

i gave him a kiss and a pat and closed the drawer.

he was happy, he was comfortable.

there was no reason to move him.

he was still hanging out in his drawer when i left the house friday, early afternoon.

and that's where i found him when i returned home.

and he had passed away.

snuggled in his drawer. under the washer. just like he closed his eyes and fell asleep.

you were loved, taffy.

the following were taken wednesday morning, while he was cuddled on the couch in a blanket. his eyes are closed because i think the bright sunlight was hurting his eyes and he was moved to a dark room shortly after.


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as much as i loved taffy. as weird as it feels to not have a cat in the house. i just don't think i'm going to bring one home anytime soon, if ever. i am kinda relieved that litter box duty is officially over.

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i am grateful:

  • the golden retriever retrieved taffy countless times
  • muscle barbie took the initiative to bottle feed taffy
  • taffy had a long and happy life as an inside cat
  • taffy did it his way
  • taffy was able to cuddle up in his secret space for one last nap

just breathing isn't living!

sincerely,

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