Lightning no longer strikes.

Our cat Lightning, I mean.

He was 19 (one of the oldest cats at the vet) and had been living with a heart condition since he was three. We never expected him to live ten years.

He was OK through Christmas, but after the first of the year, he started getting listless and lost his appetite. The past few days he didn’t eat or drink anything, and just lay by the radiator, occasionally meowing pitifully (and wanting to go out).

We took him to the vet and the worst was confirmed: he had a tumor in his stomach. At his age, and in his condition, there wasn’t much choice about what to do.

It was difficult. Neither Mrs. Chuck nor I had faced this type of situation before, but the vet was very helpful and kind and we knew he went off peacefully.

I’m still going to miss him.

Goodbye, Lightning kitty. You were loved. :frowning:

You gave him a loving home and a safe, gentle sendoff, which is so much better than what many cats get in this world. Please tell us a little about your Lightning if you like.

Lightning was part of a litter from our neighbor’s grandson. He brought the cat over to show us.

The kitten had five toes on each foot, which I though was interesting. Then he climbed up on my lap and fell asleep. Those probably decided me that we should get him.

But he played me for a sucker: he never slept on my lap ever again.

He was an orange tiger, looking a bit like a small lion. Somewhat timid, but would get aggressive toward any cat in his territory (i.e., whatever he could see out the window).

When he was two, the vet found the heart murmur; officially Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It got worse when he was three, and we went to a cardiologist, who put him on medicine. By my calculations, I pilled him over 15,000 times; he actually was pretty good about it. Oh, he objected, and tried to spit things out, but didn’t scratch or bite and let his mouth be pried open.

When he was young, he was a terror, running around the house at full blast (hence his name). He also was a leaper: the refrigerator was routine, but I still have no idea how he got up on the curtain rods. He rarely used his claws as a weapon, preferring to bite. He also loved to sneak outside.

Once he gave me a nasty bite: we had been away for a few days and ran outside. When I grabbed him, he chomped down on my arm, probably mad at me. But a few minutes later, he was purring as though he were apologizing.

He slowed down over time, but was in pretty good shape until last fall, when he developed a thyroid condition. Medicine helped, but he was losing weight that wasn’t related to the thyroid. He was down to 8 1/2 pounds today, less than half his top weight and down five pounds since November.

He was not a cuddly cat, but did like sleeping in our bed with us.

The last few days were tough. The funny thing is that he suddenly was keen to go outside again. On Saturday, he sat on the front mat in the sun for about 20 minutes in 15 degree weather.

And when we got the diagnosis, we knew there was only one option. While they were getting the shots, he wanted to get down from the examination table (it was the most active he’d been in days), so we let him down. He lay on the floor, which is where they gave him the sedative. He calmed down and we were able to say goodbye before the vet returned. It was actually the first time either of us had had a pet put to sleep, and they were very kind to us.

On the way out, I checked the wall to see his name among the oldest cats in the practice.

Thank you - he sounds like he was quite a character. :slight_smile:

I really wish I knew if we get to meet beloved pets when we die. It would almost make dying something to look forward to. Their lives are so much shorter, and they love us without expecting anything in return.

It sounds like Lightening was a remarkable cat. That’s definitely the oldest cat I’ve ever heard of here. I had a cat that lived to sixteen though.

I’m so sorry for your loss. May your memories be happy. I’ll give my Atilla extra scritches and hope that Lightening gets to meet Baby, The Road Warrior, Vladimir and Tobermory.

I asked God about this. She said “F*ck, yeah!”

But seriously, can you think of a reason why not? Pets have purer souls than we do…

I’m so sorry about Lightning. What a beautiful tribute you wrote-he was a wonderful kitty.

I am so sorry that you lost your little buddy. I read your tribute with tears running down my face, but I was still shaking my head and laughing at it. Cats do know how to find a sucker and Lightning figured out that you should be his slave for the rest of his life.

You gave him a good life and a gentle and dignified death. I know from experience that you have a big hole in your heart and in your life. Of course you are going to miss him, and sometimes something will just stab you in the heart, but you will heal and in time your memories of him will make you happy instead of sad.

Don’t cry because he’s gone, smile because of all the good years you had together.

So sorry to hear about your Lightning, and so glad the vets were kind to you. Your Lightning sounds like a wonderful cat.

Sorry to hear about Lightning. I lost my best friend Storm just a month ago. Maybe they will find each other in the afterlife to keep company till we get there.

I can’t provide a cite, but I remember reading something in a history book, a quotation from Martin Luther, in which he said Heaven wouldn’t seem like Heaven if there were no dogs.