Monday, August 16, 2010


Figaro has been a member of the family since 1992. Jim got him when the kitty was just about 7 weeks old. The smallest ball of purr you can imagine. And fiesty too.

Figaro is going to the vet tomorrow and it looks like it will be his last trip.

He was really Jim's cat. Especially since we moved back here and he became an inside cat. Jim was the one he would go to and cuddle up with and he was happy to, very cat like, totally ignore me.

We got him from a local shelter. I was working and Jim went there one day and went into the 'kitten room'. This is a room where there may be a dozen kittens running free and playing with each other and people can go in and choose one. Well, all the kittens fled this large man. Except one. Jim sat on the bench in there and Figaro came right up to him, climbed up on the bench and then along Jim's shoulder to sniff an ear. Jim brought him home.

Figaro is a tuxedo cat - black with white chest, paws and a white chin. He also has a loud voice. A big mouth. Even as a kitten. We named him Figaro because he looks like the cat from Pinnochio. And because he talked a lot.

He has a habit in the morning of "singing for his supper". He says "ahlloooww" in cat meowishness that makes it sound like he is saying hello. He will do that outside the bedroom door until I get up and get him some breakfast.

Figaro came into our family and we had the Shadow cat already. Shadow was about a year or so old and Shadow was a very pretty but not quite all there cat. He was a big grey ball of fluff that Jim got me as a present one year. I think Jim liked having pets because he never had them as a child. They had dogs, but those were his dads hunting dogs and they weren't to be played with.

I realized tonight that I have had Figaro longer then I had Jim. I sat tonight with him and I couldn't get him to sit on my lap like he did with Jim, but he lay beside me and let me pet him. The first six months after losing Jim he wouldn't let me do that. I was just a non-entity that fed him. Not worthy of attention and he patiently waited to hear the door open and Jim come thru the door. We all did. Fig finally came around and for the last couple years would cuddle at the back of my neck on the couch while I had a dog on either side of me.

I think Fig never liked that he and Shadow had control of the house and our attentions and then we got dogs. First it was Gryphon then Merc and Tigger. He never fought with them but he was never really happy with them too much. He was his catlike self.

When we moved to a small town outside of Boston, Figaro loved it. We lived in a low key rural street on the edge of town and he could be an inside/outside cat. It was fun to go outside with the dogs and see Fig sitting on a low hanging tree limb watching us. He stalked and brought home his prey. He was a magnificant cat and in his prime. He was a king among cats. Shadow was still given the same choice to come and go but he was an inside cat. He was happy to let Figaro wander and come back and tell him about the great outside. Shadow passed away while we were there and Figaro became an only cat.

At that time the cats were allowed upstairs in the bedroom. They never slept with us at night but could be found there during the daytime. This changed when we moved and we shut the door on Fig. He didn't seem bothered he just slept on the couch and annoyed the dogs by taking what would have been one of their spots there. You know the term "alpha dog" in the family. Well, he was "alpha cat". Well alpha cat after mommy.

Up until this past year Fig has always been very a healthy, happy and no problem cat. It saddens me to see him this way and my friends that visit have commented on it also.

Fig is going to the vet's because he is suffering severe weight loss and fecal incontinence. He will lay down and when he gets up there is stuff left there and he doesn't seem to realize it. He stopped using the litter box and just goes where ever. It has been hard. I have been trying for many months to battle it. Trying different food, different litter, visit to the vets a few months ago said all the blood work was fine (no cancer, diabetes, kidney problems).

This is tough because it is close to a year to when I lost Mercury. And two years from when I lost my Dad. And three years from when I lost Jim. I thought I could get thru this year with no deaths, but Figaro is in a bad way and there is no choice. My friend said this is another milestone for me. One I could have done without.

Figaro will find his way to Jim's lap and keep on purring and loving that he found him.

It is going to be very very quiet around here.


Sharon said...

Betsy, so sorry that Figaro is not doing well -- and sorry that you have this burden on your shoulders, even as strong (and experienced) as you are at caring for and bringing comfort to those you love. May you be blessed by your kindness and care,

Stella said...

I know how hard it is. I hope you find peace in knowing that you're doing the best thing for your old friend. And you are right... he will cross that rainbow bridge and find his way to Jim's lap.

Linda said...

so,so,sad. I'm sorry's so hard to lose a pet.
Are you sure she isn't suffering from kidney failure? It's the demise of most older cats, due to the food they eat.

Sending you lots and lots of hugs!