Snowflake, my original, in every sense of the word. If not for him there would be no TSB for these cats or for any bean either. He was my great comforter, and the biggest Siamese cat I ever knew. Meanest too! But we eventually bonded, though it took some time. I sent him to the Bridge the Monday after the terrorist attacks after a long fight with FIV and massive organ shutdown that really went into massive slides on that fateful day. I have only felt so devastated once before - when Mom died, earlier that same year.
Mr. Cat's beloved Angel. It wasn't her original name but got it because she survived electrocution thanks to Mr. Cat giving her feline CPR. She never was the same afterwards, but it was ok. She lived to be a very old lady, nearly 22!
Nimbus' paternal half-sister Shadow (see the resemblance MOL). Sweetest thang I ever knew, and cause of so much grief! If not for her Jadzia would've never ended up pregnant, mauled, or any of that stuff. Nimbus' daddy was one rough trailer park tomcat, but to know either of these two little babies of his you'd never know. Jadzia and her hit it off instantly, and Jadzia (grumble grumble grumble) followed her EVERYWHERE - until she realized she was outside and freaked out. But I wouldn't trade any of it. There's no doubt where Nimbus gets that serious face. Those eyes... whole nasal area! The genes blended perfectly, and we ended up with a perfectly grey cat! Shadow ended up at the Bridge because she wasn't spayed and ended up with some cancer down in there. Poor little girl still had so much life to live too... She was just a young little girl!
Crown Prince Joseph A Nimbus of Iowa
Nimbus' story starts off in 2006, a month or so before the big pet food recall. You see he'd gotten some of the recalled canned store-brand wet food, though his batch was supposedly before the recalled stuff. Yeah, still recalled in my mind, never mind how sick he got.
He started getting sick early on in the day, when Mr. Cat was at work. He pulled up a monster hairball (at least a 3 inch long one, monster by any standards especially his), so for a brief while I had assumed that's why he felt so bad. But before long he was just wanting to hide anywhere (he surely knew by that point he was dying), not eating or anything. By the time Mr. Cat got home Nimbus was in grave shape and we finally found a place that was open - a good half-hour drive away! Well we got him up there, where they whisked him off (they knew we were coming), but came back out 5-10 minutes later, "he has a murmur" - and I promptly just about fell to my knees bawling. Well, two days later, the cardiologist gets in and examines him, discovering he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. One of the walls in his left ventricle was weak and he did have an audible murmur.
We recovered from that whole trauma fairly well. After about 4 days in the hospital (Monday night to Thursday evening), he came home and within a few weeks he was almost back to normal. He learned to take frequent rest breaks during play so that he didn't over-exert his heart, something he's done ever since. So all was well in the House of CoonCats... for a while.
About two years ago he started having coughing fits. So, since I didn't have a vet still at that point, we took him to a vet that I knew from work. Big mistake. I knew what was going on, he had a bad upper respiratory infection. But she kept saying it was seasonal allergies and even IF it was an URI that antibiotics wouldn't work - BS. But, I tried what she thought it was, hoping it was something simple (I hadn't yet learned that NOTHING about Nimbus is simple) and easy (and cheap) to fix. Behhhhh... Well after one particularly bad night, while I was on the phone, he had a particularly bad coughing fit and he passed out. The phone got thrown to the floor (it survived don't worry) and I rushed straight to him. I tried tapping him awake, but that didn't work, so I gave him mouth-to-snout! What the heck was I going to do anyways? After two good lungfulls, he was coming back, but that was it for me. I had to find another vet. But during this whole months-long ordeal we'd noticed he was always thirsty, to the point that he'd fall asleep with his head on the water bowl. So when I got him into the new vet, I just laid EVERYTHING out on her. She saw the URI instantly and prescribed some AB's for the boy... but with the rest of the symptoms, she saw what I should've seen - diabetes. The infection sat too long and it started a chain reaction. So, after confirmatory bloodwork, it was time to learn how to treat that. A few weeks passed and I really needed to talk to the vet because his numbers just weren't coming down like they should've, but she was on vacation or something. Luckily the other vet there had just returned from a lecture on new feline diabetes treatments and this new insulin to US vets called Lantus (the same as you humans use), and how good it works in cats. We agreed that Nimbus would be her first patient on the new insulin and the rest is history. He responded very well to it, albeit still fighting the infection - that would take many more months and several trips to vets and a change in AB's. But that too eventually subsided, though infections are an ever-present danger in diabetic cats. So things went pretty uneventful... for a while. And then the world crashed down again, and that's where we're at now.
Something triggered a fluid build-up in his lungs (considering the crystals that have reappeared in his pee, probably an infection) making it difficult to breathe, to the point that by the time I got him to the vet (thanks to one of Mr. Cat's friends because none of mine would either answer the phone or couldn't be bothered sheesh), Nimbus was blue in the tongue. The moment I got Nimbus into the vet he went straight on the exam table, where the vet took two listens to his chest, looked in his mouth and whisked him off fast. An xray showed his lungs were completely filled with fluid to the point he wasn't getting anything in there! He spent an hour on oxygen so the vet could take care of the rest of her patients, and then he was sedated and drained to the best of her ability considering she doesn't have all the machines that make it so much easier. He was given an AB shot while he was there and prescribed a diuretic to get the rest of the fluids out, and was put back on his heart medication (which I'm never ever taking him off of again, let that be a lesson to every HCM cat's humans). When I was trying to get him ready, he peed all over himself in the carrier, but being so used to Nimbus being sick, I just got him out and saved the pee, thank goodness too because she found more crystals in his pee! Considering he's diabetic, we can't change his food, so he's on pills for that too now! So I've spent the last two weeks trying to nurse him back to health, and spent most of it just trying to get him to eat! He's now also on an appetite stimulant to help with that, and trust me, it's working! Well, it WAS.
But just days after his check-up, I came home to find him totally out of it... Like he wasn't even here. He peed himself on the bathroom mat but didn't even get up to get out of it. He snubbed everything, even water and his beloved spaghetti sauce. I knew it was time. So, that being said, we made the decision to take him to the vet and let him run free, where I'm sure he's already found, captured and "killed" his first mouse! RIP pal and may the furiends that have gone before you show you everything you've been missing out on while you put up the most valiant fight.
RIP Crown Prince Joseph A Nimbus of Iowa
August 23, 2002 - March 17, 2011