Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Today Will be a Very Sad Day.....

Our oldest cat, 15 year old "Sticky", will be taking his last trip to the veterinarian this morning. His health has been in decline for some time. He's lost a lot of weight, has problems keeping food down, and has some other issues. We've had him checked out, but there isn't anything we can realistically do for him...

Our Sticky story started in the first months of 2005. Earlier that winter, Nancy and I moved from Minnesota to Prescott, WI. We noticed a cute little black and white tuxedo cat that would come around every evening. We started to feed him and he began hanging around all day. At first, he was reluctant to come in the house and would stay outside in the cold spring air. I'd sit on the floor by the sliding patio door and try to convince him to come in. One night, I became frustrated by his stubbornness, slid the door shut and said, "Fine, be a f-stick"... except I used the whole word. The name kind of stuck and from then on, when either Nancy or I would see him in the backyard, we'd say, "F-stick's here". Over the years, the name evolved and was shortened to Sticky.

Nancy and I talked about letting him come in to spend the night and see how things went. We were considering taking him in and keeping him as our cat. We knew he was friendly and well behaved, but we didn't know if he was box trained or not. So one night in April, I set up a litter box and a pet bed for him, and I made a bed on the couch for myself. I had closed the door to the upstairs and when he walked in through the patio door, I closed it and the trial began. I played with him for a while before I fell asleep on the couch. In the morning, he was curled up on the rug beside me and he had used the cat box. I think, maybe it was Sticky who was testing us that night. Even after being let back outside, he was never gone long. I guess he chose us... We were "his", or was he "ours"?

We tried to locate his owner, we took pictures of him and printed flyers and put them in the mail boxes in the neighborhood, but no one claimed him...

We took him to the vet and had him checked out. The vet's best guess at his age was, maybe 2? He had already been neutered, so he wasn't feral, but only had 4 teeth, so the Vet thought that maybe he had been neglected and had a poor diet as a kitten.

Our place in Prescott was perfect for cats. There was a large wooded area right behind our house and Sticky used to follow me on walks through them. While we lived there, our cat family grew steadily. First was Sticky, then Orangie, then a pregnant female showed up and had a litter of 6 in my closet.... We found homes for the kittens and mom, but we kept 2, Rudy and Screamer. Neighbors brought us 2 more cats in the following years and we gladly took them in, L.B.K. (Little Boy Kitty) and Vinnie (the thug)...

By the time we moved up to Cable, in December of 2011, we had 6 cats. Starting at the orange cat and going counter-clockwise... Orangie, Vinnie, Screamer, Sticky, L.B.K., and Rudy...

They all got along great. Sticky was the "mother" and alpha cat in the house. He was always grooming the others and watching out for them.

Playing with the two new kittens, Rudy and Screamer...

And when I say that Sticky was a "mother" to the others, I'm not kidding. Here he is with Rudy, who is trying to nurse...

When he wasn't tending to the other cats, his favorite activity was to climb on me and nap...

If he wasn't napping, he'd be right next to one of us "helping" us with whatever we were doing... Working on crafts, cleaning the fridge, or cleaning firearms... he always wanted to be part of things.

Sticky was a great hunter, he used to bring his kills to us as gifts... One afternoon, after a couple hours of hunting, he brought home a sparrow, a chipmunk, and mouse. He piled the gifts on the patio downstairs. Once in a while, he'd sneak a trophy into the house and play with it...

We'd do just about anything for him, and have been through a lot with him. Including, two bouts of a blocked ureter, a 12' fall from trying to jump onto a hanging light fixture in the foyer, and a pellet still lodged in his hind quarters. Courtesy of the 35 year old, still-living-at-home-with-mom-and-dad, single, neighbor "boy" that thought would be fun to shoot Sticky in the a$$ from his deck, while the cat was walking in our yard... Just before we had Rudy put down, our vet took an x-ray of his lungs and found a similar pellet. I'm hoping there's a special place in the after life for guys like that. Thanks Sean :(

It's sad to know that after tomorrow, we'll be down to one cat, Screamer. We've lost 4 already... Vinnie, in 2012 to a sudden heart attack. L.B.K., in 2013 to a liver disease. Orangie, in 2016 to feline diabetes, and almost exactly a year ago, Rudy, to FIP.

On Sticky's latest visit to the Vet, she told us that when his bad days are more frequent than his good days, it's time to start thinking about... Well, for the last month or so, his good days have been fewer in number. He's not the cat he once was.

We both feel terrible about the decision we had to make, but it really is the best for him. We don't want to see him suffer, and we can tell that he's not himself and he's not feeling well. His gait is slow and unsteady and his appetite is fading... It's time...

For the last couple of weeks we've been spoiling him and loving him up every chance we can. I know Nancy and I will miss our little buddy. He was truly the perfect cat. He was always sociable when people visited our home, and was always accepting of new cats.

He was always the alpha of the pack, but once in a while he'd have to tackle Rudy and pin him to the floor, just to remind him who's in charge...

Rest in Peace my little friend. We're both going to miss you so much!!

Mama and Papa.


  1. So sad. You two and the kitties haven't had an easy time of it the last few years. We love our pets so much it is hard when they must go.

    Just take comfort in knowing you are doing the right thing for Sticky.

    Thank you for sharing his story. Hugs from Oregon.

  2. Thank you Brandy. We're on our way out the door :(
    Sometimes the right thing is still the hard thing... But we know it's for the best.

  3. A hard decision indeed but I feel you do the right thing not prolonging the cat's suffering unnecessarily. Hugs from the Black Forest.

  4. So sorry Erik and Nancy. It's a very hard decision but the right one. Hugs

    1. Thank you Tera. I hope all is well with you.

  5. So sad. Always is... Tera is right - a very hard decision, but quality of life supersedes quantity. You two have provided a loving, peaceful, generous home for Sticky. No regrets, just fond memories.

  6. It's a hard decision to make. A very nice story.

  7. Hard choice, I know. But remember you gave him a wonderful life right from the night he chose you.