Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today should have been my cat Iggy's 17th birthday. Instead, it is the 1 year anniversary of his passing. Iggy was the coolest cat. Oh sure, early on he drove me insane with his habit of chewing electrical cords and destroying the toilet tissue. It took a couple years to finally break him of those habits (or maybe he just got bored with it). Iggy began to show his real personality, that of one laidback cat!
When Iggy was around 5, someone bought another cat for me. (Well meaning, but bad idea.) Iggy did not care for his new housemate, however he didn't act out wildly. In fact, he did the opposite, receding into a shell and essentially staying in the spare bedroom most of the time. The other cat died young, but Iggy still mainly remained in his room. I tried everything to get Iggy to roam the house freely again, but it was almost like he was afraid. It wasn't until LD started hanging around that Iggy slowly started to venture out. Somehow she managed to get through to Iggy. Eventually, all was back to normal, with Iggy reclaiming all of his old favorite spots.
Iggy was the perfect cat for me. We all joked that he slept about 23.5 hours a day. Of course, that is an exaggeration (he actually slept about 22.5). When I would get home late, I'd often check my email before going to sleep. Iggy would sit at the foot of the bed, meowing constantly until I finally climbed into bed.
Sometimes Iggy would appear to have a cold when I was sick. He'd get all stuffy and sneezy. Around Thanksgiving of 2007, I had a cold. Likewise, Iggy started showing the usual symptoms. Unfortunately, those symptoms did not disappear within the usual couple of days. I took him to the animal clinic where my sister Nancy works.
The doctor narrowed the cause down to a few things. Medicine was prescribed, in hopes that it was just some sort of infection.
It became quickly apparent that this wasn't an infection. My little guy Iggy was in constant pain and losing weight quickly. I knew the end was near as I made the appointment for the next day. I slept by his side that night (not wanting to rouse him from his comfort zone).
I cried most of the way to the animal clinic, because I knew what had to be done. The decision was made and Nancy was there with him for his final breaths. I am so thankful that Nancy and my niece Laura were there. I cried all the way home and then climbed into bed.
I am also grateful that Iggy did not suffer too long. He had a bunch of tumors, mostly in his breathing passages. Not only was breathing difficult, but he was constantly bloated with air, thus losing the desire to eat. It was the right time and the best thing for him.
I still miss Iggy. Sometimes when I get home late, I can almost hear him urging me into bed. We had 17 great years and I loved him dearly.

Happy 17th birthday, Iggy and rest in peace little guy!


Steve Gierman said...

Time may pass, but you never forget the great pets. Iggy's behavior sounds like my current cat. She chose me years ago and now that the cats that drove her towards me are gone, she is starting to venture around the house more.

I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing the story.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget Iggy. He was so sweet and such a cuddle-bunny. I was amazed when you told me he would only stay in the one bedroom. I couldn't believe it and maybe because I couldn't believe it, he just came out when I called him.
That experience made me feel like an animal charmer, like something magical had happened.
And he seemed like he had been coming out of there every day. I loved his reverberating purr. He was so, so adorable.
You were blessed that he didn't suffer much. That he went quickly.
Happy Birthday, Ignatius. We miss you.

Johngy said...

Steve-Thanks. I know you just experienced a loss, too. It's always hard. Those little creatures really work their way into your heart.

LD-Animal charmer is perfect. I wish I came up with that, because that is exactly how it looked. I will forever be grateful that you got him back on track, when I couldn't.