Last week was an interesting week. Interesting, I think that word works. Let's see, we left Thursday morning for Thanksgiving in the woods of central Maine with family. We had a great time. Food was great, company was excellent, and we even got a little entertainment from the lady with the wandering eye and her little dog "Underbite". Friday found us doing a little shopping (why again did I want to do that?!) and Thanksgiving dinner number two with friends in Old Town. Had a great evening, but probably could have done without the Jager shots. Woke up feeling good on Saturday and spent some time with the Mitchell crew for brother in law Mike's birthday before heading down to Waterville to hit the town with the McCullough crew. Late night Rock Band and Tequila shots (just to help me sleep, I swear) followed by a "good nights rest" in a recliner capped the night off. Sunday afternoon found us back on the highway heading to the homestead to ready the house for company before the Phish concert that evening and to check if we took on any water while we were gone (WE DIDN'T, WOOHOO!)
This is where things start to go from happy and fun to a whole new place. See, we put the cats in the basement while we were gone. We have had a little issue with a cat pissing in random places in the house and thought this would help alleviate the problem. Well, we open the cellar door and Tamazi climbs over the baby gate we had set up at the bottom of the stairs and comes rushing up past us, heads for the bathroom and urinates blood in the shower. What?! I head downstairs to survey the damage and there is bloody piss all over. Now, that was not me using an English accent, it was really piss, filled with blood, and it was all over. Under the piano, behind the bar, on my bookshelf with pint glasses on it. All over. What the crap?! We load him up in the cat carrier and rush him over to the Emergency Vet in Lewiston and introduce him to the doctor.
Now, for those of you that know Tamazi, he has never been the friendliest of cats. He had tried, on many occasions, to tear you apart (especially Adam M and Chris L, but I'm pretty sure they LOVED to get him going). Well, he has never liked the vet either, and he showed the vet what he thought of him. After several attempts to check his vitals, all of which were unsuccessful, the vet decides to employ a tactic called "The Burrito". This is where they drop a towel over the cat and attempt to wrap them up quickly so as to do what you need to do without losing a limb. This may work on most cats, but Tamazi don't play that. He flipped around, tore into the doctor's hand, pissed blood all over the table and ripped a poster off the wall, all in one quick motion! It was a little horrifying, but Nichole and I couldn't help but laugh a little for some reason. The doctor, with about two dozen puncture wounds didn't find it nearly as funny as we did, but took it in stride.
Now, Tamazi has had a Urinary Tract Infection in the recent past, and clearly wasn't doing any better. We have changed his diet, given him meds, and have even put him on kitty prozac to try to help with some of his issues. At this point, there isn't much they can do but try the whole process over and hope that it works. We are torn, we don't know what to do. Clearly he isn't doing well. Do we open the door and tell him to run and wish him luck? Do we attempt to do a little procedure and change his diet again and administer meds in hopes that it helps better this time? The last option, and the one we didn't want to do, but felt it was the best choice considering the situation, was to put him down and remember all the loving moments we had with him (I'll share a few to close out). This wasn't an easy decision, and we are still struggling with it, but he was clearly suffering, and with the costs associated with procedures, meds, replacing carpets and cleaning products, we just didn't know how much longer we could carry on that way. We gave him a good life, better than most I think, considering his hatred to most people.
Some of my fondest memories of the "Black Devil" are having him chase me from across the room every time I climbed into the shower as he tried to slash my Achilles tendon. I would toss a shirt or my underwear over him to distract him and he would shake out and come at me. Not sure what this was all about, but he kept me on my toes, that's for sure. Another memory I have is the time I tried to scare him by quickly poking him just above the tail with my hand and he turned, bit and scratched my hand so quickly I couldn't even move away before he ripped my hand apart and left it all bloody! Thought twice before I ever did that again. These sorts of stories are what most people will remember him by, but despite his craziness and hatred of company at the house, he was a great cat when he wanted to be, and we will miss the little devil. I'm just saying...