Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sushi Mallet, 11/1998 - 6/18/2006


We had to put one of our cats, Sushi, to sleep yesterday.

He'd been lethargic for a few days, so we took him to the vet [a friend of ours, thankfully], who, after a chest x-ray, diagnosed him with having fluid around his lungs, making it hard for him to breathe. Apparently, the poor little guy had so much fluid in his chest cavity that he was only using 20-30% of his lung capacity. After reviewing the possible causes [heart disease, cancer, an infected puncture wound and, the cover-all, "fluid accumulating in the chest cavity due to unknown causes"], it became clear that getting a clear-cut diagnosis would be a long and very expensive process [ultrasound, blood work, hospital stays, chest punctures and draining], and that he would, in all likelihood, be diagnosed with something incurable.

So, with heavy hearts, we had him euthanized.

My eugoogly for the little furball:

Sushi was complicated, even for a cat. He liked the idea of being petted -- he'd follow me [and just about anybody else] around, striking seductive "wouldn't you like to pet me ?" poses. However, the sensation of being petted apparently often fell short of his desires, judging from his propensity to give
you a reproachful look and make a quick, squirming exit, or, if he was in a particularly ornery mood, depart with a paw-swipe. This gap between theory and practice was possibly due to the fact that he would only tolerate a very specific way of petting him: smacking or rubbing the bit of his spine just in front of his tail, and, very occasionally, rubbing his ears. Anything else was just no good. Picking him up and/or trying to hold him was also a no-no -- definitely not a lap cat, much to Christina's dismay. However, when he was in the right mood and you got that ear-scratch just right, you were rewarded with an amazingly loud purr.

Occasionally, he'd get the cat crazies and charge up and down the hallway, sounding and looking like a tiny cat-pony. He loved chasing a feather on a string; when he finally "caught" it, he'd put it in his mouth and drag it away head held high, as if to say "Behold the mighty hunter !"

He was also a pain in the ass, due to the fact that he sometimes thought outside the box, specifically, on our bed and couch, when he was upset about something. Our first experience with this was when we came home from our honeymoon and found that he'd been using our bed as a litterbox for a few days. Mattress, comforter, sheets -- all ruined. We're still sleeping on the futon mattress we had to use that first night back from our honeymoon. As a result, we had to Sushi-proof the house: never allowing him inside the bedroom without one of us,
always closing the bedroom door [after making sure he wasn't hiding under the bed], putting pillows on the couch at night etc. It also meant that anytime we wanted to go away for a couple of days, we had to find somebody to stay in our apartment [not just drop in once or twice a day] who was willing to follow a long list of rules -- he didn't do well with no human company, and would make his displeasure very clear.

He loved drinking out of cups and glasses. He viewed glasses of water anywhere near him as an open invitation to drink out of them, or dip his paw into them, thereby ensuring that you had to go get yourself another glass. Feeding him was also not entirely straightforward -- he didn't like eating with our other two cats, so we had to set his plate down a few feet away from them, and he'd only eat dry food if it was sprinkled on top of his wet food.

For all his quirks and oddities, though, he was a good cat, and I'm glad we had him.

Rest easy, Sushi. I'll miss having to close the bedroom door.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your cat. hope all is well in the land of hope and glory.

P/S how is Jo (your mate in Augustines)

Victor Luguterah (ex-St. Augustine's cape coast)

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Charlotte Reid said...

Alex - Just wanted to send you both my sincerest condolences on the passing of Sushi.

2:42 PM  

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