On July 2 of 2011 I was outside working in my garden and I heard mewling. I traced the sound into the old abandoned kennel (the original kennel my dad had built in the 50's) and in the gutter was a tiny damp ginger kitten. I didn't know any better so I picked him up to see if he was hurt and he wasn't so I put him back and left him for his mother.
I checked a few hours later and he was still there, although he was much quieter (now I know he was probably much WEAKER) so I went back to my business.
My ex husband got home from work and I told him about it and he informed me that the feral mother probably would not take him back since I handled him and that since I left him there all day he might not be alive. I was SO upset that I might have killed that little kitten. We brought him in and he was very weak and hardly moving. I called my mom (since she was used to handling newborn puppies). She told me to give him a few drops of brandy with an eye dropper, warm him up, and get him some formula. Ex husband rushed off to the pet store to get in before they closed while I did the rest.
I was *NOT* a cat liker and I didnt' expect him to s urvive the night so I told my ex husband that IF he lived, we could keep him. He was so tiny and so weak. Sure enough ever two hours we fed, helped him eliminate his bladder/bowels and kept him warm..... We took turns taking him to work with us (thank goodness for understanding employers) with his box/heating pad/blankets/formula/bottles, and elimination rags......
That was 12 years ago (in a few days) and Li'il Antony (named for Little Antony Rusanno from the movie Oscar) thrived. He was always my ex husbands cat. I had affection for him and he tolerated me, but he lived for my ex husband. Our special time was on Friday nights, my husband always closed the store on Friday Nights and Antony would pace until he came home. I started making that 'crab' night. It was the only human food he ever enjoyed. I'd pick up two or three blue crabs, spread newspaper on the kitchen table, and set a chair right next to mine. He'd sit on the chair and eat crab off the edge of the table. A bite for me and a bite for him... he always matched me bite for bite. When it was all done he'd lay on the floor with his belly distended and burp the night away. When Ryan came home he'd crawl into bed next to him and zonk out.
A few months ago Antony was diagnosed with CKD and started to fail. Despite trying numerous foods/ sub q fluids/ various meds he failed to thrive and last night my ex husband made the decision to send him to the bridge. The vet gave him pain killers and pumped Antony full of fluids one last time to get him comfortably through a final night with his best friend so they could say goodbye.
This morning he took his final trip and is across the bridge. RIP Li'il Antony, I hope your journey was fast and you're comfortable and happy now.
A final pic of Antony that Ryan snapped last night. The pain meds did their job, Ryan says he hasn't been that active in months.
, on Flickr