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My Little Smokey Boy

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Honey passed away from renal failure at the age of 16 in September, 2002, leaving her 15 year old "stepsister" Lucky all alone.

About a month later I decided to adopt a kitten from a shelter to keep Lucky company. I picked out the cutest little 3 month old gray kitten, and named him "Smokey".

He was so loving and affectionate. Some cats don't like to be touched or handled very much by humans, but Smokey craved such attention! He had the cutest little face, and he always looked like he was smiling.

When he was 6 months old I arranged to have him neutered. The vet did some pre-op blood tests, which I thought of as just a routine procedure, but to my horror the vet said that he was extremely anemic, and she wouldn't operate until she did more tests and found out what was wrong.

She ran more blood tests that showed other problems (that I won't go into here). She told me that she suspected FIP.

I couldn't believe that anything was wrong, because he looked and acted fine. The vet told me to isolate him from Lucky, and keep watch over him for signs of illness. If he had normal blood tests in about a month, she would consider neutering him.

I took him back for more tests a month later, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. The tests came back about the same as before. He wasn't getting worse, but he wasn't getting better, either.

After about another month it hit hard and fast. He stopped eating and became very lethargic. I took him back to the vet, and she tapped his abdomen and found the telltale yellowish fluid that occurs with the "wet" form of FIP. There was no hope. I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye yet, so I made his final appointment for the next day.

I brought him home and held him and cried for most of the night. He was only 8 months old! I had only had him for about 5 months, but I had become very attached to him in that short time.

In the morning (which was my birthday, by the way) I began to say "goodbye". I told him that I loved him very much, and I hoped that I had made his short stay on Earth a happy one. I had often called him a "mama's boy", so on that day I told him that if the other kitties in heaven teased him about being a mama's boy, it would just mean that they were jealous.

I took him to the vet at the appointed time. A song by Elvis Costello was on the car radio, and one line says, "And I would rather be anywhere else but here today." That line kept going through my mind over and over as I sat with Smokey in the vet's waiting room.

I went into an exam room, and when the vet came in, I asked for 5 more minutes. My last memory of him is holding him in my lap, with his face pressed into the crook of my arm. I couldn't stop crying, and I left streaks of tears on his back and the top of his head.

Lucky hasn't been the same since Smokey went away (3 months ago today). She lost 2 companions in less than 6 months. She is very "clingy" now, and often goes outside of the litterbox. I'm thinking about getting another kitten, but I don't think I can go through this again. The first cat I owned lived 16 years, and the second cat (Lucky) is almost 16. Why did little Smokey have to die so young?

Sometimes I think that I see Smokey out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to look, he's not there. I miss him terribly.

Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 12

He was so beautiful!

Sounds to me like you'll always have him in your heart but I'm sure he wouldn't want you to never be owned by another kitty again. You'll always love him and he'll live on in a special place in your heart but I'm sure, when the time is right, you'll be able to give your love to another little one, as it sounds to me you have alot of it to give. I hope you heal and take some comfort from the fact that he had so much life and love in his short time with you.

Lucky sounds like a lovely sensitive cat, all of which adds to my hope that you'll be able to give your heart again.

With love
post #3 of 12
Lora - what a beatiful tribute to little Smokey - you've been very brave and given the little guy all the love you possible could. He'll thank you for that one day.

Losing a beloved pet is a traumatic experience, but giving a home to an unwanted cat who may be in danger of being destroyed balances that loss.

I do hear what you're saying about the hurt and upset that losing Smokey has caused, but don't close your heart to all those needy kitties out there. And give Lucky all the love you can - she's lonely too.

You're hurting right now. Come and talk about it as much as you want, this place will help you through it, everyone understands.
post #4 of 12

The love you have for cats is evident, and the care and concern you carry for them is clear. Sixteen is a long life for a cat in this day and age, and you are to be commended for not only did you have one senior cat, but you have/had two. I would be concerned for Lucky right now, and make a vet appointment. The missing the litterbox could be an indication that this incredible bond Lucky had and shared with both of these cats has flaired into something else.

The Smokey's of the world are truly blessed when they run into the Lora's of the world. Smokey was looked after and cared for, rescued from a bad place to come and nest within someone's heart. He will be carried there for quite sometime, and I know he would not want you to grieve for him foever.

One day, you will find another Smokey and bring him home, but only when your heart is ready and not befor, and only you will know when that time will be.
post #5 of 12
Im so sorry to hear of your loss.. I had an 8 month old kitty that we had to put down about a yr ago now. He had many many problems and i know how hard it is when they haven't had a chance to grow..

I feel for you in your sorrow, and wish i could help ease your pain. We now have 2 cats that are both 9 months old and they are healthy as a fiddle. Unfortunantly like people, some are not meant to live a full life..

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the kind words.

I took Lucky to the vet as suggested. She checked out fine, so the vet asked me a lot of questions about other changes in the house that might be upsetting her and causing her to go outside of the litterbox. I mentioned that after Smokey left us I cleaned the litterbox with bleach to be sure to kill the virus that caused his FIP. The vet said that I may not have rinsed the bleach off completely, and even though I couldn't smell it, Lucky might.

I threw out the litterbox and bought a new one, and sure enough, Lucky faithfully uses it.

On another topic, I found it interesting that SARS is said to be caused by a coronavirus. I believe that FIP is also caused by a coronavirus. I wonder if now that humans are getting sick, a cure will be found for SARS that could also help to cure FIP?

I am beginning to think of trying another adoption, maybe in a few more months. Maybe this time I'll get a cat (vs. a kitten), since I've read that FIP is most prevalent in very young kittens and very old cats. I know there are no guarantees, especially with shelter animals, but both Honey & Lucky came from shelters as kittens, and Honey lived to be 16 and Lucky will be 16 next month.

Thanks again. Posting to this board has been very helpful for me and for Lucky.

Here's another photo of Smokey:
post #7 of 12
Lora, Smokey was absolutely gorgeous! I'm so sorry for your loss! He was a fantastic cat and you sound like a fantastic meowmy!

What a wonderful tribute you wrote to him!

The same thing happened here when I lost my 1st cat Lolly in 2000, (he was white) and when ever I saw something white I thought it was my boy and I'd cry and cry, I had to have 2 weeks off school after loosing him, A pet heading over the bridge is so so hard and I hope your ok

Always here for (((HUGS)))

post #8 of 12
Lora, I have to agree with Sam! What a wonderful tribute you wrote! Poor Lucky, my heart aches for her as well as for you.

You can't ever replace Smokey, and I believe he knows you know that. But you can love other kitties that need homes. Your heart will let you know when it's time. And who knows? Maybe in some way Smokey will be there playing with them, too.
post #9 of 12
Smokey knows that you loved him and cared for him in his time here. Rest in Peace little Smokey.
post #10 of 12
I am so sorry It is so hard when they go so young, i'm sure your little angel is near by watching over you.
post #11 of 12
I am so sorry about Smokey - he is absolutely beautiful!

I too lost a baby to FIP, our little Boris at 1-1/2 years old (a darker version of your Smokey). It's not that kittens and old cats have more cases of FIP, but with a weaker immune system, they just can't fight it as well.

You will know when it is time for another kitty. If you want an adult, just remember all of the adult cats at shelters in dire need of your love!
post #12 of 12

I am so sorry to read about your loss. Smokey was a lovely cat and although you didn't know him for very long, it is obvious that you forged a very strong bond with him. You must be feeling his loss terribly.

I am glad that Lucky is fine, and that you have solved the problem with the litterobx.

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