My Silvus

I remember when I got Silvus almost 10 years ago.  Dave and I bought cats at the same time at Waverly Animal Hospital.  I got the all grey one, he got the orange one.  At first we had to keep the animals in each of our rooms at night in order to establish personal connections to them.  I’ll never forget that first night silvus crapped on my waterbed, even though there was a litterbox nearby.  He was always very skittish at first but eventually became a part of my world as much as I was a part of his.  He loved to jump and we used to use the laser pointer and put it on the wall where he’d jump up to get it, endlessly.  He had so much energy in his youth.  One morning, I’ll never forget, I was just getting dressed for work, had all my clothes on and suddenly he jumped up in the air and stuck his claws into me around my chest and I had to catch and hold him or else get torn by his claws.  I was totally not expecting that but it was a part of his personality and relationship to me.  I used to make little toys with rope and rubberbands, puffy balls that would hang from the wall and drive him crazy.  I’d play with him for hours laughing like a little boy.  There was one time that we had one of those helium balloons and I had a few people over playing DnD.  Suddenly, we all looked over to the other side of the room and saw the balloon moving of it’s own accord, across the room and into the hallway.  With only a small glimpse of grey on the floor, string in his mouth.  We all roared in laughter.  The sticks were unforgetable as well.  He loved playing with sticks.  I had an incense burner, flat wooden thing and I had used it briefly to pet him on his back but accidentally dragged it across the carpet.  He thought I was playing and so I went with it, alternating between dragging it on the floor and petting his back with it.  That thing drove him nuts.  Eventually I just brought in a stick, about 2 feet long and would drag the tip on the floor and up the funiture and he’d chase that thing until he was panting.  Good fun!  The best rig I had was when I had taken a stick, about 3 feet long, tied an elastic rope on the end, then tied a catnip mouse at the other end of the rope.  I could jerk the stick and the mouse would bounce up in the air and down again, Silvus would chase that around, hoping up in the air to catch it.  The house wasn’t big enough for this so I would take it outside in the backyard and play with him back there all year long.  I inadvertently made him really good at catching birds.  He caught 3 birds out of the air.  2 he killed, sparrows.  One he brought inside the house, a robin.  At first I would let Silvus outdoors, during the summer I liked to keep the doors open so he was both indoor/outdoor at first.  One night I had a party and we had a big bonfire in the backyard and suddenly we heard cats freaking out, scrapping and out came Silvus from the far back end of the yard and bolted inside.  I ran in to make sure he was alright.  Everything seemed fine.  The next day, however, I could see he had blood on his tail, at the bottom end near his butt.  I looked closer and it appeared that he had been biten, probably by a raccoon.  Took him to the vet and they patched him up.  Didn’t take him long to be back at it again.  However, I stopped letting him outside after this or at least he wasn’t able to just run around outside on his own.  He would try to sneak out but I’d always bring him back inside.  Eventually he never went outside again, though he really wanted to.  Silvus liked to chew on plastic.  He liked the crackling sound it made, I’m sure, and would just chew on it to make the sound.  He’d also drag his toys to stuff like a  plastic bag or a piece of paper on the floor and would paw at it there.  One thing that always irritated me was that he would not drink out of a bowl.  He would only drink out of the sink faucet or the bathtub and caught him once drinking out of the toilet.  Try as I might, I just could not get him to stop that behavior, or at least I didn’t see too much harm in leaving a slightly dripping faucet.  He was my best friend and even when I didn’t want to deal with him, he was always waiting for me to pet him and love him back.  I’ve never had an animal for this long, never bonded so closely with an animal.  There was a time when the thought of loosing him made me tremble in pure agony.  When Carrie showed up with Tiki, Silvus was understanding to an extent.  Tiki was frightened but also a real bitch to Silvus but he took it in stride.  Oh, in my playing with Silvus, he caused me some hurt.  I had these little pieces of plastic bands.  These came off like those fedex cardboard envelopes.  He loved those things and I would drag them around and he’d chase them down.  It never stopped him from nailing me with his needle-pointed talons.  He was a big cat to.  I fed him Science Diet as a kitten and into early adulthood.  He grew huge, bigger than a terrier type dog.  He wasn’t fat either, sleek, strong, and athletic in appearance.  His eyes would change colors to.  If he was feeling lovey dovey his eyes turned green, deep green when I would pet him.  When we played, they turned yellow.  Normally they’d be balanced between the two colors.  As time passed on, I played less and less with him but I would still give him attention and play occasionally but not anywhere near what I used to.  The laser pointer was still fun at times and playing with the plastic strings was always a favorite but I just didn’t do it as often.  When Tiki had her kittens, she had all my attention, then Loki had my attention most of the time and Silvus was put on the back burner for attention.  Lately, even Tiki was getting more attention from me.  I think that’s why I never noticed his problems when they began to develop.  Being the spoiled cats they were, I had come to expect them to not want to eat the food at the bottom of the bag.  I had come to expect both of them to play me and not eat and vomit.  That’s the type of behavior I had come to expect from Silvus and eventually from Tiki as well.  Lately, however, I had noticed Silvus puking more often and eating less.  He had also begun to drool and I could hear him swallowing it.  His breath started to get rank and I looked in his mouth and saw a couple of rotten teeth.  I looked it up online and found out that I should have got his teeth cleaned a couple years ago and revaccinated.  I thought that once you vaccinated, you were done with the vet unless something bad was happening.  I never knew.  I always assumed that the once a year visits were just the way for vets to make money.  The world DOES work in that fashion.  I did all the things with Silvus, that I used to do, played with him, trimmed his nails, which for the first time he didn’t try to squirm away from me, and hugged him and pet him with all the love I had.  I couldn’t stop the dreaded thought that he might not come home.  So when I got the call this morning from the vet that he had critical problems in his blood, I wasn’t as shocked.  The vet had showed me yesterday that Silvus had two really bad teeth and that he noticed his kidneys were a little larger then they should be.  He said that since the cat was big, that might be normal.  So I had thought.  When they got the bloodwork back, that wasn’t the case.  It appears as though the problems with his teeth were very likely caused by his kidneys failing.  Acute Gingivitis is what he had going on in his mouth.

I’m writing this now, Silvus is still at the vet.  He’s on an IV in order to see how bad the kidneys are and to see if he can flush his body out.  They’re giving him antibioti
cs and anti-inflammitary drugs in order to help make him more comfortable.  But eventually, and unless it’s an infection, he may need serious work done on him, dialisis, kidney transplants, etc.  All these options are way beyond what I could accept for him.  I’m struggling in my own life as it is.  I cannot afford his treatments now and if things do clear up and he still has the failure, it’s going to be a terrible investment and monetary stress on me that I cannot bear and still keep myself alive.  Nor do I wish to know that he has pain.  I love my Silvus with all my heart, more than I could ever admit to loving anything before.  But I will have to let him go for my own sake.  I’ve been crying continuously as I write about it and think about Silvus.  I pray that he pulls through this with little problems and comes back a refreshed and healthy, Silvus.  But I also must accept the reality that he may not and I knew this before I took him.






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~ by aeroslin on February 28, 2007.

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