Comrade Meyer, 1998-2013

Comrade Meyer, 1998-2013

For those who haven’t heard yet, we had to put our wonderful cat Commie to sleep on November 22nd.

He’d been losing weight at an alarming rate, going from 16 pounds down to a little over 8; we did a bunch of tests at the vet, and he passed almost all of them with flying colors. It wasn’t one of the usual suspects: diabetes, thyroid issues, kidney, or liver. He did have a bit of protein in his urine, and evidence of a bacterial infection. We gave him kitty antibiotics, and planned on taking him back in for a new urine test when those were done, to figure out the cause of the protein.

Scott tried to take him in for the test a couple of times, but Commie got really good at having a pee at 5 or 6 in the morning before we got up, that sneaky little fellow. We figured we’d give it another chance on Friday.

For a few days, he’d been breathing a little heavier than usual. But on Friday (a day when he peed before we got up again, so devious), his breathing got heavier, and he started open-mouth panting. While dogs pant with their mouths open to cool down, when a cat pants it’s usually a pretty bad sign. Scott took him in to the vet that afternoon, and I met up with them there after work; they were just finishing up taking x-rays, so we could get a better idea of what was going on.

The x-rays showed that his chest was full of fluid. The vet talked us through the possibilities, but it was clear to all of us that he was in pain, and any type of diagnostic testing would cause him even more pain. And of the two big problems it could be (congestive heart failure or feline infectious peritonitis), neither could be cured. So we made the painful, difficult choice to have him put to sleep.

We had a great 15 years with Commie; it was sheer luck that the day we went to the Humane Society was the same day he’d just been released from quarantine, having been removed from a seized Russian fishing vessel off the Washington coast. The crew was deported, and a half-dozen animals went for adoption. We took little Commie, less than a year old, into the little visiting room, and he climbed straight onto Scott’s lap and curled up for a nap. From that very first day, he was a sweet, cuddly, wonderful lap cat with a great personality. My friend Allison referred to him as a gentleman, and that’s absolutely what he was.

We thought we were going to lose him three years ago, when he had a tumor in his eye socket; it didn’t react to steroids, antibiotics, or anti-inflammatory medication, but after we made the decision to not torment him with more hopeless treatment and just enjoy our last few weeks with him, the tumor spontaneously went away. The vet referred to him as a miracle cat. So we ended up getting three bonus years of him. Which, of course, wasn’t enough.

It’s interesting to note that he passed on Humane Society Day. It’s thanks to them that we had 15 amazing years with one of the sweetest cats I’ll ever know.

Commie on the Laundry

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  1. God rest little Commie Meyer!

  2. I’m so sad for you. I was sad for you when he was going through his eye troubles (wow – I’ve been following you for 3 years already?), but I was overjoyed with you over his miraculous healing. Thank you for posting these pics and his backstory. Give Trouble lots of extra lovin’, since he (she?) is probably missing his (her?) big brother, too.

  3. I just noticed your tweets! Newest Meyer Ambassador! You and Scott are truly CAT PEOPLE – what’s the new guy’s (or gal’s) name? And did you get him/her at the Humane Society? You two. Wow. I’m now EXUBERANT for ya! Yay, Meyers! 😀

    missy Reply:

    Indeed, we got her at the SPCA/Humane Society. They were having a Black Friday deal, what can I say? 🙂

    Her full name is Tillamook Medium Cheddar Meyer, named after our favorite cheese. Cheddar for short. I’ll post about her in the near future.

  4. My wife and I got our first cat (Squirt) from the shelter in 1996 right after we got married, and she passed away from a kidney problem 14 years later. In 2000 we got a second cat (Magic) from the same shelter, and while showing signs of his age, is still doing pretty well. It was tough when we lost Squirt…she had been a part of the family for as long as we had been a family. Here is a shot of the two of them together a little over 7 years ago:

  5. Tillamook medium cheddar is excellent. This lives up to the art piece (on display in the Museum of Visionary Arts in Baltimore):

  6. Can you even GET Tillamook cheese in Florida?

    James D. Gray from Washington State.

    missy Reply:

    Heck yeah! We can get a ginormous package of slices from the Costco. (And indeed we do. Often.)

  7. Love the photo of your new cat; will we get q post about him soon?

  8. Oh gosh. I am super late with these condolences but still wanted to let you know that I am very sorry for your loss. Your tribute was beautiful.

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