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Posts Tagged ‘saying goodbye’

Silverstein “Stinky” Waller”
June 25, 2007 – April 23, 2012

A few weeks after we got married we got Norma Jean at the Waukesha County Human Society.  After a couple of months of it just being the two of us and Norma, we decided to get her a playmate.  We, the weird people that we admittedly tend to be, came up with a name for our new cat before we even walked into the Milwaukee County Human Society’s doors.  Silverstein, after the band Silverstein which is named after the poet Shel Silverstein.  This was the name Lisa first came up with and Corey loved immediately.  So as we roamed the halls of the humane society we found ourselves looking for a silver/gray cat.  They had a few, however, there was a feisty little one with tiger striping that looked pretty cool.  He was the one and we brought him home. 

Now there are two ways to introduce cats.  The right way: is to lock the new cat in a separate room and let them kind of get used to each other’s smells and then give them short times together, again to allow them to both get comfortable.  And the wrong way: is to walk in the front door, open the new cat’s carrier, and see what happens.  Poor Norma.  We choose the second way. The second Silverstein got out, he began chasing Norma all over the house, generally beating the crap out of her.  After a couple of hours of this we both began to become worried that maybe this wasn’t going to work.  We went to work the next morning hoping that by the time we got home things would have settled down at least a bit.  Luckily, they did.  When Corey got home the next afternoon the two cats were taking a nap together, best friends after a night of all out war.  One thing was very apparent after that first night.  This was Silverstein’s house.

Throughout his life Corey has had quite a few cats.  Not one of them has come even close to touching Silverstein and his incredible personality.  From his loud mouth purring to the place he choose to spend his nights, wrapped around Corey’s head even if that meant forcing him off the pillow.  Silverstein always made his presence felt.  He liked to play it up like he was a real tough guy, but reality didn’t quite match up.  He would always be the first to greet Corey when he came home, unless he thought it was a stranger and he ran away to hide under a chair.  One time we brought a dozen balloons home for one of Lisa’s picture projects and left to do some errands.  We came home to find Silverstein hiding in the kitchen drawer with all the measuring cups and spoons.  We have now idea how he managed to squeeze his fat body in there or why he was so afraid of those balloons.

When he played, he really liked it rough.  Corey could push him to the ground and roughhouse him and he would just lay there purring, happy as could be.  Sometimes Corey would even put his face in jumping range over Silverstein.  He’d jump up and hit Corey with both paws in the face, claws in because he didn’t want to hurt Corey.  

He hated company.  He usually would either hide somewhere in the bedroom or, if he was feeling brave, walk around and hiss at any stranger that got too close.  We originally tried to bring the cats up to Corey’s parents’ for holidays, but Silverstein ended that because he always ended up under a couch, hissing at people.  I guess to others he must have seemed like a big jerk, but he wasn’t like that with us.  I think that’s what made Silverstein so loveable.  He hated everyone, but loved the three of us so much.

One month ago, on April 23, 2012, we had to say goodbye to our little boy cat.  To be honest, it’s been a rough month emotionally trying to get on with a life that doesn’t include Silverstein. Some people may think it’s silly to mourn a cat, but he was one of our best friends & it’s weird to think that it’s just the three of us now: Corey, Lisa & Norma Jean.

Back in January, Silverstein started throwing up and losing his appetite.  We took him to the vet, where they put him on a couple of medications which seemed to do the trick.  He seemed like he was back to normal.  Unfortunately, this didn’t last for very  long.  Within a couple of months his previous symptoms returned, but worse  this time around.  Corey also found a weird peapod-like object in the litter box.  It could have been from either of our cats, but we assumed that it was probably from him since he wasn’t feeling well. 

 Lisa noticed blood in his stool one morning while getting ready for work & that freaked both of us out.  Obviously concerned, we brought him back to the vet, where they insisted on saying that it was probably the same thing from January & prescribed the same medication.  If, after that, he still wasn’t better, then they’d do x-rays and blood work.

After that second visit to the vet his appetite plummeted.  We tried every cat food we could find & even caved in, giving him our food: tuna, deli meat, ground turkey, anything to get him to eat.  After attempting to get him in for blood work & x-rays on a Saturday morning with no luck, the vet suggested we buy some AD to nourish him over the weekend and then get him tested the following Tuesday.  We weren’t keen on this plan, but weren’t sure what other options we had.  So, we bought the AD, which is soluble cat food that’s supposed to have an appealing aroma, in hopes that Silverstein would get something in his system.  It didn’t work.

On Sunday morning, April 22nd, we brought him to a 24 hour animal hospital in our area.  By the afternoon we learned that he probably had liver disease.  They kept him overnight & the next morning learned that not only did he have liver disease, but that his small intestine & pancreas were probably infected.  They’d have to do more tests and he’d have to wear an esophageal feeding tube for at least 3 months.  At that point the doctor was going over the costs of all these procedures and we realized we had to let him go.  Around 11:30 that Monday morning we held him while he slipped away. 

Some of Lisa’s co-workers have suggested getting a new cat, but they can’t seem to grasp just how special he was to us.  Have you ever met a cat who purred when you put him in a dress?  Or who smelled something stinky & went back not for one, but two sniffs?  Or whose preferred relaxation method was on his back?  That was Silverstein!  Not a day goes by that we don’t miss him and while we wish we had more time with him, at least we got 5 great years with our baby boy!  

Rest in peace Stinky

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