At the sunset of life…

Somewhere around 2010, two tiny kittens were dumped in the north Florida countryside.  If you’re wondering how remote that might be, here is a picture of my granddaughter running with the dogs a block from my home:

The reasons two imperfect kittens were dumped in the countryside seemed obvious to me:  Maine Coon Kittens sell for $400 – $2000.

Chilly Coon Kitty has the body of a coon cat and the face of a regular cat.


The smarter of the two kittens had a coon cat’s body but a regular cat’s tail.

As kittens, they slept next to my head. At the age of two, they started bringing me “gifts.” Once, I awoke to a dead bird on my pillow. Then, there were the live rabbits, lizards, and a dead rat.  Although they still slept next to me, and I loved their cuddles, it was not a fun time to be a cat mom.

Chilly Coon Kitty followed his brother everywhere.  First, they began sleeping together, no longer needing to be next to me.  But they still wanted lap time and nuzzles.

Then, the lap time and nuzzles stopped.  They kept close to each other. I felt as if they had dumped me in the countryside.

I didn’t mind the fact that Chilly Coon Kitty no longer wanted to drink out of my cup.

I was hurt that I had given so much of my life to them, and they had cast me away when I was no longer needed.

In middle-age, circa 2018, the smarter of the two began to have strange behaviors.  I planned to make an appointment with a veterinarian after I arrived at work when I received an email from my other half.  Coon cat had died in agony.

After describing the symptoms to our veterinarian, he diagnosed a urinary blockage.  Had I taken him into the veterinarian’s office as soon as he’d started having bizarre behaviors, he might be alive today. The guilt still makes me cry.

Chilly Coon Kitty became clingy, and insisted on being near me at all times. He mourned his brother terribly, calling out to his other half.  He looked inside every part of the house for him.

I checked the litter box every day to ensure he was urinating.  I swore that I was NOT going to lose Chilly Coon Kitty in the same way I lost his brother. When he started to show the symptoms, I made an appointment immediately, and arrived at the vet’s office in time. His urinary blockage was easy to clear.

Then, I purchased 2 items.

(1) Nutri-vet Uri-ease.  You’re supposed to put it on a cat’s paw.  He ignored it, so I have to wipe it on his shoulder fur.  That’s the only way he’ll lick it off.

(2) 4-Health cat food:

4health Special Care Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula Dry Cat Food

Two years ago, he began to wander farther away from my desk.  He found a bunch of new “best friends.”

He used to run outside with the pack when a stranger arrived.  He’d sleep next to a dog at night, and hang out — until a month ago.

Dogs began to bark furiously, and growl, in the living room.  I ran out of my office to find 7 dogs trying to get at something underneath the table, but there were concrete blocks impeding their progress.  I threw the leader  of this dog pack to the side, and yelled out, “Bad dogs!!!!” Every one of them slinked away.

I looked past the concrete block to find Chilly Coon Kitty cowering in a corner.

I will never know why his best friends turned on him, just that it was a very traumatic moment in his life.  He ran into the laundry room and hid behind the washer.  My other half had to lift him out, bring him to my office, and put him on my bed.

Once again, his whole world became my desk. A week ago, he began to slink out the kitty door and sit next to it.  He has always loved exploring the forest around our house, and I know that soon he’ll begin doing so again.

I just took a picture of him today, sleeping next to his food and water bowl where he can look outside the window.

The average life span of a coon cat is 12 – 15 years.  Presently, he ventures outside when the dogs are sleeping. He’s slower than he used to be, and somber.  Yet he sounds like a baby crying to be held when he wants a treat.

He’s around 13 years old, and there aren’t many more years to pet him, feed him…and tell him how much I love him.  All I have to offer is a warm place to sleep, a few treats, and a vigorous petting.

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9 thoughts on “At the sunset of life…

    • floridaborne says:

      It was certainly a surprise. The two in the front of the pack are now with the people who first adopted them (he and his son are back home again temporarily). It is so much calmer now.

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