Our Old Folk, in better times.
Today we had to let Ivan go. He was no longer alert, he was restless, and showed signs of more than just discomfort. We were hoping he would be able to pass naturally at home with us, but that was not to be, and keeping hom any longer would have been a selfish act. We will miss our little boy, but we console ourselves with how lucky we were to have him for 16 incredible years.
Ivan came to us when he was barely a week old. His ears were still closed, and he was SO tiny. Our next door neighbor at the time was a substitute teacher and one of her students brought him in. We think his mother must have been startled during a nest move, and abandoned him. Because our neighbor knew Anal-Man often raised orphan kittens, she brought Ivan to us.
He was a greedy drinker, with a strong personality, and would crawl up my body to suck on my earlobes when he wanted a bottle. I was always his Mama in his mind, and I think he was very disappointed to find out he couldn't suck my ears once he had teeth. Because he was deprived of a full course of his mother's milk, Ivan had problems throughout his life, including skin allergies that left him nearly hairless at times, with sores. One day he somehow managed to separate the two sides of his right ear. The vet literally had to QUILT it back together! He also was, against the laws of science, able to generate two separate types of urinary tract crystals, causing vets all over town to call him a Freak of Nature. After plugging up his tract so often, surgery was performed to remove his male plumbing and build him a female tract. That, coupled with his Kidney Health diet, kept him flowing naturally and held his kidney disease at bay until recently.
We feel that the passing of his beloved Elsa from cancer a couple months ago triggered this final decline. Now he is buried next to her, and has joined her in the Great Kitty Beyond. We love you, Ivan. Thank you for staying and sharing your unique self with us, if only for a time.