Remembering Scaredy Cat
Feb. 10, 2002,
a few additions on July 22, 2004
This is the story of a very adorable large gray cat who I never heard hiss or growl or exhibit any of the typical cat attitude. I wrote this to enable me to always remember the life of Scaredy Cat whom I often referred to as just Scaredy. Most of this chronicles the last weeks of Scaredy's life - the earlier times were quite ordinary and uneventful. I only had the privilege of knowing Scaredy for the last year of his life. Scaredy tried not to be any trouble to anyone and made it a point to be out of the way. Scaredy was shy but loved people. He wanted so much to be accepted. He tried to be as good as a cat can be. He loved attention and affection but never demanded it but always appreciated it very much.
This is the first picture I took of Scaredy Cat. This was one of his favorite places to sleep.
Scaredy Cat was a homeless cat either lost or abandoned at an apartment or townhome complex. He must have grown up from a kitten around people since he had been neutered and accepted people so well. We do not know how long he was homeless or how hard a life he had. At the age of approximately seven (the initial estimate, but it may have been more like eleven or older), he was befriended by someone living there who began feeding him. Although Scaredy had a large pot belly, he seemed to be starving as he would eat everything given to him. Scaredy Cat got his name because he was very shy and would hide a lot. He would peek out from behind bushes and corners. Scaredy had a very odd walk probably due to a nerve problem in his lower spine. Scaredy had poor control of his hind legs and they moved slowly compared to his front legs. Although the pot belly was assumed to be fat, part of it may have been recurring fluid build up due to a condition that ultimately killed him. The top of one of Scaredy's ears had been chewed off. As he got used to being regularly fed, Scaredy accepted his new friend and became very close. One day Scaredy jumped up and settled down in his new friendís lap. That marked the beginning of his new home. For about the next two and a half years, Scaredy lived a good life as an indoor cat. But, the wife to be of Scaredy's friend had a serious allergy to cats so a new home had to be found for Scaredy. I agreed to accept Scaredy so he joined me and my cats in late May, 2000. I do not remember the exact date but I believe it was the evening of Wednesday or Thursday, May 24 or 25. Scaredy was the biggest cat in the house as he weighed 17 pounds.
One of the first things I did was to brush Scaredy. He let it be known that he liked this a lot. That weekend, I washed him to remove scents that were disturbing the other cats. Scaredy did not like the bath but he did not fight. Scaredy had a very cooperative nature.
Scaredy did not purr much. Even when he did, his purr was difficult to hear. When he got attention or was being brushed, he would often make grunting noises like he was intending to purr.
Eating his favorite breakfast one Saturday morning.
Scaredy quickly learned the schedule for dinner. He also learned the weekend tradition of Fancy Feast canned food. He would come hobbling to the kitchen when he heard me get the plates out. He would meow emphatically with the other cats as I put out the food. Scaredy was very good to clean anything left by the other cats. He loved to eat leftovers from my plate. When I cooked a steak, I would let Scaredy and the other cats eat some of the fatty pieces I did not want. Scaredy really enjoyed this.
Scaredy would often spray over the edge of the litter boxes because he stood so tall. The litter boxes were the deepest made. I purchased some very deep plastic storage bins to use as litter boxes and used the old litter boxes upside down to be a step so that Scaredy could get in. These new boxes worked very well and kept Teensy from digging sand out of the box.
At first, Scaredy spent a lot of hiding time under the bed. Even after he felt at home, one of his favorite sleeping spots was under the bed. In the mornings, he would often jump up on the bed and lay down beside me but he gradually ceased doing that over several months. In the early months, Scaredy would take a nap on the bed. He especially liked to take a nap by my pillow. Scaredy liked to get up on the bed and sleep with me when I took a nap. I would often place him on the bed. Scaredy loved to sleep on the sofa, either in the den or living room. A favorite spot in the den was the reclining chair. In the living room, he could be found on either one of the mauve chairs, the sofa or the hardback chair by the window. The middle section of the sofa seemed to be a particularly favorite spot. One place he especially liked was under the table in the den. He would often sit there when I would watch TV or read the paper. He would often take a nap or sleep there during the night. He loved to sit or sleep in my office when I worked. In the mornings I would often find him there waiting for breakfast (the food dishes for the cats are in my office). During weekday, I fed the cats dry Iams cat food.
Scaredy loved to sleep on the living room sofa.
In the mornings, he often came into the bedroom and meowed for me to get up and feed him breakfast. If my hand was hanging off of the bed, he would rub his chin against it. When I took a nap on the sofa he would also rub his chin against my hand if it was hanging off. Many times when I took a nap I would put Scaredy next to me but he preferred to sleep away from me. He sometimes slept near my feet.
Scaredy loved to sun himself in the mornings by the living room window.
Spooky only got to see Scaredy a few times. Spooky would give Scaredy a hard look but Spooky did not feel like raising a fuss like he would have in his younger years. Spooky was very sick and died about three weeks after Scaredy joined the household. The other cats except Fluffy accepted Scaredy very well. Teensy, Stubby, and Orbit would often rub up against him and lick his face. Fluffy was scared of him at first and would hiss and run off. Later, Fluffy would run up to Scaredy and swat him. Scaredy would roll over and put up no fight. Fluffy gradually accepted Scaredy but would often swat him to remind him of who was number one cat in the house. Bitsy also liked Scaredy and would often stay close by him. Even other cats realized what a nice cat Scaredy was. It was good to see that Scaredy had friends. Scaredy sometimes did not seem to know how to handle all this friendship as if he were not used to being so well liked.
Scaredy liked catnip although he did not get into it like the other cats. He loved to play with any cat toy I dangled in front of him since he was unable to chase anything like the other cats. He always loved it when I fed him some cat treats. Scaredy spent most of his time sleeping. His life was very sedentary. He liked to watch the other cats play but never made any attempt to join in. He loved to lay in the morning sun in the living room. His favorite room seemed to be the living room since it was quieter and he could better stay out of the way.
Scaredy loved to sleep on the bed by my pillow.
The only problem that Scaredy had was failure to use the litter box. He would leave a mess at various places in the house. When he first moved in, he was very good about using the litter box. The problem gradually got worse and worse so in early February I decided that Scaredy would have to live in a cage. I got a 3 by 4 foot wire cage and assembled it in the den. I put one of the older litter boxes in there and a food bowl and water bowl. I then put Scaredy in there. He was not happy and meowed many complaints. I saw that he was trying to hide behind the litter box. I think he did not like being in the open with no place to hide. I took a cardboard box and made him a pillow out of some foam rubber and old clothes. The box was on its side so Scaredy had a roof over his head which is what I think he wanted. I put the box in the cage where he tried to hide and he immediately went into the box and rolled around on the pillow. He was very happy and was purring loudly. This was one of the few times I heard him purr and I had never heard him purr so loud. He did a lot of good sleeping in the box. He liked the box so much that even when I would open the cage door to let him out, he would stay for quite a while. I put a dangling cat toy I made so that it hung right at the opening of the box and he would spend a lot of time batting and biting it. Scaredy was very content living in the cage. He used the litter box but would sometimes miss as he stood too tall. I would let him out of the cage when I was home and he had recently used the litter box. I would generally let him out in the evenings and put him back in the cage when I went to bed but sometimes I let him stay out all night. On weekends, I generally let him have free run of the house. I would put him in the cage briefly until he used the litter box and then let him back out. The other cats would put their paws through the cage and steal his dry food even though they had their own. For reasons known only to a cat, food tastes better if it is stolen. I finally had to put up some barriers to stop this.
Wednesday, February 21: I suspected that Scaredy was constipated as he had not used the litter box in several days and had quit eating. I took Scaredy to the vet to see what was wrong. This was Scaredy's first visit to my vet. They relieved his constipation and gave me some liquid medicine to give to Scaredy to help him. Scaredy was diagnosed as having megacolon and he also had a high liver enzyme which may have been related to his not eating. I brought Scaredy home and he ate well afterwards. Scaredy did not want to take the medicine but it was not his nature to fight. I would brush him afterwards to make him feel better. I brushed him a lot during this period and he always enjoyed it very much.
Saturday, February 24: I took Scaredy to the vet again since it was evident that he was constipated. Again, they relieved him. I bathed him that night to clean him up and used a hair dryer to dry him off. Most cats would be afraid of a hair dryer but not Scaredy. He seemed to like it and meowed at me when I stopped.
Sunday, February 25: I took Scaredy outside to get some exercise while I worked in the back yard. Living in the cage, Scaredy was even more sedentary than before and I sometimes wondered if this contributed to the constipation problem. This was his first trip out of the house. Scaredy did not like the outdoors. He kept trying to get back into the basement door which is one level below the back yard. I had to watch him close and keep him away from the edge of the wall as he would get dangerously close and could have fallen over eight feet to the concrete driveway. I would move him to the opposite corner of the back yard and leave him. He would then make his way back. At times he took an interest in exploring the back yard. If I was too far away he would meow as if lost and then when I called for him, he would walk to where I was, meowing all the way. He got a lot of good exercise. I took some pictures of him outdoors.
Exploring behind the bushes on one of his excursions outside.
For the next two months, Scaredy did okay. He seemed to have short bouts of constipation but he got over it himself. He was eating maybe a little less than normal but seemed to be doing fine. He was happy and reasonably active. I took him out to the backyard two more times while I worked. He had no interest in anything but getting back to the house and I would have to watch him close to see that he did not fall from the wall. He would sometimes stand on his hind legs with his front legs on the window sill look into the den window and meow trying to figure out how to get inside. On his last trip out, he tried to climb around the ivory on the wall to get around the fence gate. He would have fallen as it was not possible to do. I had to grab him quick to stop him as he was very determined to do it.
Saturday, April 21: I took Scaredy in for his annual rabies vaccination. There was no evidence of anything wrong with Scaredy's health at this point. I talked to the vet about what could be wrong with Scaredy's hind legs. The vet looked at some X-rays of Scaredy taken in February and noticed a possible arthritic growth that might be compressing the nerves exiting his lower spine. We discussed letting a neuro-specialist look at Scaredy to determine the exact cause. It was conceivable that some medications could reduce swelling on the nerve bundle which might help Scaredy with his megacolon problem, poor bladder control, and maybe improve his walk. Scaredy would not be cured but might be improved.
Sunday, April 22: I noticed that Scaredy was not eating much nor using the litter box. I watched him close for the next two days and he ate less and less but otherwise seemed to feel okay.
Wednesday, April 25: I took Scaredy to the vet and they determined that he was constipated again. They relieved his constipation and put him on fluids as he was dehydrated and also gave him some antibiotics as he seemed to have some kind of infection. To address his megacolon condition, they prescribed a cisperide pill to give him and a fiber capsule to add to his food. I thought he would eat when I brought him home but he was not interested. He was becoming more lethargic and wanted only to be in the living room. I knew something else must be wrong. Since he would not eat, I was never able to use the fiber capsules. I was busy, so it was not until the following Wednesday evening that I began giving him the cisperide pill.
Saturday, April 28: I bought Scaredy a large pet sleeping pad to use in place of his box. Earlier in the week, Scaredy had an accident in his box so I had to remove it. Scaredy liked the pad and did some good sleeping on it.
Wednesday, May 2: I took Scaredy to the vet again as he was lethargic and not eating. He had also developed a sneeze and runny nose. They said to continue with his medications.
Saturday, May 5: I took Scaredy to the vet as he seemed lethargic and his runny nose was worse. The vet prescribed some antibiotic pills to give to Scaredy since his white blood cell count was rising again. I bought some Meow Mix and some assorted Fancy Feast canned food in hopes of getting Scaredy to eat. One method to encourage a cat to eat is to offer it some new food. That afternoon, I put some Meow Mix out and Scaredy ate a few morsels. That evening, I cooked a steak and offered Scaredy some pieces I did not want. Scaredy was in the living room under the left hard back chair. He enjoyed sniffing the steak but turned his head away - he just did not want to eat. Later that night I opened a can of Fancy Feast Tuna and Pate in hopes that Scaredy could not resist. He licked the tuna but did not eat any. It turns out that none of the other cats ate any either - why none of them liked it is odd. In the evening, I gave Scaredy his pills and he took them quite well - put up very little fight.
Sunday, May 6: In the morning I gave Scaredy his pills and again, he took them well. Scaredy felt definitely worse and spent most of the day just laying in the living room. In the evening I gave Scaredy his pills and he was more determined not to take them and put up a determined resistance for the first time.
Monday, May 7: In the morning, I gave Scaredy his pills and he resisted swallowing a lot and fought more - but still not as much as cats generally do. I left Scaredy at the vet that morning because he was more lethargic and still had not eaten. That evening, the vet showed me that Scaredy's white blood cell count had spiked up very high - he was not responding to the antibiotics. Something was very wrong and Scaredy needed to go to a center where all kinds of specialized tests could be done quickly. This was the first time that the possibility that Scaredy might die arose. The vet arraigned for Scaredy to be examined on Thursday at the Small Animal Clinic which is part of the Veterinary School at Auburn University. We decided that for the next two days that Scaredy should stay home and rest. We decided to stop the antibiotic pills since they seemed to be causing too much stress for Scaredy and did not seem to be doing any good. I continued with the cisperide pill. That evening, Scaredy was too weak to hop up on the den sofa - I had to help him.
Tuesday, May 8: Scaredy spent most of his time sleeping in the living room. He was weaker and still not eating. He would drink water.
Wednesday, May 9: This day was much like Tuesday. Scaredy spent the day in his cage sleeping on the pad I bought for him.
That evening I took Scaredy out of his cage as I usually do. This time, his hind legs were so weak that for a short while he could not walk. He just fell over each time he tried. Gradually he was able to hobble and walked back to my office and laid on the floor as I worked. When I went to another room I noticed that he had followed me. He then followed me back to my office. He really wanted to be wherever I was. This was to be our last evening together.
This picture was taken a few days before he died. He felt bad but wanted to be near me.
I got one of Spooky's pillow socks so that Scaredy could rest his head on it as he slept on the floor in my office. I was working on some music at the computer and Bitsy kept whining and complaining each time a sound was made. She was definitely trying to tell me something. I sometimes thought that she wanted things to be quiet for Scaredy. I was holding Bitsy and as usual, when I put her down she had to swat the first cat she saw. She went up to Scaredy and hissed but only gently touched him with her paw. She knew that Scaredy was very sick. She really seemed to be concerned for Scaredy.
This was the last picture I took of Scaredy on the morning before we left for Auburn.
Thursday, May 10: In the morning I found Scaredy sleeping on his back under the living room sofa. I put him on the den sofa so that I could take what would be the last pictures of him. I then put him in the pet carrier and located the carrier in the back seat of the car such that he could see me as I drove the car. He was very relaxed during the two hour drive to Auburn. He would alternate between sitting up and watching me and then taking a nap. He never complained.
While the vet was taking some general notes, Scaredy reached his paw out of the open door of the carrier and gently pawed her hand several times. During the course of the examination, the vet determined that his temperature was only 95.6 degrees which is very low. They were going to do a number of tests to try to find out what was wrong and the tests would not all be completed until sometime on Friday. So, I left Scaredy there hoping that whatever problem he had could be found and corrected.
That evening the vet called to update me on Scaredy's condition. His condition was worse. His temperature continued to fall in spite of efforts to raise it. There was concern that his body was shutting down. He had a lot of fluid on his abdomen. His white blood cell count was higher but that might have been due to all the fluid. He would not eat. All tests for contagious diseases were negative. FIP could have explained a number of symptoms but tests were negative. They discovered that he was missing some of his lower teeth but this was not part of the problem. He had probably been missing them for a long time. They suspected some problem with the liver but tests so far were negative. Scaredy spent the night in the intensive care ward. I was afraid that he might not live the night. Anticipating his death, I went outside to choose where I would bury him and selected a rock to be his headstone. I hoped that this would be wasted effort but I knew that Scaredy would not live much longer.
Friday, May 11: The vet called me about 2:00 in the afternoon after all the tests were finished and said that they could not find anything wrong. From the ultra sound test, his heart, liver, and spleen were found to be enlarged but not enough for concern. No evidence of any mass or tumors were found. His stomach did not seem to be passing fluid - perhaps there was a stomach ulcer or tumor. They drained about a quart of fluid from his abdomen and he seemed to perk up a bit afterwards. His kidneys were not working well perhaps due to the low body temperature which had now dropped to around 94 degrees. His weight was now only ten pounds.
There was nothing more they could do for him. I decided to pick him up that afternoon since I did not think he would live much longer. If he was to die I would rather that he die at home. I arrived about 4:30. The vet explained the frustration of not being able to find out what was wrong. There were a few more tests that could be done but that would require putting Scaredy under anesthesia which would certainly kill him. A few other tests that were possible to do probably could not be done before he died. Even if he lived, any action from those tests would probably involve surgery which he would not survive.
They gave me a lot of information on what I could do in the way of supported care to make Scaredy comfortable. Although the vet said that he doubted that Scaredy would live the night, there was the possibility that he might live several days or longer - particularly with good care. I was hoping that with some intensive tender loving care he might improve for a while. There is always the hope that a miraculous recovery is possible. That is what inspires heroic efforts.
Chronologically, this paragraph would be at the end but it really belongs here. I have thought a lot about what the veterinarians told me and have researched everything I can in my various books on cats. I now think Scaredy was actually much older than we first thought. The vet at Auburn said that Scaredy was definitely in double digits. As a reference point, when Spooky was 12 years old, he showed no signs of age. Scaredy definitely seemed older as he was much slower and sedentary. It is conceivable that Scaredy was 15 or older. His condition may have been due more to old age problems than anything else. The hard stool and constipation problem that Scaredy had is common in geriatric cats. Scaredy's pot belly may have been more due to fluid build up than fat. Although Scaredy was overweight, he did not show it so much in his legs or shoulder area. In fact, his back legs were rather thin and they had very poor muscle tone. The fluid build up on his abdomen was most likely due to progressive right-sided heart failure. The fluid was just normal fluid and not from any particular source other than leakage from blood vessels. It is interesting that right-sided heart failure explains many of the problems and symptoms Scaredy had, particularly at the end - not eating, lethargy, abdominal fluid build up, dropping body temperature, and kidney damage. The poor nerve control that probably caused his mega-colon condition also caused his bladder to fill very large which also may have led to kidney damage. It is conceivable that if Scaredy spent a significant time as a homeless cat, that his diet was deficient in taurine, an amino acid that cats need and is added to all cat foods. Among other problems, lack of taurine can lead to heart damage. My thinking is that Scaredy's heart had been weak for some time and began failing rapidly three weeks from his death. It may be a coincidence, but Scaredy's health began to decline noticeably the day after his rabies vaccination. Scaredy may have been on the verge of decline and the stress of vaccination was more than he could handle. I wonder if his high white blood cell count could have been a reaction to the vaccination - no infection was found and antibiotics were having no effect. I wonder if his not eating at first was due to a reaction to the vaccine. Near the end, there were indications of both liver and kidney problems. But blood tests did not show these to be serious. The liver problems could have been due to his eating almost nothing the last three weeks of his life. In the end, Scaredy probably went into shock from dehydration and hypothermia. Although it needed to be done, I think that draining his abdomen of fluid relieved pressure which accelerated his dehydration. Scaredy might have lived a little longer had he been given fluid after his abdomen was drained, but the fluid would probably have quickly leaked out to his abdomen. Basically, nothing could be done.
Scaredy looked very pathetic when they brought him to me. He was clearly very uncomfortable. His eyes were very dilated and I am not sure he was fully conscious. He would moan a meow as if hurting. I held him, petted him and touched noses but there was little response. I put him in the carrier. I put the carrier in the front seat so he could be closer and have a better view of me and so I could pet him on the way home. We left Auburn about 5:30. I had serious doubts that he would live through the trip.
Scaredy murmured many hurting meows on the way home. At times he seemed very frustrated. He would sometimes sit up a bit to watch me and I would pet him a little or rub his chin through the carrier door. He spent most of his time lying down. I called his name many times during the trip and tried to reassure him that we would be home soon.
About two-thirds the way home, Scaredy began having a minor fit. He sat up and meowed emphatically and his head had an up and down tremor. When I petting him, he rubbed his head against the carrier door sniffing and rubbing my hand as intensely and affectionately as he could. He pressed his forehead against my hand through the carrier door. He then settled down. I now think that he realized that he was not going to make it and this was his way of thanking me for all I had done for him and saying good-bye. I recall that Spooky did the same thing on his last good day before he died. This was Scaredy's last conscious act. He moved very little after this.
About 15 or 20 minutes from home, he curled up into a tight ball by the carrier door and murmured a number of hurting meows. For a short while he vigorously licked his front paws but did not seem to be awake. I petted him all I could. When we arrived home about 7:30, I put the carrier in the living room near where he chose to stay for the previous week while he was clearly not feeling well and opened the door. It is interesting that this was the same place just inside the living room from the kitchen that Spooky chose to be during his last few weeks. I then went and called his former owner to let him know we were home. When I returned to Scaredy I saw that he had not moved at all from the curled position. I do not think that he was conscious. I pulled him out of the carrier and set him on the floor. His shaven belly (for the ultra sound test) was very cold. His body was limp and he did not move at all from where I laid him. He murmured a number of hurting meows. I got an old electric blanket and wrapped him in it. He seemed to settle down and complain less as the temperature rose. He was laying on his left side with part of the blanket bunched up to be a pillow. His eyes were open and fully dilated but he did not seem to be conscious of anything around him. His eyes did not move as I petted his nose and face. I think now that he lost consciousness in the car when he curled up into the ball and never really regained it except for some brief periods.
I petted him a lot as we waited for his former owner to arrive to visit him. Scaredy's breathing was regular but a bit noisy as it had been the last week due to the nasal drainage. Scaredy seemed comfortable and I thought he might make it through the night. I had plans to do a number of things for him the next day. Scaredy did not seem to be conscious but slowly and randomly moved his head and paws. I was rubbing his head and under his chin. Then, he kind of stretched and tilted his head back as if he wanted me to rub under his chin which I did. The sound of his breathing stopped. I gently shook him but there was no response. His legs twitched just a little and then no more. Scaredy had died. It was maybe a minute or so after 9:00. Several minutes after Scaredy died, about two tablespoons or more of bile slowly began oozing from his mouth. Perhaps he had suffocated on this or maybe his heart just finally gave out - I did not hear any sign of distress in his breathing before it stopped. In retrospect, I wish I had positioned him with his head down to reduce the chance of any fluids getting into his lungs. But, it may not have made any difference. Scaredy had been failing fast. The best medical care available could not reverse his condition.
His former owner arrived about two minutes later and we traded stories about Scaredy for the next half hour. I sat with Scaredy for about another half hour. At times I swear I could see him move but that was only wishful thinking. Fluffy, Stubby, and Teensy came around to check things out. I think they were more interested in the electric blanket which had not been used in several years. They looked at Scaredy briefly. Fluffy particularly seemed to sense that something was wrong as he walked very cautiously. I then put Scaredy in a white plastic bag and tied the bag shut. Since it would be Saturday morning before I could bury him, I left him lying in his favorite spot wrapped in the blanket which was now turned off.
Saturday, May 12: I got up at 7:00 and took the shovels to where Scaredy's grave would be. I then brought Scaredy out and laid him in a sunny spot near where I was working. I could see his open eyes through the plastic bag. It was as if he was watching me work. He always liked to watch me. It took over a half hour to dig his grave. I then placed Scaredy lying on his left side in his grave and gently placed the dirt around him. I then filled the grave and placed the headstone rock so that the front of it just overhung the grave. Later that afternoon, I purchased some border grass. I planted the border grass around his grave with some small rocks to outline the grave. I wrote on Scaredy's headstone, "Scaredy Cat, 1990? - May 11, 2001." I am now convinced that Scaredy was probably born around 1986 give or take. That evening, I took Scaredy's cage down. I washed Scaredy's sleeping pad so Frisky could have it but he was never interested in it.
Sunday, May 13: I bought a colorful mix of red, orange, yellow, and purple flowers and planted them on Scaredy's grave. That evening, I cleaned up the den and restored the furniture the way it was before the cage was put up. I washed all the cat's food and water bowls.
Scaredy is buried in my backyard on top of the hill.
The only visible reminders of Scaredy in the house are the deep plastic tubs used for litter boxes. These boxes, chosen specifically to address Scaredy's needs, will stay because they work much better and solved a long term problem with Teensy digging sand out of the box. Thanks to Scaredy, cleaning up and around the litter boxes is much easier.
Scaredy is gone but he was a special cat that I will always remember. I do not think there has ever been a more cooperative cat. I heard many good comments from the vets and assistants about what a good patient Scaredy was and how he remained sweet and adorable in spite of painful and uncomfortable things they had to do to him.
Life was not fair to Scaredy Cat. Scaredy deserved never to have been homeless, nor to suffer his handicap, nor the suffering of the illness the last three weeks of his life. His last day turned out to be pure misery. He deserved to live and to continue enjoying life. I hated to have to put him in a cage but I did not know what else to do about his increasing accidents around the house. I wish he could have enjoyed the outdoors the few times I took him out. I will always wonder about his earlier life. Did he have a happy kittenhood? Surely he was loved and loved back in his earlier life. Since he was neutered prior to his being found it seems likely that he was somebodyís pet in his earlier life. Did his original owner lose him or abandon him? How long was he homeless? Did his homelessness contribute to his health problems? At least the last three and a half years of his life were good ones that he really enjoyed. If there is a lesson from Scaredy Cat, it is to love everyone and make the most of life in spite of whatever handicap you have. Scaredy Cat lived this philosophy every day.