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Old 02-29-2008, 11:35 AM
 
8,382 posts, read 19,451,438 times
Reputation: 3265

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I was surfing along the forum and feel fortunate to have found this sub-forum as I can share with all of you the story of my cat Homes.

Homes was among a few stray cats who hung out around my Upper Darby apartment complex around 1997. I had heard that he had either escaped from or was abandoned by his previous guardians when they moved. I was one of a few people who befriended him and fed him on occasion. He returned the kindness by marking our apartment building, to the dismay of those less enamored by his presence. I started hearing rumors that animal control might be called to get him. It was also starting to get cooler outside. Although I grew up a dog person, it didn't seem likely any of the cat-friendly people were going to do anything more. So in November of that year, I brought him in with the help of a neighbor who was experienced with cats.
When I took him to the vet a few months later, they determined that he was about a year old.

The neighbor who assisted me said he was called "Panther" but I wasn't really feeling that name. So in keeping in the family tradition of giving "human" names to our dogs, I gave my new feline companion the name "Alex". I figured I would be covering my bases as I could not determine whether he was male (Alexander) or female (Alexandra). He didn't exactly make it easy for me to check either. However, one day my Dad came over and was able to easily flip him over to determine that Homes was indeed a male. Still, he did not really answer to Alex or anything besides the opening of a can. However, I used to humor myself when I came home and greeted him, "What's up, Homes?" which, of course, is short for Homeboy. One day he did something "bad" and I scolded him by yelling "HOMES!" He sure responded to that... so I said to myself, "Hmmm... I think that shall become your name."

After many months of adjusting to each other, he decided that he would keep me. He became my constant companion during the ups and downs of my life. I also like to think that he appreciated in his own way that I took him in and gave him a stable and loving home life. Not unlike his Dad, he was a shy dude who came out of his shell in his later years. At one time, he used to run at the sight of a stranger entering the home. Later he would become more inquisitive and hang out if not be overly friendly to visitors. He learned to tolerate the presence of his dachshund stepsister as well as take advantage of the nutritional generosity of his stepmother.

In October 2006, we found Homes had lymphoma (cancer). At that point, the vet internist we saw gave him 12-18 months to live. He was prescribed a steroid and a chemotherapy pill and after about a year, it appeared that he had turned the corner and perhaps might make it after all.

However, after the beginning of this year, things started to decline. He became more tired than usual, then we started to realizing that he was urinating outside of his litter box and drinking water constantly while not eating much. We took him to the vet on Monday and they determined that he had, at the very least, a bladder infection. They gave him an antibiotic and an appetite stimulant which appeared to work.As luck would have it, both Cathy and I were home on Friday due to the icy weather here. It turned out to be a fortunate thing as I witnessed Homes having two seizures. As you can imagine, it wasn't a comfortable thing to experience. After the second bout, we realized that we should go back to the vet. We were directed to the emergency room where the presiding doctor told us that he likely was suffering from a brain tumor and/or a form of diabetes that affected his brain. He went on to say that even if they could diagnose that for sure, it would be difficult at best to treat it. So at approximately 3:00pm on Friday February 22nd, I decided to let him be at peace. Alexander "Homes" H***** was about 11 years old.

It goes without saying that I am pretty heartbroken about losing him. But I feel good that I saved him from what would have been an unpleasant existence had I not brought him in out of the neighborhood over ten years ago. I'm also glad I had the foresight to get insurance for him and find a specialist center to help me prolong his life. And finally, after not being there when the two dogs I grew up each passed away, I feel better that I could be with Homes in his final moments.

I love you, Homeboy.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:43 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 17,351,738 times
Reputation: 7680
Aw...Tone, what a great thing you did for Homeboy - and what a life he lived with you, no doubt.

Letting go is so terribly hard, even when you know it is right and good. Know that he is in a place where there are lots of cans that will be opened for him...he'll know he is home again.

Peace to you.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:29 PM
 
253 posts, read 1,009,887 times
Reputation: 127
Tone just remember your homeboy will always be with you. Everytime you open a can you will remember him and give it a moment of silence.
He changed you from not being a cat person and you changed him from not being a people person.
You've both had a long journey down that road and his is just beginning. When you see him next he'll be on that road with you.
You can't feel sorrow for too long for a good life, you gave it to him, god bless you, and he did his part toooooo.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:24 AM
 
8,382 posts, read 19,451,438 times
Reputation: 3265
Sam and nanwalt, thank you both so much.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,929,466 times
Reputation: 822
You were Homes's angel, and now-- he is yours. He hasn't forgotten you- he's most likely chasing butterflies or basking in the warmth of the sun just waiting for you..
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