Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Our Beloved MUKLUK, In Memoriam--Elegy to a great Cat
Mukluk, "Mr. Blue Eyes",
perhaps my favorite picture
Mukluk and Krishna,
The King and Queen together,
Mukluk and Krishna,
clutching his tail while sleeping --
on the same chair
he later left this world from
"Big Cat on duty",
May or June, 2011
Sitting in one of his favorite
Guarding the garden,
Still new around here, but
feeling fat & sassy,
The Pettin' Cat --
it was "all about the pettin'".
ABOUT MUKLUK, The Ragdoll Cat
Mukluk, according to the experienced senior-vet at the fine animal clinic in Chatsworth, was "an old guy", probably
a good 16-18 years old, she "guess-timated",
but she's "seen a lot of animals" over the years, in her words, so she knows what she is talking about. Later teens, she thought.
Mukluk's kidneys, and perhaps liver also to some degree, finally gave out, and have been for the last year or more, gradually,
just as with our beloved HB (HoneyBun--who was 21 years old), back in 2011, the same year we adopted Mukluk and Krishna--a few months after HB left the scene.
Mukluk got simultaneous respiratory and urinary infections, which we battled-off with antibiotics,
but alas, his kidneys were so weakened by age already, they just couldn't keep working, even when the fever was gone.
He had lost a great deal of weight over the last year or more, and was emaciated, so he was already "on the edge", so to speak, and the infection overwhelmed his aging organs.
He spent most of his final hours snoozing peacefully on a warm blanket, on a soft, cushioned chair (one of his favored spots).
There was no sign of trembling/shivering, or any painful noises, or convulsions or struggling to breathe or move---Nothing at all
like any of those things, which could indicate real suffering, so we let him go naturally and didn't put him down.
He was extremely weak and tired, but not in any visible pain at all.
He went out much as HB did, sleeping his way off to the beyond.
He seemed to summon me that last night, with what turned out to be his final gentle meow, I came right over, and his last sight and sounds may have been my face, just a foot or two away, whispering loving things and talking to him in various voices, sad, serious, and funny, as I always tended to do with him (a great release for me, btw, and I will miss our "talks", terribly).
A good kitty. A really sweet boy, and a true gentleman.
I feel so lucky we became buddies.
A lover of petting who strongly preferred two-handed petting, and would nudge your resting hand while being petted by the other, until he got them both going. So demanding and so hilarious!
He would very gently paw at your hand to continue when you stopped petting him.
I so regret not youtubing-him doing that.
But he really did do that, often, and I will treasure that memory.
As much as he loved being the house "petting star", he willfully and respectfully backed-off to let Krishna (our other, shyer cat, who we adopted with Mukluk, as a pair) in on "the action" when Krishna belatedly discovered she liked petting too,
a couple years ago, and started asserting herself more.
He went along like the Gentleman-Feline he always was.
He and Krishna came to us with a unique, evolved friendship, forged between a male (Mukluk) and female (Krishna) cat. Such a civilized pair! Krishna remains as our only, now lonelier cat,
at this time.
Mukluk was an authentic Ragdoll cat. I had never even heard of a Ragdoll Cat before Mukluk, but he showed me what it's all about. I will not forget his teachings.
Here's a youtube documentary about Ragdoll Cats:
And he also taught me, as cats tend to do, about laughter, and the silliness, and simple everyday wonder of life that can be so profound and beautiful, to defy all words.
I am grateful for his many enriching contributions to my crazy human life.
Thank you, Mukluk!
The first 1/2 of his life, or more, remains a mystery. But I doubt he was mistreated much, since he was so sweet and gentle, always. I suspect he had a whole dramatic story--Some special people and a happy home, for a long part of his life, who he loved, and somehow lost, as he ended up a shelter cat for a short while. I didn't know what his early life story was, but I could somehow sense the weight and depth of it---He was a complex cat, and highly intelligent. If he could have talked and told me his whole life history, I would have sat in rapt attention.
But, alas, cats do have some limitations.
The woman who adopted him (and our black Bombay cat, Krishna) from the shelter, seemed kind, and a good "cat person", and had him for a good 3-4 years, before we had him for the last 3 1/2 years.
"Mr. Blue Eyes" has been such a cool guy. I believe we gave him a good, peaceful, loving, enjoyable home. And he got to hang-out outside too, which I suspect he had not gotten a chance to do much in his life (we have a safe pool & patio area, with lots of plants, fully-enclosed by tall fences)----In fact, he preferred being outside so much, the fur on his back and sides lost their mildly dark coating, and was "bleached" white by the sun over the first 2 years or so he was here.
How I wish there could have been more time, but there you go...
During these past 3 1/2 years, it sure looked to me that he was enjoying himself and being entertained, or enjoyably occupied, while comfortably hanging out. Lots of great snoozing spots too.
He was a big part of the scene at my house, and his absence will be conspicuous around here, to say the least---An open space that used to be filled by a big old silly, sweet, affectionate, smart, but slightly daffy, Ragdoll cat with super-soft earth-tone ears, tail, nose and paws, whose "Cat-itude" just seemed to say out loud, "Hey, I'm a pet----So PET me!"
Such a wonderful kitty--He deserved all the good stuff he got.
Have a beautiful flight, big guy.
And wherever you go, take our love with you.
Dec 23, 2014