Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Sweet Stitches--the Cat

Today we had to have Stitches, our 8 month old kitty, put to sleep--we are so very sad but know it had to be done.

Here is his story:

This is the photo on the Friends of Rescue website that made me go "Awwwwwwwwww" and knew he would be ours.  His name was Shipley then and we got him mid-July when he was about 12 weeks old.  His foster family said he was a great kitten and he was.  He rarely spoke, unless you tried to clip his nails, but you could hear him purr from across the room.  He was friendly, affectionate, and active, always on the go chasing his "sister"--Patches, the other cat we got the same day so they would have company.

Little did we know he brought Coccidios with him--a nasty parasite that required treatment a few days after we got him.  After 14 days, he was better and Patches had it.  We made it through all that mess and they turned into very fun playmates, often doing the 10 PM Tussle--chasing each other wildly all around the house, roughhousing and just being wild and FUN TO WATCH! 

Stitches had a great personality and loved to pose for photos and belly rubs.  He could chase a toy mouse around the house for an hour and was always the victor. 

The day he jumped onto the kitchen counter, then the refrigerator, then the top of the cabinets, my husband named him "Sir Edmund Hillary".  His inquisitiveness knew no bounds.  And the spray water bottle only amused him.  If we pointed it at him telling him "no!" and "get down", he just opened his mouth and I swear he was smiling--go ahead, squirt me! We could only laugh.

When he wasn't running, he was sleeping, preferably on a lap.  Here is a favorite pose, rub my belly!

Patches & Stitches bonded pretty quickly and seemed to like each other.  Their "fights" were mostly tussles and no one got hurt.  Until a week ago.

Friday night we knew Stitches didn't feel well but couldn't determine why.  That morning I found a piece of Christmas Cactus on the floor and thought he had ingested some.  Saturday morning he was clearly sick so off to the vet we went.  They kept him, gave antibiotics and sent him home.  By Monday morning he was seriously ill and we went back to the vet.  Upon close inspection, a 2" laceration under the tail was discovered and it looked pretty bad.  More meds, some ointment and he came home.  By Thursday his spirits were better and we thought the abscess had ruptured so we went back to the vet.  Later that day we got the news, things had spread very badly all over his hind end and it looked very, very bad.  Saturday the news was worse and my husband went to see him.  His one word that was so accurate:  "horrific".  My husband took me to see him and I knew, right then, this would not heal.  The vet agreed that was most likely the case but gave us time to think about it.  Only numerous surgeries and many months of rehab might save him. 

We could not put our beloved Stitches through that trauma so we let him go.  So very sad. 
Patches is lost.  Here she is grooming him, as she often did.  All weekend she has been crying, she's the vocal one.  She looks all over and has been bringing me Stitches' collar, crying:

We are undecided about getting another kitten right now.  I am about to start full time work again and won't be home much until after April 15.  What if she hurts the next kitty?  We know it was a playful accident, surely, but I worry about the next fur baby fitting in. 

We didn't have him very long, in time, but Stitches had our hearts.  Here is the last photo I took of him, right before he got hurt:

Goodbye, sweet baby.  We'll miss you.



  1. It doesn't take long for those critters to crawl into our hearts. I am sorry and feeling sad for you!

  2. So sad to read your news, Barbara. I know he brought you great joy and will be greatly missed.

  3. So sorry to hear it - pets are so precious

  4. I am so sorry to hear all of this. Our pets become like family.

  5. Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear about all this. Makes my heart hurt FOR you. Hopefully, that was a one in a million occurrence. Hope you decide to get another. I simply cannot do without mine... {{HUG}}