Mooch: 2001-2008

This year’s been weirdly centered, for me, on duodenums other than my own, letting others make tough decisions, and being supportive without second guessing.  There’s probably a lesson there.  This one has a sad ending.



We got our latest cat Mooch from the West Suburban Humane Society.  Okay, it says Cali on the certificate because she’s a calico but I call her Mooch because she’s an affection mooch, especially with Mrs. Thoman, whom she adores.

Turned in because she was too much for her first owner to deal with, she was a pathetic scruffy desperate frightened kitten who glommed onto my wife at first sight, and immediately made our two boys, her two boys.  Mooch had some issues when we got her, but we got a diet sorted out that worked, and she’s been a classic Maine Coon.  Quiet, will be near you but not on you (unless you are Mrs. T, in which case LAP).  Likes to kind of rough house and hang out with the boys, misses them when they are gone and is always visibly excited when they come home from school.  Most of the people who have met her describe her as a sweet cat.  I’m convinced she thinks she’s a dog, as she prefers drinking out of a clean toilet, and patiently waits for food, and runs to the door anytime someone approaches, so she can nonchalantly walk away once you come in.  She still thinks she’s a tiny little kitten I think, even though she is fairly big, around 12 pounds.  Maine Coons get big.

This Monday she ralphed up all her food, and became very listless.  She ralphed again Tuesday and became virtually lifeless.  I found her in a corner of the basement late in the day: an animal that had found a place to die is what it looked like.

Now Mooch is only 7 or 8, and our last two cats (also Humane Society picks) lived to be 18, so Wednesday we took her to the cat doctor.  He ran a blood test, and the numbers came back that said acute renal failure.  The doc guessed maybe one of us had walked through antifreeze and maybe she had licked some of it.  It only takes a minute amount to kill, and Mooch loves shoes.

She was sinking and sinking fast.  I’ve had friends that have lost their dogs and it is the end of the world.  I’m more the type that it’s a family pet, not a member of the family.  Any disease or condition is always weighed against reality; it’s a cat, not a person, so when the treatments and outcomes for treating acute renal failure were explained, my questions were cost analysis based (about $700 plus unknowns and it might not even work out), and how it impacted a budget already balancing two college educations.

For my wife it was more an issue of giving her sweet Cali a fighting chance as long as it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  I said your call, dear.

When the doc put her on an IV with fluids, instead of stabilizing, her vital stats bounced back dramatically.  He was intrigued.  Things didn’t jibe.  So he took some photos, and found a whole almond had lodged like a cork in the space where her stomach leads to her intestine.  When he called, he said we can skip the treatment and go straight for the surgery and it’s more what do you want?  What do I want?  I want a happy family.  And I’m thinking to myself, whoa, I was ready to have her put down for an almond?  My better half makes the better call once again.

So for Christmas this year we’ll be a bit shy on present money, but the boys wouldn’t have it any other way, and our giant kitten should be back Saturday to begin a pampered convalescence that will last through the holidays.

I know this doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but she’s a pretty good cat, and I’m glad she’ll be around a bit longer, and I would have felt horrible putting her down just for having swallowed an almond.  No more almonds in our house, but I can live with that, and so can Mooch.


After a rough weekend Mooch passed away last night.  Probably too septic after the surgery and renal/kidney trauma.  She usually sat in the other chair or looked out the windows or slept on the desk when I was in the office and Mrs. Thoman was not around. She was a good cat and we will all miss her.

I guess I’ll miss her more than I thought.

Mooch 2001-2008


4 Responses to “Mooch: 2001-2008”

  1. Ms. Thang Says:

    Sorry to hear about your cat, Mark. It’s crazy how much pets become a part of our families and how hard it is to learn how to live without them. Mooch sounds like she was a great companion and a cutie pie.

  2. Marge Says:

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family, Mark.

  3. Lisa & Tom (Bobby, Butch, Bea, Ellie & Fluffy) Says:

    Lisa and I are so sorry to hear that Mooch passed away, She was a very sweet cat. Our kitties send their sympathy as well. All of us here at the Love/McGehee household hope that Libby will be with you for many years.

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