Ruth had Terrorist Cat put to sleep today. TC was almost 18 years old.
Ruth had been his person since she brought him home when he was a tiny kitten. TC supposedly didn’t like other people much when he was younger. Dave and Donna often took care of him when Ruth was away, and TC had Dave intimidated. By the time I met Ruth, he may have mellowed somewhat. He approved of me for the most part, and was sociable with the runners when I was hosting a run while he came to visit (or maybe he just liked the smells).
TC was supposed to be a short-haired cat, but turned out to have a thick coat of dark brown fur. When he was lounging about, sometimes he’d forget his tongue and leave it lolling outside of his mouth. He didn’t understand why we found that funny.
TC was a house cat. He would watch the birds at the feeders from his perch on top of the couch’s backrest, but he wasn’t concerned with chasing them. When Ruth would let him out, he would poke around cautiously, but he was always ready to go back inside.
But he had his reckless side. No warnings could keep him from his favorite toy, a plastic grocery bag. And he was always ready to risk being crushed by settling underneath us while we were streching or doing yoga.
TC always came to the door when we arrived. He’d check me out and then go for Ruth. We had an ongoing low-level competition for Ruth’s attention. We’d be together, and TC would come over and butt in, maybe reaching up with a paw to wave for attention, or maybe climbing in between us. TC didn’t like anything that got between him and Ruth. If she was working at the computer, he would pester her until she picked him up. Then TC would settle down on the desk in front of the monitor. If she was reading the paper, TC would climb on top of it and sit, looking pleased.
When Ruth wasn’t available, TC would settle for me. Often this would occur when I was awake at night. TC saw that someone else was up, and he’d come over for some company. It could be difficult to get him to understand that I didn’t want to minister to him at that particular moment.
TC would enjoy it when I’d scratch his head, but a backrub was the fastest way to start him purring. His asthmatic purr would go on as long as I could keep rubbing. When he was in a good mood, TC enjoyed exchanging headbutts. He often took the opportunity to rub his nose on my glasses, leaving me with smeared vision.
TC was losing his appetite towards the end, but he still loved chicken. If we were getting anything out of the refrigerator, he’d wander over and sit in front of the door, waiting expectantly. Chicken would only appear a small percentage of the time, but he was always hopeful.
TC was diagnosed with liver cancer, but managed to survive with that for two years. He had been slowing down recently, losing a lot of weight while his dark brown fur turned drier and greyer. He began stumbling some as he tried to follow Ruth up the stairs or climb to his usual spot on top of the couch. He was spending more and more time just napping in the rocking chair in the living room.
The decline sped up over the weekend. We came back early from Vermont to beat the snow, which allowed Ruth to have one last day with him.