Mensch by Eddie Ferreira / Eddie

In this day and age one rarely finds true friendship. The kind that’s deep and honest, with honor and devotion. I found this friendship in the form of a feline named Mensch. His parents were Chocolate Points. He apparently was a single genetic throwback, a Siamese Flame Point among a litter of all chocolates. I answered the ad in the paper and
went to see him.

The breeder told me that it happens sometimes, an odd one out in a litter. The cat as a Flame Point was not perfect for show (he had a lot of the orange tabby that they crossbred to make flame points long ago in him) so she’d give me a deal with no papers. I said lets have a look and suddenly a small white head with giant orange ears and an orange mask peaked around the corner to see who the stranger was. That stranger was me. He came trotting proudly to me, sniffing a bit but as soon as I reached down to pick him up he purred loudly and jumped into my hands. I paid the breeder her cash and we were on our way. Down the road of life we traveled as companions for the next 18 years.

My boy was basically pretty healthy until last Wednesday March 1 when I noticed he was breathing kind of heavy and fast. I took him to the vet that very afternoon thinking it might be hypertension which older cats tend to suffer from. The doctor wasn’t too worried but took full labs and a chest x-ray to make sure but much to my horror and his, Mensch had suffered an uncommon internal problem. He had a herniated diaphragm that surgically would have been very risky to attempt on a cat half his age. What occurs when the diaphragm is displaced, the animal’s lower organs like the stomach, liver and intestines begin to creep their way into the chest cavity causing the lungs to be crowded and eventually collapse.

The vet assured me that unfortunately this uncommon problem only presents itself symptomatically when the cat is in crisis. He did give him cortisone shot to see if it would help. I took Mensch home and his breathing did slow down for a few hours but then began to get worse and worse. Along with that he was having a terrible gagging problem. I comforted him and kept him company along with my dear friend Jackie. With each passing hour I began to know that I was an hour closer to the decision
I prayed I’d never have to make.

I took him to the vet on Thursday the soonest he could see him, to do that which is our last act of love…to end his suffering at whatever emotional cost to us. I have wept at the loss of my dearest little friend if not in my eyes, then constantly in my heart. I still expect to see him everywhere he’d hang out in the house.

I feel like his presence has not yet left the home that was always just his and mine. I’ve gone through much with that little fellow. Two marriages, two divorces, and in the past few years I’ve been hit with a few very uncommon medical problems that have left me unable to work and on Social Security Disability in what should be the prime of my life. But through surgeries and illness, through thick or thin I always found the love and comfort of my amazing little companion. I really do believe that he stayed as healthy as he did for as long as he did because he knew I’d be alone without him and didn’t want to leave me that way. I know that I will soon have another companion because for me, to be without an animal in my life would be unimaginable. Surely it will be a dog this time around because it would be unfair to another cat to try to fill my Mensch’s kitty shoes.

How can I thank you for all you’ve done and been to me? I hope that remembering you each day and sharing our story with others may be a good start Why did this happen? God must have needed a new cat with him in heaven and decided that he needed the best one he could find. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU NOW AND FOREVER!


I Remain As Always Your Loving Daddy,
2, Mar 2006
Eddie Ferreira