Shadow by Ann & Rich / Ann & Rich

We don’t know Shadow’s actual birth date; we do know he was born in 1996. When he was about 9 weeks old, a girl dropped him behind the high school my son attended. She said her father would kill him if she didn’t get rid of him. My son picked him up carried him around in his backpack all day and brought him home.

We already had two cats that were 18 months old, but they soon accepted him and he became part of the family. It soon became apparent that he was different; he didn’t act like a normal cat, two more cats joined our family over the next two years and even though he was the smallest, he became the dominant cat. He learned his name quickly and always came when we called him. He formed a special bond with us and interacted with us as if he was a person. You could play hide and seek with him, switching roles of who was chasing whom.

We love all of our other cats, but there was a special bond with him and he was our closest buddy. Shadow always greeted us when we came home rolling over to get attention. When I would sit on the sofa he would run up on my lap, stretch his front paws on my chest, and
butt my nose with his.

He would run up the tall cat tree if you stood near it, then roll around the top platform, then stick his head over the edge, looking down at you as if playing peek-a-boo for ten minutes at a time. He was smaller than the other cats yet was the Lion King. He kept everybody in their places. He refused to eat with the other cats who all ate together; he would only eat on top of the kitchen island above the other cats.

He would also get an attitude if reprimanded and then take it out (smack with his paw) on whichever cat was nearby as he walked away grumbling, yes, actually grumbling like a person
would grumble under his breath.

He was very affectionate, usually wanting to sit on you or right next to you. Sometimes we would eat our lunch or dinner on a tray in the living room to watch the news, he would jump on the sofa, wanting to sit on our lap. When we wouldn’t let him he would sit on the other end of the sofa with his back turned and when you talked to him he wouldn’t turn around until you put the tray down and let him sit on you.

On August 30th 2006 we had to make the hard decision of putting Shadow to sleep. It has been very hard for us to accept what happened, very emotional and a shock because it happened so quickly.

I called our Vet and said I needed to bring Shadow in because he wasn’t acting right over the past two days. He had been picking at his food (thought he was just being fussy), then was lying on the floor in the kitchen instead of his usual places and we noticed he looked somewhat bulgy (he was always skinny). Sunday he hardly ate. I called the Vet Monday morning. When I brought him in to the Vet, I thought he had a bladder problem but was surprised when she took an x-ray and saw a huge mass covering his intestines.

We took him to the Animal Emergency Hospital, where he stayed overnight. The next morning we took him out of there and brought him to one the best animal hospitals in the region. The specialists there examined him, did an ultra sound, showed us the x-rays and confirmed he had a huge carcinoma mass with internal bleeding. He said he could operate, but the operation would have been very invasive, and there was a less than 50% chance of him surviving the operation and if he survived, the complications could be very severe. We tried our best to do everything we could to help save him.

When it came down to having to make a decision it was very hard, and the decision we made was for Shadow’s sake, not for ours. When we made the decision, the doctor said he could now tell us that if Shadow was his cat he would have done the same, and as Shadow’s advocate that is what should be done. We told the doctor we wanted to bring Shadow back to our Vet for his journey to heaven. He said that was fine and would call our Vet for us.

On the ride back we decided to stop at our home first so Shadow could be home again and spend time with him. I called the Vet to say we would be bringing him in before they close at 5:30 pm. They called back stating if we would like, Dr. W**** offered to come to our home later on so we could spend some time with shadow. When we brought Shadow in he used the litter box then came out and lay down by us. My husband was able to hold him for a while. Later on he went upstairs on his favorite bed. My husband and I talked to him, rubbed his nose and head, which he always liked, and he purred as though he was content. Looking at his face and eyes he looked fine, but the Vet’s diagnosis told another story.

At approx. 7:45 p.m. Dr. W**** arrived. We talked briefly then went back upstairs to the bedroom. Dr. W**** talked to Shadow and petted him. Then as my husband and I were talking to him, rubbing his nose, his head, his paw, his back, and telling him how much we loved him, Dr. W**** gently administered the injections to bring him peace. He appeared contented at the time and drifted off quickly.

One consolation during this whole ordeal was that the Dr. W”””” was so thoughtful, so kind, and compassionate enough to come to our home. We appreciated it and we’re sure our Shadow did also.
We will never forget him and miss very much.


Always Remembered,
Ann & Rich