Tintin is dying.
For eight years Tintin has been our faithful companion. When we lived in the apartment on North Knott, Kris wanted a cat despite the fact that they were prohibited by the rental agreement. We visited the Humane Society in Turner (just outside of Salem) and Kris immediately fell in love with a pure-white cat with pale blue eyes. He looked frightened and dull to me. I thought she should choose a frisky (and cute) little kitten. She ignored my suggestion, and we took the white cat home.
We wanted to name the cat Snowy, after the dog in the Tintin comics, but we thought that name was too wimpy. We named him Tintin instead.
At first Tintin was jumpy; he was quick to claw and bite. Kris surmises he may have come from an abusive home, but soon she and Tintin had formed a bond that has lasted to this day.
When we moved to the house (and, at the same time, acquired my cat, Toto), Tintin became a very happy cat. He loves to roam the yard, to sit in the flower beds, to lay in the sun. We have a stone cat statue that has become his best friend. (None of the other cats are as accepting of him as Stony is.) He loves to sit on Kris’ lap, and he’ll even tolerate my attention.
Tintin is well-loved and an important part of our small family.
Over the past several months he’s been losing weight. His appetite has diminished significantly. At the end of April I noticed that he was drinking a large amount of water. Also at that time, Kris noticed that she was having to change the litter box two or three times a week instead of just once a week. I spoke with Mac, who has some background in vet medicine, and he advised that we have Tintin examined immediately.
Tintin has diabetes. The vet says that he could maybe live another year if: (a) we sent Tintin to board at the vet for a week while they established an insulin regime and (b) we game him insulin injections twice daily for the rest of his life. Kris is not willing to do this. Neither am I.
Tintin is a happy cat, even if his health is failing. He cannot jump up onto the bed anymore. He can’t jump onto the bathroom counter, either, but we’ve trained him to use the toilet as a step. He is beginning to look emaciated. His left eye at times looks cloudy, as if it may be going blind. He drinks about eight ounces of water a day. Minimum. He doesn’t eat much. I think that he only has a few weeks in his tired body, but believe that Kris is expecting months. But he can still sit on Kris’ lap while they watch The Price Is Right. He can still lay out on the patio, basking in the sun. He can still come running (slower than before) to lick out a bowl of ice cream. He’s never been happier, from what we can tell.
I’m sad to be losing a friend like Tintin. He is a good cat, loving and gentle. Kris will be heart-broken, and so will I.
On 12 October 2004 (06:11 PM),