September 25th, 2005

Quark, Thinking

Squiggy: R.I.P.


October 1986 - September 22, 2005

Squiggy was a very unique cat. I remember when we got him. Apparently, he walked into my dad's shop and started meowing, so my dad took him home. However, I was not informed of this right away. The next day, I woke up early for some unknown reason and crept downstairs to see whether anything interesting was happening. I went into the living room. My dad was sleeping on the couch, as he usually does, and this unknown cat was sitting right next to him. We looked at each other for about a minute, and I went back upstairs, and back to bed, wondering if it was a dream. When I got up for real, my parents told me about Squiggy, named after a character on Laverne & Shirley. I said nothing about my early-morning discovery. Well, he grew up and was a fun little cat. He loved to go outside. We believe he thought he was a dog, because he came in with the dogs, he tried to go out with the dogs, and he sometimes ate dog food. We also named him "Mr. One Paw" due to his habit of standing on his hind legs, keeping one paw on your leg, and trying to drag your arm down with the other paw, so you'd drop food off your fork and he'd eat it. He was "Squiggy the Piggy" as well, due to his large appetite.
Well, about two years ago, he began his decline, beginning with kidney problems. His appetite, therefore, went down, and then, his weight. About a year ago, we believe he started having mental difficulties. He would walk into a room, then start meowing for no apparent reason. We believe he either forgot where he was or he forgot what he was doing. He'd also have trouble with eating. He would eat a few bites, then walk away, as if he forgot he was hungry. We had to put him back by the food bowl every few minutes to get him eating again. About a week ago, he stopped eating altogether. My parents took him to the vet, and Dr. Boyd said he had renal failure. My mom knew he wouldn't have long left, and my dad started preparing for his eventual demise. If he hadn't prepared, he'd probably be a wreck right now, since Squiggy was his buddy. My mom brought home a bag of IV fluids from the hospital and a bottle of formula designed for renal patients. We mixed the formula with his milk so he'd drink it, but two days before he died, he stopped drinking altogether. My parents were giving him IV fluids for several days before he died. He go so skinny before he died, you could see his heart beating in his chest. The morning of the day he died, he couldn't even stand up. He died sometime around 8 PM on Thursday. My dad and I were working late, and we didn't get home until about midnight. My mom didn't leave a note or anything before she went to work, so my dad didn't know what was going on with Squiggy. We looked around the house for him. We went down into the basement and my dad looked around for him. I saw him on the washing machine and thought he did, too, when he turned around. He went back upstairs, and I went and petted Squiggy one last time. Apparently, my dad didn't see Squiggy and after I got back upstairs, my dad said, "Well, where did she put him?" I said, "Oh, you didn't see him on the washing machine?" We went back down and picked the whole cat bed he was in up and took it outside. My dad took an old stepstool and turned it into a coffin for Squiggy. We probably confused the neighbors by using power tools at midnight. We woke up the neighbor's dog and he started howling. We got the coffin made and it's sitting right on the spot where he's going to be buried. We haven't gotten around to that yet, but we should be doing it tomorrow.

Nineteen years is a long, full life for a cat. He will be dearly missed.

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