RIP Albert the cat (1996-2010)

March 3, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Life 

In November of 1995, we moved into our new home.  This was our first house, having lived in apartments up until this point.  We knew that the house needed more life.  So in February of 1996 we were referred to a woman whose cat had had kittens.  We were given a good reference by someone who had previously adopted from this woman.  We went to her house, and met Albert and his litter-mate Isaac.

Albert and Isaac had different personalities.  Albert developed into the quiet cat, who used his voice only sparingly and for effect.  He was also the happier of the two cats – always ready to see us.  When he came to greet us he’d stand there with his tail straight up, shaking his back end and usually pawing his back feet.  He had Insta-Purr, the ability to instantly start purring when pet.  Albert was the runt of the litter but grew into a large but sleek 14-lb. cat.  He and Isaac took turns being Top Cat.  Albert was also the fraidy-cat – some visitors never saw him as he only came out when he was comfortable.  Those who have been greeted by Albert should consider themselves royalty.  He was able to tell when we held people in high esteem – those people got to meet him, maybe not at first, but while they were visiting.

Both cats were gentle, never using claws on people’s skin.  They didn’t often claw at the furniture until recently.  They NEVER bit a person, instead hissing or very rarely growling when mishandled.
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Recently Albert began sneezing all the time.  Then he started losing his balance, missing jumps and slipping when not using his claws.  He degenerated to the point where he was falling down the stairs.  Finally two weeks ago, he was nearly as limp as a ragdoll and unable to walk straight.  We took him to the vet where he received fluids, antibiotics, and a steroid shot.  He improved for about 5 days, and then last Friday was in trouble again.  We repeated the treatment and tried adding oral steroids.  Today, 5 days later, he went rapidly downhill.  In the morning he was chipper and walking straight and eating and drinking.  This evening he was a ragdoll again.  We were faced with the choice of spending thousands of dollars to diagnose (and likely not treat) a brain/spinal/neurological illness in an elderly cat.  We tried the oral steroids, but tonight we had to make the difficult choice.  Albert passed peacefully at the vet’s office with Mark and Carolyn petting him.

Albert is survived by his owners Mark and Carolyn, and by his brother Isaac.  He will be greatly missed.