Goofy. April 30, 2008-January 8, 2024

iPappy

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I have been quiet about all this on the forums, and I'm not sure why. My beautiful, sweet, silly Goof passed away early yesterday morning at home, surrounded by me, and his dog and cat sisters. He was 15 years, 8 months, one week old, and is pictured in my avatar with Livie, his doggy sister. This is very long, and I apologize.

My silly cat. My kindest cat. He was the first one to accept Lila, and the first one to accept Livie when they were babies when the other cats snubbed them. The cat who greeted visitors, as he never knew a stranger. The Elevator Butt Champion of the Universe. The cat who was given his name because he was always into something, always doing something funny, and always being a silly thing, making everyone laugh. If there was one thing about Goofy, is he made me laugh. A lot. If he was feeling especially silly, his eyes would take on a huge owl-ish appearance, and sometimes, his slight overbite would show. You'd see tiny fang tips on that sleek black coat and it always made him look so....well, Goofy.
As his age increased, I was even more proud of him. He still looked, and acted, wonderful, with only a tiny touch of arthritis as a health issue. His big, beautiful eyes were clear and full of life. His coat was beautiful, thick and shiny. His weight was excellent, neither too fat nor thin, and he still had great muscle tone. He just radiated joy and good health. I looked forward to many more years with him.

On Thanksgiving night, I set him down on the ledge he ate on. He fell over and began scrambling, unable to righten himself. My first thought was "seizure" so I grabbed him up, and he stopped scrambling. I set him down again, very slowly, and he fell over again. I set him on the ground, and he seemed a bit better but was falling over and was unable to walk a straight line. I noticed nystagmus, which is a tell tale sign of a vertigo attack. As I thought about this, I thought "What causes vertigo? An inner ear problem, usually." I checked his right ear. Clean. I checked his left. It looked horrible. There was a huge black plug of gunk I managed to remove, and his ear was full of pus. I felt, and still feel, horrible for not noticing this. His ear had absolutely zero odor, hard as that is to believe.. I cleaned it the best I could and made an appointment with the vet. He got some medicine, mainly antibiotics to knock the infection out.
The antibiotics didn't work. The vertigo itself either improved, or, he adjusted to it. His ear began seeping a blood tinged pus and sometimes pure blood. I called for him to have a re-check. I thought maybe he needed a 4-6 week long course of antibiotics if the infection was that bad. I feared he had ruptured his ear drum, but he could still hear out of his right ear at least.
At that time, I noticed something looked different about his face. His left eye looked....smaller? I can't put my finger on it still. The pupil responded to light. He did not seem to have any photo sensitivity. I wondered if there was so much inflammation in that ear that it was pressing on his optic nerve or something. I felt, and still feel, horrible.
On Friday, ,December 22nd in the evening, I noticed Goofy started drooling whenever he ate. He was eating, but, he was drooling badly. I assumed he had a bad tooth and was going to have the vet check that at his re-check appointment. That weekend, I noticed his left eye still looked odd, and his left lip was drooping. He blinked at me, and only his right eye closed. It was then I realized, the left side of his face was completely paralyzed.
Christmas morning, we were at the emergency vet about 45 minutes away (they were wonderful, btw.) The vet gave him fluids and told me to continue trying to get him to eat as much as he could, but, he couldn't fix the facial paralysis and noticed that the base of his ear felt unusually hard. He got some antibiotics and steroids in him via an injection, as well as fluids, to see him through and hopefully lessen the inflammation so the nerves in his face would work again, resolving the paralysis.
The medicine did not work.
Christmas was Monday. I could not get a feeding tube placement until Friday. All week, this poor cat tried to eat a decent meal. All week, he was hungry. All week, I fed him anything he could take, from pate slurry to churu to baby food to a slurry of a dehydrated cat food. He'd take a bite, and then it would fall out of the side of his mouth. He became confused, and frustrated. He was obviously getting something, because he would still pee and poo (only a little), but he was not getting enough. I feared he would develop a food aversion, but he still wanted to eat a full, real meal. Syringe feeding did not work. For as sweet as this cat is, he clawed my hands up when I attempted. At one point, he gave a massive gag and clawed at his face. I thought he was choking. At this point, I realized if the left side of his face was paralyzed, the left side of his throat might be, too, making swallowing difficult. I stopped syringe feeding him immediately.
He seemed to be able to eat a tiny drop of food at a time, so, I fed him via a syringe placing a tiny dot of food on the floor. He did OK with this, but, would get frustrated and walk away. If I offered him many dots, he would become overwhelmed and walk away. He'd walk the house, letting out sad little meows. Sometimes, he'd sit and look a me like "why are you starving me?" Saying I feel bad about this feels pathetically lame, it was agonizing for us both. I was afraid to offer him anything but liquid-style food, for fear of him choking again.
Yet, he continued to "be him." If someone stopped by, he'd come out to win them over. If I sat down on the couch, he'd jump up on the coffee table and request pets. He climbed over a baby gate. He would attack the rug and claw at it. He was still "so him." I kept getting as much food and liquids into him as I could.
Friday came. I was a jittery mess all day. An hour before his appointment, I brushed him, combed him, cleaned him with a damp cloth, then dried him with a dry one. He loved this. I told him he might be an old, sick cat but there was no reason he had to look the part. He purred and purred. He LOVED to be brushed. Now, I wish I had brushed him every day, he loved it that much.
I opted not to do blood work before the surgery, which in hindsight was probably not a great choice. My feeling was this was not an elective surgery. At all. If we didn't try the feeding tube, we were completely out of options. And time mattered in his case. Bad blood work would only increase my own anxieties because we literally had no other option. The vet promised to flush his ear out while he was under, which was still seeping a combination of pus and blood. 15 minutes into the surgery, she called me. There was indeed a tumor in that ear, pushing up on his jaw bone. What did I want to do? She was willing to place the tube, but told me this was not going to get better. She also said we could let him sleep for good, since he was already asleep. I couldn't do it. He was still so "him." Purring about being brushed, following me around...he even joined us at Christmas dinner while the other cats went off to be elsewhere, social and friendly as always. He had even requested a pet from my Mom, with his trademark "I'll sit at your feet, gaze lovingly into your face, and politely request a pet by gently placing my paw on your shin." When pet, he would lift his front end up and arch his back, obviously pleased. He still would even stand with his rear feet literally on their tip toes, hoping for the opportunity to be pet along his croup to show off his Elevator Butt.
So...I couldn't do it. I told her I wasn't ready. She agreed to place the tube. I didn't even know if he would wake up at all at that point, but, I had to try.
He did wake up. He came through the surgery and came home. All weekend, and the following week, he had ups and downs. He seemed very weak, but was still very much "him."
We began a series of visits to the vet that worked on my Tag, and managed to get his malignant cancer into remission, despite the other vets sending him home to die. My goal was, use the tube to get the food and water into him to increase his strength and vitality while we see what can be done about the tumor. If by some chance we get it to shrink, the facial paralysis might let up and the tube could either be removed, or left as a form of back up insurance. I was feeling anxious, but anxiously hopeful if that makes sense. During this week, he developed a slight cough. He was also dropping weight, despite feedings of high calorie Hill's A/D every 3-4 hours. I noticed the third eyelid on the left eye he could not close had been scratched, or bumped, or something. It was red and swollen. We treated it like a URI, knowing that something else could be going on that was more sinister, but, a part of me refused to believe it. Throughout the week, his visits to the coffee table and the rug attacks became less and less. When a friend stopped by, he didn't seem interested in getting up to greet him, which alarmed me greatly.
Friday, January 5th, we had our 4th appointment with this vet. When we arrived, he was elated to be there. He had a massive second wind. The vet let him explore a brand new room they just had built on. He patrolled the perimeter. He tried to open doors (LOL) and was knocking things over and just generally being Goof. I was so, so happy. He seemed so content to explore a new place with his dog sister, Livie. When he got tired, he crawled back into his carrier and began purring as he dozed off. He purred so loudly, so clearly, and so deeply I thought, "this is it. It's in the bag!! Look how much he's improved in just a few visits, this is amazing, we must be doing something to help him regain his strength!"
Saturday, he seemed very sluggish and didn't move around at all. He tended to get tired easily, and after his Big Day Friday, I kept an incredibly close eye on him. And, he was coughing still. I took him in the bathroom and ran the hot water in the shower until it blasted cold, and he still coughed. Sunday, he seemed even more so sluggish. If I handled him, he just stayed limp. I fed him through his tube, and he fell asleep with his head falling off my lap and his leg stretched out, as if he hadn't the strength to move. He did not want to walk, though he was still able, and still would use the litter box I had moved near his bed so he didn't have to walk as far.
There was no more following me around or "being Goof". He showed no interest in following us into the living room. I did not want to curl up with the girls on the couch and leave him laying in the kitchen or laundry room, so, when we moved rooms, I carried him and made him a bed wherever we went. I noticed his breathing becoming more shallow. The earlier thought of the anesthetic doing something to his liver or kidneys came back, and, part of me feels like that's what happened. But I had no choice but to try the surgery, and, I had expressed to the vet I knew the surgery was a serious risk. He had another check up scheduled the next day (Monday January 8th). I was seriously going to question quality of life with the vet. I prayed, "God, if it is his time, please just let him slip away. Please don't make me make an agonizing decision. Please just let him go quietly, with no pain, no fear, and no fanfare." I also told Goof that, if he had to go, it was OK. And that I'd be along to join him some day.
Sunday night, I placed him on the couch with us (I'd been sleeping on the couch with him for weeks by this point.) I laid him in his favorite spot, with his little head propped up lightly on a pillow. I covered him up to his chin. My legs and Livie made a protective barrier around him so he couldn't roll off the couch, but, there was a large extra cushy dog bed beside the couch, just in case.
He seemed content. I fell asleep.
At 3:15AM Monday morning, I woke up with a massive jolt and immediately sat up to check on him. The instant I put my hand on him, I knew. My boy had passed away, peacefully, in his sleep. At home, with us, in a warm, familiar room that was gently lit by one single lamp. He had not moved from the position I placed him in not 4 hours ago. His little head was still propped up on the pillow, and the blanket still tucked around his shoulders and under his chin. I'm so glad he didn't panic or fight it. It's like he just fell asleep and slipped away, knowing he was home, safe, and loved.

In less than 7 weeks, my boy went from the picture of health to a natural passing that I could not prevent. He was mine for 15 years, 8 months, and one week. And while he'll always be "my boy", he will be mine again, some day, when it's my time. We will all be reunited, never to be separated again, as each painful loss of a friend is just one more treasure stored up safely in Heaven, waiting for us.

Humble beginnings as a corn farmer (Late summer 2008)
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Shortly after becoming an indoor cat (late 2008 or early 2009)
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Supervised visits to the yard with his brother Tag, who he met at the bridge yesterday. Tag loved these cats, and protected them with all his might. (April 2010)
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May, 2020. The silly owl eyes!
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October 2020. Voluntarily snuggling the new baby Livie.
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Playing Panther. May 2023
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June 2023, new toys from our dear friend strider rose strider rose ❤
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July 2023
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Late September, 2023
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Christmas Eve, not staged or posed. He wanted a photo under the tree.
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Christmas Day, 2023 post ER visit.
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December 30th, getting TLC from his 3 nurses post surgery
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January 5th, checking out the new room on his last good day:
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Last days...sleeping tucked securely behind his sisters, resting up for his Next Incredible Adventure, until we all meet again.
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iPappy

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Goofy has always known how proud you were/are of him. He knew this long before you gave him this wonderful tribute.

He knows you were always there for him, that you are still there for him now, just as you will be there for him when you meet again.

Bless you and Goofy. :hearthrob::redheartpump:
That brought a tear to my eye. Thank you, FeebysOwner FeebysOwner . :hugs:
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Goofy, dream you deep. Your purrs echo in someone's heart forever.

Darlin Girl, we are close enough that I've said all I know to say, privately, and you know my feelings on That Place Where All Things Are Known. Rest assured, I've told my dad to keep an eye on him, and give him LOTS of elevator butt pats! You WILL meet again, and until you do, his Love walks beside you every moment of every day.
 

di and bob

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What a wonderful tribute to such a unique, special boy! Through yoru writing you made him a part of our own family, and to know he is gone brings a sorrow to our hearts. Through it all, it was evident that you were such a good dad to him, you had a special connection with his soul. It makes it that much harder to accept his abscence however, but that is from yoru physical life. He will always be a part of your soul. Living on through you now, always connected, always sharing your life and your thoughts. He knew how much he was loved, he died at home, peacefully, surrounded by everything he loved. It is what we all want. It is at times like this I use my favorite quote as a mantra of sorts, "Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened."
You gave that sweet boy everything he wanted, love, care and a wonderful home filled with family. He lived a happy life. He will continue to be happy and to send you what comfort he can now, he would never want you to be so sad. Go forward into the future and live it as you would want for him to go on if you were the first to go. That is love. Wanting happiness for the one you love through all.......
My thoughts and prayers will be with you all, please accept my condolences, and give those left behind a kiss from me. Take care of yourself....... RIP dear Goofy. You will always be remembered, You will always have a secure place in loving hearts. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

Kwik

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It took me until now say something here- I just can't seem to find the right words,I don't think I could ever express how I feel about you my dear dear Friend and how badly I wish I could just sit beside you,hugging you - with Li
la,Sarah and Livie as we looked through the tons of photos of Goof together I'm deeply sorry for your great great loss but Rejoicing to think about Goofy,greeted by Tag to finally get his pets from Jenn ...... and then best of all
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You did a beautiful job of commemorating Goofy here in this Lovely Tribute to celebrate his life

I love you and the girls- Rest in Peace lil Goof,we'll see you soon ❤
 

CaseysMom

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iPappy,
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Goofy. He was so incredibly beautiful! He was the perfect black panther cat. I especially love the pictures of him as a kitten with the corn cob. :hearthrob:
Please know that you did absolutely everything you could to make his life and his passing good. And he knows that. He is at peace now.
Love you, Friend. :hugs:
 
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iPappy

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iPappy,
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Goofy. He was so incredibly beautiful! He was the perfect black panther cat. I especially love the pictures of him as a kitten with the corn cob. :hearthrob:
Please know that you did absolutely everything you could to make his life and his passing good. And he knows that. He is at peace now.
Love you, Friend. :hugs:
CaseysMom CaseysMom thank you. :) It's hard to believe it's almost been a week already. Yes, I love the baby cat corn cob photos too, it's amazing what kittens will find to use as toys.
Love you right back. ❤
 

neely

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I don't know where to begin but my deepest and most sincere heartfelt sympathies go out to you. :hugs:

Sunday night, I placed him on the couch with us (I'd been sleeping on the couch with him for weeks by this point.)
This sentence really hit me hard because I can't tell you how many countless times I've slept on the couch for weeks also with a sick cat or dog. 😿

I'm so sorry for Goofy's passing but you went above and beyond to care, love and, yes, soothingly brush him. In return he showed you his unconditional love which you will always remember. RIP sweet angel. :angel:
 
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iPappy

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Is that Goofs harness on the little black cat beside him?
Close. It's his brothers collar (his brother is in the urn to the right of the little black cat.) Goof's is black and stored away in the dresser somewhere, I'll be digging it out. They only wore them for awhile because the little bells got annoying. :lol:
 
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