Regular readers will remember us taking in senior cat Nemo from Upper Hutt Animal Rescue as a long term foster. He was frail, paper thin and old, but we had hoped to keep him for several months, not the several weeks we had. May we invite you to join our celebration of Nemo’s time here, the joy he brought and the many things he taught us about senior cats, and the love he gave. We received a signal honour from an artist and writer whose book we reviewed, Paul Magrs who, moved by Nemo’s story, drew the superb portrait at the top of this post. Thank you Mr Magrs, it’s wonderful.
We loved Nemo dearly and he became one of the family very quickly, barely an hiss between any of the family once he settled down. As I was uncertain how far he could wander Nemo was confined to his room overnight, but he came up on the bed for a cuddle when we had an early morning week-end coffee. He learned duvet = soft V. quickly! The sad bit was we had to encourage him, he seemed so used to hard carpet.
Nemo had an irritable bowel and one site that was recommended by several people that we found truly helpful was IBD Kitties, a web site devoted to helping cats with irritable bowel issues. We were able to check on do’s and don’ts as well as things he might be able to eat, thanks to this comprehensive and friendly site. I will post a selection of senior cat links in another post as we found them really helpful, but I want to share some Nemo memories as anyone with a determined IBD senior will recognise some of these!
- Turning around to find Nemo at our side every time we went into the kitchen, for anything. In his determination to see where the food came from he jumped onto the cat platform, then on the breakfast bar and then to the counter top!
- Nemo being so determined that the bedroom was not going to be his only ‘safe’ world and his prescribed food his only ‘safe’ food. The sudden worry as he was whisked off to the vet to be rehydrated after finally eating the ordinary cat food and dehydrating in our summer heat. The relief when he came home.
- Disappearing for two hours then wandering back with an “Oh Hai, you didn’t miss me did you?” look on his face.
- Coaxing Nemo to sleep on a soft blanket, or the Purrito, rather than the hard carpet. His first sleep on the duvet was a cause for quiet but heartfelt celebration. He spent one of his nights curled up in the bed sent by our dear pal @WallasEKat – much to our delight.
- Coming home from shopping to find Nemo sleeping soundly in the middle of our soft duvet. YES!!!!
- Raising the bins off the floor, his scavenging instincts would not be stopped otherwise!
- Seeing Nemo laid out on the deck, or on the grass in the garden, simply soaking up the summer sun. This filled our hearts to the brim with love for the little old guy. Picking him up was almost impossible, as we felt he would break so it was looping an arm under his front legs and behind his back legs to gently lift him up.
- Seeing him tottering up the drive towards the house, he wandered into the back garden then lost his strength and subsided against the house, so I picked him up and held his little purring body gently until he wanted to be left down.
- Nemo taking part in our #TeamCat entries to the Lucy Pet Foundation contest. We didn’t win but he was there cheering on the vital work that the Lucy people do.
- Learning so much about seniors, with the help of other social media friends and colleagues to give the best care we coculd to Nemo. We are grateful for all of the suggestions and help.
We lost Nemo too soon, but celebrate his time with us. We would do the same for him again – he was a joy and taught us a lot about older cats, and tender tums. Ave et Vale Nemo, an honoured member of our family.