I have been meaning to write a post for my lovely ginger boy for a while.
I was thinking of him today and thought “Maybe today”…..
Tonto was a rescue cat that I loved from the time I started working at the cat shelter.
He was about 8-9 years old when we first met in 2008.
He jumped on my shoulders on the first day with his big cat claws and I was smitten:)
He used to jump on people to get their attention as there were 70 odd cats in the shelter…
So you had to stand out.
He was in the shelter 4-5 years as he had a funny ear and tail and people thought he was ugly and no one wanted him:(
He was beautiful ,so friendly and what a personality!!
It took me 4-5 months of crying, coaxing and whining until I was allowed to adopt him.
We had Puss puss who was another ginger rescue kitten and we have had numerous rescue cats and strays from time to time.
Grant didn’t want me to get another cat.
Grant finds it hard when they die, well more my reaction when they die because I get so attached to them.
I brought him home in 2009 and it was so exciting.
He had been in a cat shelter for a long time and was limited on where he could go there, so the thought he could roam like cats should pleased me greatly.
I had to keep him inside for 2 weeks first.
His first day out , he disappeared and as you can imagine, I was beside myself.
The neighbour brought him back, he hadn’t gone far…
In fact he always stayed close to home.
He had such a personality .
All those people who over looked him at the shelter, missed out.
Once I took him home, he never jumped on me again as he never needed to get attention.
He was the CENTRE of all the attention, all the time:)
He would wait outside until everyone was at home.
If someone was away, he would sleep outside in the driveway and stay out there until that person came home.
Everyday he would meet me on my way home….100 metres from home, I would see this ginger boy meowing and trotting up to meet me:)
This is what I miss the most.
When I went out, I would need to be cunning as he would follow me down the road and I would ALWAYS have to take him home.
If he suspected I was going running, he would bugger off and hide in the bushes up the road, I would go past thinking I was safe and out would pop this cat!!!
I would have to scoop him up and take him home and give him cat treats to stay where I left him.
In the car, he would sit on your lap or just in the passenger seat.
Yep, I was wound round his cat paw:)
We all were…
Grant used to call him Baby cat because he was the furthest from a baby cat you could be):
When I would get annoyed, Grant would hug him and say to me “Look at the baby cat” and I would laugh….and not be angry:)
In the evening, he would often sleep on Grant, so Grant would have to stay where he was all night.
At night, he would sleep on my pillow with me….never mind the scratching and licking all night:)
He would sit at the table with us, on the spare chair, sometimes he would be very naughty and sit on our lap while we ate dinner.
He had what the boys called “the claw of delinquency”…
If you did not let him sample what you were eating, he would claw it off the plate.
In the morning, he would sit with me on the balcony and I would give him bits of toast…
If he was lucky, bits of cheese which he loved.
My boys loved him to bits…they would pretend to be all gruff as young boys do but I would see them with him ..
They would treat him like a big baby, feed him treats and cuddle him and carry him round.
People say”oh but it’s just a cat” but he wasn’t, he was much much more…
He had his own personality, preferences and his own place in our family…
At the top!!! He was the boss…
When I was in Italy in Jan-March 2012, my husband would put him on Skype for me and when he went to the vet, my husband had to tape it so I knew he was ok.
He was naughty really and would do as he pleased and I never had the heart to tell him off.
I noticed in April last year that he had a dilated pupil.
When it didn’t go away after a few days, I took him to the vet.
They couldn’t find anything wrong with him at the time but we did discuss maybe tumours…
He was ok until about July/ August and then he started circling and getting lost.
It turned out his sense of direction was gone because he did have a tumor.
We put him on steroids and other medication for a while and it sorted of helped but not really.
He then started circling most of the time, apart from when he slept.
He then got stuck under the house because of his non direction.
We then had to keep him inside all the time.
I would take him out to run round but you had to watch him all the time.
When he stopped eating, the vet said we really needed to think about what to do.
He loved his food so much and it was terrible to see him go to his plate but he couldn’t eat as he had no sense of direction…
He also loved going outside too and couldn’t do that.
I looked at every other option so I wouldn’t have to put him to sleep but really, I was only keeping him alive for me.
We decided to have him put to sleep because he couldn’t do anything that made him who he was.
He didn’t recognise us really anymore and he started having violent fits and he couldn’t eat at all.
I didn’t stay with him at the vets, I couldn’t but I knew he was in good hands as we have had the same vet for a long long time and she knew him well.
Grant brought him home later that day and I just sat there with him for a while, wrapped in his blanket.
He looked very peaceful and I was able to hug him a little.
We buried him under his favourite tree the next day in his blankie he liked.
I planted a small bush he liked there too.
That pissed me off the most.
But 3 & 1/2 years is better than none and I know he was spoilt every minute.
Luckily we moved not so long ago, so that has helped.
We have other cats and I love them but Tonto was special .
He was there for me when I was really depressed and nothing else made me feel alive.
He did, just his funny meow, his crooked tail and how it would quiver when he was happy to see you.
He would bunt you if you especially pleased him and he was always by you but he was his own cat too….
RIP my sweet boy, I miss you.
I know you are running where ever you are:)
Per te, il mio cuore piange per sempre.
RUN TONTO RUN