September 5, 2008

Rest in Peace, Mortimer. We'll Miss You Buddy

POST #    2851

Four years ago in October, when Shannan was living in Virginia, she sent an email saying that she was a mamma. Living in a bad area of Norfolk, Shannan went to the animal shelter looking for a dog to keep her company and maybe scare away any possible intruders. What she left with was a cat that she described as "the cutest thing" she's ever seen. How did she walk away with that cat? Well, he caught her eye and the volunteer at the shelter talked her into spending some time with the cat. After that, her fate was sealed and she was the proud new owner of a 3 or 4 year old male Abyssinian cat. Above are the first two photos she sent out of the cat we named Mortimer.

Shannan went through some interesting times with Mortimer while down in Virginia. She learned that he loved French fries from McDonalds (really, who doesn't), that he's scared of brooms (we thought the previous owner might have taken a broom to him), and that he loves to eat paper. There was also a moment, soon after the adoption, when Shannan thought she lost Mort for good. She was outside with Mort in her arms (with a harness and leash) when there was a loud noise that naturally scared her new cat. In unfamiliar territory, he ran off to hide in an unknown location. Almost a day later, when Shannan still couldn't find Mortimer, she called me and I told her to try looking one more time. Eventually she found Mort hiding under a building a few blocks away.

After spending a year in Virginia, Shannan moved back to New York with Mortimer, which was a change for me considering I was living by myself and I'm slightly allergic to cats. I learned to adjust to both. For the next three years, Mortimer's weight went up and down - eventually leading to an operation to investigate the cause. There was some thickening in his intestine and he was found to have some kidney issues (renal amyloidosis), which aren't uncommon in Abyssinians.

Less than a year ago, we were told that Mortimer's kidney functions were getting worse and that they could eventually be a very serious issue. So we started giving him subcutaneous fluids a few times a week and a B12 shot in addition to varying medications. We also put him on a special diet of nutrient rich cat food that he seemed to love.

Last Wednesday morning (8/27), Mortimer had two seizures, something we had never seen before. Naturally, we took him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Mort was found to have high blood pressure, high levels of acid in his stomach, and high toxin levels in his kidneys. It's possible that the blood pressure caused the seizures and the acid levels caused a loss of appetite (he didn't eat much for the two days prior). Mortimer spent the next two days at the vet's office, with hopes that the kidney levels would decrease with IV fluids, something that would be possible if the toxin levels were sudden. Unfortunately, those levels weren't decreasing, so it didn't make much sense for him to stay at the vet. Mortimer returned home Friday afternoon with the caveats that if he didn't eat, that he didn't have much energy, or was acting odd, it might be time to put him down.

Much to our dismay, Mort wasn't eating, he didn't have any energy, and he wasn't acting like himself. While he ate a little on Saturday, he didn't go crazy for the sushi we bought him or for anything else. On Sunday, we actually had to force feed him. Each day, we had to push him out from underneath the bed. By late Sunday afternoon, we could tell that Mortimer was in bad shape and possibly suffering. That was when we made the decision to let Mortimer go that night. While it was obviously a difficult decision, we know that it was the right one and that we tried everything possible to help prolong his life.

We had four great years with Mortimer, with so many great times, including some that we captured in photos. While we have a couple of photos from his final days, we prefer to remember the ones we have on this site and in the slideshow below.

Posted by tien mao in Mortimer at 5:45 PM

 

 

Rest In Peace.

Posted by: drazin at September 5, 2008 5:57 PM

Oh Mortimer - what a cat you were! Such style and coolness. Although I only knew you through pictures - you were loved and will be so missed. Safe travels....

Tear drop.

p.s. I hope Randolph adjusts ok.

Posted by: JP at September 5, 2008 7:23 PM

Oh, Tien. I am so so so very sorry. I'm crying while reading this. It gets easier, but the loss is always there.

My deepest condolences to you and Shannan. Mort was amazing. Such an amazing looking cat.

I'll send Murray over to cheer you up. He'll happily eat french fries or anything you have, really.

Again, so sorry. I know how hard this must have been.

Rest in peace, lovely creature. Your parents will miss you.

Posted by: mihow at September 5, 2008 8:48 PM

Good night, Mortimer, you sweet kid. I know first-hand how deeply your people miss you.

Posted by: Michael Dietsch at September 5, 2008 8:59 PM

Such a beautiful, regal fella with great taste in college football teams. My heart goes out to you both, Tien and Shannan, and to Randolph as well.

Posted by: Jennifer Hess at September 5, 2008 10:36 PM

Such a beautiful, regal fella with great taste in college football teams. My heart goes out to you both, Tien and Shannan, and to Randolph as well.

Posted by: Jennifer Hess at September 5, 2008 10:37 PM

Always tough to lose a loved one but I'm sure Mortimer had the best 4 years of his life with you and Shannan. My deepest condolences. =(

Posted by: Ben at September 5, 2008 10:39 PM

Mort was one helluva cat. Sad to see him go but he you guys gave him tons of love and an amazing home. He lived well, which is all you can ask for.

Posted by: Matty at September 5, 2008 11:39 PM

I was directed here by Mihow and just wanted to give you my condolences. Rest in peace beautiful boy.

Posted by: heathercoo at September 6, 2008 1:03 AM

Mortimer was SO lucky to have found you guys.

Posted by: Rion at September 6, 2008 2:26 AM

vice versa, too, I have no doubt.

Posted by: Rion at September 6, 2008 2:28 AM

So sorry, Tien. Rest in peace, Mort. He could not have had a more loving family.

Posted by: corie at September 6, 2008 11:51 AM

Mort was such a beautiful, sweet cat. My condolences to Shannan and you.

Posted by: Joe at September 6, 2008 2:21 PM

I am so sorry. I know how making that decision is the hardest thing to do. You both have been so caring and amazing with Mortimer. I check out your site every friday to see your cat photos - they always showed just how much you love them. Thank you for sharing Mortimer with us!

Posted by: Jessica at September 6, 2008 6:51 PM

I've always enjoyed seeing photos of Mort on here. I'm so sorry to hear he's gone. :(

Posted by: robina at September 6, 2008 6:51 PM

I am so sorry to read about Mortimer. He's the reason I bookmarked your site in the first place and I will miss him. You guys gave him great care and attention, and you watched out for him until the end. I will miss him.

Posted by: Cate at September 6, 2008 8:35 PM

i'm really sorry to hear about poor mortimer... i loved seeing his pictures and the loving way you photographed him in your various blogs. My condolences :(

Posted by: michaelpanda at September 7, 2008 1:39 AM

my sympathies.

Posted by: cupcake at September 7, 2008 12:48 PM

oh no! i'm so sorry for your loss.

Posted by: rachelle at September 7, 2008 8:38 PM

So sorry to hear of Mortimer's passing. I've enjoyed the weekly photos of him and I know you guys will miss him. He was a great cat.

Posted by: suebanks64 at September 7, 2008 9:20 PM

I haven't visited your site in awhile, but when I heard that Mortimer crossed the rainbow bridge, I had to come and give my condolences. He was a handsome fellow, and I enjoyed seeing his images these past years. He will be missed dearly.

Rest in Peace, Mo.

Posted by: Roger at September 8, 2008 12:44 PM

I am so sad about Mortimer. We are getting close to the same point with Henry, so this post really made me sad for you. I know you will always enjoy all of those great photos you have of him.

Posted by: Lauren at September 8, 2008 4:56 PM

I'm sorry for your loss. Mortimer was always a bright spot in my work week. I can't remember how I stumbled upon your site, but I know it was to see pics of him. I'm glad to know he isn't suffering anymore. RIP Mort.

Posted by: caitlin at September 8, 2008 6:37 PM

condolences.

i'll miss reading and seeing his antics caught on camera.

Posted by: grey at September 9, 2008 12:38 AM

So sorry, Mortimer will be missed.

Posted by: FlatGreg at September 13, 2008 2:40 PM

Oh man. My condolences to you two. I know it was a tough decision but it was the right thing to do. Mort was a cool little guy and your photos helped all of us get to know him over the internet. I hope you two are doing OK. Randolph too.

Posted by: information leafblower at September 16, 2008 11:34 PM

Aw. He was a beauty. Nice pictures too.

Posted by: passingby at October 28, 2008 10:41 AM

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