Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our Precious Miracle Cat, Survivor of Fatty Liver Disease: Mr. Moe

I first met Moe at the Parma Animal Shelter. He was an older cat, estimated his age to be eight. He was a big 12-pound, furry, white cat with black spots that reminded me of a cow. He was the only cat with those markings that I ever saw who had a black spot going up his nose. I felt sorry for him being in that tiny cage and he looked sad. I would go visit him on a weekly basis, just to see if he was adopted yet, but week after week, he was still there. He had been neutered and his front paws were declawed. He seemed like the perfect cat for us, but never having had one, I was hesitant.

I would also go visit the cats at PetSmart. They were always so cute. At that time, I didn't have any pets and neither of us ever owned a cat. The day I saw Moe at PetSmart with the Parma Animal Shelter volunteers, I went home and asked my husband, Gerard, if we could get him. My wonderful, husband said sure, if you want. So I hurried back and bought $70 worth of cat things and brought Moe home with me in June of 2000.

I wasn't crazy about his name, but did not want to confuse him so we just kept his name the same. We loved him so much. The first thing we did was set him up in our den upstairs because it was one of our smaller rooms so he could adjust gradually. He was pretty curious and after walking around the room a bit, he checked out the long walk-in closet. I was so excited about getting him that I called my friend, Debbie, to come over to meet him and she did.

We took a lot of pictures of Moe right away. Just like parents do when they have their first baby! That's how we felt, like proud parents. The strange thing though was, I noticed he would drink but he didn’t eat. We got the same kind of food he had at the shelter, but he didn't seem to be hungry. I didn't think too much of it at first, just that he was going through a period of adjustment and it would take a little time. After several days of not eating anything, I decided to try some different kinds of food and set up a whole buffet for him with about eight different kinds to try. He would look at them, sniff a little and turn away. At this point I was concerned. Even I knew that going weeks without food was not good.

I called the shelter and the woman said I had to get him to eat or he would die. Near the end of July, we took him to the vet at the corner of our street and they gave us some squirt stuff that we were told to squirt into his mouth 3 times a day. We tried but Moe was very strong, quick and determined not to let us do it. Both Gerard and I would gang up on him and Moe would always win. The most we ever got in was very minimal. I prayed that we'd be able to do this but Moe always won out. I prayed for Moe constantly, that God would make him better. I went back to the vet at the corner of our street to see if they could do it for us. Gerard and I both work but I was willing to bring him up there every day for them to do it but they wouldn't. They gave up on him and just said he's not going to make it. I called the shelter again, begging for their help telling them that if it was up to us to give him this stuff, he would die because we just couldn't do it. She said to bring him back and they would try to help him.

Dr. Hart, the vet in North Royalton worked with the Parma Animal Shelter pets and she took Moe home with her and force fed him for a week. He had developed fatty liver disease by then. Moe was constantly in my prayers all that week and we finally got a call from Dr. Hart saying that Moe was eating on his own again, that he probably had started developing this problem while still at the shelter and it wasn't our fault, and did we still want him. Of course we did! Gerard and I joyously picked up our Moe Cat from Dr. Hart as soon as we could and brought him back home. Sure enough, he became a big eater. After that shaky start, we always liked watching Moe eat.

We enjoyed many more years with him! He was the boss and ruled the house. We let him have whatever chair he wanted and waited on him hand and foot. We brought his food over to him where ever he chose to settle in at. We gave him Science Diet for senior cats which the was Dr. Hart's suggestion and one can of Fancy Feast for breakfast every day. He also enjoyed getting tuna treats now and then. He would even hop down off the chair for that.

We loved petting and playing with Moe. He sometimes would come on the bed with us in the morning and even come under the covers with me. Many nights, he would sleep on top of the covers at the foot of the bed with us. His favorite chair was also our favorite chair, but when I came from work to watch my taped soap opera each evening, Moe would jump down and let me have the chair. He didn't like to share. If we were sitting in it when he wanted it, he would let us know. He'd come over and sit right in front of us, looking up at us with his big eyes until we moved, which we did. We continued taking lots of pictures and video of Moe and even had two of the pictures made into posters and hung in our house.

Gerard and Moe were great buddies. When Gerard laid on the floor reading the newspaper, Moe would walk on it right where Gerard was trying to read. Once in awhile, Moe would even climb up on Gerard’s lap while he sat in a chair reading a book. Moe also liked to follow Gerard to the basement bathroom to watch him shave. Sometimes Moe climbed in the sink too. Moe would greet Gerard when he came home from work and really enjoyed his afternoon Fancy Feast treat Gerard gave him when we were trying to get him to gain some weight.
Moe enjoying his tuna pops

We took Moe to only Dr. Hart for his annual checkups. He developed a thyroid problem that was controlled with Methimazoile (goop that I put on the inside of one of Moe's ears every night at 9 p.m.). He didn't mind it and was very cooperative.
Spunky Doodle preparing to jump on Mr. Moe

After first checking with Dr. Hart and the Parma Animal Shelter for advice, in July of 2004, we brought in a stray little cute black and white kitten that was born at my dad's house in a litter of four. We introduced them very gradually, keeping Spunky only in the den for five weeks. We just brought Spunky out in a carrier by Moe so they could get to see each other some and meet safely. Moe would just hiss and then walk away. When we finally let them loose like Dr. Hart said we had to do if they were ever going to co-exist freely, Spunky would chase and jump on Moe. Moe would hiss at her and she'd usually back off. The thing that scared me though was that Spunky had little sharp claws and Moe didn't. When Spunky got to be six months old, we got her spayed and had her front paws declawed too. She lost some of her spunk after that and calmed down more. Moe finally accepted her and they got along. Spunky would still chase Moe, but it became kind of a game for him and he even seemed to get to like it. He would always outrun her to the chair. I'm not sure if she let him win all the time on purpose, but I think so. Whenever I saw Moe, I was always reminded of God's answer to my prayer.

One phase Moe went through was meowing loudly waking us up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. every morning for about two or three weeks. I think he mostly just wanted some attention and some of his Fancy Feast so I gave it to him. He was the boss. Sometimes, he would jump up by my pillow and start biting my hair--ouch!  (I later found out this is a sign of cats affection.) When I moved my head, he would overtake my pillow. That's when I gave him the nickname "Monster Moe." Once we turned our bed around so that the top was next to the wardrobe, he didn't jump up on the pillow anymore.

About six months before he died, I noticed Moe was losing weight and became concerned. He was drinking a lot of water and was still eating, but he was much skinnier. We took him to the vet and were told the thyroid medicine didn't seem to be working anymore so she increased it to the highest dosage and said we probably wouldn't have Moe another seven years. That's when I knew he was going downhill fast. The vet assured us though that he wasn't in any pain.

Spunky Was Always Ready to Play
We just had a wonderful last Christmas together. Moe was very energetic and fun on Christmas Day. He and Spunky played. The following Saturday though, Moe wouldn't eat any breakfast so I tried giving him some tuna, and he did eat that. He could barely walk, sort of wobbled along very slowly. I felt so sorry for him and very helpless. I knew his time was coming and prayed again, that he would just die peacefully in his sleep and not last long like this. I also prayed that we would be home with him when he died and that it would be soon so he wouldn't suffer for long. Throughout the day, he just took a few more bites of tuna, but that was it. By Sunday, his legs were even weaker. When he jumped off our bed in the morning to go for water, he just plopped on the floor and couldn't get up. I carried him to the water bowl and he took a drink. I went to church later than usual because I was so depressed and wanted to spend as much time with Moe as I could.

Monday I had to go back to work but Gerard was still off. He called and said Moe couldn't walk at all anymore. Gerard carried him around for water but he even got to where he couldn't drink any more. It broke our heart seeing him this way, but Gerard wanted him to die a natural death and stay with us as long as he could. I agreed. I had already put down my dad's three cats that year and didn't want to make it four.

God was gracious and merciful once again to us. We spent a quiet New Year's Eve with our cats, I let Moe lay on his mat on my lap and got to pet and talk to him for an hour before going to bed. It was a precious time for me and Moe. He never stayed on my lap before. The longest was maybe one minute. Moe just died  on New Year's Eve after Gerard and I finally went to bed, but both Gerard and I had lots of time with him his last few days. Gerard woke up at 1:30 and saw Moe had died when he went to pet him. We'll always have fond memories of him. We buried Moe in our backyard at 8:20 a.m. New Year's Day of 2008. (What a way to start a new year--I sure hope it gets better along the way!)

We were blessed with having Moe for 7 1/2 years after the vet had given up on him back in 2000. It really is a miracle that Moe recovered from the fatty liver disease to live to be at least 15 1/2! He was our wonderful, precious Mr. Moe Cat!!!  We will always remember him!

This post was inspired by Sparkle's Fatty Liver Syndrome Kills--Help Save Leo.

Join in the blog hop with Cats on Tuesday.

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Sparkle said...

Thank you for telling Moe's story - I'm honored that my blog post about Fatty Liver Disease inspired it.

Anonymous said...

This is a great story. Thank you for sharing it.

Lin said...

Oh, what a nice story about Moe! It's amazing what some dedicated pet owners do to save their animals. My aunt's cat survived fatty liver disease too--it can be done!

Looks like Moe had a wonderful life with you and Gerard.

BeadedTail said...

Thanks for sharing your story of Moe. He was lucky to have you and Gerard giving him the love and care he needed and he had a wonderful life!

Sandee said...

You gave Moe a very good life. You should be happy about that and I know you are. What a lovely tribute to Moe.

Have a terrific day Karen. ☺

Splendid Little Stars said...

Now that is a great story! Moe certainly was a special cat and had a great life with you.

Chasing Joy said...

What a beautiful tribute to Moe!!!

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