He is our treasure. . . and he is terminally ill.
Lokey was a neighborhood stray in a low-rent apartment we were staying in for a year or two to rebuild our savings and eventually buy a house (which we did). He was a sweetheart and we loved seeing him all the time. He would follow us to the garage and beg for attention while we were working, or meet us at the front door of the apartment when we arrived home. Sometimes we wouldn't see him for months at a time and we assumed he was another person's outdoor cat.
The winter of 2012 was particularly bitter and I started letting him in for a short burst of time (an hour or two) since I didn't want to sit outside with him. Every time I let him out he would disappear and I might not see him for weeks. Then it got VERY cold and I began to worry that he might not have any place to go. He was sickly thin and his coat had become increasingly dirty. We bought a cat collar and wrote on sharpie for the owner to call us with our phone number. We wanted to adopt this cat.
We received no call and we saw him later with no collar. If he had an owner I doubt the owner ever received the collar. I hope not anyway, because the next night was one of the coldest nights I remember. When I went to leave the next morning he was waiting for me in the bushes. He ran up to me meowing and and rubbing on me and that was it. I wasn't going to let him ever spend another night outside. I didn't care if he had an owner, because he likely didn't and IF he did then that owner didn't deserve this sweetie.
We took him inside. As soon as I could work it out with the rental company we paid the pet deposit and changed the lease. We took him to the vet and had him checked. All the usual tests came back fine. He was negative for feline leukemia and he didn't have worms. He did have some sort of respiratory virus that was apparently like a kitty herpes - not dangerous but permanent. We got medication for it but it never helped.
Within two days of him being an indoor cat his coat had greatly improved. He put on about 4lbs in two months and he remained a pretty skinny cat at about 12lbs for the next year or so.
Lokey 2012He's so much skinnier now, this old photo doesn't even look much like him anymore.
On September 5th, 2013 we noticed that something was wrong. In the morning I noticed he was unusually skinny again and by mid-day we noticed that he was acting strangely. He was really out of it. We had an appointment for the vet that night and it was the most heart wrenching news - chronic renal failure.
We had very few options, one of which was to just put him down right then and there. We didn't do that, but went with the most conservative option - 200cc subcutaneous fluids and an appointment for another blood test the next day. He was 7.5 lbs.
He improved and was more active and alert the next day. The improvement was enough to give us hope for more time.
As of this writing (12/09/13) he is still alive and battling his disease with our help. He has daily medications, and we have to give him sub-Q fluids every few days. We have to take him back for blood tests every month or so. His weight yoyos between 8 and 8.5 lbs, and he is becoming an increasingly finicky eater.
Lokey was a stray and he's an amazingly special and loving cat. He's the friendliest cat we've ever met and he greets strangers at the door with a meow and a cute look. He didn't deserve the life he had and we are proud to have brought him into our lives, extended his life, and increased his quality of life as best we could. He's now extremely spoiled - sleeping between our pillows every night.
We will donate 10% of any pet portrait shoot to your shelter of choice to help make other animals' lives better, too.
All strays deserve a better life.
Lokey Xmas 2013He doesn't have the energy to play much, anymore, but for this photo shoot he was definitely interested in the little toy mice.