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Sad goodbye to our ghost cat, Nimbus

Yesterday was our last day with Nimbus. He wasn’t feeling or looking ‘right’ for some time, with obvious signs of abdominal abnormality as well as reduced activity.

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Nimbus’ last day

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Nimbus as a kitten: circa January 2007, with Iris and Bilbo

Nimbus has been with us since he was about 3 months old in late 2006.  He was a kitten of a truly feral mother, and he lived his life with us as a ‘semi-feral’ cat.  We couldn’t approach him- he’d run away.  Occasionally he’d come to join us on the bed or couch on his terms, and so long as we didn’t move or stand up we could share space with him.  He was our ‘ghost’ cat- I think he had as good a life with us as he could have, but always on the periphery.  

It always seemed to me that Nimbus had the signs of autism: he couldn’t quite figure out how to socialize with cats either, although he was never scared of them.  He’d curl up with another cat now and then, and bumble along after them from time to time.  He liked catnip, and food, and his warm spot with the kitty heating pad.  And on the odd occasion when he’d approach us while we were prone or otherwise ‘safe’, he’d enjoy being petted- he’d purr, and develop a slightly stunned expression.  

This illness came on quickly, and we didn’t get a ‘full’ diagnostic.  But he visibly had a distended abdomen, and his energy levels had dropped.  The vet found that he was bleeding slightly from the nose: possibly a chronic sinus infection, but that’s a minor thing.  More devastating was the large firm mass in his abdomen surrounded by fluid that made it impossible to discern his organs in an X-ray.  We considered further diagnostics, but the vet told us that all the outcomes were very bad.  

We made the choice to end Nimbus’ life as comfortably as we could.  If he was a more ’treatable’ cat, one who could be medicated without discomfort, we might have tried for more diagnostic measures to extend his life.  But given that Nimbus was always severely stressed by handling (it took us nearly 30 minutes to catch him to take to the vet), this didn’t seem like it would be fair to him.

Goodbye to our odd ghost cat, Nimbus.  Always watching from the sidelines, fearful of all upright humans, but snuggly with the prone ones.