Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goku: A Loving Tribute

March 1999 -- October 2011
As I did with our kitty Juliette over the summer when she passed, I'm going to write a tribute to our beloved Goku who passed away last Thursday here on my blog. Goku was a long-standing member of our family as well as, I believe I can say, Tyler's favorite pet. While I feel bad that the tribute won't be as long as Juliette's was, I was more ready for Goku's passing. I have less guilt and remorse. It's much less of a shock. I don't feel the need to heal myself as much through writing. While I am incredibly sorry and mourning his death, I have been able to handle this one in a healthier, stronger way.

Goku was our oldest cat. My husband and I brought him into our family as a kitten just a few months before we were married. He was our first "kid". He was always there. Through five moves, college, job changes, and the natural roller coaster of life's ups and downs, Goku was a steady in our lives. He was always there to snuggle on your lap, to greet your when you arrived home, to play, to be silly, to get into mischief. They say pets bring stress relief and comfort to their owner's lives. This was absolutely true of Goku. Though we worried about his health quite a bit the older he got, the smiles and joy he gave us more than enough to override any of it. We only fretted because of our deep love for him.

Goku's always funny catnip-crazed expressions! 

Goku was a funny, cute, handsome, loving, gentle cat who everyone loved upon meeting him. He was also a beast! A vet once told us he must have Maine Coon in him due to his size. I always said he was a farm cat, fully capable of pulling a plow. If you saw his rippling muscles you would understand! Goku also had extra toes, and an extra, extra toe on one paw! We always figured this was due to his mother living in an apartment just behind Kodak's chemical park. He was also a different kind of cat due to his dislike for sunshine. He's the only cat I've ever known who didn't enjoy a sunny window or basking in stream of sun coming through a window. He also despised the smell of bananas; if you got one anywhere near him he'd turn his head like he was smelling something toxic!

Playing peek-a-boo and getting kisses from "Mommy"

As a kitten, Goku was a typical playful guy. He enjoyed climbing up the screen door in our apartment, playing with strings, and wrestling with our hands and arms. He was an indoor cat, but most places we lived we let him outdoors near us or on a leash (yes, I tried to walk didn't work as I had imagined!). Whenever my husband came home with a turkey sub, Goku would come running from wherever he was at the very first crinkle of the wrapper. The most fun I think he ever had was with a bird feeder that we suctioned to a window that was level with our bed. The feeder got tons of traffic and Goku thoroughly enjoyed watching the birds from behind the sheer curtains then pouncing the window. We went through a ton of birdseed and it was always worth it! Goku also enjoyed watching football with my husband, even becoming his Madden football video game cat, sitting by his side as he played. Goku's most treasured item was always the latest catnip cardboard scratcher. He would tear into one with such intensity that there would be a noticeable hole after just one scratching session!

Crinkly Cat Tunnel Fun!

Goku loved his cozy pet beds!

Big, handsome guy

 final days were spent with my husband and I alternating between caring and loving him up and playing with Tyler. It was obvious to us that his body was starting to shut down. We would sit or lay on the floor next to him, petting him, talking to him or just being close by to keep him company. Though most cats hide when they're in pain, Goku was just uncomfortable and thankfully very willing and accepting to our affections. It had certainly been the most attention he'd had since Tyler was born! We were more than happy to give him the love he so deserved.

So cozy in the top of his cat tree

The gang: Kennedy, Juliette and Goku


Big paws!

We were lucky to have so much time with Goku as he almost died before we got to know him very well. Hours after receiving his first vaccinations as a kitten, I stopped home while running errands to check on him (I had a weird feeling...) and found him closing in on death. Vaccine reactions were supposed to appear within the first hour at least. Not so much with Goku. He was always a different kind of cat. Luckily we were able to get him to an emergency vet (thanks Dad!) where they saved his life.

Goku then developed stomach problems which caused him to refuse food, vomit bile and foam and to feel like overall crud. It was dangerous for him to not eat due to being overweight as he could quickly die from a fatty liver. He stressed about new routines and situations, all which there were naturally a lot of in our lives, especially as college students, and this made him sick every time. It wasn't until a few months ago that a vet finally diagnosed him as having IBS and gave him meds to help him tummy when needed. Not only did Goku have IBS, but he developed diabetes a few years ago, likely due to an unnecessary steroid injection given to him when he had an infection in his ear. I didn't know this could trigger diabetes, especially in an overweight cat, until it was too late. Though we cured him once with diet, he fell back into being a diabetic due to a (stupid on our part) change in food. This time it didn't go away, and the IBS complicated things greatly, along with other suspected pancreatic issues. In the end, he likely developed Renal Failure. Though uncomfortable and not feeling great, he didn't appear to be in pain until the very end. This was somewhat comforting as we loved on him in those final days.

Rest in Peace, Goku. We are sorry to lose you. We are sorry for your sickness and your bad days. Thank you so many times over for you companionship, your snuggles, the laughter, comfort and joy that you brought to our lives. We are forever changed because of it all. Time and nature may take away those we love, but nothing can take away the love shared or the sweet memories to recall. That time was real, it's still on the map and is to be celebrated. You were one heck of a cat, Go-ey.

Love forever.

1 comment:

  1. Just find the dragonballs and wish him back.