What I Say

What I Say

Ideas, thoughts, options, arguments

Everyone Else



There are two types of people in the world. Cat lovers and everyone else, now I have nothing against Everyone Else; as a matter of fact, some of my best friends are in that group. I am certainly not prejudice against Everyone Else, but I do think they tend to be misguided or perhaps possess incorrect information, which may be not of their own choosing. They sometimes display irrational ideas as it relates to the feline species.

People who are part of Everyone Else can indeed change. I should know you see Suellen, and I was definitely part of the Everyone Else prior to July 2005.

We had returned from a one-week trip to Lake Tahoe, on July 24, 2005 when we arrived back at our house Suellen thought she heard some sort of noise that sounded like it was a bird or some other animal. We didn’t think much about it at the time. The very next day I went back to work, I was teaching a night class in computer technology. When I returned home, Suellen informed me that she saw a little bitty rabbit out in the hydrangea bush. Well the next evening Suellen realized it was a baby kitten, not just any baby kitten; it had a broken tail, bitten ear and bare skin on its legs and clearly a very hungry kitten. She gave the kitten a few Cheerios with milk. We laid some blankets on the porch for the kitten to lie down. Unfortunately, there was no way we were going to bring a cat into our house with all of Suellen’s antiques and delicate breakable objects.

The next day a storm was scheduled to hit our side of the town so Suellen tried to figure out a way to save the kitten from the storm. She took a Styrofoam cooler box and cut some holes in it and put blankets in it so the kitten would have a place to sleep out of the weather. When I arrived home from work, I noticed the Styrofoam seemed empty and there was no kitten around. When I entered the house, I noticed the bathroom door was closed, Suellen told me to open the bathroom door and there sitting on a pillow and a blanket smiling like a pea in a pod was our little kitten.

I took the kitten to the pet store, the next day, where they determine it was full of fleas and probably four or five weeks old. They suggested we purchase some kitten milk replacement and to go see a Vet about getting flea treatments. They gave me a Vets’ phone number, and I called and told them the kitten weighed just less than one pound. I picked up the two pills from the Vet to kill the fleas. We were still saying that there was no way we could keep the kitten. We asked around to see if anyone in the neighborhood had lost the kitten. We also asked some of our friends who had had cats if they would like it.

People who knew us, knew we would end up keeping him, there was no doubt in their mind. We called the kitten Einstein because of his long eyebrows, long fur, and we thought it was very appropriate. We took him to the Vet where he was tested and had some of his shots. His blood test showed he did not have leukemia, but he tested positive for feline HIV. The Vet explained that it could simply be a false-positive reading, and they really wouldn’t know anything until he was six months old, and it was time for his neutering, so we brought Einstein home where we learn to love and care for him. He captured our hearts and those of others who came in contact with him, and his second HIV test came up negative.

A year later in August 2006, I noticed a small cat in the driveway, and the cat didn’t look right. His head was disproportionate to the rest of his body. He was very afraid and ran when I called or walked over. I would bring some cat food in a bowl and set it in the driveway, and then I would move the food closer and closer to the porch. I finally put the bowl of food on the porch; he would eat the food and let us pet him. Again, we were thinking do we need a second cat in the house.

Over the course of a few weeks, there were a couple of times when we came home from shopping he would greet us holding a dead baby bird. I guess he was paying us back for feeding him, and he thought was bringing us food. He smiled and seemed really proud to have caught and killed the bird.

We finally got up the courage to take him to the Vet, and that was quite an experience getting him into the cat carrier. He was a biter, and stayed that way all his life. He ripped a bad gash on the back of my hand. Luckily, he tested negative for leukemia and HIV. The Vet guessed he was about two years old. Even in the heat of summer he did not have any fleas, was neutered, and as I would learn later, his front paws had been declawed. We had speculated that maybe someone living in the apartment building moved into another apartment building that did not allow cats and just left him to fend for himself, either way he adopted our house and sometimes in October, after naming him Tiger, we brought him into the house.

After keeping both of them separated for a couple of weeks we began letting him play with Einstein. Einstein was a larger cat than Tiger. Einstein’s was part Main Coon, but Tiger was more dominating and aggressive with Einstein. Tiger likes to act like a tough cat, but he’s really a very big baby.

Tiger would intimidate Einstein and pushed Einstein around, but when Einstein had enough he would literally puff up his body, walk over towards Tiger and slap him hard or bite him. They never became best friends, I guess they ‘signed’ a Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) agreement but when one cat was taken out of the house to the Vet or grooming the other cat would be worried and upset.

Both cats adapted to our living’s situations really well. Over the course of their lives, they never broke anything.

After a few years Tiger began to sleep on my bed almost all the time and usually all night. He was a talker and if you were resting he would get into your face and meow very loud!

One day in July 2012, I was petting Tiger, and I felt a bump near his belly that concerned me. I took him to the Vet after she examined him; she thought it was likely a simple fatty tissue but to be safe we should surgically remove it. After it was removed the Vet determined it was just a fatty tumor and there was no cause for alarm. We were both so relieved.

A month or so later, I noticed that he had he wasn’t eating much, and he seemed lethargic. I took him to the doctor and she determined that he likely had some problem that was causing him not to want to eat so they did an x-ray and another blood test. The x-ray showed there might be problems with his kidneys. The blood test confirmed his kidney numbers were extremely high. We took him to the Vet for IV fluids, and he stayed there for three days he wasn’t eating a lot but he was eating just a little bit. His diagnosis was acute kidney disease stage four and the vet guessed that he would live about six months.

We learned to do things that we never thought we could possibly do. Tiger required a subcutaneous of IV fluids (the fluids are injected under the skin) twice a week and later every other day. He lost half his weigh; he refused to eat anything. Suellen would work with him. We would try serving his food hot cold wet dry but nothing seemed to work. Near the end of November, the Vet said he probably had only a couple of weeks to live. We were pleased with the veterinarian, but it was a hassle to bring Tiger to their office. It was about a 20-minute drive, and Tiger would cry a very mournful cry and become stressed out as we were going there.

Tiger spent most of the time sleeping on my bed, we had a litter box up in the bedroom for him and also food and water. At our Christmas dinner, I brought Tiger downstairs to say good-bye to everyone he looked terrible I knew he couldn’t survive without eating much longer.

In early January, we found a veterinarian who makes house calls. We contacted her and arranged an appointment for her to see Tiger. After the exam and blood test, she concurred with Tiger’s diagnosis, but we were very lucky in that Tiger started eating again not a lot but enough to stop him from immediately dying.

Einstein would always watch as we injected the IV fluids into Tiger Einstein seemed worried and concerned, and we tried to reassure him that we were not hurting Tiger and that Tiger was okay.

In February, Tiger disappeared; we could not find him anywhere. We were all convinced he had gone off somewhere inside the house and died. Luckily, we were wrong he showed up in the hallway one afternoon. Then he started hiding underneath the bed and would not come out. I would put food, water, and the litter box near the bed and at night or when no one was around, he came out and used the litter box, ate a little food, but we could not get him to come out to give them his IV fluids. I purchased a butterfly net and would catch him and pull him out from under the bed. He didn’t seem to mind being pulled out, but then again, he barely had any strength.

On February 18, 2013 after a stressful day of having been groomed our first cat Einstein died suddenly and unexpectedly. We were devastated. We knew we were going to lose Tiger, but we were not expecting to lose Einstein. It probably was sudden cardiac arrest. Einstein was very obese, and it had been a stressful day for him.

The middle of April, 2013 I started taking Tiger outside, wrapped in a couple of blankets. He loved being outside smelling the fresh air and listening to the birds. I held on to him, but the reality was he didn’t have a lot of strength to try to run away. At first, our outside visits were an hour or so, it was still cool that time of year. Suellen and I fenced in our back deck, and I purchased a child’s gate, and I started taking him outside and laid him on a blanket. We had litter box, food and water and as the warmer weather came along we would end up staying out there for hours.

In late May, Tiger stopped eating again. He didn’t eat anything for four days. I called the vet to arrange to have him euthanize; I did not want to see him starve to death. On the morning before the day, the vet was scheduled to arrive Tiger walked down the stairs which was something miraculous as he simply didn’t have any strength to get up and down the stairs. That evening he was setting in my lap, and he jumped down went into the kitchen and started meowing. He was standing where he used to stand when I would feed him his wet food. I gave him a small amount of food, and he gobbled it up. I gave him some more, and he ate all of it. I gave him some more, and again he ate it all. We called the vet and told her we would like to delay the euthanizing.

On June 3, my birthday, Tiger seemed a lot worse. I would have to lift him in and out of the litter box, and he had stopped eating. That evening I told Suellen I wasn’t sure he would make it through the night. Sometime after midnight Tiger died in my arms, we knew it was coming, but it was still a very sad experience.

Everything Suellen and I read stated that when you lose a cat you should wait before you get another kitten. We both agreed we should wait a few months and then decide if we were going to get more cats. By mid-July, we were actively looking for other cats and discovered the two best kittens in the world Annabel and Theodore.

I guess when you leave the group Everyone Else it’s almost impossible to rejoin them.


Don Boner is president of DL Sites Inc. He has written and directed two feature movies and co-wrote a script with screenwriter Chera Federle. Don lives in Indianapolis.
In 2007 he was honored and inducted into The Southern Legends Entertainment & Performing Arts Hall of Fame.


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