Earlier this year we lost our beloved shelter kitty Rufus. I have been wanting to write a memorial for him, but for a while was so saddened by his death that I couldn’t do it. Now I need to honor him.

Like many of our shelter kitties, Rufus did not have an easy life. He was found on a construction site, living in a tractor, in the middle of one of the coldest winters we have had in a long time. He had a huge gash in his side, and spent many days at Central Animal Hospital having the wound treated. His gray fur was matted and his one-time white paws were yellowed. When he came to the shelter he was on a six month quarantine to rule out rabies.

After Rufus had been at the shelter for some time we found out that he had chronic kidney disease, possibly as a result of bacteria from his wound, or from something he had gotten into when he was outside. He began to receive antibiotics and under the skin fluids, which help for a while, but we knew his life would be shortened by the disease.

Rufus was a wonderful cat! When his fur grew back he was a lovely fluffy gray, with a white chest and paws. He had beautiful green eyes. In spite of his many medical problems he was a friendly, loving cat. He didn’t especially like to be picked up, but loved to be petted, and would arch his back and purr when you patted him. He was very self possessed and dignified - he never bothered the other cats - he seemed to have a live and let live attitude. He endured his many medical procedures with tolerant resignation, occasionally letting you know that he had had enough!

Eventually his kidney disease became worse - he was getting fluids several times a week. He became famous and was written up in the newspaper when he was treated for a time with acupuncture! If you saw the picture, you will be able to guess what he thought of that! Unfortunately the disease got the better of him, and in spite of everyone’s best efforts, he stopped eating and succumbed to the disease.

Maybe you would think that because a cat is at a shelter he might not get appropriate medical treatment. I would like to reassure you that this is not the case! Rufus had wonderful care, from Marilyn, the volunteers and from Dr. Moss and the staff at Central Animal Hospital. Thanks to them his life, although short, was filled with love and respect. Rufus was very special to me, for many reasons, and I will never forget him or the wonderful care he received.

 Chris Bibby

NEADY Cats Inc. (dba Cats In Need) P.O. Box 213 West Boylston, MA 01583
Telephone (978) 422-5116 - Fax (508) 835-5478