November 29, 2008

Farewell to a great cat

We said goodbye to a beloved family member today.

Kolja, our male Russian Blue cat, was euthanised this morning after succumbing to complications from feline diabetes. He would have been 13 in February.

Kolja joined our family in 1996, when he was just a few months old. He quickly bonded with our then-5-year-old Siamese cat, Marcel. They became great friends and were inseparable until Marcel passed away in 2003. Kolja had a calm, relaxed temperament. He loved to be part of the action, but never forced himself upon anyone. He was always pleasant to be around, and eager for a warm lap upon which to sleep.

In early 2007, Kolja was diagnosed with feline diabetes. We received this news somewhat with relief, as we knew the disease was manageable. Kolja responded to insulin treatment favorably, and with changes to his diet bounced back to normal health. In the last few months of his life, however, he suffered from renal failure. And, we believe that is what ultimately took his life. We returned from dinner last night to find him listless and unresponsive. He wouldn't eat or drink, and his nictitating membranes almost completely covered his eyes. We knew that his time on Earth was drawing to a close, so we made him as comfortable as possible. Although we didn't expect it, he made it through the night. He went to sleep for the last time shortly after 9:00 am this morning.

We will miss him greatly. He lived a good life and brought us much joy, so we have no regrets. Rest in peace, little buddy.

More pictures from his life can be found here.