July 12th, 2011, 04:53 PM
~2002 - July 9, 2011
Late 2006 someone at my work advertised a kitten he found but couldnt keep it due to his 2 dogs. I offered to take it but someone beat me to it. In light of this I thought perhaps I should go to the rescue shelter and adopt another cat. I have two already I adopted in May 2000.
At the shelter I had my mind set on a kitten, though they didn't have many. In a large enclosure at the front of the shelter was an orange and white tom cat, skin and bones with ripped up ears, lying on his side on top of a small climbing structure. He would feebly reach out and let out this noise, not a meow, more a raspy grunt. He was a pathetic sight to behold.
July 12th, 2011, 04:54 PM
The girl asked how I felt about adopting an adult cat and walked me over to this cat that the shelter had named "Thumper" and looked like it used up 8.5 lives already. She went on to explain how he was already someone's pet at some point as he was tattooed and neutered though they couldn't read the tattoo. They guestimated his age to be about 5yrs old. Some young girls found him duct taped up inside a cardboard box and left on the road in the middle of winter (-40c is typical here), and left to die, and they brought him to the shelter.
Holding him in my arms he snuggled his face up against mine and touched his paw to my face and was the most gentle cat I've ever met. Obviously I took him home, but not before renaming him from Thumper to Spicy McHaggis, after the Dropkick Murphys song.
Now already having 2 cats at home and with the battle scars this cat presented I was very apprehensive about bringing him home. "What the hell am I doing?" I thought. So I got him a brand new litter box and food dish and kept him in my bedroom, separate from the others for a while. I would lock the others up in another room while I let the new cat out to get his scent on everything, lock him back in my room and then let the other cats out to smell everything so they could get used to the smell before having the visual.
July 12th, 2011, 04:56 PM
Well I could only handle having him in my bedroom for a couple weeks. I don't know what they were feeding him at the shelter but when he went to the litterbox in the middle of the night it would absolutely jar you awake, like getting slapped in the face with a rancid fish stuffed with rotten eggs. It was time to introduce him to the others.
My other two cats, Voodoo and Shogun I adopted together in 2000 from two separate litters from the same rescue shelter. Voodoo was always a loner and was a bit put off by having a new cat in the house and would hastily put Haggis in his place with a few well placed swats to the chops. Surprisingly for a cat with as many battlescars as haggis had, he accepted he was the new cat and had to learn Voodoo's rules. Shogun was overjoyed to have a buddy and took to him like a fat kid on a donut. They were inseperable.
The pecking order changed a bit and Haggis began sticking up for himself a bit more and wasn't taking Voodoo's drama. He finally realized after a few months he was 3 times her size and easily won the slap contests. In no time at all they met an impass and tolerated each others' presence. Haggis quickly became the man of the house (All cat owners know they arent the boss).
July 12th, 2011, 04:57 PM
I've always had pets, growing up my parents dragged me to dog shows all over. We'd had afghan hounds, a golden lab, a chihuahua, a springer spaniel, and of course cats. I've had close friendships with many of them and always found myself to prefer the company of animals than that of most people. I love Voodoo and Shogun, they are amazing cats, but nothing prepared me for the profound bond I would have with Spicy McHaggis.
Haggis was in my life for 4 and a half wonderful years and I have many, many fond memories of him. He was there beside me when I woke up in the morning, waiting by the bathroom door after I had a shower in the morning, walking beside me anywhere I went. He was at the door when I got home from work and on me anytime I sat down for any reason. He helped me with any video games or computer work I did, he would always hang out with me and my friends watching movies. And if he wasn't with me for some reason he was off taking care of the other two cats, cleaning them or cuddling.
He began losing weight a few months ago but nothing too alarming until recently. Then one day he became lethargic and crawled into the darkest corner he could find. I called the vet and they told me to watch him, as long as he wasnt vomiting or diahreaing to wait until morning. If he was still lethargic to bring him in. Well he was up and about, not playful and active like normal, but up, and was able to eat some food in the morning. I watched him for a couple more days and his breathing became labored. I brought him in to the vet Saturday morning, July 9, 2011.
The vets did some examinations, listened to his heart, said he had a bad ariythmia, his breathing was a major concern and very serious, that they wanted to do some xrays and take bloodwork for everything. The xrays revealed everything they needed to see, so no bloodwork was done. Haggis had a large mass enveloping his heart, taking up all the space his lungs needed. He had some fluid in his lungs as well. They said they could do something to remove the fluid from his lungs to see how he was over the weekend but overall suggested he be put to sleep.
July 12th, 2011, 04:58 PM
11:00 am Saturday morning I said goodbye to the best friend I ever had. I held him in my arms and nuzzled up to his face and said my goodbyes as the dr gave him the needle and he went quickly and painlessly.
One of the hardest parts was bringing home the empty kennel and being at home, well, everything in my place reminds me of him. I found a lump of his fur that I'm yet to throw out.
The other two cats are adapting as cats do. Voodoo who never really cared for Haggis in the first place has become more social and cuddly. Shogun is a bit depressed but is getting spoiled rotten with treats and love, though I'd be lying if I said all the hugs were just for him.
I took the week off work and am just spending as much time as I can with Voodoo and Shogun and trying not to dwell on Haggis' last days but rather the amazing 4 and a half years we had together and to celebrate his life and our friendship.
RIP Haggis, you will be truly missed and never forgotten.
You and I will meet again,
When we're least expecting it,
One day in some far off place,
I will recognize your face,
I won't say goodbye my friend,
For you and I will meet again.
- Tom Petty
July 12th, 2011, 04:58 PM
Images wont display. =\ I may post some later if this forum decides to work.
July 12th, 2011, 05:39 PM
I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy.:grouphug:
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It brought sad/happy tears to my eyes reading it. You saved him and gave him a wonderful life and he gave so much back. I, too, believe you will meet him again someday.
:candle: Run free, sweet :angel2: Spicy McHaggis :cat: :candle:
July 12th, 2011, 07:23 PM
Oh, he is a beautiful boy! I'm so sorry for your loss--you were both very lucky to have found one another. :grouphug:
:candle: Spicy McHaggis
July 13th, 2011, 01:30 AM
:rip: sweet :angel2: Spicy McHaggis :candle: He is playing at the Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html) with those who've gone before :candle: :grouphug:
July 13th, 2011, 09:57 AM
I am SO sorry to read this and i offer you my deepest condolences Tim :sorry:
(I have tweaked a setting for you and you should now have no trouble posting pics)
:rip: sweet Spicy McHaggis :candle:
Sincerely - Marko
July 13th, 2011, 05:20 PM
What a wonderful story about a wonderful cat:cat:
How long he was with you,does not really matter,he had 4 great loving years with you,it was just meant to be,the day you went to the shelter.
I too have a soft spot for beat up older Toms,the ones nobody else might want.
Treasure the years and the memories of Spicy McHaggis a very special kitty.
July 14th, 2011, 04:32 PM
Tim, Spicy McHaggis didn't have a long time with you, but you were obviously meant to be together. He left this earth knowing true love, and he will wait for you at the bridge. RIP sweet Spicy boy.
July 14th, 2011, 06:09 PM
RIP Spicy McHaggis! Run free to the bridge!!
July 15th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Rest in Peace Spicy McHaggis...it sounds like you were a wonderful and beautiful Kitty...:angel::(
I'm glad you lived out your life with a wonderful angel
July 18th, 2011, 04:33 PM
Your story was so touching, you can read the love and affection you had for Spicy, its wonderful! Thank you for taking a chance on an old brute like him, he deserved to be brought home and loved. Not alot of people will change their minds from kitten to tom cat!
RIP Dear Kitty.