Friday, February 14, 2020

Goodbye Sweet Norm (2006-2020)

We let our formerly feral Norm go to the Rainbow Bridge Thursday afternoon.  He had been winding down, losing weight and eating less over the past few months.  In April 2018 he was diagnosed with either IBD or lymphoma. He had swollen lymph nodes and a thickened intestine. After two vet consults, I decide against exploratory surgery to find out what is wrong.Often they don't find out anything and Norm would have to heal from surgery.

We got him eating again and moved him into our home from the cat house.  He thrived for a good year and a half but over time he was slowing down.  I had been treating him with natural remedies for cancer and IBD to cover all bases. Last year he had a bout of not eating in July but we got him going once again.  This time even with appetite stimulants, slippery elm and other things, he was not responding.  He had almost two years of quality life after his diagnosis.

Snowball giving Norm h*ll.

Snowball and Norm snuggling

Snowball after he came home form the vet hospital.  Norm was so happy.

What can I say about this great personable cat.  Living in the cat house he was a shy, reserved cat. Except for Snowball for some reason. They were not from the same litter (Snowball was the only survivor of Lily's first litter)  but he loved Snowball and was with him every second, much to Snowball's chagrin.  They fussed and fought but Snowball still let Norm be his buddy. I have a theory - that Norm secretly wanted to be head cat but Snowball was, so Norm accepted being was second in command.  

Eating with Snowball, and Sam

When Norm moved into the house without Snowball, he became the head cat he wanted to be - without even trying.  All the cats deferred to him or gave him a wide berth. He was never aggressive or pushy. He was not lonely as Woody was his litter mate and they often along with Tabitha napped together.  Norm's name came from the Cheers show - Norm, Sam and Woody were all in Lily's second  litter along with Georgie.  We had many nicknames for Norm - Normy, Norm Norm, and Norman as they called him at the vet.

Food face

If you can't view this - go here

Norm always seemed to get food on his face when he ate and in later months he was not grooming as well so it was obvious. He would come into the kitchen and ask for his food.  Such a personality!

My nurse

Inside the house with us, Norm became an outgoing love bug who loved cuddles with us or the other cats. He disappeared when anyone came to visit..  He was still quiet but had a way of letting you know what the wanted. He snuggled with me on the bed when I was reading or not well.

The past few months he had taken to spending all his time with Woody and Tabitha - napping in a pile, coming on the bed to wake me up in the morning or sitting on the couch with Don.  I called them the three mouseketeers.  Norm loved being on the porch or looking out the window.

A few months back

Chester the Maine Coon mix we adopted in July 2019 became Norm nemesis.  Chester was not aggressive but I think was afraid of Norm even tho Norm was smaller.  When they met up in the hall, it became a silly game of who would let the other by first.  Norm never really did anything except maybe stare intensely at Chester but Chester would get all worked up and dash by Norm.  Often even swatting Norm but Norm just ignored him.

Norm watching Chester

Norm and Chester in the hall

A rare time when both were on the porch but the door to the house was open in case.

I thought I would let Norm go last week but he rallied over the weekend with appetite stimulants.  By Wednesday I could see he was floundering, and getting weaker.  He was spending all his time sleeping in out of the way places cozy places and not coming out to eat.  On his final day, he slept on the bed with Woody.  Don and I spent time with him and told him how much we loved him. 

Norm Thursday with Woody  - you can see how much weight he lost.

We usually have the vet come to the house but he was booked until Monday.  We did not think Norm would make it until then so we drove him to our other vet.  Norm sat on my lap and enjoyed the sun on him and curiously watching people and things go by.  Don said he was surveying his options as to what he would return to life as. He dosed a bit before we arrived at the vet.

Norm's grave

 His passing was very peaceful in a room with a lovely wooded view. I was leaning over him sending Reiki and love with his head cradled in my hand.  I think he was  gone as soon as they administered the sedative.  He is buried with some catnip and treats (his favorites) in our cat cemetery next to Only who passed a year ago next week.  We will miss this quiet mancat so much.  I know his momcat Lily and siblings Georgie and Only were there to welcome him to the other side. This is the hardest thing about rescue - to have to say goodbye to so many wonderful animals.

Lily with Only, Norm and Georgie


Lily said...

We’re so sorry for your loss. Sending you hugs and purrs.

The Florida Furkids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Florida Furkids said...

Norm was a handsome guy. We're glad he had some quality time with you after his diagnosis. Fly Free Norm.

The Florida Furkids

Jacqueline said...

Cherie and Don, I am so very sorry, it always hurts so much to lose these precious babies...Norm was a beautiful boy and I'm glad he was able to live such a good life...Wishing you both comfort at this sad time...RIP sweet Norm...XO...J, Halle, Sukki

Kea said...

I'm so terribly sorry for Norm's passing. You've written such a beautiful post for him -- I've always been struck by how you are able to do that, write so eloquently and pay such wonderful tributes. Your love and respect for Norm (and all your fur companions) clearly shines through your words.

Our thoughts and purrs are with you and Don; godspeed to Norm. ♥

Kim and Derry

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Norm was very special and we're so sad to hear he's passed. But thank you for loving him so much and giving him a wonderful life for as long as you could. HUGS and PURRS. X

Laura Zaccardi said...

What a beautiful tribute to Norm. You both do such wonderful work with the kitties who come to live with you, and they in turn share with you their unique qualities that are so hard to lose. Thinking of you as you feel this sadness, and also as Only’s anniversary approaches. Bonded across time they are... peace

Donna Mack said...

This is a lovely story about Norman. It's always so hard to part with them. And all you have left are the memories

The Creative Cat said...

You gave him the best life over the years, from rescue to housecat, and through gentle palliative care. What a lovely bunch with his siblings, and such a nice kitty. I know their feline friends always come to greet them, and they are all together again.

The Swiss Cats said...

What a beautiful tribute to Norman ! We're sorry for your loss, we send you comforting purrs and gentle headbonks. Purrs

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Norm was a very handsome boy and is now reunited with his feline family. You have written a beautiful tribute to him. (((hugs)))

Marg said...

So sorry that Norm had to go. Like I said before, he was very lucky to have had such a great home.That is one great write up about him. You all try to have a good day.

The Island Cats said...

We are so sorry to hear about Norm. It sounds like he had such a great life...but it's still not easy. Sending you comforting purrs, gentle headbutts and big hugs. ox

Just Ducky said...

So sorry about Norm, he seemed like a really good cat. Love, hugs and comforting purrs to you.

pilch92 said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boy. This was a beautiful tribute. XO

Catscue Catmom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, what a beautiful sweet kitty. Hugs.

Alastriona, The Cats and Dogs said...

Norm sounds like a wonderful sweet boy. We are sorry he didn't have more time with you, but we know he experienced the most pure love from his family. He reminds the Mom a bit of Peter, who Mom says was a very special mancat Mom and the boys got to love for a time.

Purrs of comfort and paws of sympathy from all of us here at ATCAD

JC said...

I am so sorry. You gave him a wonderful life. XO, JC

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs said...

So sorry for this loss of your precious Norm. What a sweet character he was. We know how he will be missed. Sending lots of purrs and pawyers to give a wee bit of comfort...

((((( ♥ )))))

Sandee said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of Norm. Big healing hugs. ♥

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

I am so deeply, deeply sorry.....your tribute was beautiful

catladymac said...

We are sorry to read of Norm's passing - but oh how he was loved - not only by his humans !bHe will never really be far away.

Spike William and Angels China Cat and Willow said...

Oh, we are so sorry for your loss of Norm - such a beautiful boy! Sending prayers and soft purrs to all of you.

Purrrrrrrrrrs, Spike William

BellaDharma'ss LadyMew said...

Pleese accept our sympaffiess on THE passin of yore lovelee man cat Norm. Wee saw his foto on "Our Rainbow Frendss" an wee mew how much Norm was loved.....You gave him an efurryone there a wunderfull home an so much love. That iss all wee kittiess ask fore....
Pleese know mee 'angel' Unkell Siddhartha Henry will bee there keepin Norm company an helpin him find those who went beefore him.
Sinseerlee an with **purrsss** BellaDharma an {{huggiesss}} LadyMew

Ruby Rose and the Big Little Angels 3 said...

I am very sorry for your loss. We know that you lost a child. You need to treat it as such and grieve with all your heart so you can start healing. We send you love and prayers for a speedy journey through grief.

Catwoods said...

I'm so sorry to learn of the loss of Norm. Losing animal friends is always so hard. We send purrs and hope you will find comfort in good memories.

Summer said...

I'm so sorry about Norm. He really flourished with you for many years. Purrs to you.

Peachy, Stippie, Angel Binky and Granny said...

So sorry of the loss of your sweet boy Norm. Soft Pawkisses to comfort you🐾😽💞 👼Fly free beautiful Soul💗

Stef Orzan, Viktor's mom said...

What a beautiful, touching tribute to celebrate Norm's life, which was lived fully and joyfully thanks to you. Amidst the heartbreak and grief, I'm hoping you will find a bit of comfort in knowing how special and sweet you made his years with you and his siblings. I send you love and light during this difficult time, knowing that your baby boy has now is forever, eternal home in your hearts ��

Katie Isabella said...

I didn't see that your beautiful Norm had flown away to the Bridge when I wrote yesterday. I am heartbroken for you and Don. It is so hard to bear. So hard to wake the next day without them. My deepest condolences on your loss. Hugs, Purrs, love; and I as well as the rest of us here in the CB won't forget him.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Godspeed Norm your journey to heaven. Mom wrote you an amazing tribute
We understand how hard this is for mom and dad, and send you, them and
the family you leave behind hugs and loves. We are truly sorry ❤️

tuna, mackerull, daisy, dude, sauce and boomer

Brian said...

We are so sorry to hear about dear Norm, such a sweetie guy who was meant to be with you. Hugs from all of us.

My Mind's Eye said...

Dear sweet Norm run free and with out discomfort, and pain handsome boy.

Angel Madi had very similar problems with either IBD or lymphoma and
her Vet described bowels as feeling ropy. He mentioned the exploratory surgery. In the same breath he, asked me to think about what I'd do with the information I might receive from exploratory surgery. At 15 1/2 and already dealing with Kidney issues it was a lot to put her thru. We decided on giving her quality life. after a few months we got what turned out to be IBD under control. She lived a wonderful extra year.

Hugs to your parents and sbilings

KitKat said...

So sorry to hear about the passing of Norm. He was such a special boy. I lost a Norm 11 years ago.
Sending hugs and love.
Joan Ryan and Grady Lewis

Basil and The B Team ~ BionicBasil ® said...

We are so very sorry for your loss, RIP Handsome Norm...

We'll light one of our special rainbow candles in his honour later.

We send oodles of gentle hugs and soft purrs to you all at this sad time, The B Team xox

Tamago said...

I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet Norm. Sending warm thoughts your way.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful boy he was.

Timmy Tomcat said...

We send our purrs and prayers of support at this sad time. Norm was so very loved and it was a wonderful post you did to memorialize his great life full of family and fun. Norm fly free dear friend now young and healthy again at the Bridge. We know your Angel family was waiting for you and ours was too led by our big fellow Buddy Budd who also just crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Watch over us dear friend. Sorry we are late with out condolences but we have taken time off due to our families own sorrow.
Watch over us all Norm until that day we all meet again
Timmy, Toby, Rumpy Bump, Miss Fitz, Einstein and Angels Buddy Budd and Mr Buttons. Dad too

Tommy and Teaghan said...

Oh what a wonderful tribute to Norm. Much love and hugs to you to help heal from missing the love of such a special cat. Keep your eyes and ears open to hear him around you. Your Reiki healing helped to keep him around and in good health as could be for so long. Such a special life he chose with you. Purrs and love to you.
Tommy and Teaghan. Beau Beau and Angie will see him over the bridge. They're all as one over there :>

Kitties Blue said...

Please accept our condolences on the loss of your lovely Norm. He reminded us so much of our Madison who left us several years ago. We know he will remain in your hearts and be loved forever. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

Mickey's Musings said...

So sorry for your loss, but so happy this kitty had you looking after him.Norm had a wonderful life.
We know you will be missing him so much and we offer comforting purrs.
Purrs,Georgia and Julie
and mum Nancy

John Bellen said...

A lovely tribute to Norm. I loved seeing the pictures of him and Snowball. Norm’s life was filled with love, every day something to look forward to, and everything a cat could want. Godspeed, Norm.

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