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.
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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!
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.
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