Who is, indisputably, The Best Cat.
Motley turned up years ago on the 6th of July, about six months old, disoriented, and scruffy.
I first saw him when I was calling the cats in at dusk, and the whole lot of them came running.
And there were two Zeldas.
FelixCat was leading home a friend for dinner.
We resisted adopting him, mostly because I thought he was a stray, but we did leave him out some dry food.
He just stayed around, getting scruffier.
Finally he turned up inside, upstairs, with about 200 burrs in his fur, violently ill.
As he recovered, we discovered he had a nasty habit of biting, and some fear issues – my theory is that he was a Disposable Student Cat, who was less cute when the adorable kitten playing rough became a big cat playing rough.
(And cats can just, like, fend for themselves, right?)
Sair said we had to take him to the vet, and that was that.
That first time it was a mystery disease, symptoms were about to kill him, but everything was cured by some prenisone – his first narrow escape of many.
The vet and the pathologist never came to agreement, but we ended up with a healthy boy.
Because he had been so very ill, the vet didn't want to neuter him right away.
So Motley did the Hormone Thing and got the Big Head, and the walk, and the cattitude to match.
He never got very big, though, a kinda bonzai tomcat, so his right ear is a bit tattered (does he lead with that paw?), and he often came home with other cats' claws stuck in his forehead.
He's the only cat I've had who very clearly understood that we had decided to take him in, and was grateful.
He really, really, did not like being on the street.
When he purrs, which is often, he salivates, and after a while it bothers him, so he shakes his head and splatters anyone nearby.
But eventually he realized we reacted badly to being splattered, and started swallowing.
So he'd be purring and gulping loudly, because he didn't want to annoy us.
He's my big huggable cat.
He's the guy who greets strangers.
He's the guy who insists on sitting in Tom's lap too – unlike the feral retreads who think he's too tall.
He was Sair's big ole cat who turned up when she was in nursery school, almost 16 years ago.
He's my footwarmer, the yard patrolcat, and the chief inventor of cool places to sleep.
He's got kitty charisma, and the new guys always follow him around.
Truly, Wolfie decided to allow me to pat him when he saw Motley letting me.
Motley stopped eating Thursday and slept all day, so we took him to the vet.
He's in end stage kidney failure.
Vet says his creatinine level is not just high, but literally off the top of their chart.
And he's apparently in end stage heart failure too – they couldn't give him iv fluids for the kidneys because they were afraid it would kill him outright.
One kidney was destroyed by a cyst, and the other shows destruction that looks like lymphoma.
(And even if it were an infection, there is extreme tissue damage. And his heart)
They've sent us home with multiple pills, but I'm pretty much thinking I don't want to hassle him.
He has no kidney function, and no prospect of eeking out even a little more, and that seems pretty bottom line to me.
(Been here, done this, twice before.)
Timing being what it is, Tom is heading out of town right now to present a paper, and won't be back til tomorrow afternoon.
I'll see whether the traveling vet can come by this weekend, after he's back.
Or Motley may not make it that long.
He doesn't seem to be in pain, he's mostly just sleeping and extremely weak.
I got a purr last night.