Monday, March 05, 2012

Rest in Peace Goliath

Goliath, in better days.

Goliath, last night in my garage, struggling to breath.

Goliath died today. He was a kind old cat who lived on a porch in Millersburg.

He showed up there years ago, as a fighting big tom, a stray. I trapped him. He was fixed at a Philomath FCCO clinic in 2008. He was best friends with Bob, a short hair gray tux stray I got fixed out there years before Goliath showed up. Bob had a broken tail, that would whirl around, from the base when he ran. A Eugene cat woman paid for Bob's tail to be amputated. Then they cared for Bob until his death last fall. I used to call Bob, "the newly minted manx".

Bob had been best friends with Simon, a Himilayan Millersburg stray I'd also trapped to be fixed. Simon suddenly vanished and this threw Bob into horrible mourning, for his lost friend. That is, until Goliath showed up. At first they fought, but not after Goliath was neutered. After that, they slept together on the porch bed made for them.

Goliath had been very ill the last weeks, his caretaker told me. It was yesterday, with me so worn out from the trip to Coos Bay, she asked if I'd keep him inside somewhere, so he could at least be warm. So she brought him over last night. I made him comfortable on a heating pad. He'd lost weight and his breathing was horribly labored and heaving. He was gasping for air. This was not an antibiotic solution at all, I knew, deep down. This morning I called a vet clinic to ask if he could be seen.

He was open mouth gasping by the time I arrived and the vet noted the fluid in his belly. She said likely he was in heart failure, although the reason is unknown. Could have been just his age causing his heart to fail. Could have been tumors pressing against his heart or lungs. Or a diaphramatic hernia. Or even an extreme hairball blockage, causing pressure from his bloated stomach against his heart or lungs. Without expensive diagnostics, there was no way to know the cause for sure. But one thing was for sure, he was in terrible discomfort from being unable to get air.

So Goliath has passed. He will be buried in a pet cemetery his caretakers maintain.

He was loved well, for a giant gentle stray dumped out by somebody else. Goliath had it ok in the end. He had love.

Peace be unto you, Goliath.

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