Tippecanoe died this morning.  She was a very old, old cat found by Marlene Halverson way back in 1997 wandering alone a parking lot on a rainy day.  Marlene brought her to the office, where she stayed a day or so, and she roamed the hallway crying so loudly for such a little beast, going around the upstairs hallway on the second floor of the Nasby Building in Northfield where we both had offices.  I had Tyler then, deemed by Bob Jacobsen as “a fish,” because he didn’t allow cats in his apartments above the store, so in joining Tyler, she naturally became Tippecanoe.

A haunting song for Tippe:

I’d had to “rehome” her, Steiner too, when Krie tried to eat them (with Katze, she lived for about 6 months on top of the refrigerator, bookcases, anywhere to stay away from her, except for those few times when she’d leap from the fridge and ride Katze around the kitchen).  We got them back last November, and for a while, they lived in the old house in Red Wing, and after we got back from December’s trip to Delaware, we brought them over and integrated them in, first in the basement, and rather quickly Tippe joined the rest of us upstairs, followed by Steiner.  She was always small, but was pit bull muscular, and never liked to be held, just always wanted to be nearby.  She had a spot on Alan’s desk where she spent her days, or the futon in the office, and she liked the window in the office where I set her up with a pillow in a couple of file boxes so she could lounge in comfort and stare out the window and lay in it when it was open.  Both of the cats were skin and bones when I got them back, and Steiner gained her weight back, but Tippe didn’t, and she continued to lose weight from the 5 pounds she weighed when we took them to the vet.

Tips in the front yard:

Lately, she’s been having a more difficult time getting up the stairs, and had taken to lying on the hard but cool floors rather than on her catbeds scattered around the house.  Every time we feed the dogs, she cries and cries for treats, and we gave her yogurt, sour cream, chicken, something she’d enjoy, but her cries were softer and sometimes she didn’t bother. The night before last, she didn’t eat her chicken, and I figured the end was near.  She spent the last two days in the kitchen, so I put another cat box in there, and she was doing well on output, but I wondered if she’d be alive in the morning.  She made it, and yesterday ate her treats, though she had trouble with the chicken, but when broken up, she ate it.  Then late yesterday afternoon, I found her in the upstairs bathroom, on the cool tile, and she stayed there the rest of the day, had her chicken up there, but again, I doubted she’d make it through the night.

Early this morning, I found her on the floor, having petit mal seizures, and she was not conscious and I remembered with Krie, when her liver gave out, she started with petit mal and by the time we got to the vet, grand mal, and the same thing happened with Isabelle, roommate Peter Allen’s cat when he was in China, and those seizures were awful. I didn’t want her to go through that. Then it seemed she started to relax, her legs visibly straightening out, less tense, and fewer twitches.  It was still an hour and a half before the vet opened, but they’re an hour away, so we lined a box with a towel and put her in it, just in case she started grand mal seizures, her breaths were weird, uneven and long spaces and she was clearly dying though not in distress.  I went to get dressed to go to Kenyon Vet Clinic. but as I was finding my shoes, Alan said he thought she’d died.  Sure enough, that was it, no big seizures, no agony, a fairly quick not-so-bad death. 

Tippecanoe will take up residence in a corner of the back yard and we’ll find a plant to put there and think of her as it grows.



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