As some of you might already have read on my social media accounts, my baby Elliot has passed away last Wednesday, February 8th. We tried everything we could to save him, but it was not meant to be. I have been devastated ever since he got sick, even more when he passed away. To help process the pain of losing the love of my life, I’m going to write this very personal article about him.
Just a little warning, this post is very long and contains many, many pictures.
I always loved animals but I never had any pets when I lived with my parents. When me and my boyfriend decided to live together, we knew we wanted to have cats as soon as possible. We both decided that we each could pick a cat, and I looked for a Somali cat. I fell in love with how this breed looks ever since I saw an episode of Cats 101. Their fur looks so much like a fox! It’s a very warm brown shade, almost looking like wild cats with a very fluffy tail. I went to look for a breeder on KittenTeKoop.nl and found the cattery Van Het Gildenhuys. The mother of Elliot was pregnant at that time and I was number 5th in line for a kitten. Some time later, she contacted me that the kittens were born and that a kitten was available if I was still interested. That kitten, was Elliot.
Elliot was born on the 6th of August 2011 in a litter of three. He had two sisters, one with a Ruddy (Dutch: Wildkleur) colour like himself and one with a Red colour. This litter was called the E-Litter, so all names were starting with the letter E. His full name is Elliot van het Gildenhuys. I never thought of changing his name because I liked it, it reminded me of one of my favorite characters in the series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
I first visited Elliot when he was four weeks old, he was just able to see, eat solid food and to walk. This was also the first time ever when I saw the breed in real life and I thought that Somali’s were the most beautiful cats I have ever seen. I of course fell immediately in love with him and couldn’t wait to have him at our home.
I also visited him at eight weeks old. Kittens grow up so quickly! In four weeks, he went from a fuzzball that was just able to walk, to a running, jumping and playful kitten.
We just received the keys to our home in November 2011, so we had to prepare our house and move in before we were able to have him home. He was able to move at an age of twelve weeks but because of us moving, we got him at fourteen weeks.
Elliot was always very explorative. He wasn’t shy when moving to our home. When he’s at some place new, no matter where, he always goes out and explore immediately. He was never scared, even jumping in boxes without even looking whats inside. He always had to check out every nook and cranny, even the tightest ones. We’ve lost him so many times in drawers that we forgot to close, he jumps in them and stays quiet even when we tried and calling him.
His favorite thing to play with is a crumbled up paper, whether its made of a newspaper, receipts, wrappings, it didn’t matter, as long as it made a crumbling sound.
He never changed the habit over the years. It didn’t matter if you would buy the most expensive toys, he always would go for his crumbled up paper balls. We even had to hide them at some point because he woke us up early in the mornings at 5 AM by throwing the paper ball in our faces.
Here’s a video of him playing with his crumbled paper ball:
He never was a cat that liked to sit or sleep on our laps. The only time that he did was when he was here the first day and was too sleepy to do anything but that.
Sitting on the couch, we would usually hold him like a baby while watching TV.
He always was around us though, sitting next to us and always slept in our bed. He always looked so peaceful when he was sleeping. He could also sleep in the weirdest positions, to the point that he looked broken!
His tummy is curly and he always loved some tummy rubs when he was being lazy.
In February, a few months later, we added Atilla to our family, a Maine Coon. He was a week older than Elliot so we got him at a later age. Elliot was not happy, he hated Atilla. He was constantly hissing at him for two weeks straight until one day, he just gave up and became bestest friends.
They would still fight time to time like everyone does, but everything was forgotten ten minutes after. Most of the time, they were inseparable.
They loved to wash each other, which was great since they would clean places that they can’t reach by themselves like their ears.
They would also sleep together all the time, even mimic the way they were sleeping.
However, even over all these years, Elliot was never the one who approached Atilla. Atilla always came to him for cuddles or to sleep next to. I think I only saw Elliot going to Atilla once in his entire life for cuddles. He didn’t mind it though, he almost never moved when Atilla sat on top of him or came to sleep next to him. I think he even liked it a lot but it wasn’t in his nature to start it.
Elliot did love to cuddle with me. Not by sitting on my lap, but by kneading and for some reason, he loved to knead me in my armpits or my face with his claws out with loud purring and sometimes even drooling.
He always decided whenever it was time to cuddle, he would jump on the laptop keyboard whenever I wasn’t paying attention to him when he felt like cuddling.
You could immediately notice when he wanted to cuddle by his loud purring sound and his “give me attention now” face.
Another thing he loved to do like many other cats is being lazy. He would usually sleep in bed, on the sofa or couch, chairs, anything that’s higher than the floor. The only time that he was on the floor sleeping is when the sun would be on that spot. He loved sunbathing and warmth, he also loves to sleep on the window still above the radiator during winter times.
He also loved being outside in our garden. He usually went and dig a hole to urinate in immediately. He also had an obsession with grass, he was like a cow grazing so we constantly had to scold him but just after punishing him, he just continued with sneakily trying to eat the next piece of grass. He also loved to catch bugs, even tried to catch bees. We had a small pond and he actually jumped in it by accident to catch a bug.
Another thing he loved doing is eating. He wasn’t a picky eater, you could basically give him anything except things that tasted like organs or rabbit.
He even liked food so much that I could teach him how to high five without clicker training. He would listen so well. Our cats aren’t allowed in the kitchen and he would always sit on the border of the room like a perfect gentlemen waiting for his food. Atilla always ignored this and walks in the kitchen every single time.
Unfortunately, things weren’t always that happy and easy. Last year, he was hospitalized for a few days because there were crystals inside his urinary tract so he had trouble urinating. We went to the veterinarian and purchased special food to dissolve those crystals, but they were actually so stuck that his bladder filled up so much that it expanded to the point that it almost tore. His kidneys also had a really hard time, with his kidney blood values skyrocketing because he wasn’t able to process the toxic components that you would normally lose by urinating.
He fortunately recovered and became his happy self again. He received special diet so that his bladder would be at a pH value where crystals could not be created. I even get the feeling that he was more active than before he got sick. We could continue our lives like nothing had happened until about a year later, he got unlucky again.
Two weeks ago on Thursday, he threw up a hairball which happens from time to time, since both of my cats are long haired and they wash each other too. That weekend, he threw up some more, which is also normal after a hairball but he stopped eating too. As a cat who loved to eat, this was strange. I went to the veterinarian on Monday thinking that he had a sore throat. The vet thought differently was suspecting that it might have something to do with his kidneys. Unfortunately, they were right. His kidney blood values were very high again. We had to do a sonogram of his kidneys and urinary tract and it looked bad. His kidneys were badly damaged but he still could be saved. We brought him back to the veterinarian because he had to stay there for a couple of days again but it was too late. We were called the same day to say goodbye. He was in so much pain that he even didn’t respond to us anymore, it was unbearable to watch.
He died in our arms on Wednesday night, February 8th. He was only 5 years old.
We still don’t know how this could have happened so quickly. He changed from a happy cat to a very sick one in a matter of days. It didn’t matter how much we tried, because his kidney values did not change anymore. It was too much for his body to handle. We suspect a rare disease that can happen in his breed called Renal Amyloidosis. This protein gradually affects the kidneys and is incurable. You can only confirm your cat having this by an autopsy. We didn’t choose for that option because he was already dead and we have spent so much money on trying to save him that spending more seemed unnecessary.
I was in shock and I couldn’t believe that I’ve lost him. What people usually say about their partners or children, I say about Elliot. He truly was the love of my life. I feel like a part of me as been ripped away. Since the news came that there might be something wrong with his kidneys, I was inconsolable. I wasn’t able to go to work, crying day and night and needed sleeping pills to get some rest at night. I never thought that losing someone could hurt this much.
I know I have to pick up my life again but it will be hard from day-to-day. I especially miss the small things, like walking carefully in the morning because he was zig-zagging between my legs, watching tv with him in my arms, even writing article at the moment, because he would be here somewhere in corner of my eye or demanding cuddles. He never ever hurt any human being, he didn’t even know it was possible to attack someone.
My other cat, Atilla has also not been the same. He didn’t know any better than Elliot being with him. We of course weren’t there all the time due to work and such but they were together 24/7. He doesn’t have his buddy to cuddle with or to run around with. That makes the house even feel more empty.
Elliot was the most sweetest, perfect cat for me. We just connected and synched. His personality was almost the same as mine and unfortunately for him, his bad health was also the same. Even though I’m a true atheist and I don’t believe in much things, I do believe that me and him were made for each other.
I know that we will have another cat one day, especially for Atilla. But for now, I’m not ready. I can’t imagine having another cat than him. I almost feel guilty but I just have to get used to the idea that I will never get him back and it’s okay to give him a special place in my heart and it’s okay to make room for someone new.
Elliot will forever be in my heart and my special someone. I’m going to try and pick up blogging and be active again on my social media channels. I will try to again post articles twice a week. For this week, I hope I can get posts uploaded on Wednesday and Friday.
Lasty, I want to thank you all so much for your support. I’ve read every comment on every platform and it really has helped to cope with the pain the last few days. If you have pets, please give them a hug for me and enjoy them every day. You never know when it’s your last time to do so.