More on Morris

You really need to know the whole story to get a feel for the kind of cat Morris was.  He had humble beginnings;Walter and Homey born on our little porch in a cardboard box, The Fearless Five1 of a litter of 5 kittens born to a stray that took up with us. We never intended to have cats; in fact, I am highly allergic to cat dander, as is the rest of my family.  But this ugly little cat we called "Homey" stuck around our house for quite some time, and we made the mistake of feeding her.  Homey would jump up on the outside window ledge of whatever room we were in and meow incessantly into the window.  (And those ledges were only about 1/2 inch wide!)  Well, she got pregnant and had a litter of kittens on April 23, 1993.  Each kitten was different, although 3 of the 5 turned out to be mostly black.

We named each one, as their personalities developed.  Morris was the easy one, since he was an orange tabby, Little teeny Morrisand looked just like the TV cat.  Tiger was another natural, since she was a grey tabby.  The other three black kittens were a little harder, but we were able to tell them apart fairly easily.  One was black with white feet and a white chest, so we named her Precious, like a friend's cat we had cat-sitted once before.  The other two were very similar, all black.  We named one Fuzzy, since he had more fur than the other one that we named Blackie.  We played with them constantly, and we picked them up and loved on them as much as we could.

Of the five kittens, I would have to say that Tiger was the most beautiful.  As she grew, we noticed that she was a long-haired cat, and she had really gorgeous blue eyes.  She would've been a keeper, except she was not a people-cat.  We tried our best to love on her and pick her up and pet her a lot, but she didn't seem to enjoy it.  She preferred being out in the wild, exploring and hunting by herself.  Naturally, she was the first one that was given away.  Precious was the second to go, as she was perfectly marked and had beautiful green eyes.  She was more of a people-cat than Tiger, but she could've stood to be more friendly.  Fuzzy began to show signs of being a beautiful long-haired black cat, and his name morphed into Fozzy.  He was a favorite of mine because he loved to be picked up and held.  Poor little Blackie, though, she was the runt of the family, and it took her quite a while to start looking like a cat instead of just a drowned rat.  She ended up staying with us longer than we expected, and she eventually gave birth to five kittens (all black).  We were able to give most of the kittens away, but she and the last two we took to the Humane Society.  We just couldn't afford to feed and fix five cats.

But Morris, he was the one with the personality. And he showed it from day one.  He was curious and inquisitive,always bold enough to go where the others wouldn't.  And he loved Walter.  As a kitten he loved clinging to Walter's legs or shoes, even when Walter was walking around!  He was always up under our feet, meowing quietly, trying to get our attention.  Other times he would just catapult (pardon the pun) into our laps, knead for a few minutes, and then settle down to sleep, purring contently.  And he would sleep in the oddest positions.
Morris on the Toilet Lounging around Morris and his teddy dog Morris snoozing away Morris covering his eyes

He would often meow at the bedroom door when we would take naps on Saturday afternoons, until he learned to open the door by himself.  Then he would throw his front paws up on the door and put his weight against the door and let himself in.  He'd jump up on the bed, knead on us for a little while, then curl up in the crook of Walter's arm and fall asleep on Walter's shoulder, purring softly.  When Blackie had her kittens, Morris would think nothing of taking over motherly duties when Blackie left the box that she stayed in with the kittens.  It was funny to see Blackie hop out of the box, stretch, and walk over to the food dish and then see Morris get in the box, circle around, and settle down amongst the kittens, crawling all over him and nuzzling.  He and Fozzy got along fine most of the time, but as they got older, they vied for our favor, against each other.  Morris was the dominant one, and would often think nothing of hauling off and swatting Foz for no reason.  Foz always resented Morris for pushing him around, but in the end, they would often nuzzle and sleep curled up with each other.  It was a typical brotherly love-hate relationship.
Cat Chow Heaven Sawing Logs Buddies Fight in progress
Then we introduced a new kitten, Juno, to the family.  Juno had come from a litter of kittens that was born in a barn across the street from Walter's dad.  Juno had the courage to wander across an extremely busy highway and into Walter's dad's yard. Little Juno His dad noticed poor little Juno hanging from the dog's mouth and rescued him, nursed him back to health, and then gave him to us.  Juno was a special cat all in himself.   He was spunkier than any other cat we'd ever seen.  He had a high-pitched meow that made his presence unmistakable and demanding to be attended to.  And he loved Walter more than anyone else.  When Walter would come in from workFriends for Life and sit down in the living room, he would sprint across the room and jump up onto his lap, crawl up his chest, and stick his face in Walter's face, often licking Walter's nose.    Morris and Fozzy were not too hip on the idea of a new kitten, but as the months passed, Morris began to warm up to Juno (although Fozzy never really cared for him).  Morris took on a fatherly role, and would often play-fight with Juno as if he was teaching him "the basics".  They romped in the living room, swatting at each other, tumbling on the floor, and then Juno would end up getting a good bath from Morris.  Then they'd curl up on the bed and fall fast asleep.  A special friendship began to develop.

But fate was not kind to Juno and Morris.

 As Juno got older, we finally decided he was capable of fighting for himself, and it was time to let him roam outside like Morris and Fozzy did.  Juno enjoyed exploring the great outdoors, being chased by Foz, and playing with Morris.  But the fateful day in 1995 came when Juno strayed into the street at the wrong time and was killed by a passing motorist.  I came home from work that day and found Walter in the back yard, holding Juno in his arms, tears streaming down his face as he gently stroked Juno's pure white fur.  And there was no way to explain to Morris where Juno had gone.  Morris wandered around lost for several days, often coming into the house and sniffing the area where Juno's food and water dishes used to be.  He often seemed as if he was actually looking for Juno in the house and in the yard.  It broke our hearts.

But time began to heal the wounds, as we watched Morris and Fozzy mature over the next years.   We all began to settle into a routine, and life went on as usual.  We ran into some hard times, where we were scraping together every single dime that we could.  Many important things fell by the wayside as we struggled to make ends meet, including our yearly visit to the vet.  It was not until September of 1997 that we realized our grievous mistake.  Morris became languid, where he would lay in the yard and hardly get up at all.  It took everything he had just to get to his food dish.  Just scratching himself would overexert him and he would start having a seizure.  We took him to the vet and were devastated to learn that he had feline leukemia.  We had two choices at that point: to put him to sleep, or to spend a lot of money to try to save him for a few more months.  We couldn't stand the thought of losing such a permanent part of us, so we shelled out money we didn't have to try to save him. After several weeks of hand feeding him, giving him medicine, staying in the living room at night with him, and tending to his every need, he began to recover.  He was able to go out in the yard again, wander around, and enjoy a few more weeks of life.  But it was soon that he crashed again, this time for the worse.  He didn't seem to recognize us anymore, he wouldn't purr, his eyes were fully dilated, and we couldn't get him to eat.  Finally, we were forced with the reality of putting him to sleep.  It killed us to do it, no matter how many times we told ourselves we were doing the right thing.  And it was the hardest thing we've ever had to do.

But we have lots of good memories of Morris, and lots of great pictures and stories of him.  He will always be a part of us, and we will always cherish the short time that he was allowed to be with us and enlighten our lives.  The moral here (that we learned the hard way) is to keep up the yearly shots on your beloved pets.  We were lucky that Fozzy did not contract the leukemia from Morris, and we were quick to update his shots.  You can never replace the love that comes from a special pet like Morris, nor will you ever forgive yourself for letting other things take priority in times of hardship.  Please be sure to vaccinate your pet EVERY year.  If you don't, you may find it will be the last year you spend with your pet.

 
Morris    Juno    Fozzy


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Back to the Home Page e was spunkier than any other cat we'd ever seen.  He had a high-pitched meow that made his presence unmistakable and demanding to be attended to.  And he loved Walter more than anyone else.  When Walter would come in from workFriends for Life and sit down in the living room, he would sprint across the room and jump up onto his lap, crawl up his chest, and stick his face in Walter's face, often licking Walter's nose.    Morris and Fozzy were not too hip on the idea of a new kitten, but as the months passed, Morris began to warm up to Juno (although Fozzy never really cared for him).  Morris took on a fatherly role, and would often play-fight with Juno as if he was teaching him "the basics".  They romped in the living room, swatting at each other, tumbling on the floor, and then Juno would end up getting a good bath from Morris.  Then they'd curl up on the bed and fall fast asleep.  A special friendship began to develop.

But fate was not kind to Juno and Morris.

 As Juno got older, we finally decided he was capable of fighting for himself, and it was time to let him roam outside like Morris and Fozzy did.  Juno enjoyed exploring the great outdoors, being chased by Foz, and playing with Morris.  But the fateful day in 1995 came when Juno strayed into the street at the wrong time and was killed by a passing motorist.  I came home from work that day and found Walter in the back yard, holding Juno in his arms, tears streaming down his face as he gently stroked Juno's pure white fur.  And there was no way to explain to Morris where Juno had gone.  Morris wandered around lost for several days, often coming into the house and sniffing the area where Juno's food and water dishes used to be.  He often seemed as if he was actually looking for Juno in the house and in the yard.  It broke our hearts.

But time began to heal the wounds, as we watched Morris and Fozzy mature over the next years.   We all began to settle into a routine, and life went on as usual.  We ran into some hard times, where we were scraping together every single dime that we could.  Many important things fell by the wayside as we struggled to make ends meet, including our yearly visit to the vet.  It was not until September of 1997 that we realized our grievous mistake.  Morris became languid, where he would lay in the yard and hardly get up at all.  It took everything he had just to get to his food dish.  Just scratching himself would overexert him and he would start having a seizure.  We took him to the vet and were devastated to learn that he had feline leukemia.  We had two choices at that point: to put him to sleep, or to spend a lot of money to try to save him for a few more months.  We couldn't stand the thought of losing such a permanent part of us, so we shelled out money we didn't have to try to save him. After several weeks of hand feeding him, giving him medicine, staying in the living room at night with him, and tending to his every need, he began to recover.  He was able to go out in the yard again, wander around, and enjoy a few more weeks of life.  But it was soon that he crashed again, this time for the worse.  He didn't seem to recognize us anymore, he wouldn't purr, his eyes were fully dilated, and we couldn't get him to eat.  Finally, we were forced with the reality of putting him to sleep.  It killed us to do it, no matter how many times we told ourselves we were doing the right thing.  And it was the hardest thing we've ever had to do.

But we have lots of good memories of Morris, and lots of great pictures and stories of him.  He will always be a part of us, and we will always cherish the short time that he was allowed to be with us and enlighten our lives.  The moral here (that we learned the hard way) is to keep up the yearly shots on your beloved pets.  We were lucky that Fozzy did not contract the leukemia from Morris, and we were quick to update his shots.  You can never replace the love that comes from a special pet like Morris, nor will you ever forgive yourself for letting other things take priority in times of hardship.  Please be sure to vaccinate your pet EVERY year.  If you don't, you may find it will be the last year you spend with your pet.

 
Morris    Juno    Fozzy


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