Hamlet - Large and Black
Acquired in January 1995 from an animal shelter, Hamlet was a cute little black bundle of fur. Due to strange circumstances another person cared for him in St Louis for a while and he apparently wasn't fed consistantly. When we 'rescued' him in August 1995, he was an average size. Once we got him home, he now gobbles everything in sight when he's fed. BIG kitty.
Hamlet also gets called Ham-Lump, Hamster and Hammaluphagus!
Hamlet loves any kind of food. When Oscar was alive, they did catch two mice in winter '98.
Jan 99 sees Hamlet at a slightly hefty 18 pounds. Note that even though that picture shows him outside, he was on a leash. He is definitely an indoor cat only. We're trying to now feed the cats separately - Hamlet gets an Iams "light" diet downstairs and Oscar gets a "senior" diet up in the bedroom. Hopefully this will keep them both happy. Hamlet has learned well to leave the room when the parakeets are out - they think he's part of the "flock" and try to land on him when he's around! Another good reason to always be present and alert when the parakeets are out, period :)
Hamlet in 2000
Hamlet in 2001 - Click for Larger Image
By March 2001, Hamlet has hit 21 pounds. Time to take some action. He's still quite active, but we've put him onto a prescription diet to try to get him back down to something reasonable. He's still very cuddly, and you can hear him coming down the stairs :)
Juliet and Hamlet
In April 2002 Hamlet is back down to 18. Hurrah!
By January 2004 he's back up to 19 pounds. This mostly happens because when we go away on trips we leave lots of food out for them and they gorge.
2010. Early in the month Hamlet suddenly started limping. We brought him to the vet, but they couldn't find any cause at all for his front right foot to not bear weight well. It wasn't tender anywhere, it didn't seem strained. He just didn't want to put a lot of weight on it. On January 26th and 27th he seemed very worn down. When he came to sleep with me at night he seemed just exhausted, and lay against me as if he were dead. I held him close and told him it would be all right, that I knew he wasn't in good shape. Then on January 28th he was curled up in my office as usual, keeping me company. He stood up and suddenly his back side collapsed, and he tried to pull himself forward with just his front two legs, crying. I yelled for Bob to come help and then called the vet. We got Hamlet to the vet within 8 minutes. They knew almost immediately that it had been a clot. The clot travels down a bit blood vessel along the spine and then gets to the hips, where it splits into two sides to go to each leg. The clot had jammed there. They could tell by how the legs were becoming cold due to lack of blood.
Our choice was to send him to the local high tech facility for them to work intensively on him. He would probably die during the operations. If he did live, he would most likely lose both legs and be a cat with only two front legs. We already had one front leg not working well. And since this was a serious clot issue, it wouldn't stop here. It would keep making new clots until something landed in his brain or somewhere else important. And he was in a lot of pain.
We had him given sedatives, and then after a lot of sad goodbyes, we had him put to sleep.
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