Goodbye, Mr. Goopuss!

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I adopted this six-month-old kitty with Cara Mia on November 28, 2005. I changed his name from Butterball to Gobblin’ Goopuss. He was a frisky black feline with a loud and continuous motor. In his younger years he derived perverse satisfaction from frequent “cat spats” with his sister Cara Mia and his uncle Charlie Chompers. Like C.P. Pirate, he also enjoyed harassing Googlie Girl. He used to interfere with me and the things on my desk when I was working on the computer. As he became more mature, he retained his friendly and talkative nature. He reaped a bit of what he sowed in my youth. He was often the victim of Rascal Spatz’s harassment; Rascal is a perpetrator of kitty conflicts.




As a middle-aged adult, Gobblin’ had to have surgery for a rodent ulcer and, later, for a growth on his chin. He also developed hyperthyroidism, for which he was treated daily. In late 2018, his appetite decreased markedly. Expecting a flare-up of kidney disease, I was surprised to learn that blood work indicated cancer, probably lymphoma. Gobblin’ crossed the Rainbow Bridge on December 2, 2018.

Cara Mia Departs

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After Peapurr crossed the Rainbow Bridge in November 2005, I was eager to adopt kitties needing homes. Saying “hello” is so much easier than saying “goodbye.” Certainly I was lucky that the kind folks at Gasow Veterinary Hospital had rescued two special felines from the jaws of death. They fit the bill “purrfectly.” I officially adopted Cara Mia and Gobblin’ Goopuss on November 28, 2005; they came home on December 4. Cara Mia (formerly Taters) was a lovely two- to three-year old calico with tortie/tabby markings. Because I teach biblical Greek and Hebrew, I wanted to give her a special name. “Cara Mia” means “one joy” or “one delight” in biblical Greek. Cara Mia loved people and cried loudly for individual attention; hence, I nicknamed her “WOWa Mia.”


In August 2016 the veterinary oncologist, Dr. B., diagnosed Cara Mia with breast cancer. Because of this, I have worried about Cara Mia for the last two years. Cara Mia joined an experimental program that kept her feeling pretty normal for most of those two years. In September 2017 she had surgery to remove the largest of the tumors, which was causing trouble. After recovering from surgery, Cara Mia did well for some time. In May 2018 she visited the oncologist, who noted that Cara Mia had lost a lot of weight. When her appetite bottomed out, I gave her an appetite stimulant that worked well. Finally, however, the remaining tumors reached the point where they were uncomfortable. Cara Mia began to exhibit some effort in her breathing. Our friend Dr. R. and I decided that it was time to say goodbye. Cara Mia crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully on July 6. 2018. I will REALLY miss her!

New Foster Feline

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For many years our mom has had a series of “foster felines” through a cat rescue in California known as Pet Pride. She just learned that her last foster cat, Bandit II, had crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 16. She has now been assigned a handsome orange cat named Sheldon. A nice person at Pet Pride described him:

He is a neutered male who came to us in 2014 due to a death in his family. He is now 6 years old and is still waiting for his “Special Home”. In the meantime, he has lots of fun at the “Home for Cats” and really enjoys playing with toys as you can see in his photo.

Mom is thrilled to support this lovely boy through monthly donations. We would like to meet him in purrson, but Mom says he lives too far away. We think he looks a lot like Mitchner McGarrulous.

Cat Care Reports

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Sometimes Mom thinks she spends half her life on cat care tasks. In addition to the twice-daily routine of feeding, cleaning the numerous litter boxes, and providing fresh water, she makes frequent trips with one or another of us to the dreaded veterinarian. The most recent victims of her cat care are Pearl Grey and Cara Mia.

Pearl Grey

I finally reached the “age of accountability”: time to get spayed. Mom took me out in the carrier on the evening of October 23 and dumped me at Gasow Veterinary Hospital. Little did I know the joy that awaited me! After midnight, no one would give me any food. Several people passed by my cage, but no one would throw me a crumb. Then I was removed from the cage. A weird contraption was put on my face, and I fell asleep. When I awakened, I was really groggy at first. Then I noticed that fur had been shaved off my belly, and there were several stitches. Fortunately, they gave me medicine that helped me not feel so bad.

I did wonder where Mom was. At last she came to get me on Wednesday evening. My godmother Mary Jane was with her. I was placed into a carrier, and they took me home. My troubles were not over, however. As soon as I got out of the carrier, they put a weird plastic contraption around my neck. Mom started calling me “Conehead.” I found that I had a hard time navigating with that E-collar. What is worse, it was difficult to eat and drink. To her credit, Mom did try different bowls and dishes to help me. Nevertheless, I was NOT happy that I had to wear that thing for ten whole days.

I had to endure another ride in the carrier, but at least when I got to the hospital someone removed my stitches, and I did not get left there all by myself. Best of all, I am a conehead no longer!

Cara Mia

For over a year now Mom has hauled me out to a place called Oakland Veterinary Referral Services from time to time. My own vet, Dr. T., had recommended that Mom take me there after Mom found a lump or two on my belly. On my first visit there, I was poked, prodded, and photographed. After that I went there about once a month for a long time. Mom started giving me this weird liquid once, twice, and now three times a day as a part of an “experimental study.” I am not supposed to eat at least an hour before or after my dose. Boo hiss hiss!

Eventually the time between trips to the oncologist lengthened to two and then three months. I still had to take the medicine three times a day. The doctor was pleased with my progress. One of my lumps started to give me problems, however. Dr. B. suggested that Mom could arrange to have it removed. She said that surgery would not cause problems because I was “stable.” After a couple of emergency trips to OVRS because of my bleeding, Mom scheduled my pre-surgical testing and my surgery.

I had my surgery on September 14. Like Pearl Grey, I got some pain medication for a few days and had to wear the “cone of shame.” Mom stuck me by myself in the bathroom so I would take it easy. I had to wear that stupid cone and be locked up in the bathroom until September 26, when my stitches were removed. Then I got to return to Mom’s bedroom with some of my feline friends.

I got even with Mom, though. From the moment I came home after surgery until just recently, I decided to protest getting my experimental medicine by drooling profusely after each and every dose. Sometimes the best revenge is just grossing out your abuser! Finally, I decided to take the “high road,” and most times I don’t drool anymore.

Mom took me to see Dr. B. just yesterday. Dr. B. says I am doing great! She told Mom that I am mentioned by name when the study findings (to date) are presented. In fact, Dr. B took my picture so it can be used in the presentations. I am going to be famous. Mom cares less about that than she does about me doing so well. I am quite happy about that, too!

A Special Award

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Possum was posthumously awarded a special honor: he was named the Catster Superhero in a photo contest in late 2013. He received the most votes cast in a special online election. Mom’s “Purrfect Hunk of Pussycat” was drawn in costume by Jeff Hebert.