Several years ago, when Huckleberry came to live as a part of the family of special needs animals that live in our home, we weren't sure if he'd survive. Our vet gave him only a 50-50 chance.
When a family in another county had moved, they'd just left Huckleberry outside the house they were leaving. He'd return to scratch at the door of the only home he'd known, but the new owners were not friendly to him and drove him away. Outside on his own, he was unable to find food or shelter from the harsh weather.
An animal control worker found him half dead. He was rail-thin, very sick, and wounded.
Although that county has no resources for sheltering cats (only dogs), she prevailed on the county vet to take him in for 5 days to see if he could be adopted during that time and find access to the more extensive medical care that he needed (otherwise he would be put down). We were so fortunate to find out about him on the fifth day. Once he began receiving the food, shelter, and care that he needed, he gradually began to recover and come to life. Perhaps because of the violence and brutality he experienced when he was abandoned, he was often shy and tentative. He was always gentle when he played with the others.
In one pictures you can see him snuggled on the bed with Snow, who was blind. When she passed away, Huckleberry began sleeping where she had always slept.
He was a playful cat, often running through the house and using his wonderfully large paws--he had 6 toes on each paw--to bat along a piece of wadded up paper or something else he'd discovered.
He began losing weight a couple of months ago and extensive tests were conducted to see what was wrong. He had an extremely rare but fatal illness. This last month he became very sick and spent a number of days in the hospital. His last day--which was yesterday as I write this--his blood pressure fell to 60 and extensive efforts to increase it were unsuccessful. Along with the fall in blood pressure came a fall in temperature. He'd been running a fever of around 103 but it fell to about 94 and nothing helped. Mid-morning his breathing became very labored. We were at the hospital with him and I was holding him in my lap, petting him and telling him how much I loved him, when he died peacefully.
Please follow this link to the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home.