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Sean's Blog

Shark: 1993-2007


The assessment given by the vet who diagnosed Shark’s cancer was correct. He said that Shark probably had a few weeks, maybe a month, to live. That pronouncement was made on August 13, and the end came on September 12.

I originally got Shark in the summer of 1994. We had stopped by a dancewear store in Ann Arbor during the sidewalk sales that accompany the annual Art Fair (which is actually four different art fairs). There were 2 cats living in the store, but the store was getting ready to move, and the owner told us that in their new location they wouldn’t be able to have cats. The two were litter mates, and his sister had already been promised to someone, but Shark didn’t have a home lined up yet (that was already his name). We agreed to take him, as there was only one cat in our house at the time, who we thought would like the company. It took a couple of days to accomplish this, because he would run away and hide in the store’s attic wall whenever anyone tried to catch him and put him in a carrier.

He was pretty much my cat from the outset. He was only a year or so old when I got him, and wasn’t much interested in sitting on my lap or being picked up. Eventually, though, he did come to like such things after he got a little older and mellower. For several years he would go flying through the air when he’d play, as can be seen on his web page. In later years he got less active, and also somewhat chubby.

Generally he was a healthy cat, with occasional problems such as when he ate a bunch of thread right out of the sewing machine, and I found him with it hanging out of his mouth, still attached to the machine. He was diagnosed with a heart condition a couple of years ago (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), but medication kept that in check (Shark has always been easy to give pills to). This year he lost weight over several months, which initially was thought to be thyroid-related (and might have been in part), but he turned out to be in worse shape.

He declined slowly, still being affectionate, but hiding more often and losing his appetite despite pain-killing medication. This past Wednesday he hid all day, and by evening was crying when we tried to move him, and then was unable to walk correctly. I took him to the emergency vet clinic late that evening.

It was hard to say goodbye, and I keep being reminded of things I will miss about him. I also have occasionally forgotten that he’s gone in the past couple of days, thinking in the morning that I have to give him medicine, and the like.

To our surprise, when our normal vet found out he’d been euthanized, they sent flowers. I’ll end this post with a picture of that arrangement:


Posted by seaking on 09-15-2007 at 02:09 pm
Posted in Cats, News

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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. And I am so glad Shark had such a good life with you.

    The day Vanyel died, his regular vet was off, so one of the other vets took care of us. (Actually, everyone there that day took really good care of us.) A week or so later, I received a letter from the Cornell Feline Health Center telling me that his regular vet had made a donation to the feline leukemia research program in Van’s name. It was a lovely surprise, and meant a lot to me.

    Sue and I are thinking of you.

    Comment by Stasa — September 16, 2007 @ 17:44
  2. Poor Shark. I’m sorry for your fuzzy companion loss. 🙁 It was awfully nice of the Vet to send flowers.

    Comment by boo — September 17, 2007 @ 09:31
  3. HUGS!!!

    Comment by Nif — September 17, 2007 @ 12:02
  4. Thank you, you three. Stasa, I’m sorry you never got to meet him (Sue might have, when we lived in Ann Arbor, but I don’t recall).

    Comment by seaking — September 17, 2007 @ 21:21
  5. Many hugs. I totally know that feeling of double-take, too. I’ve looked at Shark’s web page a few times, and I love the pictures, especially the flying ones. 🙂

    Comment by Jen — September 18, 2007 @ 11:19
  6. I was hoping he might hold out until we got out there again in March, but clearly it was not to be.

    I’m sure that I will think of ct Shark when I’m lying in bed and can see just the tail of one of our cats cruising back and forth (like a shark fin).

    Comment by Kevin — September 19, 2007 @ 16:32
  7. Thank you, Jen. I’ve always liked those pictures, too. In general, I think I have more pictures of him from when he was younger, partially because he was much more hyper. 🙂

    Kevin: Him making it to the Spring would have been nice, and I thought he might last longer than the month that was predicted, but I didn’t have any hope of him lasting that long. Perhaps if his cancer had been found and treated very early, but I think the nature of cats makes early detection of anything extremely rare.

    You mention the nickname CT Shark: for others, that was coined by sm’s father. It stands for Crooked Tail, as Shark had a kink in the end of his tail.

    Other nicknames given to Shark by us or others over the years:
    -Sharkola, Sharkini, Sharkoohoo (all three said as a set)
    -Sharkpod (having nothing to do with iPods)
    -Sausage Cat

    Comment by seaking — September 20, 2007 @ 10:26
  8. Oh Sean, I’m so sorry to hear… Shark was such a sweet, sweet cat. 🙁 Big hugs to you and sm, and scritches to Arzachel – losing a member of the family is hard.

    And that’s so cool that your vet sent flowers.

    Comment by Hope Dundas — September 22, 2007 @ 00:23
  9. Dear Sean,sm and Arzachel,
    We are sorry for your loss and grateful that Shark lived in such a caring home to spend his happy days. You were kind to him as was he in return.
    In health, Ranae & Duncan
    “Love is perfect kindness.”
    ~Joseph Campbell~

    Comment by Ranae — September 24, 2007 @ 15:19
  10. Thank you, Hope, Ranae, and Duncan. Shark was a sweet and friendly cat, and liked anybody he met, as long as he could meet them one-at-a-time (he’d get nervous when a bunch of people would visit). 🙂

    Comment by seaking — September 24, 2007 @ 15:40
  11. Oh, poop! We always hope they’ll live forever. You gave Shark a good life. He was a sweetie.

    Comment by Laura D — September 24, 2007 @ 16:29
  12. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sure you have him the best life possible!

    Comment by Lolcats — October 1, 2007 @ 14:21

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