Don’t laugh, but Crusty was found with a Fritos bag on his head! We affectionately referred to this as him being an “original forager”, bringing a real life meaning to what we know to be all about toys and enrichment at our house. He was foraging for his life. I’m sure licking the contents out of the bag was delicious!
A local rescue woman brought him to see us at the office because he was a such a mess she didn’t want to take him to one of her many “regular vets”, Crust needed cat people! Let’s see if I can recall his myriad of issues, a mouth full of horrible teeth which resulted in full mouth extractions, he was FIV+, he had Pododermatitis on all four feet, a condition seen with FIV+ cats and interestingly more common in male cats as well. He had the Feline Herpes Virus, no surprise when you look at his pics and runny eyes and nose. His body was covered in scars. You can see in all of his photos, even at his most handsome and with hair styling by Moi, he looks a bit motheaten and splotchy. Feet chronically stained from his eye discharge, and well, he was old, old as crust! This is how he got the name, old and crusty, but then we didn’t want his name to be too derogatory, so we added the “Mr.” and “Seymour” and see, now his name was fancy and fun!
This cat was something else. Super timid with people at first, he was a “cats’ cat” and that became ever so much more evident as he healed and we introduced him to G.G. They made the cutest little senior citizen couple! He was not exactly adoptable. I mean, to the right individual, but he needed to be with other cats and with a whole host of medical issue we were not exactly advertising to place him. He became a staple at the clinic, and he was even ok with dogs. I brought Yukon, our German Shepard up for cold laser therapy pretty regularly for a while, and you can see that Crust happily nestled into the tail fur and supervised my treatments!
He, along with G.G. and Fluffy (I know!), were the three clinic cats I brought home that one Thanksgiving week and never brought them back. To see them blossom in a home, enjoy the fireplace, sofa, screened porch and to sleep in our bed, how could I possible return them to clinic life at their age? Now clinic cats were not exactly destitute at our practice, they lived the lap of luxury compared to most, but it was still a “harder” environment. No rugs, no soft furnishings, no bed or human to sleep with and they deserved that.
Crusty fully took advantage of all of the amenities! He really settled in, let his guard down and played a lot for a senior cat with medical problems. He even got to go for stroller walks! A far cry from fighting for his life on the street. He practically lived out on the screen porch and being a cat’s cat, he had SO MANY friends here. I have always found males to be a bit more easy going and accepting of others and this could not have been more true in our home. We had an overwhelming number of boys and he could often be found in the cuddle puddle. In preparing for this post, I was reminded of many videos of he and Hitch wrestling together, grooming each other, lots of mutual grooming. He was in heaven!
While he was living with us, he also developed diabetes (Yay! He became my THIRD diabetic cat AT THE SAME TIME!) likely subsequent to the steroids used to treat his pododermatitis. He also developed heart disease and chronic kidney disease. So his laundry list of medications and treatments grew.
I have no idea how old Crust was, we guessed maybe 15 years or so. Who knows how old he was when he passed. He’s one of those cats with lots of secrets we will never know. I got the call while I was at work, Jake came home from work and found Mr. Seymour Crusty had passed away. He looked to have fallen asleep quite peacefully in a soft, fuzzy, plush bed. His little heart just gave out. We understood this might happen but we always hope to be with them to help them leave us and be there to say our goodbyes. It doesn’t happen often, but at the time he was the second cat we found deceased and did not plan for. This is never a good feeling. Looking back on all of the photos and videos though helps us know we did right by him. He had a nice retirement here with us. We have no regrets. We like to think he enjoyed our snacks more than Frito crumbs!