Monster Kitty 2006 - 2024

Monster Kitty

On June 28, 2006 we adopted Professor Xavier from Petland near Fox Valley. Liz, Mike and I picked him up from there and drove him home. He was just a little kitty only 8 weeks old. Mike named him Xavier -- The X-Men movie was out and very popular, his name was inspired by the movie. We originally wrote down Professor Xavier (or Professor X from the movie), but when we came home...

When we took him out of his carrier from Petland, we introduced him to our wonderful furry calico cat named Piggie (originally named Neko). The first thing Xavier did was stand on his hind legs and hiss at Neko, like a Monster. In part, Neko gave Xavier the nickname of Monster.

He was never a Monster, but he was very playful and fun as a kitty. He loved to get into Cathie's desk and steal little metal beads and bat them around the house. Or he would break into the planning desk drawer and steal an emory board and walk around with it in his mouth. Perhaps the most serious was when he would take the wooden handled steak knives out of their holder and walk around with them -- we had to retire those knives. 8-) He ran around and played nicely with Neko.

In 2010, Monster got very sick. He was vomiting green bile and very lethargic. We took him to the vet and they diagnosed likely bowel obstruction. The vet did not have the proper equipment to verify and sent us to the Veterinary Specialist Center up North near Deerfield. I dropped him off in the evening. The next morning, they called me from the surgery room asking for authorization for emergency major surgery. We knew he was in trouble, but this was really serious.

He made it through the surgery and the next day we got a call from the hospital that he bit a Vet Tech. We appoligized but knew then that he was going to be ok. We got him home the next day and kept him in the master bed room for a few days. The hospital sent back a big piece of black rubber -- it looks like he chewed off the end of a hair brush.

We knew everything was ok when he started to eat and poop like normal.

He bounced back and didn't seemed phased. His biting behavior continued. He was twice reported to the county -- cat bites almost always lead to skin infections, and doctors report all animal bites to the county. One of the times was when his rabies shot had expired; he had to visit the vet for two months straight to verify his health. We never let his rabies expire again. What a Monster!

Monster settled into a couple of routine behaviors. He would spend most of his idle time on the couch in the living room. At bedtime, he would walk into the family room and beg for us to go to bed. Or sometimes we would go to bed and ask him if he was ready '... are you ready?" He would walk to the top of the stairs and drop down ("kerplop") on his back to get scritches. Very adorable.

He also insisted on being watered from a water faucet. The morning bathroom routine: he would jump up next to the sink and wait for the water to be turned on for him. Same for lunch time at the kitchen sink. He would even ask visitors for water. Perhaps he was a little bossy.

He would stick his head into the water. It didn't phase him. We thought it was funny; it was as if he had seal fur. 8-) Again very adorable.

Pie Kitty joined us in 2013. He was Liz's cat. She had him with her in Wisconsin for her Masters and the beginning of her Doctorate studies. When Pie visited, it would drive Monster crazy. Monster would be sitting on the kitchen chair. His tail would be dangling over the side; Pie would slap at his tail which would make Monster mad and he would swish his tail even more, evoking more slaps from Pie. It was really funny to watch. The two cats mostly got along; mostly ignoring each other.

Neko and Monster got along ok. Every so once in awhile they would hiss at each other. She would come when you called her. Monster on the other hand would come to you and sit infront of you if he wanted you to do something for him. Sweet vs bossy. That was ok; they had very different personalities.

When Pie joined us, the diet changed to include wet, canned foods. The cats loved that. The problem was the canned food was only served once per day. To the minute, Monster knew when it was time for dinner. Starting at 5:45pm each evening he would start staring at people trying to get them to feed him.

When Tiny joined us in 2016, Monster took delight in eating Tiny's kitten food. It was rich (and fattening) and he loved it. We tried to separate their food, but that was hard to enforce. After Covid brought everyone home all day, Monster learned that he could get fed anytime he wanted. For example at lunch time, I would fix shaved ham and cheese wraps. He learned to find me in the study just before noon and stare at me. As ordered, I would come downstairs, fix myself a wrap, go back to the study and he would get fed scraps of the ham... the ham soon became known as cat-ham. He also got little carvings from our home cooked steaks. It was just a treat and not the majority of his diet.

In 2021, Monster got sick. He started loosing weight. We flew home from Sanibel in May to take care of him. We thought that was it for him. But no, he bounced back! He started eating again. He continued his bossy, if not grouchie disposition, like before. But little by little he was loosing weight. We knew his days were numbered.

He moved from the couch to the window seat in the kitchen. Liz discovered we could get him to eat if we fed hime something different; further, he learned that he could get fed canned food multiple times per day. He just jumped up on the counter and stared at us. He was rotating between 4 different types of canned food, two different types of gravy-based pouches, baby food, and kruchie treats. He would eat a little bit multiple times a day.

We decided he was a retired cat, living his best years, being waited on, finally, by the people. He moved from the family room couch to the bay window seat in the kitchen. He loved it when the window was open. He was able to jump from the window seat to the kitchen table to the kitchen counter to get served. He would also jump over to the kitchen sink for water.

When it got cold, he switched to the spot on the kitchen floor by the sink. The hot air from the furance blew strongly there and that kept him warm. We bought a padded floor mat to keep him comfortable.

During Covid, he learned that he could jump up on our bed, lick our face and someone would get up and feed him. I always did. Liz and Cathie learned to ignore him. It ended up that he would always wake me up in the morning. I would get up at 6am or even earlier to fulfil his wishes. Very bossy.

I often worked from the kitchen counter. If Monster wanted something, he would jump up on the counter and stare at me. People probably didn't notice, but sometimes he would be rubbing up against me, head-butting me, and purring... He tried to look bossy, but really he was a sweetheart inside.

After we got Doc, life changed for the cats. Pie was very aggresively asserted dominance, slapping Doc on a whim. Tiny was afraid of Doc and ran away and hid. But Monster didn't care. He continued his routine as if there were no dog in the house. Sometimes Doc would try to play with Monster. Monster would either ignore him or slap him. One time Doc was curled up in front of the kitchen sink sleeping. Monster sat infront of Doc and stared at him until he moved: either moved over or moved out of the way completly.

Doc would sleep with us at night upstairs. After awhile Monster decided that he wanted to sleep with us too. It was adorable to see Monster at Cathie's feet and Doc up by Cathie's head in bed.

Last October, Monster took a turn for the worse. He had become quite skinny, but what was worse was the he lost a tooth and there was an absesse in his mouth, with drainage coming out of his eye. We took him to the vet, and he tried to heal him, spending a lot of time cleaning out his infection. The vet gave Monster a day or two to live. Well, the next day, Monster was eating, sleeping with us and even drinking water from the kitchen sink. He continued to live a very normal life for another 5 months.

We went on vacation for New Years and in February. Our house sitters had no problem with Monster. Sure enough even though were weren't around, Monster found them and sat in front of them and stared when he wanted to be fed. Angela from was amazed that such an old skinny cat could continue to live a normal routine so well. We were pleased that he was good for her. It was just a couple of weeks later that he finally lost all strength and passed away peacefully: one day he stopped eating, two days later he couldn't stand or walk, then another day and he was gone. It was fast, but he was still with us until the end. We gave him lots of hugs and love on his last day.

I was very greatful to Liz for finding the formula to keep him going: lots of frequent small meals rotating the menu. While he always had a grouchie look on his face, he often would head butt us and purr, acknowledging his love for us. He was quite a cat and will be missed greatly.

Monster Kitty, may you rest in peace. Love you!!