c. 2000 - 04 Jan. 2014
Ancalagon showed up sometime during the summer of 2002, a shy, lanky young tom, one or two years old, who started to visit my stray feeder. It was the usual story: he was very cautious and timid with me at first, then let me touch him, then realized that he really, really liked having his head rubbed... Before long he had become a friendly and affectionate cat, and around the beginning of September, I adopted him.
Ancalagon was young enough that he didn't have deeply engrained tomcat habits, and he adapted easily to living in the house. In fact, it was apparent that despite his early life on the street, he was ideally suited to be a snuggly lap-cat. Almost ideally, that is; he grew and filled out significantly after moving in and he was a big fellow, especially when he lay on my chest when I was trying to sleep. It's hard to evict someone who's purring loudly at you, though.
Ancalagon liked to play in his younger days, especially with toys he could chase, and he got along very well with the other cats. He was quite fond of Zenobia, who shared his coloring pattern and was quite likely a relative of some sort. He was a very quiet cat; I almost never heard him vocalise at all (except when we were in the car on the way to the vet -- then he sometimes yowled.)
In early 2010, I found that Ancalagon had developed diabetes. He was difficult to get regulated, having some odd and unpredictable reactions to insulin, but appeared to feel just fine, showing few clinical signs of the disease. I put him on a grain-free, low-carbohydrate diet and monitored his glucose levels carefully with a home glucometer, adjusting his insulin dose on a daily basis as needed.
Then, in January of 2013, he was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy, quite advanced. The prognosis was not good, but fortunately he responded well to medication. He was able to live for a year after the diagnosis, though he required large amounts of medication to keep the condition under control. He was incredibly patient about all his pills, injections, glucose tests, and other treatment. His quality of life remained good, and he continued to take an interest in household activities, supervise me at the computer, and snuggle up beside me while I was reading.
Finally, after a year, his heart failed to the point where the medication could no longer keep him comfortable, and I let him go. While he wasn't as old as I would have hoped for him, he had a good run considering all his health problems, and was able to enjoy his life. He was a quiet, gentle, intelligent cat, very loving and a devoted companion. I will miss him.