19 Mar. 1997 - 29 Feb. 2016
I adopted Furrfu from a local shelter, along with Clovis. The two of them were in the same cage at the shelter (though they weren't littermates; Clovis was a week or two older). Furrfu was attempting to attract attention by sticking his little paw out of the cage and spiking anyone who got close enough. The attendant at the shelter seemed a bit surprised when I asked to hold him (I think she had mistaken his playful clawing for hostility), but he purred when I cuddled him. I'd already taken a liking to Clovis, and I figured I'd take them together since they already knew each other. They always remained good friends, although very different in nature.
Furrfu had a simple, sweet personality and was very devoted, spending a great deal of time on my lap. He was also a loyal bed cat, with a fondness for sleeping on top of me. He romped with Clovis a lot, and put up with Clovis' sitting on him and generally taking charge. Furrfu was usually a little shy with visitors at first, but soon got over that and demanded to be petted. He enjoyed resting on his back, usually with his legs splayed out and a thoughtful expression on his face.
One interesting alliance Furrfu developed was with Servalan. She was not normally sociable with the other cats; in fact, she was downright crabby with most of them. However, from the time Furrfu moved in, she adopted him. She curled up with him, washed him, and generally acted like a mother cat. Even after he grew up, she maintained her affection for him and they often snuggled together. I suspect she was misled by his color and thought he was a fellow Burmese.
During the summer of 2006, Furrfu developed a bad case of gingivitis stomatitis, essentially severely inflamed gums. This is a very painful autoimmune condition which made it difficult for him to eat, and he was losing weight rapidly. We tried medication, but it didn't help and finally the only option remaining was to extract all of his side teeth. That sounds drastic, but it is often the only way to control this problem. So, Furrfu only had his front teeth left, the canines and incisors. The extractions did clear up the inflammation, and he quickly adapted to eating without his teeth. He got canned food for his primary diet, but also snacked on dry food with no apparent difficulty. In old age he also lost his few remaining teeth, except for his upper right canine, which he kept to the end of his life.
Furrfu was very long-lived, making it to just short of his 19th birthday. As most geriatric cats will, he developed kidney failure, but he did very well with supportive care and medication for a long time. Eventually, however, it progressed to the point where I could no longer keep him comfortable, and I had to say good-bye. He kept his happy, loving nature right to the end, and while I miss him, I'm glad that he was able to enjoy his life for as long as he did. His death marked the end of an era; Furrfu was my last shelter kitten, the final survivor from the days when I went looking for cats to adopt, rather than their finding me, as they have done since.