In memoriam:

Feb. 1995 - 21 Dec. 2009


Sex: Male Born: February, 1995
Died: 21 Dec. 2009
Type: Grey tabby shorthair, very small white locket. Origin: Shelter.
Features: Timid. Hid from strangers, loud noises. Chittered when irritated.
Name: After mythical creature in folklore of Canadian tribes, subject of short story The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood.


I was considering getting a pair of kittens in May of '95, when I was put in touch with a woman who had rescued a foundling kitten, whom I adopted and named Minx. Wanting to have two, so they could grow up together and would be less likely to drive the adult cats crazy, I went to the local shelter and adopted Wendigo, a large, grey tabby kitten. Minx smacked him around a little at first (despite being about half his size), but they grew fond of each other and got along well.

Wendigo grew up to be a fairly large, rangey cat, fond of lying on his back. He was sweet, loving, and gentle, but something of a wimp. Loud noises terrified him (thunder, passing garbage trucks, the vacuum cleaner), and he hid from them, as well as from visitors. He also got very upset if other cats pounced on him, even in play, though occasionally he showed signs of standing up for himself instead of just screaming and running away. In his old age he became more assertive, and would smack down younger cats who annoyed him. His coloring darkened as he matured; as a kitten, he had mackerel tabby stripes all over, but later his body became almost solid grey, with the stripes only being obvious on his head, legs, and tail.

He remained on good terms with Minx, and formed a friendship with Red, with whom he had a lot in common. Wendigo was a quiet cat, and could usually be found on my bed or in one of the windowsill nappers, but he liked an occasional pounce game with a feather lure. He enjoyed watching birds out the window, and would also get quite excited and chitter happily at blowing leaves or, on the few occasions he saw them, snowflakes. He made a habit of getting into the bathtub after I'd taken a shower and licking drops of water off the sides.

Wendigo had some digestive problems throughout his life, and was eventually diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This contributed to his always being a bit underweight. During his last year he became very thin; a change in his medication got the IBD back under control and he started to eat more and gained a little weight, but after a couple of months he became ill and finally began having seizures and other symptoms of a central nervous system lesion. There was nothing further I could do for him, except have him put to sleep. He was just a couple of months shy of his fifteenth birthday, so in spite of his health problems he had a normal lifespan.


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With Other Cats

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