We adopted Ripley about 14 years ago from the Orphans of the Storm animal shelter about 10 miles north of Chicago. We had been thinking of getting a kitten, but we decided to get an adult cat, in part because most people pass them over in favor of kittens, but mostly because when you get an adult cat, what you see is what you get. If you adopt an adult cat, the way they are when you meet them is the way they’ll be for the rest of their lives.
We found Ripley by sitting down in the adult cat room and paying attention to which cats came over to play with us. Cat D51 (back then Orphans didn’t name them) came over to both of us several times and climbed right up into our laps. He responded to attention and purred and didn’t pick fights with the other cats. We decided to bring him home with us and name him Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s character in Aliens.
Just like at the shelter, Ripley loved to come visit us. The first time I laid down on the couch after bringing him home, he hopped right up and sat on my chest, purring. Almost every evening, my wife would sit in the reclining chair to read or watch television and Ripley would slowly creep up and curl up on her lap or her chest, where she could hold him and pet him. He was her best cat ever.
Toward the end of January, Ripley was diagnosed with immune mediated hemolytic anemia, which meant his immune system was attacking his red blood cells. Our vet gave him two transfusions and put him on very high dosages of immune suppressants. The drugs were causing liver damage, so we had to taper them off, and at yesterday’s vet visit, his red blood cell count was a little below normal again, and by this morning he was barely moving, so we took him right back to the vet for more tests. His red blood cell count had gone way down in just 15 hours, and his blood chemistry indicated multiple organ failure. There was nothing else we could do for him.
Ripley will be sorely missed. My wife is heartbroken. We’re both taking the day off from work.
Here he is with my old cat Dozer, who passed away in the summer of 2011. They were a couple of really good cats.
|Larger ImageRipley With Dozer|