Last Updated: 4/3/19
Photos are listed from newest to oldest.
Here are photos of GK from 10/8/16:
GK aerial view.
GK on 7/30/15.
GK's face - up close.
These photos are from 5/29/15 after I set up a double kennel for GK in the basement.
GK's cage from a distance showing the rabbits' cages too.
GK eyeing a squirrel in the road.
GK on the porch on 5/31/12.
GK on 3/14/12. I was taking a photo of the ponds and saw her later when processing the photos. Can you find her?
GK in my niece's car seat on 1/16/12.
These photos from 5/5/11 were taken to show the new pond overflow but GK showed up in them
Overflow - facing east from below with GK on the rock
Overflow - facing northeast, just a piece of it with GK on the rock
GK on the couch on 2/13/10.
GK with Tinkie on the couch on 2/16/08.
GK with Tinkie on the couch on 2/16/08.
GK on the couch, 1/13/08.
GK on 6/23/07.
GK on 5/6/06.
GK on 2/19/05 at Gino and Doodally's food bowl.
GK on 1/31/04 with two Furr Real fake cats on a dog bed.
GK on 3/26/03.
GK on 9/29/01.
GK was another shy cat that might have been feral or may have belonged to a neighbor. GK is short for Gray Kitty. She was a generic gray cat. She used to run at first sight of any human but started to come around after Tippy ate. Then, she and Tippy became buddies, and she all of a sudden on 3/1/01, came to eat as soon as I put the bowl down. She then let me pet her and even pick her up. I verified that she was a female. She was quiet and ignored me but let me pet her while she ate. Tippy let her eat the best food first before he ate. On 3/10/01, I felt GK's front paws, and she was declawed. For an indoor cat, declawing is cruel but for an outdoor cat, I believe it to be unconscionable. By April of 2001, she hung around a lot and ran up to me for food and attention. If I pet her when she was not eating, she nipped at me. That is pretty common in declawed cats. Finally, in May of 2001, I brought her to the vet. She said that GK was 3 to 4 years old, spayed, and declawed. She got her shots. She did come to me some times and liked attention. She was actually very sweet most of the time (boy, would that change!)! Samantha did not like her though, and they had stare downs. GK was now pretty much my cat! I put collars on her but she kept losing them. By 10/8/01, GK was around most of the time and liked me (purring and rubbing) but she got stalked by Samantha most of the time. In the winter of 2002, GK now spent cold nights in the basement. Saman was then locked up in a dog crate because they fought. GK turned into a sweetie (reading this on 3/29/19 as I put her web page in to the past tense, I actually cannot believe that I ever called GK a sweetie because she was never affectionate later in life). She sometimes nipped for no reason but my cousin picked her up in March of 2002 when I was not around, and GK did not try to hurt her at all. She even played with a necklace with her even though she had never seemed interested in playing with me. I guess it is just something about kids (my cousin is 16 years younger than I)!
Here is another photo of GK in June of 2001.
I wrote this stupid poem about GK one day that jumped into my head. I have never seen her catch a mouse in reality! I know the poem does not follow official rules for poem writing.
One day she came
A sweet, little dame
A kitty gray, blue, and tame.
But what do you name
A kitty so tame?
Gray kitty is her name!
A mousy appeared, GK had to aim.
I shouted, "No, please don't maim!"
GK thought it was a game
But the mousy was now lame
The cat, proud of her fame.
Each day I call
It's always the same,
She runs away.
I guess she's not tame after all!
It's a shame!
During the worst winter in 100 years, 2002-2003, GK became a partially indoor cat, spending most of her time inside during the heavy snows and bitter cold. At first it was just the basement but then she got to explore some more. She was happy inside and eventually all four of my cats were getting along! Then, it got warm again, and GK felt the calling to spend her time all outside again. If it were up to me, all my cats would be inside all the time so they would not kill any more small animals but the rest of the family wanted her outside.
GK had her yearly appointment on 5/25/04. She was 7.3 pounds up from 7.0 on 5/15/03. By the winter of 2005, GK was an "inny-outey" cat meaning she wanted in and out 100 times a day!! But, she loved being inside. She played with things like a kitten. Unfortunately, she also did not find using a litter pan to be an important thing to do.
I had GK microchipped on 3/13/05 at a clinic.
GK had her yearly checkup on 5/24/05. She was down to 6.2 pounds. GK had distemper and rabies shots. She had blood work done just to be safe even though she was young. No problems were found.
GK had her yearly checkup on 5/17/06. She was 6.3 pounds. She got a distemper shot. They extracted some feces to check for worms and found none.
GK had her yearly checkup on 6/27/07. She was down to 6.1 pounds. They weighed her three times to be sure. The vet thought it might just be because it was later in the summer than previous years. I decided to wait another year before doing blood work again. She got a distemper shot. I brought in a fecal sample, and they found nothing. She seemed fine.
GK had her yearly checkup on 5/14/08. Her weight was still 6.1 pounds. She got distemper and rabies shots. I had blood work done (blood panel and also feline leukemia and AIDS). The only thing that came back abnormal was her T4 (thyroid) which was 2.6 (should be <2.5). He suggested re-testing in 6 to 12 months.
GK went for a T4 re-check on 11/11/08. She was still 6.1 pounds. Her T4 was 2.7. Normal is 0.8 to 4 with 2.5 to 4 being borderline and possibly early hyperthyrodism. Since her result was the same, we will just re-test in another 6 months.
GK had her yearly checkup on 5/6/09. Her weight was up to 6.3 pounds. The vet heard a mild heart murmur. She got a distemper shot. Her T4 was only 2 which is normal!
GK had her yearly checkup on 5/4/10. Her weight was down to 5.9 pounds. The vet did not hear a heart murmur. She got a distemper shot. She had a senior blood profile for T4, kidney, liver functions, etc. I told them to call me at home the next day (which they normally do when I am at work) since I had the day off so they called me at work and left a message! Luckily, they said everything was fine but they did not leave details on her results which I would have liked to have known for the hundreds of dollars I paid.
GK had a senior exam, blood work for T4, and fecal test on 11/16/10. She was up to 6.1 pounds. The T4 result was 1.8. The vet always wants to test feces but my cats are always negative. Since GK was outdoors, and the vet said it had been three years since she was tested, I had it checked, and it was negative for parasites.
GK went to the vet on 5/11/11 for her yearly check up. Her weight was down to 5.9 pounds. She got her rabies and distemper shots. The vet found nothing wrong. She had full geriatric blood work which all came back normal (again, I got a message and no actual results).
GK went to the vet on 11/29/11. Her weight was the same at 5.9 pounds. Her T4 result was okay at 1.6 ug/dL (normal is 0.8 to 4.0 ug/dL). It was fortuitous that she went to the vet this day because when I chased her down, I noticed she was tilting her head. At the vet, we found her right ear full of dried blood. It was bleeding down in the ear canal. The vet said she did not think it was a bite wound but I would later find at home that there were two puncture wounds on the outside of her head down from the ear. The area was slightly swollen and red. The vet gave me an ear drop that treats for bacteria, fungus, and swelling. She got the twice-a-day dose. I would keep an eye on it. The vet would re-check after a few weeks.
GK had a re-check on 12/13/11. The vet agreed her ear was healed. She was 5.88 pounds. Strangely, while waiting on the examining table, GK's right ear (that was the one that was bitten) turned more red than her left.
GK had a check up on 7/11/12. Her weight was down to 5.5 pounds. She got an exam, distemper shot, Profender just in case for worms, and blood and urine drawn for a senior profile. Everything in the blood work was normal except her cholesterol which was high at 265 mg/dL (normal 75-220) and her platelets because they did not clump. Her T4 value was 2.7 (normal 0.8 to 4.0). A cat with a T4 above 2.5 might still have hyperthyrodism so I gave them the okay to add a free T4 test to glean more information. Her urine was normal.
The free T4 result was 56 which is slightly high. Normal is 10 to 50. The vet agrees that she has early feline hyperthyrodism. There is no way that I can catch her to pill her or even find her to give her a pill pocket most of the time. I went back and got more vet diet. Just the week before, I returned Doodally's after she died of the same thing! I will feed her the vet diet and recheck in a few months. Once she needs treatment, I see no options aside from the food, doing nothing, or doing the radioactive iodine. The problem is that it costs about $1500 now, and I still have zero income. I am trying to save money.
GK's T4 was re-checked on 12/11/12. It was 2.2 so the food seems to be working to at least prevent her from getting worse. Her weight was up to 5.7 pounds, also a good sign.
I went to work for an 7-hour shift on 3/10/13 after feeding the animals including GK. Afterwards, I spent time with my brother and niece for my mother's birthday. The next morning, GK was gone. I looked around but she was missing. I had pretty much given up hope, thinking a fox or coyote ate her. Then, when I went to bed, it just popped in to my head. My niece and I went bike riding the evening before which required going in the shed. She was in the shed. I went out and opened it up. She meowed and ran over to me. She let me pick her up, hug, and kiss her which she never does. I brought her the garage and put her next to her food and water. More than a day without, and yet, she was not interested. By the next morning, she was back to herself, smacking me if I dared try to touch her.
GK had a checkup and T4 check on 4/11/13. She was down to 5.3 pounds. I was still waiting 4/15/13 for the vet to tell me the results of the blood tests. I finally got them to e-mail the results on 4/18/13 (vet never called). Her T4 was 2.4 which was good. They did a lot of other tests to which I can refer in my e-mail if needed but there was nothing of concern.
GK had a check up and blood work on 2/21/14. Her weight was up to 5.7 pounds even though I almost never saw her eat, and her bowl was usually full the next day. She had been drinking and peeing a lot. They could not get urine so I put her in the cage overnight with a litter pan with beads and got a urine sample. The blood work came back basically normal! I had never had a cat as old as her with no problems. Her T4 was 1.5 which was excellent. Her amylase was a tad high at 1397 U/L (normal 100-1200) but that can mean nothing in cats and also be higher just after vomiting (I found puke by her bowl when I got home). Her platelets clumped so the value was not usuable. Her lymphocytes were low at 935 (normal 1200 to 8000). My mother, who recently died of leukemia, would have loved counts that low! Her urine results came back normal!
GK had a check up and blood and urine taken on 8/22/14. He weight was down to 5.3 pounds. The vet found nothing different in the exam. GK's blood and urine results all came back normal.
GK had a check up and blood test on 2/23/15. They could not get urine by cystocentesis. Her weight was up to 5.5 pounds. She had slightly high cholesterol and amylase but her creatinine and most values were all good. Her T4 was on the low end of okay at 1.4. So, there is no obvious medical reason for her to drink and pee so much.
Life tends to change quickly in my opinion. On 5/25/15, I heard Tutty attacking GK out of my window. This was nothing new; he did it all the time. They had been together outside since he went back outside on 9/1/14 because he could not stop hurting my indoor cats. GK was one tough cookie but this was a bad fight. I feared she might be hurt but she would not let me get near her to check. Finally, on 5/29/15, she was in her bed, acting sickly, and I was able to run my hand down her back. She screamed. I felt the tell-tale bump of an abscess. I dropped her at the vet on the way to work. Luckily, they were able to lance and drain the abscess without sedation so she did not need an operation. They gave her a shot of Convenia to cover infection for two weeks. They gave her Onsior, 6 mg, for the pain. She was down to a paltry 4.76 pounds. The vet suggested checking her T4 again.
So, her life had to change. She could no longer have access to King Tut which meant no going outside. Since she only used a litter pan in a cage, and the other cats wanted to hurt her, she could not be loose in the house. I considered a bathroom but my father is unable to open and close the door without letting her out, and it would be hard for me to live my life as well. So, I made her a super cage in the basement. I have two dog kennels, one big, and one medium. I opened the doors, stuck the top of a rabbit/guinea pig cage on the top to cover the gap, zip tied it all together, and voila, a mega-cage. I zip tied on a hook to lock the whole thing together. She had two beds, a toy, food, water, a litter pan, and a scratching pad. I was now feeding her canned cat food, and she was scarfing it up. She hated the YD prescription food for feline hyperthyrodism. For company, the rabbits, Mr. Tiny and Harry, were at one end initially (she would eventually outlive them both). Plus, my three indoor cats could visit if they wanted but they pretty much stayed away. GK cried at first to get out but only when she saw me. I gave her a Onsior the day after she was at the vet and did notice that, a few hours later, her breathing was labored. I think it was the Onsior so I did not give her the pill the next day as instructed, and the problem went away. Her abscess was not very advanced, and she did not appear to be in pain or discomfort from it so I thought that was the best option. What to do in the future, I was still not sure. One day at a time.
GK's blood work came back normal! Her T4 was 1.1, on the low end of normal. Her kidney and liver values were all normal.
I dropped off urine and feces on 6/15/15. The vet said we should go ahead and do a urine culture (an extra $170!) to see what kind of bacteria she had because, if she was peeing 5 to 10 times a day, she must have a urinary tract infection? Wrong! The results took a full week to come back on 6/22/15! Nothing grew in the culture. The urine and feces were all normal except that the urine was dilute with a specific gravity of 1.020. Since her BUN was on the higher end of normal at 38, the vet thought that all her peeing was just failing kidneys. Giving her subcutaneous fluids was not really an option as she was aggressive. Being in a cage made her try to hit me (no claws though; she came that way) and bite me more. She drew some blood. The vet actually said I was doing the right thing by keeping her in a cage. I know lots of people who would disagree. I opened up the doors all the way on the joined cages which gave her another square foot or so of space in her double cage. The only suggestion the vet had besides subcutaneous fluids was calcitriol (one of the Vitamin D's) which is supposed to slow kidney failure related problems. I never tried that.
So, despite her failing health, GK was hanging on (and on and on). She slept in her heated bed, ate some food, and left waste wherever in the cage she felt like it. I lined the entire cage with piddle pads that I changed regularly. She attacked if I tried to handle her at all. I tried to groom her regularly but she would not have it anymore so I left her be. I think, aside from being her nasty self, it hurt her to be touched. She was still stable as of 1/29/16. With her physical and mental condition, I did not feel there was any benefit to vet visits anymore. They would fight with her to get blood and urine only to say that she needed subcutaneous fluids. That is something she would never allow me to do so we just waited for the end.
I took GK to the vet on 6/17/16. Her weight was up to 5.7 pounds. They took blood and urine by cystosentisis. Since they got just a little bit, the vet suggested just going for the culture without first getting a positive on any bacteria (even though it has always been negative). I will update once I get the results of her tests. I wanted to know why she was immortal. Total cost = $377!
The blood results came back on 6/20/16. Her BUN had gone up from 38 to 43 (normal is up to 36). Her creatinine had gone up from 1.3 to 2.0 (still considered normal). Her T4 went up to 4.1, just over the maximum normal of 4.0. So, while she did have kidney failure and feline hyperthyrodism, they were both at the low end. The vet suggested not offering dry food anymore so that is about the only change made. When the vet gave me the blood results, she said that nothing was growing in the urine culture so far, and that she would get back to me when it was done. She never did. I assume it was a huge waste of money.
GK had a check up on 4/6/17. She had a strong heart murmur. She had blood drawn, and results were pending. They also charged me for her nails but I did not ask them to do her nails (I have no trouble doing them), and they did not need it! She is declawed on the front (remember, she arrived that way)! Luckily, I got credit on my account for that.
GK's blood results came back per usual. Her T4 was at 5.7 (0.8 to 4 normal), BUN at 40 (14 to 36 normal), and creatinine normal. So, she was pretty stable. The vet agreed that doing nothing considering her demeanor was the best course.
Even though GK had been in a cage for more than two years, the law still required her to get a rabies shot. I took her to the vet on 8/29/17 for her shot. Her weight went down even more. The vet did not record the weight on the invoice but it was something like 4.8 or 4.9 pounds. The vet got some of the loose fur out of her coat.
I took GK to the vet on 8/28/18 for her rabies shot. I considered her on hospice so I did not have any blood work or urinalysis done. She was examined. The vet did not even hear a heart murmur so she was in great shape considering. The vet combed out some of her mats. The vet also gave her a three year distemper shot which I did not request. GK had lost even more weight. She was 3.7 pounds. She had lost 24% of her weight in one year. She was immortal. If she ever passed, it would mean the beginning of the apocalypse.
The apocalypse has begun. GK died on 3/16/19. She had shown signs of dying for a few days (not eating or drinking, not peeing as much, trouble walking, howling if she sensed my presense (she was blind and deaf), and heave breathing). She was still warm when I found her around 6:50 am on 3/16/19. I miss her more than I thought I would. She was 21 or 22 years old and the oldest cat I have ever had.
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