I used to call him White Boy, because he started coming around at the same time a black cat started to come around, and I called that one Black Boy. I just distinguished them by their colors. My husband named them Yoda and Bear.
The first time I saw Yoda was in the wintertime, he was on the porch eating the food I put out for the street cats. He was a beautiful, big white cat. I called my son to come see the new cat on the porch, and when we were both looking out the window at him, he looked up at us. His eyes were so wide and he leaned back while looking at us, so we could clearly see that his eyes were a pale green. He didn’t run, and we backed away from the window so he could eat in peace and not be scared away.
As with other street cats, we would see him come and go, at times hanging around, and sometimes disappearing for a while. One of our neighbors feeds street cats, too. Eventually, upon talking about the neighborhood cats, we realized that it seemed like when he mated, he would stay with the mother cat until she gave birth. It was like he guarded her. Then afterwards we would notice him watching over the kittens even if the mother wasn’t around. My neighbor and I noticed it because she had a mother cat at her property and we had one at ours (she’s still here, I will post about her too). It seemed like he alternated a couple times, but always staying with the current family, like he was a good father.
Yoda started looking a little sicker this past summer. He got really bad as winter set in. He had a really bad smell on him, his breath smelled horrible, and he was incontinent. His eyes were all gunky and his face was gray around his mouth. I changed the bedding in his beds once or twice a day so he didn’t have to sleep in his urine soaked blankets. He used to hiss at us and run away. Towards the end, he started to let us pet him. Then he wanted us to pet him a lot. He wanted to be with us and we would sit with him as much as we could. He would only eat the canned food I put out, not the dry food. I would come to find out that his mouth was so bad, that he probably just couldn’t chew it. So, I always watched for him, and he pretty much hung around most of the time in one of our many beds we made for the street cats. At times I would chew up steak or other meats for him to eat, and he was very grateful, as one can imagine.
We did as much as we could for him, short of bringing him in. At the time, we had four indoor cats, one of whom still was not able to be integrated with the others. He lived in the cellar, so it wasn’t an option for us to bring Yoda in to stay. One day, after a few days of subfreezing weather, he came out of his box, his legs were soaked with urine and he had sores on them. It was so cold out, he just shivered, but still wanted to be with me. I got out a blanket and put him on it and stayed there with him, holding him close and petting him, while my husband went to get a carrier. We brought him inside. Our intent was to bring him to the vet, and keep him in our cellar to let him heal up in the warmth while we took care of him, and then put him back outside when he was healthy. It didn’t end up that way.
When we got him to the vet that same day (great vet that we’ve been to for almost 20 years), we had him tested for FIV (which he tested positive for) and feline leukemia. His mouth was all infected, and some of his teeth were broken, and also had severe kidney disease. He had lived a life on the streets and got in many fights. He was in bad shape.
It is hard for me to say this, but we decided to put him to sleep. Yes, I know it’s a euphemism for kill him, but we thought it was best. He was old, so sick, had so many problems. We couldn’t bring him in for good, and didn’t have the means to try to do all that was necessary to help him. We didn’t want to put him back out to suffer more until he died. We really couldn’t see that anyone would adopt him, with him being FIV positive and with so many health problems.
We were with him to the end, with kisses and cuddles and comforting while he went. He reached out to us in the end, and he deserved no less.
Yoda is buried next to our deck, may he rest in peace.
A little clip from our security camera of me and Yoda if you want to see… here