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Cat of the Day
Today's Cat of the Day

Rodney King the Domestic Shorthair, the Cat of the Day
Name: Rodney King
Age: Deceased, twelve years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Domestic Shorthair
Home: Stettler, Alberta, Canada
   Rodney King was a stray that wandered into our snowy backyard looking for food in the early spring of 2016. He was thin, his beautiful black fur matted and dirty and he had severe ear mites. He had scratched at his ears so hard and for so long that he had partially shredded his left ear, and the scratches on his head (which became permanent scars) were infected. We were so worried about him. After leaving food out for him for a couple of days my husband and I decided to rescue and adopt him. He was taken to the local vet clinic to be neutered and vaccinated and to have his ears and his wounds treated. He was estimated to be about seven years old at that time.

      Rodney quickly became a much-loved member of our household. He was never an overly active cat, but almost every evening, usually as we were getting ready for bed, he would get his frisk on and tear up and down the hallway a couple of times. If we threw his favorite "ball" (a paper mache Christmas ornament) he would chase it with great enthusiasm once or twice, but that was the extent of his physical prowess. He enjoyed long naps, an occasional catnip binge, sunbathing on the deck, and especially a good meal.

      His most memorable habit was what we came to know as "Roddy's ritual" - he would climb onto his blue fleece blanket on the ottoman, pick up a corner of the blanket in his mouth and, kneading with all four paws, turn in a complete circle (always clockwise). When he had completed the circle he would either jump down from the ottoman and head to the kitchen for a snack or drag his blanket to another location in the house. We decided this ritual was his way of de-stressing or soothing himself, perhaps from the memory of some past trauma.

      Rodney was our ruggedly handsome, sweet-natured kitty for five years. I regret that this is the only photo I ever took of him. Sadly, last month we noticed that he was losing interest in food, losing weight, and sleeping even more than was normal for him. He was diagnosed with anemia and stomatitis and the vet suspected leukemia. Rather than put him through more testing and treatment (which included removal of his teeth under general anesthesia—always a risk in older cats), we made the difficult decision to forego any further interventions. On August 5 we held our Rodney for the last time as Dr. Barb sedated him for the first step of his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in peace, Rodney King. You were loved.

Talk about Rodney King in Pet Talk!

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