Wednesday, February 19, 2014

RIP Mr. Nibbles

It is with great guilt and genuine sadness that I announce the death of Mr. Nibbles. In honor of our first family pet, I've compiled a photo story of our journey with Nibby. 

When Jesse and I were in college, there was a stray cat that always hung around our apartment.  We began feeding her and affectionately called her Mrs. Nibbles.  When Jesse and I moved to Charlotte after graduating, we knew we wanted to get a cat.  Jesse selected and adopted our cat from the Humane Society in the fall of 2008.  His original name was Nehi.  His siblings names were Pepsi and Mountain Dew.  We named him Mr. Nibbles.

He was our only cat at the time and was every bit the crazy kitten.  He would pounce on anything that moved, including clawing your feet in the middle of the night, reflections of light, or cords.  He detested anything in his path and made it his job to knock off anything and everything from the counter or tables.  Our attention was devoted towards Mr. Nibbles and he became the subject of silly photo shoots.

The following year we temporarily ruined Mr. Nibble's life by bringing another cat into our home.  Nibby and Cowbell had a love-hate relationship.  Both cats tried to affirm their dominance in the household.

As Mr. Nibbles matured, his playfulness was replaced by more frequent naps.

Mr. Nibbles had another difficult adjustment when we brought Jackson home from the hospital.  Jackson's crying sent Nibby into a panic where he hissed and assaulted his feline sister.  Within a few months, all was right with the world again.

As Jackson grew, Mr. Nibbles exhibited incredible patience with a curious crawler and walker chasing him around.

When the trio arrived, Nibby did not interact with them much.  He did, however, continue to serve as watch cat and he generally slept in the babies' room with them. 

Shortly after the birth of the triplets, Mr. Nibbles began pooping on furniture, clawing Jackson, and running outside every chance he could.  Before long, he was spending more time outside than inside.  He was never declawed and we continued to feed him outside.  If the temperatures were below freezing, we let him sleep on a blanket in the garage.  If he ran inside, I always let him nap on Jackson's bed or the recliner until he was ready to go back outside. He was gentle around the babies and continued to rub up against our legs and purr.  This behavior continued until a few weeks ago.

We could not find Mr. Nibbles during the snowstorm.  I was relieved to see that he was still alive once it melted, but he certainly did not look or act the same.  This morning when I went outside to check on him, I found him like this:

I don't know what changed so radically, but there was nothing that could be done.  I brought him water and food, even a fresh can of tuna fish.  He could barely lift his head.  He tried to meow but the only sounds that came out were a wretched moaning.  Without going into any more detail, it was very obvious that he was dying.  I laid beside him in the mud and wept.  The babies were napping and Jackson kept asking me, "What wrong, Mommy?"  When Jesse came home I stood in the rain and cried some more.  By nightfall, he had passed.  Jesse gave him a proper burial while I tried my best to distract Jackson inside. 

Of course I am rightfully ridden with guilt.  We should have taken him to the vet.  We should have kept him indoors.  We should have found a better home for him if we were no longer going to care for him.  The tears will continue to flow as we remember our first addition to the family.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Nibbles

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