To all my animal loving friends, this is sad and may make you cry, but I thought I would share anyway.
We had a little black cat named Nemo whom we rescued from a sunken window well. He had an umbilical hernia and could not jump out of the window well. His mother may have left him there or he fell in, but he was not going to survive. We rescued him and brought him to the vet. He was too young (6 weeks) and weak to have the hernia fixed, so we took him home and nursed him for a while. An older male cat named T-bone fell in love with Nemo almost immediately. T-bone would clean Nemo and sleep with him as well as share food. T-bone was not jealous or mean with Nemo at all and as Nemo got stronger they would play and sleep together. They became best buds.
We loved telling people about “finding Nemo” in the window well and T-bone finding Nemo as a new best friend.
At about 3 months of age we took Nemo to the vet to be spayed and have the hernia fixed. We called the procedure a “nip and tuck.” The surgery went well, but Nemo did not do well with the anesthesia and he came home very lethargic. Again T-bone became a nursemaid to Nemo; grooming and almost guarding Nemo. Eventually Nemo got better and because we feel T-bone insisted, we adopted Nemo. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1035843128646.2006528.1002500072&saved#!/photo.php?fbid=1056939416040&set=a.1035843128646.2006528.1002500072&type=1&theater
T-bone and Nemo were a wonderful pair of cats. Nemo grew to be much bigger than T-bone, but T-bone was still the big brother – and a wonderful big brother to Nemo. They would run and play all the time. T-bone being very gentle and Nemo being the rambunctious little boy. Sometimes while roughhousing the bigger Nemo might cause T-bone to cry but T-bone never made Nemo cry. They were so sweet.
About 2 years ago, T-bone got sick and was put on chemo therapy. This made T-bone very listless and his little buddy Nemo seemed to know and it was now his turn to be the nursemaid. Nemo was grooming and guarding T-bone. Nemo also seemed to know to not play or roughhouse. They could read each other so well. As T-bone got better Nemo reverted back to the little brother and that was great therapy for T-bone as well. After recovering, all was good for Nemo and T-bone.
About 4 months ago, Nemo had an unexplained fever and weight loss. T-bone was back to the role of nursemaid for Nemo. We took Nemo to multiple vets. He was very sick with an unknown autoimmune disorder causing fever, weight loss and severe anemia. It seemed his body was attacking his own blood cells. The vets put him on numerous antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, and immune agents (cyclosporine). Nemo continued to lose weight. He had transfusions, IVs, and lots of trips to the vet. Through all this T-bone was wonderful. With the overnight stay at the vet, we thought it might even help to have T-bone stay with Nemo, but the vet would not allow that.
We gave Nemo IVs at home and various injections and medications. When Nemo had the strength to eat T-bone, a chow hound, would never try to steal Nemo’s food. When Nemo would not eat, we had to coax food in him.
Every visit to the vet brought bad news with worse anemia (10%) and weight loss (losing half his body weight). After returning from every vet appointment T-bone would greet and groom Nemo. The vets often commented how good Nemo’s appearance and coat was for such a sick kitty. We told them about T-bone being Nemo’s nurse and groomsman and they would just smile and nod.
After nearly 4 months of bad news we got our first bit of good news. Nemo had gained one ounce. It was not much but is was the first time he had shown any improvement. It was a great moment. That was on a Monday morning. We told all our friends the happy news of a one ounce weight gain. After coming home that Monday evening we found Nemo hiding under the couch unable to move his right side. Nemo had had a stroke. We called the vet and did what we could do for him. But Nemo was not going to recover. We made the decision to take Nemo to the vet and have him put to sleep. We literally told T-bone how sick Nemo was and that he was not coming back from this vet trip. I firmly believe T-bone understood.
In a very gentle and touching display of affection, T-bone started grooming and cuddling with Nemo. It was like he was saying goodbye to his little brother and best friend. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1035843128646.2006528.1002500072&saved#!/photo.php?fbid=2170723019934&set=a.1035843128646.2006528.1002500072&type=1&theater
A short time later Nemo left this world with his human mom and dad holding him. His eyes were bright and his fur shiny from the attention T-bone gave him. He is missed very much by all and especially T-bone.