Gus's story


born 31st March 1989

This is his individual story. You can read the whole story about him and his brother from the link Animal Aid and Advice logo.

The brothers from the same litter were rescued by that North London charity, Animal Aid & Advice. That charity does not have any rescue centre as such, but instead relies on volunteers who foster homeless animals until new homes can be found for them.

They were born on the 31st March 1989, and were then fostered by a helper. Of course, he was out all day at work, so Gus and Skimble did not get much human contact. we first saw them in July at a hobby cat show marquee. We, of course, had to say that if by the end of the Carnival they were still unhomed, we would give them a home. At the end, we were informed that they were ours! We could not take them then as we had the get-out to attend to. A few days later we arranged to collect them from their foster home, and transported two very timid cats back home with us where they hid in the basket, with Gus, the biggest at the start, desperately trying to stay behind Skimble! Gus became more confident then Skimble, as you can see from his pose, but both grew up happy cats.

When Gus and his brother were five years old (in 1994), we moved from Finchley to Skt. Klemens. With all the others, we loaded them into their shared cat basket, and took them on the ferry, which is another story, and how!

For the first few years all the cats were able to go around in the garden, but after a few years Gus did not come home by the time for evening meal one day. By the time we went to bed we had not seen him although we tried calling many times. We left the cat door open for him, although closed off the door to that room. I got up during the night to check, but there was no sign of him. He still did not appear the next day, so we extended the search.

A day later I tried again at night and did spot him in the neighbours garden but he did not come to me. Eventually he went to sit on an old tree trunk beside their driveway, and after a cautious approach, I managed to pick him up and carry him back indoors. He seemed very bewildered and lethargic and obviously needed some expert attention. He also seemed to have trouble walking so we wondered if he had been injured although there were no obvious signs of that. The next morning I arranged to take him to the vet - by now they had a new partner Kirsten, who was keener on cats than Peder - and she put him on the table. He had a heart attack while I was holding him steady. He became almost completely paralysed while I was holding him and the condition was terminal, so he had to be put to sleep before his blood supply failed completely. She put him on the floor first and he was by then clearly showing that his back legs seemed to be paralysed as she suspected. She told me to feel both back legs and now I knew what she thought to be the problem, I could feel that they were both cold. It may have been that he had had a minor heart attack the day he didn't come home (which could explain the lethargy) and a blood clot had now lodged at the base of his spine in the main artery and there was no blood flow to his legs. The damage that followed to the tissues would cause gangrene and as the clot was so high it could not be fixed. I cuddled him for the rest of the time while Kirsten euthanised him. It was as much of a shock for Kirsten as it was for me.

That night Skimble was very sad, as were we all. Sadly, although Gus was the first of the brothers to die, Skimble a year later was our first cat to succumb to Feline Leukemia and without having been vaccinated, he got so sick that Kirsten also had to euthanise him. We then decided to confine all our cats to a cat run connected to the kitchen and conservatory.

Their full story is yet to be written in a later Chapter of our History (link under menu, Text).

He was 8½ when he died on 27th October 1997 in Denmark.

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