Liz's Cat Fred

[cute fred]
March 1989 - October 30, 2004

I have one cat, and his name is Fred. Fred is a 15 year old black and white shorthair that I got through the animal welfare group my mother belonged to for years. We got Fred the summer before I left for college. I made my mother PROMISE to keep him for me, and that I would take him when I got my own place. She still hasn't forgiven me for foisting this energetic, nosy, and downright annoying kitten on her for 4 years. Needless to say, he got yelled at quite a bit, and deservedly so. But by the time I got him, he was almost 5 years old, and much more mellow.

Fred was originally diagnosed as having a flea allergy, which caused him to occassionally scratch out a majority of his fur. Steroid shots seem to help him, but this isn't very good for the cat. He seems to need them more often now that he is older. I think his condition is dry skin exacerbated by nerves, although the vet wants me to try a hypo-allergenic diet.

One of Fred's adventures involved eating about 4 feet of black, nylon ribbon. Of course, he did this on New Year's Day (1998), because my life just isn't interesting enough. Luckily, the nice folks at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA took good care of him, and he was back home by Saturday night.

Ever since I've moved into the house (8/98), Fred is a much happier cat. There are lots of bugs for him to chase and eat, many rooms to explore, and lots of windows to sit at and stare out from. To keep him from scratching up the woodworking around my bedroom door, I leave it open so he can come and go as he pleases (a big change for me, since I am allergic). So instead of crying and scratching at the bedroom door, he now comes onto the bed and taps me on the face with his paw. It's very weird to wake up this way...

Recently (May 2001) Fred was diagnosed with a ceruminous gland carcinoma. The ceruminous gland is the gland in your ear that produces wax. So a ceruminous gland carcinoma translates into a cancerous tumor in his right ear. Very scary! X-rays of his chest have shown that the cancer has not metastecized to his lungs, which is great news. On 6/4/2001, Fred had surgery to remove his ear canal. The doctor discovered a large tumor near the top of his ear canal, and several nodules further down his ear canal. This tissue will be analyzed to see what is cancerous and what is not. On 6/5/2001 Fred was allowed to come home. You can see a few pictures of him down below - he looks like he's been through a war zone. Half his head is shaven, a patch on his leg, and a patch on his side where his drug patch was glued to him. His right ear is sewn shut, and there is a small drain hole in the side of his head. He looks like he should feel like hell, and he probably does. He seems very happy to be home, though. Right now he's asleep on the floor behind me, curled up in a tiny Fred ball...

You'll be pleased to know that Fred recovered quite quickly from his surgery, and they managed to get all the tumor out! horray! The big tumor was the cancerous mass...the smaller nodules didn't turn out to be cancerous. So his prognosis is very good!

12/02 Update: Well, his prognosis _was_ good - until he got the cancer in his OTHER ear. I've opted not to have more surgery done, and instead to keep Fred comfortable and enjoy the time we have left together.

In August 2003 I did a cruel thing and sold my house. Fred and I now reside in a 2BR apartment. He's adjusting, but boy was he pissed at me!

Fred's LATEST adventure! (10/03): Apparently I need to add "needles" to the list of things to keep away from Fred, because he ATE one. Fool cat! It ended up in the back of his throat, lodged in the roof of his mouth. Amazingly, the emergency vet was able to get it out without sedating him. Total cost: $95.

August 2004: Fred had the ear ablation surgery in his other ear, to relieve discomfort. He got fluid in his lungs and is now on Lasix to deal with that. He's still with us!

October 30, 2004: Fred was humanely euthanized at 10:25AM. His disease has progressed far enough that he was no longer eating and his quality of life was getting to be non-existent. He will be greatly missed.

Pictures of Fred:

FredBasket #1

Basket #1 ('94/'95)

Basket 'O Fred #2

Basket #2 ('94/'95)

Fred+Friend (1995)

Fred+Friend (1995)

Liz + Fred 12/97

Liz+Fred (12/97)

Couch Potato

Couch Potato (1997-1998)

Fred+AnotherFriend 2001

Fred+Another Friend (4/01)

Liz+Fred 2001

Liz+Fred (4/01)

Post-Op #1

Post-Op #1 (6/5/01)

Post-Op #2

Post-Op #2 (6/5/01)


Fred & Mommy (9/24/01)

Fred&Mommy 2

Fred & Mommy Again (9/24/01)

Playing with Mommy's HairWrap

Playing with Mommy's Hairwrap (9/24/01)


With Mom (5/4/02)


With Mom #2 (5/4/02)


With Mom #3 (5/4/02)


With Mom #4 (5/4/02)


Jail! I like it here!


Aww, headbonks! (1/4/04)


I'm comfy...honest!(1/2004)


With Mom (5/2004)


With Mom (5/2004)


Kisses from Mom (5/2004)


With Mom (5/2004)


Cute Boy! (9/2/2004)


Handsome (10/26/04)


Handsome (10/26/04)


Handsome (10/26/04)

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Maintained by Liz Stewart - lizzie-fred at gweep dot net