Indie (run over)
The little tortoiseshell who died before we named her (distemper)
Smoky and Spaz (Leukaemia)
Pixil (cancer) and Bit (old age)
Jaws (old age)
When I look at the list of cats who have been in my life over the years, it becomes apparent that it is the years that I have not shared with one or more cats that are unusual.
I don't remember much about spooky, and I mostly know her through pictures. She was as black as coal, but by all accounts a very sweet cat who was good with kids.
Chief was a personable little cat who simply disappeared one day. I only learned years later that dad took him out in the woods and shot him because he was spraying around the house and we couldn't afford to have him fixed. I am still a little bitter about that.
Hobo was a cat that adopted us after our deadbeat neighbours moved out and left him behind. He was a really affectionate cat who took a liking to our guinea pigs. He would curl up in their box (much to their consternation) and then meticulously bathe them if they accidentally strayed too near (to their even greater consternation). Like all of our cats at the time, he was an outdoor cat. He vanished while we were down in Disneyland one year. My eldest brother had stayed home on that trip and was acting as the cat sitter. He let Hobo out one evening and he never returned. We like to think that he found another family to adopt, but we're pretty sure in our hearts that he got run over.
Indie was an adorable little cat who was like a less psychotic version of Belladonna. We kicked her out one night when she kept attacking the ornaments while we were trying to decorate the tree. Moments later she was hit by a car in front our house. Christmas sucked that year.
The little tortie was a kitten that we rescued from the pound in Victoria. She was bouncy and playful for the first couple of days, but she suddenly stopped eating and became very lethargic. We took her to the vet who diagnosed it as distemper, and gave her even odds even if he undertook expensive treatment. We had her put down.
Smoky and Spaz were a pair of brothers who we adopted from one of Dad's coworkers whose cat had popped out a litter of kittens. Unfortunately, they were also outdoor cats, and they both caught feline leukaemia and had to be put down. Fortunately they were both into their teens by that point, so we'd had a pretty good run with them. They were awesome cats.
Pixil and Bit were a brother and sister that we adopted from another of Dad's co-workers. After losing our previous two to a preventable disease, I put my foot down and declared that these two would be strictly indoor cats. Pixil had a number of issues over the years, but he developed intestinal cancer at around 14 and had to be put down. Bit lasted until 19. She developed a cancerous thyroid condition and arthritis and was on pills for her last three years of life before the medication effectively destroyed her kidneys.
Jaws was a wonderful, personable cat right up until the end in spite of being arthritic, deaf and at least somewhat senile. We estimate that she was about 20 when we had to have her put down because she started suffering traumatic seizures. Based on the sudden onset, and the results of the blood test, the vet suspected that she had a brain lesion and that anti-seizure medication would probably be ineffective.
Belladonna and Merry are still with us.