I HATE CATS!! Although Chuck insisted to the very end that he was Jennifer's cat, Sox was really Chuck's cat, although as you know, Chuck hated cats. I wish someone hated me the way he hated that cat! Sox got first choice of furniture to sit on, and he was the King of the house. -Cathy Richardson
Jennifer and Sox by the fire
One fine spring day in 1992, 5 year old Jennifer came home and asked, "Daddy, Mrs. Nepveaux's cat is having kittens. Can I have one? Pleeeease, Daddy? Please!!" "No! I hate cats!", said Chuck. "Pleeeease, Daddy?!!" "Well, if you'll take care of it.", said Chuck. Shortly after Sox became part of our family he developed Cocsidia, a feline immune deficiency, or "Kitty Aids", so Sox never left the house. Jennifer finished Kindergarten, then Elementary School, then Middle School and High School. She graduated and went away to college. While Jennifer grew from a little girl into a beautiful young woman (now 29), Sox grew to be an old cat, then a very old cat. For fifteen years, Chuck fed the cat, changed the kitty litter, and took Sox to the vet when he was sick. When Sox died, Chuck cried for days......I guess you could say Chuck hates cats, but he really, really LOVED this cat.
Being an inside cat, Sox was declawed, but far from defenseless. He was a large cat, nearly 17 lbs in his heyday. He had teeth like needles and back claws sharp as razors. His chart at the vet summed it up in one word, written in red;"BITES". While Sox loved the entire family, especially Jennifer, strangers were on their own. After having bit someone, Linda, Chuck's wife, would apologize profusely. Chuck would just shrug and say, "Who says you can't train a cat?" Chuck and Sox shared a common opinion of most people....
Sox in the Cat Chair
When Jennifer was a little girl, Sox tolerated being dressed up in doll clothes and dance outfits without complaint. Although, he would try to escape this indignation, and sometime succeeded. He was fast. As Sox grew older, he slept more, mostly in the "cat chair". "Where does a 17 lb cat sleep?", you ask. "Anywhere he wants."
Don't bother me! Go away!
Sox firmly believed that no outfit was complete without cat hair, especially Chuck's dark blue suit. During the last several months of Sox's life, he became increasingly senile. At first, he, for the most part, stopped grooming himself, so Jennifer would brush him when she was home from school and Chuck took him to the vet to have his fur unmatted. This involved shaving off a large patch of fur. Then, he started losing fur in big hunks. Linda vacuumed constantly. Sox stopped eating as much, although occasionally he would pick at his food. Chuck made sure he had fresh food and water every day. Chuck took him to the vet and changed his diet. Chuck tried steroid injections to try and settle Sox's digestive tract.
I think I can catch it!!
Sox continued to lose weight. He lost control of his bowels. He threw up a lot. Every day, Linda picked up the mess.....The house began to smell like a litter box. In mid-July, Chuck and Linda discussed Sox's prognosis with Jennifer when she was home from college. "Sox is a very old cat.", said Chuck. "He's sick. He's not getting any better. We've done what we can for him. I'm afraid he hasn't much time left. Spend as much time as you can with him while you're home.....". Two weeks after Jennifer went back to college, Chuck went in to change Sox's litter. It hadn't been touched in a week. "It's time to say goodbye.", said Chuck. Chuck called Jennifer to say, "Today's the day. I'm so sorry." Jennifer cried, but agreed that it was best. Chuck drove Sox over to the SPCA, crying the whole way. Chuck gave Sox one last BIG HUG from himself and Jennifer. He wrote on the release form, "He was a good cat." And so he was.
Sox did not suffer at the end. "The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek terms "eu" meaning good and "thanatos" meaning death. A "good death" would be one that occurs without pain or distress. Euthanasia is the act of producing a humane death in an animal......Most veterinarians use an injectable drug, most commonly pentobarbital, which is given in a vein. This barbiturate depresses the central nervous system beginning with the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that determines awareness. The pet will lapse into unconsciousness, and then progress to anesthesia (the absence of pain). With an overdose of pentobarbital, deep anesthesia is followed by the stopping of breathing and then by cardiac arrest." - Paige Garnett, DVM
Jennifer and Jeremy - Sept. 4, 2010
Epiloque: Jennifer graduated from college, fell in love and married Jeremy on September 4th, 2010. They live happily ever after in their townhouse with their four cats.
Mrs. Nepveaux passed away on January 16, 2011 at the ripe old age of 84. Jennifer and Linda traveled to Charleston to attend the funeral.
-Updated by Chuck on January 18th, 2011.
Jennifer graduated in May 2012 from the University of North Carolina with a Master's Degree in Library Science.
--Updated by Chuck on August 27th, 2012.
Please sign the guestbook for Sox by clicking here