In loving memory of our Rumor who we love so much. Rumor will be greatly missed and be in our hearts forever.
He was born on Lori's Birthday in 1995, along with his sister, Whisper. In May of 1995, Lori's mother, who owned Rumor's mother, Hanna, drove down to San Diego where Lori was attending college. Carolyn, Lori's mother, said, "These are Hanna's last two kittens. They were born on your birthday, so you have to take them." They were two black bundles of fur, and it was love at first sight.
They started living in Lori's bedroom in a house she shared in college. They then rented a room (a garage that had been converted in to a studio-like apartment) and Rumor's space enlarged, he still shared his space with his sister and a cockatiel (bird). This is where he was allowed to walk outside for the first time (supervised). He thought the surface of the swimming pool was solid and attempted to walk out on to it. That did not go so well and he scrambled out immediately. This was the first time his sister ever hissed at him (because he smelled funny).
In September of 1997, Lori and both cats moved to Virginia. This is where Darrin became part of the family, and their living space increased to a two bedroom apartment. After five years in that apartment, they moved up to a four bedroom apartment. This was much better, according to Rumor! Then finally, in 2003, Darrin and Lori purchased a house that was much larger than anything Rumor had ever seen before. When Rumor first arrived at the house, there was no furniture, but there was a center column of stairs. He spent about 30 minutes walking around and around the column of stairs, thinking the rooms just kept on going. When he got out of visual range of the people, he started meowing loudly, thinking he was lost. He loved that house. Unfortunately, the family had to give it up in 2011 when they moved back to the west coast.
The Famous Belly Trap
Rumor was a ham. He liked playing hide-and-seek. He loved to chase mom. He liked taking showers. He learned how to use his paw like a hand, and he was able to grab things out of jars and containers. He did not have a normal meow. It was more of a "mer," a low, throaty grunt when he wanted to acknowledge something. He was a beggar in the extreme. He used to climb up over Lori's shoulder when she was eating and then very, very, very slowly fall in to her lap. He would then stretch himself to inch closer to the food. He thought he was very sly. He had this little trick that we liked to call the Belly Trap. He would lay on his back and swirm around, beckoning you to rub his belly. If you fell for this ploy, he would grab your hand and you were his.
A mama's boy in the extreme, he was never far from Lori. If mom was sitting on the couch, he was on her lap. If mom was in bed, he was either laying between her feet or on her back. If she lay down on the couch, he cuddled up beside her for nap time. He loved to stick his nose in her hair, particularly after a shower, and play with it. Dad was not entirely safe from the antics, either. Rumor trained Darrin how to carry him properly; Rumor would stick his rear end in the crook of Darrin's elbow and then sit outward on Darrin's extended arm. Rumor would then lean from one side to the other in order to steer the direction in which he wanted Darrin to walk. Rumor frequently navigated the house in this manner.
At his prime, Rumor was a 12 pound cat and the vet called that healthy for him. He had beautiful fur. The majority of it was semi-long black hair, but the bottom portion of him was a dark smoky color. His long fur stopped at his ankles, which made him look like he has knickers on when he ran. He had tufts of fur coming out of his hears and he had snow-shoe-paws for his feet.
Rumor and Dalia
In 2004, the family gained a new kitty, Dalia. While Darrin and Lori were prepared for a traditional cat-introductory-period, it turned out that Rumor loved Dalia instantly. No introduction period was necessary, and the two became best friends. Dalia, from kitten-hood and the eight years since, has rubbed against him, pounced on his head, and tackled him, and he just played along. He really liked her.
During the period when McDonald's came out with their Filet-o-Fish commercials (it had a talking fish that said, "Give me that Filet-o-Fish, give me that fish), we started comparing Rumor's begging habits to the fish in the commercial. Eventually, eating time became synonymous with Rumor demanding for Filet-o-Fish.
At home, Rumor wasn't always called by his name. He had several nicknames, including Duma, Dumi, Doomba, Bubba, Zoomy-Zoomy, and more.
Checking out the Snow
The cats of the Hyrup family were in-door only (though Lori will never allow cats to be declawed). The only time they were actually “allowed” to go outside was either on the deck (supervised) or when it snowed in Virginia (also supervised).
In 2010, for the first and last time ever, he managed to sneak outside on his own while Lori was taking out the garbage (he slinked under her while she carrying out the trash and went out through the garage). He spent most of that day outside alone. After a frantic search across the entire neighborhood, Lori finally located him hiding under some hedges in the yard of a neighbor across the cul-de-sac. Lori almost didn't find him because his "Mer" of a meow was so soft. From that time forward, he became known as the “World Explorer.”
In the winter of 2011 is when his health first started to decline. He was initially diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. This was not a huge deal and manageable with medicine. Then he started having trouble with constipation, which got so bad that he needed to go to the vet for help. After three enemas and one additional more painful procedure, the biggest problems seemed to have been solved. Still, the constipation, which led to him getting sick, caused him to lose a lot of weight and muscle mass (was down to 5 pounds). After the procedure with the vet, he became unstable. In fact, he sprained his knee because he attempted to run downstairs too fast (and fell at the bottom) during a feeding time.
We were managing his situation until we had our cross-country move. While he was drinking during the drive, he was not drinking as much as he needed to be and the constipation came back. We had that dealt with and all seemed to be well again. In the winter of 2011-2012, he was going through a routine pre-boarding exam (so the family could leave town on vacation). This is where it was discovered that he was in stage 3 kidney failure (of 4 stages). After boarding and some follow-up exams, it was discovered that he also looked to have some form of cancer that was developing on his liver. The family opted to not have a biopsy and assume that the cancer was there (they were not going to put this old cat through chemo). So, to manage the situation, the family had to give Rumor 150ml of subcutaneous fluids every other night (for the rest of his life). That was in December.
Everything was going well (he was eating, even gaining a little weight) until May 19th when he suddenly went blind (in a matter of a few hours). After a brief period of freaking out and a vet consultation, the family and Rumor managed to get along as a handi-capable cat family. Steps were placed around the bed and obstacles were removed from the floor. Rumor learned to navigate fairly well, given the circumstances (including the three levels of stairs). Lori had to sleep very lightly so that she could take him to the catbox when he woke up in the middle of the night (to reduce his chances of falling of the bed).
Then, on July 1st, 2012, his health took a turn for the worst. He got sick a few times and in a few days, lost a sudden amount of weight. After one day of eating well (due to appetite stimulant), he decided to stop eating. On the evening of July 4th (the family stayed in to be with him), he was stumbling when he walked, would just lie down in the cat box when put in it, and finally stopped drinking. The family assisted his passing on July 5th with the help of Dr. Lee of White Ivie Pet Hospital.
Take Care, Rumor! May there be Filet-o-Fish wherever you go!
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
Please sign the guestbook for Rumor by clicking here