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Our kitten, ‘Digger’, lost his fight.

September 2, 2014

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Digger was born at 10:53A.M. on Tues. Feb. 11, 2014. We let him go so he wouldn’t be in pain at 10:00A.M. on Tues. Aug. 12, 2014. He was 26 weeks old, almost to the hour and minute.

Here’s a little bit about him.

He was the second baby born. Lorenzo(m) was first(10:30), Digger(m) was 2nd(10:53), Xena(f) was 3rd(11:38) & Dot..t(f) was 4th(11:51). All times are A.M. Moms name is ‘Little Momma’. (Yes, really) 🙂

Digger had problems being born. He didn’t want to come out and momma was crying and jumping around a lot all over the box. But just as we were starting to help, he popped out. He looked and sounded normal and momma cleaned him up and took normal care of him. They were all the same size and acted alright when born, but at about 2 wks. we could tell that Digger was different.

He was what some call the ‘runt’ of the litter. I never thought of him like that. He was just my ‘Little Fella’. His back legs didn’t develop right and at about 3 months I noticed his right front leg had a noticeable bend between the foot and the leg joint. It caused him to walk on the side of his foot. His back feet pointed at about 35 or 4o degree angle and he ‘bunny hopped’ instead of walked with his back legs and limped with his front.

He had other birth defects in his spine and his skeleton didn’t grow right. His ribs didn’t form right and I suspect they didn’t give his lungs enough room as he got older which is the main reason that we put him to sleep. He was having trouble breathing and we couldn’t do anything about it. His gums and lips turned gray-blue because of lack of oxygen. When he was put on O2 he got better but as soon as he was taken off he got worse. He also had a couple of seizures and the vet suspected a heart attack. We couldn’t let him suffer and he deserved the dignity.

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This picture was taken at about 7:00P.M. Tues.(the night they were born)

1.Lorenzo(orange), 2.Digger(black), 3.Xena(calico), 4.Dot..t(mostly white w/tortoise)

1.Lorenzo(orange), 2.Digger(black), 3.Xena(calico), 4.Dot..t(mostly white w/tortoise)

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This is ‘Little Momma’ & babies at 1 week old.

Little Momma with Dot..t, Digger, Xena, Lorenzo(l-r)

Little Momma with Dot..t, Digger, Xena, Lorenzo(l-r) 1 wk.

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We don’t name our cats. We let them name themselves by their actions, attitude, or if all else fails, color.

Digger got his name because his siblings were bigger than him but he didn’t let that stop him from nursing. He would burrow around and under them and push them out of he way to get his share. He wasn’t kept away from Momma, there were enough nipples, but there was only so much real estate on Momma. These pics were at the same feeding.

2:15P.M.

1:15P.M., 2-14-2014 He’s on the far left.

1:26P.M. He's in the middle.

1:26P.M. He’s in the middle.

2:08 P.M. He's on the right. Making room.

2:08 P.M. He’s on the right. Making room.

That’s how he got his name. He would dig and burrow in, around, above and under. Nothing kept him from his food.

Momma didn’t reject him at all. She cleaned him and loved on him as much as she did the others.

Here's one way to eat breakfast. 15 days old.

Here’s one way to eat breakfast. 15 days old. He’s the one upside down. Lying across the top of everyone. His white foot is under Momma’s chin.

Napping after breakfast. 15 days old.

Napping after breakfast. 15 days old.

He started eating kitten formula mixed with a little canned food at the same time as the others. This is his first attempt. He always got right into his eating.

Canned food and kitten baby formula. 3wks. old

Canned food and kitten baby formula. 3wks. old

1 month & 1 day old. His brother and sisters looked after him from day one.

1 month & 1 day old. His brother and sisters looked after him from day one.

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Here’s Digger at 2 months. He isn’t much bigger than a month ago but he is very active. He can climb out of the box but not hop out like his siblings. His back legs aren’t forming right. They stick out at right angles. He ‘bunny hops’ and they aren’t as strong as they could be. It didn’t slow him down though. He chased after the other cats. He just couldn’t go as fast or jump up on things like they could. He kept after them though. He was smart. He’d hide and sneak up on them.

Up until about his last bad spell he could motivate around pretty good. We have a couple of vids of him hopping all over the place but for some reason they won’t post.

Digger@2 months. He likes to play and eat.

Digger@2 months. He likes to play and eat.

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Here he is with Lorenzo at 3 months. His brother and sisters liked to play with him and would play in the box/bed quite a bit. Even though they had no trouble getting in and out of it. He didn’t take any guff from any of them either. He would bear hug them off the side of the box if they tried to get away after a sneak attack on him. It was really funny to watch.

Digger and Lorenzo playing at 3 months old.

Digger and Lorenzo playing at 3 months old.

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Digger sleeping with Dot..t, Lorenzo and Sassy, his 4 month older half sister.

Digger sleeping with Dot..t, Lorenzo and Sassy, his 4 month older half sister.

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This is one of my favorite pics of Digger. He always had trouble with getting out of their box/bed but he never stopped trying. That determination got him into trouble and hurt him a couple of times, putting him in pain and slowing him down.

Digger@5 months.

Digger@5 months.

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Digger@25 wks. with his half brother JJ(Sassy's brother)

Digger@25 wks. with his half brother JJ (Sassy’s brother)

It’s hard to believe that only a week later he was gone.

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This is what Digger did after he ate. He would get cleaned up then look at me, get a look on his face, then march up and plop down and snuggle into my elbow or between my armpit and elbow look at me and start purring. Next thing you know he was asleep. This pic is in April.

No, I never fell asleep when he was in bed with me. My arm did a few times, but not me.

If you notice his tail, it is bandaged because he would chew on it. One of the things wrong with him was his spinal cord. At times something would bother him causing him to chew on his tail. Sometimes when petted down his back he would chew on his left front paw. Not enough to hurt it but it was the nerves in his spine would fire funny causing him to do that. Eventually his tail got better and by the time he was gone it had grown almost all of the fur back.

Digger asleep after eating.

Digger asleep after eating.

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This pic is in July. His eye is half open because I moved my arm and disturbed him. Not to worry though, he went right back to sleep.

Comfy kitty. July 4, 2014

Comfy kitty. July 4, 2014

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This is my wifes’ favorite picture of Digger. He cocked his head when he was curious about something. So does his Momma.

Digger-Glowing Eyes at 4 months

Digger-Glowing Eyes at 4 months

I can’t believe the little bugger is gone. I think in the back of my mind I had the suspicion that he wouldn’t live as long as the others but I was hoping that I was wrong. That’s probably why it took so long to write this. His death has really hit me hard. Harder than most of the others. Not because I don’t love them any less, but I was so much more hands on and involved with him 24/7. His bed was right next to my bed, and I’m bedridden, so he was right there.

Goodbye Digger. Such a big/little fella. You showed me so much about the will to live, and determination.

If there is an afterlife of some kind, it is for souls like you. Animal or human. I just hope that if there is, I deserve to share it with you and all of our babies that have passed.

Introduce yourself around and give them all a ‘boop’ on the nose from their human Momma and Daddy.

I love you so much.

~

I guess i feel guilty about not getting him to the vet earlier but we were short of money because a guy named Neil Dempsey ran a stop sign and hit the car my wife was driving (it was a 2 way stop and my wife had the right-of-way) on the right rear fender and spun her 180 degrees.

I’m not going to get into all the particulars about everything except to say that between him (Jaddeys Neil Dempsey, works for Continuum Financial Group,CFG Inc.) not reporting the accident to his insurance company (Erie) and the insurance adjuster (Lisa Riddle) using delaying tactics like “misfiling” my wife’s medical records (I’m sure she makes her bosses proud by working against a claimant as much as possible) and not finding them for 3 months after the doctor released her, we ran through all of our emergency money.

I ended up borrowing more money so we could take Digger to the vet but I waited too long and by the time Digger got to the vet, it was too late.

He was barely alive. He had a couple of seizures during the night and I was hoping that as long as he was breathing he had a chance because he was such a fighter during his short life.

He probably died in my hands during the night but his body didn’t get the message and I hoped that maybe he would get better at the vet’s office.

I hope he knows that I tried.

Maybe I should have borrowed the money sooner.

Maybe I should have taken the first offer from the insurance even though it was so low that we would have lost money and gone into debt.

He was such a brave guy. I feel like i failed him.

~

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read this long post.

Take care.

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