Our Special Bond With Nudge and Tas

I’m probably writing this email, more for the grieving process but to update and thank your wonderful organization for two beautiful brothers who captured our hearts and love.  Our story begins on the evening of January 12, 2006 in which your organization delivered two 9 months old brothers to our home.  Their names were Giovani and Fidelio.  We renamed them to Nudge and Tas, respectively, after their true personalities were revealed to us.

We tried to keep them in a room for the first few nights as suggested, however, Tas was persistent that they be let out immediately.  He won and on the first evening they immediately investigated their new home and joined us in the living room.  Upon joining us they both hopped onto the couch and curled up to sleep, on separate cushions, but back to back for safety.  We know then there was no turning back and they were ours.  At that moment they captured our hearts and we verbally promised them they would never be abandoned again and we would be with them to the end, and when that fateful time arrived the only thought was not for our wellbeing but rather what was best for them.

Nudge loved human companionship, and shortly after adopting them, I was in a good position to retire early and spend a great deal of time with him over the past 13 years.  We named him Nudge as within one or two days he would use that large head of his to get our attention and let us know in no subtle way what his demands were.  Nudge was a politically correct name as he was more like a bulldozer with a huge heart.  His nickname became the gentle giant.  He never hissed once at us or his brother, never bit anyone, including the vets.  One day, years ago, he was laying in front of the screen door for fresh air and a squirrel came to visit him.  They both stared at each other through the screen door, however, when the small squirrel stood on his hind legs to get a better look at this big long haired grey creature, it was Nudge that bolted to another room for his safety.  That was our gentle giant.  When we played with him and he would use his gigantic paws against a toy, his nails always retracted if it ever came close to our skin.  Not once did he ever come close to scratching us.  I have never witnessed that in a cat before as it is instinctive to use their claws.  On the other hand, we sacrificed three chairs and two love seats as well as numerous scratch posts for his enjoyment and to our dismay.  When I had my daily afternoon nap, he would curl up beside me or squeeze his way onto the couch to be with me.  I enjoyed the affection he showered me with and I unto him.

As for Tas he was much more timid and did not like strangers but thankfully he took to us.  We learned that he was extremely demanding and persistent.  He was very curious and intelligent, thus getting into closed closets, and mischief.  Thus, the name Tas was born as a short form for the Tasmanian Devil from the Bugs Bunny cartoon.  It became obvious that we were his butlers.  He would start the trouble and invite his brother to join him in the fun, again to our dismay.

We had many pets though out our lives both as children and as adults, however, a special bond was created with Nudge and Tas, that was never felt before.  We lost Nudge on the evening of December 22nd , 2018 due to congestive heart failure.  Seems fitting for a cat with a huge heart.  He was just a couple months shy of turning 14.  He lived a full life and except for the last day, appeared healthy and happy.  His breathing became laboured and instead of hiding in the office, after having an afternoon nap, he came to us for affection and help.  We immediately, brought him to an emergency clinic, and there was no other decision but to euthanize him.  We are so fortunate we were able to get him help before the painful clots occurred.

Shortly after, Tas, who was missing his brother, developed a painful ocular issue that was resolved through treatment.  This was a rough couple of weeks for everyone involved, more so for Tas.  He then began to lose weight and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism that was successfully treated with meds.  He was never pilled by hand as we were successful by hiding them in his favourite treat crumbs.  His quality of life would have diminished greatly if we had to pill him by hand.  His personality would never have accepted that. After both health issues were resolved he was able to regain a quality of life, but then a third and forth issue would arise.  Eventually, he would refuse to eat and required new food.  This worked for three months, then one month, and finally just one week and eventually he was hungry but would not drink water and settle on any food he would like.  Over the final few days we tried over 30 different foods and unlike previous times he could not find any food he would accept, except for a bite or two.  He was having some underlying  bowel issue causing him discomfort that could never be resolved and on May 2nd, it was best to euthanize him as it would have been cruel to watch a hungry cat starve himself.  We created an objective list of his 7 favourite activities and except for two of them he was starting to have more bad days then good.   It was a horrible as we had to make the decision this time, compared to Nudge.  The vet and we agreed it was the best decision for Tas, not for us.  He was 14 years old and we had him for 13 great years.

Thank you so much for allowing us to adopt two beautiful brothers that became very special to us.  We miss them dearly, and now we try to remember the great life they had together as brothers, and with us.  I attached a photo of the two of them taken last summer.  It is hard to believe, how so much as changed in less than a year.  Old age finally caught up to them.  Nudge is on his favourite chair and Tas is on his window sill.

Dan and Donna