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RIP Boomer "Boom-Boom" Schrader

Last week we lost one of our cats, Boomer, to complications related to kidney failure.

We got Boomer in April of 2002, about a year after we'd been married.  Dodi asked with we could see about getting another cat and I allowed that it might be something we could consider.  The following day I was surprised when she called me at work, from the SPCA, saying that she'd found the perfect cat and could I come down and see, so we could adopt her? 

Boomer did seem perfect. She was very affectionate, butting her head against us for attention, her loud purr filling the small SPCA visiting room.  We were told that her previous owner had been a blind woman and when Boomer became "pukey", she'd had to give her up.  We already had a pukey cat, Pica, but it somehow made sense that getting another would be ok.  She had also had her front claws removed, another legacy of her first owner.

We took her home to meet Pica, which did not go well.  It took more than a week before they were willing to be in the same room together, and then they would hiss and "sissyfight" one another.  "Slap Slap Slap, get off the bed!" Over the eight years that Boomer lived with us they never had a very good relationship.  Eventually they grew to tolerate one another, but it was always a bit touch and go.  One day we might find them peacefully sleeping on either side of the bed and on another one would attack the other until they left.  We would periodically be awakened by a two cat hurricane roving across the bed.

Boomer was never afraid to let us know when she wanted attention.  While Pica would meow, Boomer would head-butt.  Where Pica would sleep quietly at the end of the bed, Boomer would range from pillow to pillow, or decide to demand attention at 2am, her earth shattering purr going all the time.  Boomer was the lap-cat and the neck warmer.  I spent many evenings lying on the couch with a book propped up by a pillow and Boomer sprawled across my chest, tucked up under my chin. 

Boomers end was a long, expensive train wreck.  She had always been a bit pukey, but later she became more so.  We went through a dozen different cat foods, oils, and anti-hairball treatments.  A couple years ago she began to develop cataracts, a thyroid problem, and, eventually, kindey failure.  We had her on various pills once, then twice a day, with $300 lab tests every few months.  After two year of pills and tests her heath began to decline.  She lost weight dramatically, then lost the use of first one then the other hind leg.  There was nothing we could do for her.  At nearly 11 years old, her warranty was simply expiring.  There was no use trying for heroic measures and when the vet explained her situation we decided to have her put down.

Neither of our cats wanted to stick around for the pokes and prods of Celerity but, of the two, Boomer was the most tolerant.  In the last weeks of her life, as her mobility was limited, she would let Celerity pet her.  Just days before we had to put her down, Celerity learned a new word: "bon-bon".  Without our prompting she would point at Boomer and say "bon-bon, kitty!"  I doubt that Cele will remember her when she grows up, but we will always remember the "bon-bon" was the  first name our daughter said.

Rest In Peace, Boomer "Boom-Boom" Schrader, ~1998-2010.

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