Bengal: March 19, 1999 - August 28, 2013
When a pregnant cat showed up on site at the bridge construction job my husband was working in February 1999, the kind-hearted crew let her sleep in the trailer at night, since it was so cold. I was hopeful that there would be at least one kitten not spoken for when they were born in March. Mama Cat gave birth to six kittens, four of whom went on to new homes. That left two. "I guess we can have one," said DH. Just one? What are you going to do with the other kitten? "Leave it there?" NO! You cannot leave one kitten running around a construction site! So he brought home both kittens in May 1999.
They were 7 weeks old, weighing in at 1.8 lbs and 2.1 lbs (0.81 kg and 0.95 kg), but we were convinced that 0.3 pound difference was all fur on Bengal. As you can see, he really was just a bundle of fluff.
Fluff, Benga-fluff, Fluff-meister, Darth Fluffious, The Fluff-inator, Flufficus, Great Big Fluffy Tail.... it went on and on. They didn't stay small for long, though.
At full size, and not overweight (per the vet), Bengal weighed in at around 15 lbs (6.8 kg). People would come in the door and see him and almost recoil. "What is that?!" Um, it's a cat. "But he's huge!!" Well yes, yes he is. Check out those paws (keep in mind that I have large hands for a woman; I wear a size 9 or 10 ring on my ring finger). As you can see, Cleo is no slouch in the size department, though she is a bit of a butterball on top of being a large frame cat.
He was our only boy, and our only long-haired cat. People asked us all the time if he was a maine coon breed; no idea, though he sure looked like one. He was just our construction site mutt, and we loved him dearly. He reminded us of Fezzik from The Princess Bride; he could be a brute when he was in a mood, but for the most part, he was a gentle giant. (And a great big fraidy cat!)
The picture above was taken in mid-July. He looked great and was acting fine at the time. As you know, he was diagnosed with cancer about three weeks ago. He had already lost quite a bit of weight at that point, and he continued to lose more since the diagnosis. We treated him with steroids, hoping to at least make him more comfortable while we waited. I worried if we were doing the right thing, but everyone said we would know when it was time. I hoped they were right.
He stopped eating dry food about a week ago, so we switched to wet. A cat his size should be eating 3-4 small cans of wet food a day; we couldn't even get a whole can in him. Over the weekend, he started having trouble getting up on the bed like he likes to do. On Monday, he stopped eating entirely. We waited, to see if we could get him to eat something, anything, but no. By Tuesday, he was having trouble walking. We decided Tuesday evening that it was time. Today (Wednesday), we all said goodbye. Luke went to school, and DH and I took him to the vet, and stayed with him to the end.
Thank you for coming to live with us, Bengal. You were a wonderful companion for over 14 years. We are sad now, but we will remember you with love and fondness forever.
Currently feeling: missing my fluffy boy something fierce