Born (probably) in 2003, Fluff found his way to me at an apartment complex in Northern California in October of 2007. I was freshly out of college, in my first apartment, and being born a cat lady, I started feeding the neighborhood stray cats. Fluff was sporting a collar with the name “Kramer” on it, but he was showing up every night for food, and his tail was full of stickers he picked up from running in the field next to the apartment complex. It was pretty clear he wasn’t being properly cared for, so I called the number on the collar several times, day and night, but no one ever answered. Eventually, i took him to the vet where they confirmed he was neutered scanned him for a chip. The chip was registered to a rescue organization in the area. The the vet reached out to the rescue organization and they confirmed he was adopted from them, but they had no record of who adopted him. It didn’t matter though, he and I had already decided, I was his human now.
Fluff was short for “Fluffy cat” which became “Fluffy” and then eventually just “Fluff.” Fluff loved every cat he ever met, except for this mean feral cat used to pick fights with him at the apartment complex. Although he was my only cat for six years, he loved the companionship of other cats. When we adopted Grey (another homeless cat that found her way to me), and when my husband moved his two cats Rocky and Hiro in with me, Fluff loved everyone immediately. He was the alpha of my clowder, but a benevolent alpha, often grooming all of the younger cats. He was the most gentle, loving, sweet cat. Rarely meowed, and never jumped on the counter. He never bit, scratched, or even hissed at me. Despite his medical issues, vet techs always told me he was a perfect gentleman at his appointments. He wasn’t a lap cap, but he enjoyed sitting next to me, or just being in whatever room i was in. He was my cat husband, sleeping next to me every night, up until a few months before his death.
He loves included string, belly rubs, towels, laying in the sun, catio time, tuna, and kisses. He loved to be kissed. His dislikes included dogs, even Pippa whom he lived with for 8 years, having his toenails clipped, and going to the vet.
Four years ago Fluff was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and probable small cell lymphoma. He then developed arthritis, and chronic kidney disease. As most older cats do, his body began to deteriorate. Despite these medical issues, he was happy, and stable. His SCL appeared to be in remission as he had outlived the typical life expectancy by almost double, and his CKD was stable at stage 2. He was under excellent care by a highly experienced Internal Medicine Vet. I spent the last four years relentlessly learning about IBD, SCL, and the microbiome. Dedicating my free time to doing whatever i could to help him live a longer, better life, and it was a privilege to care for him over the last 4 years. But, despite everything, his heart was failing. Fluff had started to slow down and limit his movement. He stopped coming down the stairs, and stopped jumping on the bed. He had likely developed HCM which became CHF, and he threw a blood clot to the lungs on November 10th, at 7pm, and died suddenly, while i was downstairs making dinner.
When he died unexpectedly, my entire world crumbled. I’ve written and rewritten this so many times. It’s hard to put into words the magnitude of what Fluff meant to me. My fluffy, silly, loving cat. He was my constant companion throughout so much of my life. Nearly all of my 20s and 30s, 15 years of my life. Through different houses, different jobs, different relationships, different states, he was always there.
Fluff is survived by his OG sister, Grey, and his other younger cat siblings and dog sibling, whom he will not miss, because he hated dogs. Midnight, in particular, misses stealing his treats every night, and is now on a diet he does not want to be on. Taz misses his licks, and I miss everything about him. Rest in peace, my sweet boy, thank you for everything.
Robin HardyJune 10, 2022 at 3:40 pm
What a beautiful tribute. I know this love and I had a similar experience with my cat love, Oreo. What a beautiful time you had with Fluff, and oh how you fought and learned to help him, and now so many of us on the IBD group on Facebook – what an angel you were when Fluff needed one. xoxo, Robin
David EeMarch 15, 2022 at 6:57 pm
I’m so sorry to read about this, Michelle. I’m in the Raw Feeding for IBD Kitties group that you set up on Facebook, and I remember you talking about Fluff so many times. I wanted to write this in gratitude for all the invaluable, precious advice you’ve given IBD kitties like my BB from all over the world (I write from Singapore). For BB, it has quite literally saved her life. Thank you. I hope you find comfort in the wonderful life you gave Fluff and the years you had together.
Erickson KathleenNovember 28, 2021 at 3:02 pm
Michelle and family (fur and human),
My deepest condolences. What a beautiful life you shared with Fluff.
Your eulogy about Fluff made me feel as if I knew him.
KarenNovember 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm
Michelle, I send you my deep condolences, understanding, and support. I want to thank you for helping me with my kitties’ (also all gone now, with chunks of my heart). And thank you for helping all the others.
JoNovember 27, 2021 at 7:23 am
Beautifully written. Your love shines through and touched my heart. We are so blessed with these very special ones.. and losing them … which we always do… is bitterly painful. Thank you so much for being the wonderful kitty mom. That you are.
Your mom personNovember 26, 2021 at 7:16 pm
This is a beautiful tribute to Fluff, he was your constant companion, lucky to have had you all those years to love & care for him.
It’s hard when we lose those we love, be they a pet or person, grief is hard to walk through without them with you.
Sorry for your loss.
LynneNovember 26, 2021 at 9:22 pm
The kitties that make their way to you are some of the most fortunate kitties on the planet.
What a caring person you are and what a beautiful (although all too short) life you give them.
I can not thank you enough for all the help you have posted and personally helped me with our kitty.