Wapi's story

As far back as I can remember, Wapi has always been in the shelter. This rather discreet cat quickly seduced me with his eccentric personality. First, he is a very big cat; when he goes to bed, he always does it with very strange positions that can make anyone laugh. It is as if he was too big to sleep normally anywhere. He has a pear-shaped body: a tiny head on a very large body, ending in an oversized buttock that waddle when he walks. I must not lie: Wapi has a big ass!

He is a discreet cat, he does not appreciate the presence of the cats around him at the shelter. Wapi comes to see you only in calm moments when he is certain that he will find a human exclusively dedicated to him. It is in these moments when he starts purring and giving small head bumps non-stop. This lasts until another cat shows up to steal the show. Wapi then runs, not without scolding and giving some paw punches. You can notice that the presence of other cats really made him uncomfortable.

Maybe you wonder why such a nice and exceptional cat is still in the shelter after so many years? Well, first of all, he’s old. Wapi is 12 years old. Second, and most importantly, he has diabetes. No one wants to adopt an old, diabetic cat. A diabetic cat is expensive and demanding. I admit it, this is also the reason that has held me for so long to take Wapi in foster care. It is quite demanding, administering insulin at fixed hours and managing all the small health problems that are related to diabetes. But one day, I took the decision …

Poor Wapi, he must have thought that we were going to the vet, because the day I took him home, he struggled with all his strength not to enter the carrier! Once we arrived home, he quickly went around the apartment, as if to verify that he was the only feline of the place and noting that he was. His face relaxed, he looked like he was smiling.

In 45 minutes, Wapi had explored all his new territory. He ate, drank, used his litter box and let me brush him everywhere (even on the belly!). He even purred when I was brushing his belly. Not the slightest trace of stress! He spent the evening on the couch, as he knows how to do; showing the satisfied look of a king who contemplates a newly conquered land.

When it was time to sleep, without any hesitation, he jumped on the bed, lifted the blanket with one paw and let himself in under the covers to snuggle against me. You could recognize the experience in the gesture of the paw that raises the covers. At that moment, my heart was divided between the happiness of the satisfaction of having given this cat a real home for his last days, and the guilt of waiting so long before doing it …

Wapi had a horrible mouth issue that made him suffer. It was hard to see him eat: he chewed only with one side of his mouth, quickly, as if to dispatch a task that was really unpleasant but essential for his survival. Unfortunately, his diabetes, which was difficult to control at the shelter, exclude him from having any surgery. But in a few weeks at home, his blood sugar stabilized enough to allow him to undergo the procedure. Now, he is undeniably more comfortable!

Wapi is an extraordinary old cat. Obviously, at his age, he does not do much with his time. But he is always at the door, ready to greet me with his happy MEOWS when I come back home. He always lies on top of me when I watch the TV or when I’m in front of the computer. His peaceful presence has the gift of comforting me on a daily basis.

Recently, the vet told me that Wapi’s kidneys were starting to work less well. I was expecting that news. I knew that Wapi did not have the health to be in my life for years, but it still shocked me. It’s because I love him, that old, sweet cat, even if he’s not mine!

In a not-so-distant future, Wapi will no longer be. And even if this hurts me a lot, I’m happy to know that he would end his life peacefully in a house where he gets all the attention he deserves, rather than at the refuge where he was just one old diabetic cat that no one wanted among 150 others.

Being a foster family for an old, sick or at the end of his life cat is like giving an invaluable gift to an animal. A rewarding and enriching experience that every cat lover should try once in a lifetime. Because, unfortunately, they are lots of old abandoned cats….

 

 

Etienne Gervais