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Missing Fleetwood
59 years old
Male
Location Unknown
Born Mar-15-1960
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Missing Fleetwood

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1 Jul 2008
This is the story of a very special kitty named Fleetwood. My partner Mike and I had been together for about five years when a friend of our who worked as in a vet’s office started asking us if we wanted to adopt another kitty to keep our then five year old calico, Corina, company. I was pretty much against the idea because Corina seemed happy and I think she liked having us all to herself. So after a few months of saying no, I finally said yes, but I wanted a grey female tabby, unfortunately the only kitten she had left as a black and white male who was abandoned by his mother. I really didn’t want a male but decided I would bite the bullet and take him home with us.

We brought him home and began the task of deciding on a name for him. Being a big Fleetwood Mac fan I thought it would be fun to name him Fleetwood. Looking back I now realize that the name was as unique as he was. That first night was an experience I will never forget. Fleetwood was running all through the house and Corina just sat there growling and hissing at him. At one point he jumped up on the back of the sofa and fell between the cushions and the back of the sofa. He was so worn out he immediately went to sleep. My partner and I decided it was time to go to sleep ourselves and within the hour Fleetwood was up and running around again. All nightlong! I finally had to get up and close the bedroom door and lock both cats out of the room because of their fighting and because I was determined to where going to like each other.

The next day I noticed Corina stopped meowing and her eyes looked a little cloudy. Soon after that she become very lethargic and developed diarrhea. Thinking Fleetwood had brought some disease in the house I immediately wanted to give him back because he made my little girl sick. I took her to an evening vet office to have her checked out and a day later received a call that she had feline leukemia and we need to put her down right away. I was devastated. I had to leave work I could not even concentrate on driving. I also was not accepting this diagnosis. The next day I took her to another vet for a second opinion. The first thing the second vet asked me was if we had gotten any new pets recently. I told her about Fleetwood and she said that was probably the problem. They checked her out again and she checked out OK. Boy was I mad! Two vet bills of almost $1000 only to find out she is just acting like a spoiled only child (although I can relate, I was an only child until I was 17.) I took her home and looked her in the eye and said, “Listen missy, he’s here to stay so get over it!” An hour later the two of them were rolling around and playing as if they had been best friends for life!

For nine years they were inseparable. I would come home and find them curled up on the bed together or they would both be waiting for me at the door if I came home later than normal and their dinner would be late. As Fleetwood grew he developed a personality as unique as his name. An insecure kitty he would jump and run if some one just sneezed or if he heard a noise he was unfamiliar with. At night when we would go to bed, if he did not see us go to the bedroom, he would stay in the dark living room and would cry until I called him, then he would come running down the hall and jump onto the bed. I always liked to call him my ADD (Attention Demanding Disorder!) He always had to be held or petted. He could be sound asleep and if you just touched him he would be up and wanting to be petted. He loved to lie on his back in my arms and have his chin scratched. I would do this for hours while watching TV.

In February of this year we took a trip with friends to San Francisco for a few days and another friend had offered to check in on the cats and feed them for us. The morning we left I was lying in bed getting ready to get up and Fleetwood crawled up on my stomach and lay there purring while I rubbed his ears. He loved early morning playtime and I knew he wouldn’t get any for a few days so I was spending a little extra time with him. I also knew I had an extra day with him when I came home before I had to go back to work so I knew playtime would be the order of the day when I returned.

The second day we were in San Francisco, my friend who was taking care of the cats called me on my cell phone and wanted to know if it was unusual for the cats to throw-up a lot. Corina has always been a cat that threw-up once in awhile so I asked him how much and he said only a couple of piles. Being this was the normal for Corina and I didn’t think much of it. I asked him if the cats seemed OK and he said both were seemed fine.

The next day was Saturday and we had just left the hotel with our friend and were walking down the street to find some place to have breakfast when my cell phone rang. It was our friend who was taking care of the cats. When I answer I could tell something was wrong. Then he started crying. I asked him what was the matter.

“Oh Mark, I don’t know how to tell you.”
Tell me what I asked him.
“Fleetwood’s dead!”
Fade to black…

I really don’t remember much after that. My friends say I collapsed on the street. They helped my partner get me back to our room where I sat dazed. This could not be happening. My partner Michael and didn’t know what to do. We were at least six to eight hours away by car (we drove my car instead of flying.) We had planned this trip with our friend’s months in advance and did not want to cut short their trip and our hotel room was already paid for and I doubt if we could have gotten a refund. Michael and I talked and decided there really was nothing we could do by going home except to sit and cry. Our friend who gave us Fleetwood was going to pick up his body and take him out to a ranch a friend of hers had and bury him next to one of her cats. This made me feel better knowing he would not be “just disposed of” and would be handled with care.

The rest of the trip I was pretty much in a daze. I went out with our friends that day and decided I was going to get so drunk that it would all be a dream. I found out there is not enough alcohol in the world to accomplish this task! Michael stayed in the room; he just wanted to be alone. The next evening we all went out again and even though my friends were making sure I was having a good time reality was starting to hit me and I started to feel a pain I had never felt before in my life. I finally excused myself and went back to the hotel where I cried and whaled for almost 2 hours. The next day I could barely drive and ended up crying most of the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

That was four months ago and I still feel like it was yesterday. I have noticed a distinct change in our other cat, Corina. Ever since Fleetwood died she has taken on different parts of his personality. She used to never meow except to be fed, and now she meows all the time like he did. She used to never cry and now she cry’s a lot (Fleetwood always cried, he was an insecure kitty.) She is always looking under the bed or down the hallway to see if Fleetwood will come and play with her. Also we have noticed that she often goes to the place where Fleetwood died and just lays there, like she is visiting with him.

The pain and sadness has gotten better these last couple of months, but I still feel like I let Fleetwood down by not being there when he needed me the most. I can still see his little eyes looking at me and saying, “Why aren’t you helping me?” Sometimes it hurts so bad that I feel like I am living that day over and over again.

I miss my Fleetwood. Some please tell me the pain and guilt will go away soon.
Mark


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