I'm saddened to report that Magenta passed away last night at the vet hospital. He had rallied a little in the past few days, but took a turn for the worse yesterday afternoon. The vet called to warn me that he might not live through the night, and that he was prepared to put Magenta to sleep if he was suffering. Thankfully, Magenta died in his sleep, so he wasn't in pain in his final moments. I'm sorry that I couldn't be with him at the end, but I'm glad his struggle is over and that he's in a better place now.
Liz and I first met Magenta in 1999, when we moved to New York. He was seven years old and belonged to our upstairs neighbor, who used to let him out to play in the courtyard of our apartment building. Apparently he'd gotten fat because the other neighbors used to feed him table scraps. He met our cat Vladi right away, and soon Magenta was scratching at our door to be let in to wrestle with Vladi. When our neighbor moved to San Francisco, she asked us to keep Magenta until she got settled. But she never collected him from us, so we kept him. Even when she moved back to New York, she decided he was better off with our cats (we'd gotten Mr. Starlite from the shelter by that time) than with her.
Magenta (AKA Tubby, Fatty, Fat Bastard, Tubby Bitch, Fat Ass, etc. [he didn't seem to mind these nicknames]) was the fat cat in the household, constantly running into the kitchen to feast on whatever was in his bowl or on the floor as a result of my cooking. More than once, he climbed onto the kitchen counter and ate fresh vegetables I'd been saving for dinner. During a party, he ate leftover chicken out of an unsuspecting party guest's bag. Another time, he fought me over a pork chop bone and nearly took it from me. He also loved to attack smelly feet, sweaty socks, or any other dirty clothes we left out for him. Many mornings, we'd wake up to the sound of him yowling with pleasure as he humped a pair of sweatpants around the living room floor. And we had to stop giving him catnip because when he got some, he turned into the feline version of an angry drunk. He wasn't the friendliest cat in the house, but if you had food or smelled like food, he might decide to like you. He had had diabetes and eye problems, but he didn't let those things stop him from enjoying the good life of a cat. I'm really going to miss him. I already miss him when I pour water from my Brita pitcher -- he used to come running into the kitchen when I did that, and I'd pour some into his bowl. But I know he's better off now, free of his pain and suffering. And I still have two cats, Vladi and Starlite, who love me and need lots of attention in return. They're going to miss their fat friend too.
I've uploaded some photos of Magenta taken over the past four or five years. You can see them in
this Flickr set.
Rest in peace, my friend.