|Birth: ||Sep. 17, 1984|
|Death: ||Jul. 16, 1998|
"No heaven will not ever Heaven be
Unless my cats are there to welcome me."
~ Pet Epitaph ~
I first saw KC when he was four years old. What a lovely cat he was! Beautiful dark honey-colored soft, luxurious hair, large rounded blue eyes looking out of a chocolate mask and the sweetest expression perpetually etched on his face. I fell in love with him immediately.
He was the first Himalayan I'd ever seen in person and because I didn't know doodle-squat about this lovely breed, I asked his owner dozens of questions and unfortunately, was told much misinformation for answers. Only because of the striking resemblance to the Siamese, a breed I'd long admired, I began reading every book I could find on Himalayans. The first thing I learned was that he was not a Himalayan Siamese, which is no such breed, nor a long-haired Siamese as his owner had told me on both accounts. Even though KC was a registered Himalayan, she was unable to give me many correct answers concerning the breed. I found out that Himalayans are a cross-breeding of the Siamese and Persian. No wonder this breed is so outstandingly beautiful. Soon I would recall another tidbit of information - that the breed is prone to kidney disease. But, that memory had escaped me until much later.
Due to some touchy situations with various people involved, I'm not able to reveal the complete story of how KC came to share my life along with my growing family of cats. It was amazing how one cat just four and a half years prior to KC had changed my life. But the next six months of his little life, brought much pain for both him and me. I shed many bitter tears over the outcome of how his future might turn out.
For reasons still unknown to me, his owner decided she couldn't keep him any longer. Due to the unsatisfactory explanations (in my opinion at any rate), I just couldn't understand how anyone could give up a cat one had raised from kitten-hood, one she'd had in her life for four years. So, she gave him away.
The first individual was allergic to cats, but thought he was so pretty she felt she could overcome the allergy. That never happened. She kept him for about a month, maybe a month and a half before giving him back. In the meantime, I learned he had been periodically put outdoors during her worse bouts of allergic reactions, even though this individual knew he'd been declawed as a kitten.
I stopped by to visit with him a couple days after the original owner had possession of him once more. I was so disappointed to see that he was matted and dirty; even the way he carried himself was no longer the proud, self-possessed cat I'd met three months earlier. My heart went out to him. I thought perhaps I should offer to take him, though I was now up to three cats, yet she didn't offer him to me. So I passed up the opportunity and said my goodbyes to him.
The next person who took KC in was a young couple with a four year old undisciplined son. I kept thinking about poor KC living there with that little terror. But the next few weeks proved to be even worse than I imagined ... not with just the son; also with the husband. The day arrived when I managed to bring KC to my home permanently, but he had already become so traumatized that it would take me several years to get him out of the habit of viciously biting, especially should anyone even attempt to stroke him near his tail, and the fearful cowering should anyone with boots enter my home.
Not long after KC came to live with me and the other three cats, I learned I'd been calling him the wrong name for six months, even the original name I'd given my vet when I'd taken KC in for treatment of the physical abuse he'd endured. I had thought his name was "Casey," but it was the initials K C. When I was given his registration papers, I saw that his registered name was Kitty Cat. I nearly died. An elegant cat with such a common name. To me it was like calling him Kitty Doe, a cat with no name. I faced the dilemma of renaming him. I just couldn't stop calling him KC - a name he'd known for four and a half years.
KC ... well, I came up with the first name of Kaitong, a Vietnamese name for "little ruler or king." And a little king KC certainly was. I have a good friend in Shreveport, Louisiana whose Laos surname is a twenty-nine lettered name. When she and her husband came to the States in the height of the Vietnam war as refugees, they simplified their name to Chang. There was KC's new name just waiting for him - Kaitong Chang. And such a fitting name for such a regal cat, my little King Chang.
Oh, but what a disruption KC brought to my houseful of girl Kiddens. For weeks our home was a sound gallery of constant hissing, spitting and yowling with occasional blood-curdling screams. I kept thinking I could take no more of the screeching and flying fur, though I tried harder to get KC to lay off the girls. Only he would run from me or cower in a corner. When I'd bend down to pick him up, he would snap at my hands and arms like a little vicious dog, and with loud hissing, spitting and flattened ears.
I was really beginning to wonder if I'd made a big mistake by taking him in. But I would always recall the abuse he'd undergone and would just become more determined to make this little cat glad to have a happy, loving home. I would only work a little harder at gaining his trust.
He turned five years old two months after Cuddles had a birthday: her birthday is in July, his in September. Shortly after his, I noticed he would huddle in the litter box, straining for minutes on end to eliminate only a few drops. I'd never had urinary problems with the girls and didn't recognize KC's problem. Over a week went by before it finally registered that KC had a serious medical problem. Then through my vet, I learned about FUS - Feline Urologic Syndrome, now called FLUTD - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease - and the often time fatal results if left untreated.
For a week Dr Steve had me work with home care for KC, yet KC just didn't seem to get better with those treatments; if anything, he worsened each day. Each evening I would hold KC and rock him in my arms, for I felt I was going to lose him before he could get better. I steeled myself for the approaching vet visit when I would bring up euthanasia should KC worsen. That week of home care treatment I'd run up another hundred dollars to an already huge vet bill.
I couldn't have asked for a better vet. When I went in with KC that day, Dr Steve gave me many, many additional facts about FLUTD and assured me that though KC was seriously ill, and that perhaps I had waited a little too long in seeking veterinary treatment, he was sure KC would pull out of the danger zone he was presently in. First and foremost, Dr Steve had to clear up the infection in the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys before further treatment could be given. Given assurance that there was no reason to not have KC for many years yet, we made additional financial arrangements for the mounting vet charges, and permission granted to visit KC every day while he was hospitalized. I went home to get a good night's sleep for the first time in over a week.
It was so hard to visit him the first four days during hospitalization. Both little forepaws were shaven with IVs stuck in, he had been fitted with a catheter and those lovely blue eyes were so sad and weary looking as he limply lay never responding to my touch.
On the fifth day a lump rose to my throat and my heart nearly pounded out of my chest when I entered the area he was kept. He wasn't there. On the verge of crying, I began walking from cage to cage peering at each cat, praying they'd only moved him when I heard a commotion behind me. A tech was saying "Come back, you little rascal!" as he and two other techs tried to catch a cat darting through rows of cages where the canines were kept. And of course, the dogs were going ballistic. I almost didn't recognize KC due to his thinness and his mad darting around and over the cages, tables and between human legs, but it was most definitely my little fellow - and making a bee-line straight for me. He literally jumped into my arms and snuggled purring against my chest. This little cat had to live.
The tech said he'd let KC out of the cage to get some indoor exercise since they didn't want him out in the cat-run his first day up and about, but once his feet hit the floor, KC had taken a fast-paced stroll through every room before heading back to the feline cages, craftily evading the techs every step of the way. And there Dr Steve stood, grinning from ear to ear. He told me I could take KC home that evening if I'd like. The very best news I'd heard in days! Among many tears and much laughter, KC and I headed home. The long, hard haul was behind us.
Surprisingly, the girls and he got along much better after he came to the house. He was probably in pain from the day he'd arrived at our house. I put all four cats on the FLUTD maintenance food prescribed by my vet with no problem in switching over from the former food. KC used the litter box normally from that day forward.
Shortly after the Gulf War, the media in my area broadcast a tragic, fatal accident that had happened to the young husband who had mistreated KC. Though my heart ached for his family and the loss of a life so young, I was secretly gladdened to know he'd kicked his last cat.
KC and the rest of the Kiddens were still on the vet prescribed food when we lost KC. He had blood work done semi-yearly and though his kidneys and liver were showing gradual deterioration with each testing, I continued to pray for additional years. And the Angels heard - I received a little over nine wonderful years.
He continued to have his periods of stalking and terrorizing the girls, but I think on the whole, their relationship with him was much better after his bout of FLUTD. Cats do know about others' pain, human and feline alike.
Going on fourteen years, he was very much the active cat and was most certainly the charmer to all he met. He was a bed hog, a snuggler and true to the Himalayan trait, followed Craig and me around like a little puppy.
In January 1998, KC's semi-annual exam was good - only a slight rise in his Ph factor. By March, he appeared more tired, but nothing to cause much alarm. Then the last week of June, a freak accident in a supervised backyard incident caused us to make quite a number of unscheduled vet visits. I took him in one last time on July 15. KC was diagnosed with a rapidly spreading cancer. It had attacked his lungs and stomach. There was no hope, just suffering that we didn't want him to go through. Craig and I made the painful decision - the following day, July 16, 1998 we helped our little KC make his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. This was the first pet loss in our marriage and we both took it hard.
To say Craig and I received a few condolence messages from friends and total strangers of the internet community is sorely a drastic understatement - we received literally hundreds. And I saved them all - wonderful poetry, lovely cards and heartfelt emails ... many emails sharing with us the senders' own pain and grief of loss. We were deeply moved and appreciative.
There is one that I'd like to share on this memorial. This brief email said everything that was in our hearts. It's a perfect tribute to our KC, a remarkable little cat who is forever with us. ❤
Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998
From: Jeannie Dailey
Organization: PetRescue.com, Inc.
Dear, dear Susie,
I wanted to send you a poem that I find very comforting. I hope it helps.
For all the joy you've given us,
For the glory days gone by,
Our best and final gift, sweet boy,
Was to give you wings to fly.
In loving memory of KC Bachman,
Who is running free, touching the stars.
With love to you and Craig,
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes given to KC's parents, Craig and Suse Bachman
Created by: sniksnak
Record added: Jul 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93565592