Sputnik Bachman “Spunky” Cat

Photo added by sniksnak

Sputnik Bachman “Spunky” Cat

Keithville, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 1 Mar 2015 (aged 8)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Buried beside Cheerio in the flowerbed by his beloved cat run.
Memorial ID 143217793 · View Source
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"I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me." ~ Rudyard Kipling, English short-story writer, poet, and novelist

At nearly ten o'clock on the night of April 5, 2006 an elderly gentleman, who owns a horse farm on the outskirts of this small town we live in, called our sanctuary telling us about a feral mother cat who had given birth to four kittens beneath one of his horse trailers during the early morning hours of April 1st. He deliberately didn't move the trailer and placed horse bedding in it, hoping she would bring them into it. On the third day, she did exactly that. He was thinking something was wrong with the mother because he could get almost upon her with food and water before she would hiss and spit and try to burrow her babies in the horse bedding.
Before going inside that night, he went to check on her and the kits. The babies were crying for nourishment; their little mama had passed away within the few hours since he'd fed her that evening. Could we take the babies? Well, of course!
There were three females: tabbies Crackers (named because her days old coat appeared white with cracked pepper sprinkled throughout - as she grew out of kitten-hood the coat color reversed itself) and Tipster (so named because she has a white tipped tail) and a black and white one we named Domino who looks almost identical to the male. The little black and white male Craig immediately named by saying, "Hey, this little Sputnik is barely moving." He was the little runt - extremely small even for a newborn kitten, no bigger than a small baby mouse.
Sputnik wouldn't eat by bottle, so I would have to dip the corner of a washcloth into the formula and let him suckle from it. He suckled formula from corners of washcloths for just over five weeks before he finally learned to eat canned kitten food, of which he was never fond. However, once he learned to eat kitten kibble, that little fellow could scarf down some groceries.
He was very slow in learning ordinary things that come second nature to other kittens. He didn't learn to walk until he was nearly ten weeks old. For some time around here, we thought he was deaf, but Dr Steve tested his hearing and told us that he was mentally under-developed, that things wouldn't come rapidly to him. He felt like Sputnik would be able to lead a healthy life despite having difficulties in learning. The only thing he truly got down pat was usage of the litter box. Never once did he use it inappropriately.
In the meantime, the girls where growing like weeds and into everything. Sputnik was never interested in cat toys, no matter how shiny or sparkly, nor playing with the other kittens. As he grew older, he didn't socialize with the other cats. He was truly the cat who walked alone.
It dawned on us one evening while preparing their meal that we'd never heard Sputnik meow. BUT ... could that wee boy purr. You could hear him from one end of the house to the other. We hadn't had a cat who purred almost every waking moment except for our beloved Dani. Those two Kiddens were some purromatics.
I wasn't working full-time then, but one appointment was made on a Saturday when he was about three months old, so Craig went with us. While discussing matters about Sputnik with Dr Steve, Craig remarked that Sputnik may be slow, but he had "spunk." Though Sputnik's name was recorded as such at Dr Steve's, I don't think we, including the doctors and staff, ever called him Sputnik again. He became Spunky from that day forward.
He finally weighed in at two pounds, even though he was nearly four months old, so he could be neutered. As the years went by, Spunky never had any health issues at all. He never weighed more than eight and a half pounds. He was skittish, very shy, didn't like to be held or petted, though he dearly loved base of the tail scritches. Though he wouldn't purr, he'd make little chortling sounds during scritching sessions.
He formed a special bond with his Daddy CraigCat, although Craig wasn't able to touch him any more than I could. He would come much closer to Craig than he ever would with me, unless it was meal time. Then he would be headbutting my hands out of the way so he could get down to some serious eating. It was as though he knew that Craig was a former non-cat person and, in spite of that fact, he wanted to let Craig know that he loved him best. He would always come trotting out to meet Craig, but never me until weeks after Craig's loss.
Vet trips were always such a hassle trying to get him into a carrier. The minute he returned home, he was nothing but a dark flash as he made his way to the depths of the rafters of the cat house. He loved high places and would watch us from up there or on the top shelf in the cat house while we cleaned litter boxes and put out fresh linens in their little beds. His other favorite spot was on Craig's grandfather's old wooden ladder in the cat run. He loved to lay on its top step in the sun, no matter how hot or cold the weather was. The exception was if it was raining - he was terrified of rain. He would always run and hide if he was in the cat run and it would rain on him.
Friday morning my little boy was laying in his little bed in the cat house and didn't come to hog the food bowls as I filled them with kibble. When I finished doling out the food, I went to him. He actually let me pick him up and place him on the long table where about six of the cats were already chowing down. He picked at the food a bit, then went to the litter box. He meandered around the cat house some, then went back to his bed. I checked on him two hours later and he was still in the same spot. When I tried to pick him up this time, he growled at me - something he'd never done before. Then the race was on, him dodging me each time I tried to pick him up. At last, we headed to Dr Steve's.
His kidney values had shot out of range. They were normal at December's checkup. They put him on fluids and told me they wanted to keep him for observation. Later they called and asked if they could run additional tests since the doctors couldn't diagnose what was going on with his kidneys. His liver values had also gone off the chart.
Yesterday morning, Saturday, I went to visit with him since they'd called and said they wanted to keep him over the weekend. For the first time since he was a little kitten, he let me hold and stroke him for the next two and a half hours.
Late this afternoon the tech called and said she'd checked on him, but he still wouldn't eat and his breathing was labored. She'd called the vet on call to come in. Did I want to come in or wait until tomorrow, Monday? I knew then I would have to let my precious little Spunky go to his Daddy CraigCat.
I was on my way immediately in a heavy downpour for the clinic. He was such a sad looking little guy. We both knew it was time. Again, he let me hold and love on him, as I whispered into his ears and stroked his sleek black back, he was purring his magical purr all the while. Then, at 5:40pm, he was gone to his Daddy and making his way to the rafters of the Rainbow Bridge.

I miss you so, little boy of mine. You overcame so much and were filled with spunk your few years. Just one more month and you would have had your ninth birthday. I treasure every single day, my Spunky. I wish you could have stayed longer with me, but I'll see you and Daddy CraigCat soon. You're whole and truly a happy Kidden at last.

May I Go?
Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain-filled days and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best, an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond, and set my spirit free?
I didn't want to go at first, I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now to a warm and living light.
I want to go, I really do; it's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.
To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.
I know you're sad and afraid, because I see your tears.
I'll not be far, I promise that, and hope you'll always know,
That my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me. You know I love you too,
And that's why it's hard to say goodbye and end this life with you.
So hold me now just one more time and let me hear you say,
Because you care so much for me, you'll let me go today.
Author: Susan A Jackson

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  • Created by: sniksnak
  • Added: 1 Mar 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 143217793
  • sniksnak
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sputnik Bachman “Spunky” Cat (1 Apr 2006–1 Mar 2015), Find a Grave Memorial no. 143217793, ; Maintained by sniksnak (contributor 47573113) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Buried beside Cheerio in the flowerbed by his beloved cat run..