Anshar

I bought Anshar from a co worker in April of 1992. The same co-worker I had gotten Ningazidda from. They were half siblings. I did eventually convince the co-worker to spay her cats.   Anshar's favorite game as a kitten was to play the answering machine in the middle of the night.  He would often stalk the blinking red dot, and learned if he swatted the right button it would talk to him.  He also loved playing in the sink and the bathtub, the sound of running water would bring him running, too. 
 
Ninga had a heart murmur from birth, Anshar had always been healthy. But when in the spring of 2002 he was diagnosed with a grade 4 heart murmur, it was not a huge surprise.
The surprise came when he was diagnosed with early stage renal failure in October of 2004. Anshar has always been a quiet cat, but he became too quiet. he hardly jumped up on the bed to sleep with me anymore. He also began demanding water from the sink, and I knew my boy was in trouble. His kidney values from 2000 had been normal, but on the high end. We checked his kidney values again, and they were just over the normal range. Anshar is was put on SQ sodium chloride 100cc twice a day and on low protein food.   When he was rechecked in September of 2005, all of his values were once again normal! 
 
Ninga was one year older than Anshar, and while she took some time to adjust to him, by the time he was grown they were good friends.



When Ninga became sick, he would visit her in her room. Several times a week he would ask to come in with me. He would walk around the room, sniff the foster kittens, sniff Ninga and just sit quietly. Somtimes Ninga went over to him for company. After Ninga died, Anshar would not go upstairs for almost a year.

I had always loved Maine Coon cats. I always wanted one, but could not even come close to affording a purebred! I was delighted when my little black poofy kitten began to show some of the maine coon traits. The long body, maine, tail, and broad muzzle gave him the look even tho he did not have the pedigree. Once out of his kitten crazy years, he also had the easy going personnality of the maine coon.

Anshar was very shy and skittish for years, thanks to an idiot I lived with who thought it was funny to scare the poor kitten. He would then wonder why Anshar didn't like him or let want to be patted. Fortunately several years of tlc taught Anshar that the entire world was not out to get him. He is picky about who he likes, but overall friendly and serene.

He was not thrilled with the caracals, but held his own with them. They learned not to go after his tantalizing tail. Compared to them, foster kittens were a breeze. He even liked some of the kittens! He would play with them, chasing them and being chased, hiding and swatting around corners. Sometimes he even hung his tail down and twitched it for them.  Here he is playing with Bendy.
He and Legume got along well. After Legume passed away, Anshar went around calling and calling for him.  

In January of 2006, Anshar began listing to the right and his hind end became weak.  The listing went away after an ear cleaning, but the hind end instability continued.  He was checked for diabeties and hyperthyroidism, both of which can cause ataxia in cats, but the results were negative.  His kidneys were rechecked and were still normal.  The vet noted he had been loosing weight gradually over the past several years, and thought perhaps he had a slow growing tumor.  A full body xray, however, showed nothing.  His heart was still enlarged, but everything else could not have been more normal.  She said he had the skeleton of  a 3 or 4 year old cat, with no signs of arthritis at all.  All his organs -aside from his heart - were normal size & placement.  No sign of a mass anywhere.
With nothing clear to treat we decided to monitor how he did, we expected him to still have several more years with us.  His  hind end weakness did not seem to bother him, he conitnued to get up on the bed, follow us around, and be his relaxed self.  He was purring more often and seemed more needy, so he knew something wasn't right. 
On the night of January 31, 2006, I came home form work and he did not come when called.  I found him dead under the couch, with one foot wrapped in the edge of a blanket (the edge  had been torn away long ago and hung free).  I can only hope it was quick.   Most likely it was a stroke, but we will never really know what happend to our sweet boy.
 
A favorite photo of him


Taken in early January of 2006.