Sadly, we lost Bigfoot on Monday, May 2.
Bigfoot was actually a Hewitt native, being found on Highway 71 when he was a kitten. He was very sick with a respiratory infection. Mom picked him up to prevent him from being hit by an oncoming semi, and she brought him to work with her. I also worked there at the time. Various co-workers would go out to mom’s car and check on him until my lunch break came so I could take him home.
The vet had called in a prescription for him at the pharmacy under the name “Highway” to get rid of the infection. I was finally able to bring him home and got him set up in the bathroom until I got home from work for the day. Being the tiny kitten he was, he just slid right under the door and explored the house.
At night, I put him in a tote next to my bed. He figured out how to climb the bedding, sit on my chest and sneeze in my face.
He was also a polydactyl with six toes on his front paws and five on the back.
He overcame the infection and grew up to be a small but fat boy. It was actually a few weeks after we got him we realized he was a boy. He was the first male cat I ever had.
Bigfoot was a very chill cat that didn’t have a care in the world. He started his life in a trailer house with my significant other at the time and his dog. When we would leave on vacation, Bigfoot would stay with my mom and the other cats and her dogs. He was acclimated to other animals quickly, which was great when I moved back in with her. He was the only male in a house dominated by female animals, at the time, three other cats and three dogs.
Even when we fostered other dogs, he didn’t have a single care in the world. The only animal he ever had an issue with was King, the other male cat that came into our lives about a year ago. But Bigfoot got over it.
He was great with kids, and always at the door when I came home, or if anyone came over, he was right there. He was a very social cat.
For many years we had to watch our drink cups with straws as he would steal the straws, even if the cup was in your hand. I have a video of him running off with a straw, cup still attached.
He also had a weird fascination with frogs. He would bring them in from the outdoor kennel. One time I hopped out of the shower to chaos in the living room. Bigfoot had brought in so many frogs while I was showering and the other cats and the dogs were having a field day chasing them and knocking stuff over. He would put dead frogs on a rug by the door and let them dry out and eat frog jerky.
Anything with feathers was his to play with. Often times he’d wonder into a room with a feather dangling out of his mouth.
He had a loud purr, a louder snore and the quietest meow. He was always cuddling with someone, enjoyed taking baths and being brushed with a vacuum hose while the vacuum was on. Odd traits for any cat.
He was highly addicted to catnip. We used to have catnip plants in the house but he would knock them over constantly. We attempted to put some in a dehydrator and he just crawled into the box and wouldn’t let anyone touch his bed of catnip.
He even won Best in Show at a charity cat show one year.
About a year ago his age caught up to him. He became ill and lost a lot of weight. He was tested for just about everything but nothing came back positive. It was believed he had bowl disease. Ironic, I know. But other than the weight loss, he was fine. He got around perfectly fine, ate constantly, still came up the stairs and cuddled with me but was just a skinny old man.
Bigfoot quickly faded last weekend. He’d have his bad days where he didn’t want food, so I didn’t think much of how little he ate on Friday morning. On Saturday, he ate a little but started to become unsteady on his feet. By Sunday he barely moved and stayed in his hut all day. We knew what was happening. It was his time.
That night I brought him to my room and put him in a kitty bed, on my bed next to me. He was fading fast. I made him comfortable, put a heating pad under him and just petted him, thanking him for being my cat and the years of love he gave me.
I fell asleep near 1 a.m. with my hand on his body, feeling his breathing. My mom came upstairs about 2 a.m. to check on him, waking me up in the process. He was gone.
Mocha had jumped on the bed several times that night and inspected Bigfoot, never staying on the bed as she usually does. After he passed, Latte gave him the once over and proceeded to puke all over my room. I brought Bigfoot downstairs and wrapped him up, putting him on a table for the other cats and Pepper the dog to know he was no longer with us.
Bigfoot is being cremated.
I can tell the other animals are grieving as well. They have been more vocal and attention-seeking than usual. And none of them want anything to do with my bed right now. It’s been hard on all of us but I know he’s okay now. He is greatly missed.