I need to amend this fanpage with a sad note: Tato is gone. He was part of my life and the Cathouse for over 4 years. In the hopes he comes back I am still keeping this page up. I can’t shut the door. And I am leaving this in the present tense, just like I had it, originally written, when he was around.
I hope you still are… somewhere.
Tato is probably the most easy going cat I have ever known. He is bigger than a small dog. But he would never do anything to harm you. I compare him with those big guys on Harley’s that are actually real Teddy bears.
His story begins in May 2013 when he appears one evening. I had been hearing many fights at night in the trees around the house. I’d go out calling for Lilith because the voice was very similar. A high pitched female cat voice.
After 3-4 days, one dark evening, a voluminous cat threw him-self at my feet… Nope, this is not Lilith. She would never do that! Instead I see a massive black cat.
Tato was not skinny at all and wore a brown anti-parasitic collar. He was spayed too. So in the next days I started announcing him every where on facebook, printing flyers and calling at doors. Nothing. Ever. Not even a hint of a question about him.
His fur was not in good conditions at all. Full of scratches which would heal, but most worrying, his tale coat was thin and with « scales ». Like he had suffered some flea plague or other insect. He was also having stomach disorders like heavy diarrea but nothing that could not be taken care of with the adequate food and meds.
Back then I was not prepared to have another cat. I already had 4 and was still morning Ibiza. I was not near the end of that process. It was difficult for me to give love, when I felt so angry I had not been able to save Ibiza. And so, Tato came at a time it was difficult for me to « give the required amount of love ». He actually stayed a long time a bit like a visitor. His name, Tato meaning Big brother is not really the kind of names I give but that’s how I felt he was, the big brother.
He, nevertheless, was now part of the house and had the food he liked, I tried to put him on a diet with specific dry food, which seemed delicious to all other but him. And eventually we overcame the flea and transit disorders. He became a beautiful black cat of an unknown age but most probably 5-6.
A few months later, I found a cheaper and cute little house in the woods. And obviously he came here. I did not manage to put him in the normal cat-carrier so he spent the trip on my left shoulder … that’s how he felt comfortable… not me. But anyways we got here in the dark once more. Because he came all by him-self and because I totally trusted his instincts we both jump out of the car and he started smelling this new place. He started wandering about and probably went in the woods. That night I did not see him anymore.
By the morning he was on the terrace overhanging the road, which is more a dirt track.
And then our new routine here started. A couple of months later, came Athena and Apollo. And Athena and Tato share a very similar life in the kitchen terrace and the surrounding woods. At the beginning all was perfect.
The house back then, did not have any fences. Any other cat was able to come by with or without good intentions. So that’s when Tato, saw some intruders and he did not like them at all. And one of the intruders was a fierce wild cat. A call it that way because I would find him home sometimes like this was his. Of course with outrageous markings that go with the territory claiming. Tato was not happy with that. But this cat despite wearing a collar was a regular of this place. He was born here and so far had survived its dangers. Moreover, not only he was not scared of humans, he would also growl at you.
Growl is, the right word. And that is also the reason why I say he was wild. His coat was that of a wild cat. And since 80% cat population still mix with wild cats, I tend to think his adn carried a fairly larger amount of wild than our usual domesticated cats. He was beautiful but also dangerous. Even to me. So Tato, once in while came back home with injuries.
By the autumn of 2014 the cathouse had more inhabitants and in the spring of 2015 the number increased again.
Too many, to Tato’s taste.
All that summer, I knew Tato was fine, because I’d spotted him here and there, but he would not come sleep home. The food being available most of the time, he would sleep where ever.
And I believe that is when he started visiting neighbouring houses. And by the end of 2015 he established him-self single dweller in another home. A new neighbour who seemed to be a catlover. So after checking with him that everything was fine, it was clear for me, that Tato, somehow, had found him-self a new forever place.
He was not stay there alone for very long either. But all was fine for quite some time.
In 2016 however, by the end of that summer, Tato was showing up again constantly for food.
At first, I suspected it was because I give mine more than dry food. Once a day they get either wet and tasty cat processed foods or some real meat from either fish or beef etc.
My late night job, made me show up around 2am and there he was waiting.
And that’s when the weird behaviour started. Tato would eat and suddenly rush back in the woods followed by piercing shouts.
Between the two houses, we lost time. Nobody was doing anything, thinking the other would.
And then the neighbour had to move. He expedited his going away and I offered to take care of the cats until he could again. Five cats, Tato, Loulou, Pandy, Patty and Lala.
Sometimes humans, we are bit useless, we have are own priorities and the pets can only suffer the consequences.
I lost too much time if you ask me, but eventually I found a deal for Tato’s mouth issues with a close by vet. But still, this didn’t make any drastic change in his condition. I just got to know he suffered from Stomatitis. Good to know, but now what.
My vet in turn, suspected something deeper. Fel-v or feline leukaemia. After testing his blood, it turned out, Tato was Fel-V positive. Fel-V is like Aids. For those that are not acquainted with the feline world.
At that stage the question was ok so now what. How can he feed him-self?
So now Tato eats « cooked » dry food. His bowl has this mashed consistence but he likes it. He eats it with tuna or some other tasty toppings so that I can also stick there some medication when the drooling starts again. The drooling indicated he is again in pain. We tried the anti inflammatory injection, but sincerely it has not been that effective. So next, and very soon, we need to plan the teeth removal.