Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ivy 200?-2013

Ivy, our tuxedo cat, passed away this morning.

Ivy's full name was Miss Ivy Turnstiles Smith-Perkette, a name which requires some explanation.

We named her after Ivy Smith a character in the Bernstein-Comden/Green musical On the Town.  The town, of course, is New York City in 1944.  During the musical Ivy Smith is crowned "Miss Turnstiles":
Miss Turnstiles for June!Every month, some lucky little New York miss is chosen
Miss Turnstiles for the month. She's got to be beautiful,
she's got to be just an average girl, and most important
of all she's got to ride the subway.
There are 5,683 women who ride the subway every day. And
which fortunate lassie will be chosen for the signal honor this month?
She's beautiful, brilliant, average, a typical New Yorker... 

Perkette?  We had another tuxedo cat just before we got Ivy in July 2005.  His name was Perky.  For a while we couldn't keep ourselves from calling Ivy by the name Perky because they looked so much alike.  We figured that the two of them must have been married in some previous life, or something, and we added the feminine form of Perky to her handle.  Don't worry, it doesn't need to make any sense.  Once we changed her name, of course, we never accidentally called her Perky again.

While Ivy may not have been particularly beautiful or brilliant, she certainly wasn't average, especially in the medical sense.  Outwardly you could tell she was different because of her extra toe on each forepaw.  The term for this is polydactylic.  

There was more unusual about her than just extra toes.  Although Ivy had been spayed not once but twice, she never stopped going into heat.  Fortunately the frequency of her noisy episodes asking for a mate became less as she got older.  Since she obviously had some ovaries inside even after two attempts to remove them, we guessed that her other internal organs must be abnormal as well.  The vet diagnosed her final disease as congestive heart failure.

Ivy had been a stray, living near the home of our friends Dan and Lynn, who asked us to take her in.   I doubt she would have survived too long on the street fending for herself.   Here's Leslie holding Ivy just after she came to live with us.

While we never solved some of her behavior problems that drove us up a wall, Miss Ivy was a sweet and friendly little critter with magnificent whiskers.  She made a good bed cat.  We are happy that we could give her a home for almost eight years.  During that time she became an essential part of our menagerie.  We will miss her.

This final picture was taken less than a month ago.

 Click on the pictures for enlargements.  There have been plenty of other Mixed Meters posts about our cats over the years.  That's one of the essential reasons to have a blog.

This post also tells Ivy's story, in the comments.

A picture of Ivy in a drawer is here.

See Ivy's best whisker photo and listen to a piece of music called "In a Pissy Mood" here.

Or maybe this post has Ivy's best whisker photo.


Miss Ivy Tags: . . .


David Ocker said...

Magnificent whiskers. Six toes. Named after a character in a musical comedy. Our cat Miss Ivy is gone.

Garpu said...

I'm so sorry to hear! She sounded like a real sweetheart. (They say polydactyl cats are common out here...)

Elaine Fine said...

What a beautiful tribute to a truly unique cat.

ericnp said...

What a sweet tribute. Thank you. I always tell Lucy how important she is, especially over the last couple of years. I'm going to tell her about Miss Ivy now and scratch her head some.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm right there with you. We had to bury our Tuxedo cat of the polydactl persuasion last March. He provided a few amusing posts over our period together, and like your experience, it was short. 2007 to 2013.

Semi feral, we named our boy "Peoples" Basically because he was dependent on the peoples, and we were it. We didn't know he was FIV. I've never had a cat tested before. He always had little health issues. We've always had money issues. The two came together at the wrong time. And we said good-by. One vet shamed us by calling it a convenience euthanasia; we were in it for 450.00 at this point. So I took him a little further to Foothill Vet in E Pasadena (which I would have - had they been opened on a Sunday). Instead, we were more confused then ever and I made the decision that next Friday to take him in. I said I was 95% certain what I wanted to do, but what did she think. She was honest with us. His blood work sucked, he was breaking down with secondary infections (skin herpes, terrible upper respiratory and shrunken kidneys.) She backed us AND didn't charge us. I love that place...

and he didn't pass it onto my other cat, which I'm keeping as an indoor cat with an outdoor compound. I think I'm going to continue with the leukemia shot for her since neighborhood cats like to drop by and visit Twyla in her gilded cage.