Tribute to a family member

It all started about 14 years ago when Alex was just about 4 years old and still afraid of animals. Yup even cats. So her mom and I decided we should maybe get a cat that she could pick out from the SPCA and name and take home. That is where Balou came in with his tiger looks and gentle touch but playful approach. Alex saw him and I guess thought of the Disney movie Jungle Book and named him Balou.

Balou was an abandoned cat left in an apartment for almost a month. When he was found he was a bit dirty and had some ear issue but the SPCA quickly took care of him and he soon came to be with us and forever know as Balou. Alex was excited as he was the same age as her. I think this helped her with her fear of animals and soon she was over it.

When Balou arrived at our home we soon decided to let Balou be an out-door cat instead of the in-door and since we lived where there was a lot of space to roam it was a good call. By the end of the first summer he was muscular and always bring home other pets to play with or drop on our door step. Then winter came and after the first touch of snow on his paw he soon became the in-door cat he started of being. But the urge over the year took the best of him and soon was a full time winter or no winter out-door cat enjoy all the seasons that Canada has to offer.

Later as our family change, Balou came to live with me in hull where he soon became a part of the neighbourhood. Finding other cats to play with until one day getting a bad back injury and having to get fixed up and spend some time inside recovering. Then not soon after the recover was over he found himself with yet another tenant severed in his hind leg. This lead to him being stuck in side again and an operation to fix him up. Mean while we came to have new family members with the addition of our ferrets.

Balou and the Ferrets had a love hate relationship that was a bit of a issue with Balou. You see he couldn’t care about them, but the Ferrets where all about Balou. All they wanted to do was hang out with him and get in his face and butt. In the end everyone survived and had been given their own corners in the house to be in.

Once he was back in good health, Balou was diagnosed as being diabetic. This required him to have to shots of insulin a day for the rest of his life. Which basically meant he was now officially an in-door cat since he was use to staying away from home for a few days at a time. Well he wasn’t happy about that, but in time he would come to like it and with his friends inside he still kept busy running away.

As the ferrets past on, Balou soon became the sol owner of the house at least during the day and finally we moved to Kanata where Balou soon became more adventurous. Once leaving home for more than a week not getting his insulin and worrying us all. All was forgotten when we were lucky enough to find him. Trying to give Balou some freedom with having a fenced in yard was not always the best of times as he found every hole there was to escape and enjoy the new town.

This summer Balou developed a back issue which hindered his ability to use the litter.  Arthritis in his leg soon came on and his continuous attempts to even jump the fence was causing harmed to him and today we all said our goodbyes to him. A difficult family decision was made to put Balou down.

So it is with great sadness for me to have to say good by to a great cat, friend and family member today. Balou was a guy’s cat being strong and cool looking like a tiger, he was a pet to everyone making people love him on sight, he was a friend to the kids helping all three of them out to learn about animal care, and most of all he was a family member. A member of our family.

By buddy!