We got Trolley And Cardigan (formally Tippet and Lexus) from a no kill shelter. They had been there six years with at least a hundred other cats. They stayed close and cuddled in a basket close for all that time. They were clearly a bonded pair. When we went to pick them up, we caught Cardigan okay. Then we caught Trolley and actually got him in the carrier. Just as we were an inch from closing it, he shot straight up and got out. He ran straight for the cage and proceeded to climb straight up the side 10 feet to the top. We brought Cardigan home alone. He was devastated and hid under the bed continuously. They caught Trolley on top of the cage two days later and we reunited the two brothers. They both hid in the litter box for days together.
After many days, isolated in our bedroom, we introduced them to the other cats and the rest of the house. They had been living many years with many cats, so they barely noticed them. Trolley quickly ended up making an impossible jump and hiding on top of an air duct for a day.
The twins found it hard to get used to us. They never had a normal home nor had regular contact with people. They would always run from us if we got too close and they were not cuddly at all. But over the years with the help and training of the other cats, they became relaxed and affectionate.
Cardigan and Trolley would always play fight. They would start out cuddling, but one of them would get in the mood. Cardigan had the weight, but Trolley had teeth. They would really go at it, but no blood was ever drawn.
Trolley grew to love the patriarch, Neko. I never thought Neko would let anyone get close to him. But he did. Trolley would stick to him like a shadow. Sadly during this time he spent less time with Cardigan, although they still were close. Neko, as his kidney disease got worse, would often hump Trolley. Trolley just sat there and took it without complaint. Near the end, possibly because he was not feeling well, he would fight Neko off after a few minutes.
For whatever reason he had a period when he would attack Rusty, a cat twice his size. He would corner him and antagonize him. But the next day he could be kind to him. It really was a puzzle because when Friendly and Rusty came to our house, Rusty sought comfort and cuddling with Trolley and his brother Cardigan. Maybe Trolley was lashing out in response to the dominant humping behavior of Neko.
Neko had kidney disease for at least two years. During that time we had to feed him special food, and to make sure he got his fill and the other cats didn’t eat it all on him. We had to hand feed him several times a day. As Trolley was always by his side, and he rarely ate anyway, I ended up feeding him on occasion with Neko. I think the fact that Neko, his hero, was eating made him want to eat.
Another thing I tried to do with him was to put him on my lap and try to get him to eat dry out of my hand. It worked quite well. It calmed him down a lot and we became much closer.
After Neko died he turned his affection to Friendly. If Friendly was cuddling next to me, he would lie on top of both him and me and purr.
He was always a small cat, and a picky eater, if he ate much at all. So after a few months of mourning the loss of Neko, he stopped eating all together. His seven pound frame reduced quickly to five in about a week and we took him in to see the vet.
In hindsight, we probably should have taken him in years before for a checkup. But he was never one to show discomfort. And we were worried that he would escape at the vet somehow never to be seen again. We never thought we could get him into the carrier. He wouldn’t let me pick him up until we had him for three years.
We fully expected to bring him back that day we took him to the vet.
As stated, he never showed pain or discomfort and was always alert and active. It was discovered he had painful dental and kidneys had failed, yet he was still active, alert and spry. He was hunting in the cateo the day before and was out and about the morning we took him in for bloodwork. Which made it all the harder to put him down.
He was trusting and calm in my arms, my senses told me he was not ill. Even his fur felt soft that day. Then he died in my arms.
It came to me that after Neko died, Trolley was my focus, and my hope, to get me through the loss of Neko. Trolley was a always the serious one, and I had been working quite hard to make him more sociable. He was coming along quite well. When he died it was like him and Neko had died at the same time.
Things I never want to forget are the way he would stand in the water to drink, drink off his paws, or drown a toy mouse, his tiny soft mew, the way he always went to the litter to throw up, his ability to jump 7 feet in the air, the way he loved to lie on the heater vent when the heat was on, and of course his beautiful, beautiful face. Since departure a lot of energy and love has left our house.
I would like to think that Trolley’s spirit had some part in helping us find, tame, and capture our newest member, Clover. I often find myself calling Clover Trolley by mistake. They have a lot of similarities, and Cardigan, Trolley’s brother, has taken to him.
After a cat passes, I hear songs that inevitably make me think of them and help me get some tears out.