In Memory of Rowdy Shidler

If you read Tuesdays “300 Writing Prompt” entry (read it here), you will know that we recently had to put our beloved cat Rowdy to sleep. Today I share his obituary that is every bit as sassy  and silly as he was.

Rowdy Roo Shidler

Spring 2010 – December 17, 2018

Rowdy Roo Shidler, 10, of Nolanville Texas, drifted peacefully into eternal sleep on December 17, 2018 while surrounded by his family. Rowdy was born in Terre Haute Indiana in the early spring of 2010.

He was an aspiring medical helicopter pilot, but his dream was cut short when it was discovered he was a recovering catnip addict. He was later adopted in June 2010 by newlyweds Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. They survive.

Rowdy was a proud ‘spirited’ cat with a passion for attacking ankles unprovoked and hissing without being spoken to. He followed the typical cat rulebook to a T, never deviating from standard protocol once.

img_1112He was a loving and protective big brother to Mosby. The two could often be found rough housing, giving each other baths, chasing each other through the house at 3 a.m. and getting into other general mischief.

Rowdy was known by all to have a sophisticated pallet, often dinning on the finest hair ties, shoe laces and most exotic yarns he could get his paws on. If something didn’t meet his standards, he was not afraid to let you know, often at 3 a.m. and in the middle of a well-traveled pathway.

While never having the chance to be a father his self, (a major mix up at the veterinary

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office he always claimed) Rowdy took on the role of “Father Figure” with pride when his parents adopted two deformed and untrained cats, Lucy and Wrigley. He made it his personal mission to turn the two into functioning cats, but unfortunately never saw his dreams come to fruition.

Rowdy will be dearly missed but never forgotten. All that were blessed with the opportunity to feed him or with the rare opportunity to pet him un-harmed, know that their lives are forever changed.

Rowdy is survived by his loving parents, Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. Brothers, Mosby and Wrigley and little sister Lucy. Other family members include his Aunt Jonie Shidler, Estel & Cindy Shidler and Carla Kilburn.

A celebration of life was privately held at his residence December 24, 2018. Guests shared stories, pictures and passed around his favorite balls of yarn.

A GoFundMe has been created in Rowdy’s name to raise funds for Catnip for underprivileged inner city cats.

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300 Writing Prompts # 8: Have You Ever Had To Put A Pet Down?

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If I had started writing in this journal when I bought it 6 months ago, the answer to this prompt would have been boring, containg satirical stories of me flushing my State Fair goldfish down the drain, (for the record it was a lovely service) but as luck would unfortunately have it, I now have experience and insight for this question.

His name was Rowdy. He was the first pet I ever had that was all my own. We rescued him the summer we got married. The airport my husband worked at had “adopted” a cat on accident, and while the pilots in the medical helicopter hangar wanted to keep this kitten they had grown to love, they needed to keep a sterile atmosphere for the medical equipment. My husband was tasked with finding a new home for the cat. He instantly curled up in the truck next to Matthew and the next thing I know I was getting messages that could have very well come from a 4 year-old. “Can we keep him!” “He won’t be any trouble!”

I didn’t need to be convinced. He came home that day and after some careful discussion we named him after fun stories we heard about a local farm hand with a weird passion for Rush Limbaugh ( a long, but true story).

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Rowdy was never a perfectly ‘healthy’ cat. He first got sick 5 months after we moved to Texas. Like a lot of male cats, even fixed ones, his body would often develop crystals that would block the bladder causing infections and major illness if undetected. Over the next 8 years, Rowdy was prescribed different types of cat foods and had several (like 5) procedures to unblock his bladder. I won’t bore you with every detail of Rowdy’s life (I will leave that for his upcoming obituary), but what I will tell you is that we loved him even though he fit the stereotype of a typical house cat to a T.

On December 17th 2018 we found ourselves at the emergency vet office faced with 2 options, another unblocking procedure with several rounds of tests and a referral to a specialist in Austin, or to peacefully let him sleep. We spent 40 minutes trying to decide what to do, but with the guidance of the caring vet we made the decision to let our little Rowdy peacefully sleep.

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It’s not been a month yet, but we miss him and still catch ourselves calling for him or referring to our cats in the plural.

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I won’t ask anyone if they have ever had to put a pet down although you are welcome to answer if you would like. I do invite you to tag me in any of your blog posts about your wonderful pets our furry friends should be shared!