August 1996 – December 2012
Vazra was a recent adoptee and newer member of The Kids. He was obviously abandoned somewhere around White Rock Lake in Dallas.
I first was introduced to him in early 2006 as he roamed around the area. When I called out to him, he immediately responded and came running, leaped over the patio fence, and promptly engaged me in lots of petting, including rolling over to get his belly rubbed. He was such a sweet cat that it horrified me to know someone cast him out into the world to fend for himself. By May 2006, he was coming around quite often. It was then I decided I would try to capture him and, if possible, adopt him. Even if he could never join The Kids due to health risks, I at least wanted to tend to his terrible fur condition, bring him up to date on vaccinations, and check his overall health.
Vazra was a very lovable cat and got along well with the other felines in the house. There were never fights and no ugliness following his introduction. Though at first she disliked him, even Kako eventually warmed to Vazra’s presence.
It took several months before I was able to capture him. He spent that time being terrified of the cat carrier. Eventually, with much patience, he grew less weary of the apparatus until one day he climbed inside long enough for me to close him in it.
His general health was good and he had no communicable diseases that posed a risk to the rest of The Kids. He did have major dental problems and had to have dental surgery to extract five bad teeth. I knew his teeth were bad from the moment I first met him as he was always extra sensitive after eating and drinking, and I could tell he was already missing one of his top canine teeth. Despite the damage and subsequent loss, he did fine after the surgery and ate well (he’d learned long ago how to swallow his food whole so as not to irritate his teeth).
With an exceptional personality centered on people, Vazra never met a stranger. He would talk to anyone, often initiating conversations with anyone he could see. And he accepted affection with the same openness—from anyone. If visitors came by and the other cats fled (even if only temporarily), Vazra had the opposite reaction: sleep through it if he was so inclined or, more often, intercept the interlopers to make sure they gave him his due affection.
By summer 2012 he began losing weight. Though I’d hoped it was related to the inescapable heat of a Texas summer, I knew better. He was over sixteen years old (over 80 in cat years). After a few months of weight loss, he declined rapidly—in a single day—waking normally in the morning and being unable to stand or walk or eat or drink by noon. His suffering was brought to an end out of an abundance of love and respect.
Pronunciation: VAHZ ruh
Namesake: An original name formed from the Old Persian word for “great”: vazraka; see this post for a full explanation
Relationship: Adoptive brother to The Kids with no blood ties
Birthdate: Unknown; assumed to be over 10 years old as of August 2006; I set it to August 7 since that’s the date I rescued him
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This is why he was nicknamed Grumpy.
He was a very beautiful cat.
He wasn’t proud.
He loved looking outside (don’t all cats?).