My Autobiography

by Hamlet

Hello to all my friends out there. My name is Hamlet. I was known as Paul when I lived at a no-kill animal shelter in Palatine, Illinois. The shelter is named Save-A-Pet and has since moved to Grayslake, Illinois. The people who cared for me there were very nice to me and all the other puppies, kittens, cats and dogs who were lucky enough to be living there.

Save-A-Pet Logo(click logo to visit their website)

I was about one year old in June of 1993, feeling a bit under the weather and ended up being placed in a cage while I was treated for a virus that gave me a bad cold. Usually all us adult cats had free run of a nice room and even had an attached porch with ledges at all the windows. I was lonely and missed playing with my friends, but needed to get better. On June 3rd a human named David came to look around before he completed the adoption of a little orange kitten named Christofur. When I saw him I just knew that we would be best friends, so I made sure to stick my paw out of the cage and grab his shirt with my claws. When he tried to get me to let his clothes go I kept poking my paws out at him to say hello. In minutes I had made him forget all about that Christofur kid! What can I say, when I turn on the charm people come running. *grin*

Hamlet age 1(me at 1)

Next thing I knew David left the room and one of the nice people who helped care for me came in, took me from my bed and shoved a really nasty tasting pill down my mouth! ICK! I began to get really tired and then I was placed in a big box and David carried me out to this big red thing that made noise and bumped about. He sat next to me and talked a lot while playing with a big round hoop that made the ground shake and made a lot of noise. After a while he stopped playing with the hoop and the bumping and noise stopped and he carried me in a really tall building! I counted 11 windows on top of one another! He carried me in the box for a while, then opened a door and said something about being in my new home, then something about needing a better name than Paul. I could not see what was wrong with my name! I liked the name Paul very much. He said I looked like a Hamlet to him, and told me I was now named Hamlet Paul. I gave up the fight and accepted my new name. (hey, the things we do for loved ones...) He took me out of the box and placed something around my neck with a bell on it. I had never heard a bell before and it scared the heck out of me. So I ran into the back of the apartment and hid behind the washing machine for several hours. I learned not to be scared of the bell after a few days, and actually grew to like it. Now when David takes my necklace off to wash me (which I hate) I wander around looking for the bell and ask him to put it back on me.

I love my human friend VERY much and like him to hold and cuddle me as often as possible.

Hamlet age 5(me at 5)

We have lived in many homes since I adopted David. The first was in a 6th floor apartment in Arlington Heights, Illinois. All the windows there were floor-to-ceiling and I was able to see the train station from the window. I used to lay by the windows and watch the trains when they came. I was afraid of the balcony though, too high for my tastes.

We moved to a 2nd floor apartment in the same town and lived there for over two years. I loved to lay balcony of this apartment since it was not too high. I would lay in the sun all day and sniff the fresh air in the evenings!

We then moved to a two floor townhouse in North Brunswick, New Jersey (and did I ever hate being placed in a pet-carrier for two days while David drove us there! At one point there were blue and red flashing lights behind us and a man in a funny hat told David he was driving too fast and gave him a piece of paper). I loved to run up and down the stairs there! Sometimes David would take me in the back yard to play too! There were other cats that lived near there. David would feed them on the back porch and that is how we met Itchy!

The next move was another long one. Back to Illinois and that scary 2 day car ride! We moved to a 3rd floor 1 bedroom with den apartment in Palatine. Itchy and I enjoyed the fresh air on the balcony. One day Itchy caught a bird on the balcony! For some reason it upset David too. Another time Itchy tried to climb on the railing and fell to the balcony below! He tried to grab the wall on the way down and only slowed himself as he ripped a few claws out! OUCH! They grew back though and he learned his lesson.

The move after that we made was when David said he bought a townhouse. It is a nice 1 bedroom with loft and vaulted ceilings with skylights. He didn't let us lay on the porch there though. He said we were too close to a major road (2 blocks) for his tastes. Plus a lot of dogs ran around the area. That was okay, we liked to lay in the windows when he opened them and smell the air through the screens. Itchy and I would play together also.

Hamlet and Itchy(me age 9 laying in the window with Itchy)

The last move we made was to a far away place called Montana. We moved in with Donna and her 2 cats, Electra and Calliope. This is our largest home yet too. We live in the mountains now and have a nice view out the windows. Things were going pretty well till my best friend in the world got sick. David took Itchy to the doctor every week for 2 years and we thought the cancer had gone away, then Itchy got really sick again and left us on May 12th 2004. I miss Itchy so much. I spent months only laying on his favorite places to lay, just so I could smell him again.

Since we moved here we got a new outside friend, then he died shortly after Itchy. Only 2 days after that Electra died also. It was a sad time for us. Now we have 3 new cats here (well, Orion came before Itchy left) and I have been trying to whip them into shape, but it not as easy as it once was. I have arthritis in my lower spine now, and I take medication to help me with the pain. It is not too bad yet, so don't feel bad for me. I still play and have fun fights with Orion.

Hamlet, Leo and Orion sleeping(me, Leo and Orion as a kitten sleeping on the couch)

I have spent over 11 years with David now, and I do not know how I would have survived without him. He is the greatest human I have ever known, and my best friend. I like to lay on his lap while he works at the computer. This has allowed me to watch how he uses it and figure out how to make websites with a little help from Itchy, Leo and David. I hope you like the site.

On September 6th 2005 at 12:15pm MDT Hamlmet left us.
David continues this from here.

Hamlet had become sick in August 2005 and had a few things wrong, but nothing really life threatening. Little did we know he had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopothy and the IV fluids he was on helping with a Pancreatitis and an Abscess (possibly caused by a spider bite that went DOWN not up, and ate a small hole through his colon) all lead to his heart failing. On September 5th the vet and I decided to get him to the University Veterinary Hospital in Pullamn Washington (about 400 mailes and 8 hours drive). I left with him about noon, fully believing that they would keep him 1 or 2 weeks and home my best friend and I would head. His heart gave out the next day.

Here is the message I posted on CoolCyberCats when I got back to the hotel. I just do not have the heart to relive it to write it up for this page.

---start---

I am sitting here in a huge fog. I just do not know what to do or say. My face is stinging from all the salt flowing down my cheeks and I want to die right now.

A little over an hour ago I had to let Hamlet go. I spoke to the doctor in the lobby of the hospital and they let me back to visit. Hamlet knew me right away and struggled to get up and come to the hand opening of the oxygen tank. I was rubbing him and telling him how much he means to be and he kept trying to come thorough the glass (he loved to sit in my lap and would always come right to me to site in it. His safe and loved place if you will). Blood began to come out of his mouth and I called the nurse. She tried to move him in a laying position so he could breath better, but he kept trying to come to me and blood was getting on the tank side. The nurse called for the doctor. Hamlet began to cough blood up and it was horrible. I was crying and telling him I loved him so much, that if it was time Itchy and Electra and Copycat were here to take him and care for him till I could follow. The doctor called over some nurses and they rushed me out of the ICU to the lobby. They came back a few minutes later and told me I had to make a decision, how far do I want to go with this. Do they open his chest and massage his heart and try to save him? I was in a panic. They brought me back in and he was on the table with an oxygen mask held over his face. He was coughing blood all over the inside of the mask. I placed my hand on his side and kissed his side and told him he could go now. He tried to get away from the mask and turned to me and even more blood came up. They pushed the mask over him again and blood was just coming out. He was in pain and the doctor told me so. I could not do this to him. I had to let him go now, his well being far before my emotional needs.

I feel like a shell right now. My best friend, lap warmer, food stealer, catnip lover, bright green eyed soul mate is gone now.

I will be checking my board from time to time, but this post is sapping every ounce of strength in me and I do not think I'll be posting for a couple of days. It is too painful.

I am in no condition to make the 8 or 9 hour trip home tonight, so will stay here the night. I will pick Hamlet up in the morning and drive home then. I cannot even fully grasp yet how I will manage the trip, or how lonely it will feel without my best friend by my side telling me how much he hates cars.

No cat can or will ever replace Hamlet. He was my first cat and he picked me out at the shelter that day. He knew I was to be his friend well before I saw that. I will be in a lot of pain for a while I guess. Some people who have lost their first pet will know this sorrow and pain. Some, sadly, will one day know it. I would not wish this upon anyone.

Hamlet, where ever you are right now, know this: You made a difference in at least one life here and touched me in a way that will never happen again. You were my best friend, a food thief, someone I could talk to and share pistachio nuts with, someone who demanded the best space on the bed and couch and I love you for all your greatness and faults. I hope you forgive me any wrong doings I have done to you and understand I always had your best interests in my heart. It will be a very very long time before I can get over this sorrow, loss and emptiness, if I even ever do. The hole in my soul has grown exponentially today. May you rest well my friend and I will one day be with you again.

---end---

I still find it hard to believe he is gone. I miss his face, him laying in my lap while I work at my computer, steeling my dinner, wanting me to kiss his head, how he would take my place on the couch when I got up.... If one can have a "soul cat" he was mine. When the doctor removed his collar when we arrived at the hospital, I put it on my wrist. I wear or carry it on my every day still.



My Info:

  • Gender:
  • Male
  • Color:
  • Grey and white mix
  • Official Birthday:
  • May 15, 1992
  • Current Age:
  • 12 years
  • Height (sitting):
  • 18 inches
  • Length w/tale:
  • 32 inches
  • Weight:
  • 13.5 lbs
  • Eye color:
  • Green
  • Favorite Music:
  • Classical and jazz
  • Favorite Shows:
  • Any that David watches while he eats
  • Favorite Food:
  • I love all foods. Don't matter for people or cats, especially pistachio nuts!
  • Likes:
  • Laying in the sun, laying in David's lap, climbing on the dinner table, stealing food
  • Dislikes:
  • Baths, water pistols, getting out of David's lap, when David eats pistachio nuts and does not offer me any, getting caught stealing food
RoseIn loving memory of my soul-cat Hamlet.
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