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From Our Jungle toYours


Good bye Arjan July 13, 1988 - November 26, 2003

It is with deep sadness that I share news that Arjan's time on this beautiful living planet is over. He was born here over 15 years ago, and has lived a long and healthy life. It is shocking to loose him so soon after we buried his brother Cinnabar.

Arjan stopped eating on Friday and when his appetite did not return, we took him to the local veterinarian for blood work and x-rays and ultrasound the following Tuesday. There was a suspicious mass under his spleen, but the X ray revealed that he had food in his intestines, so it was assumed that was what we were viewing. Then we drove him 70 miles to Dr. Adney the next day for a barium X-ray to better diagnosis his problem. Dr. Adney examined Arjan's x-ray I brought with me and noted his stomach was up against his diaphragm wall and that meant Arjan had cirrhosis of the liver. His abdomen was filing with fluid and the prognosis was grave. We did not do further tests that day.

The diagnosis for Arjan was a death sentence, however, I felt if any animal could beat this, it was Arjan.  And I was not ready to see him leave. We took it one day at a time, and I have grasped at every possible straw, and vacillated from hope to despair and doubt and back to hope again.

On Saturday I spoke with Peregrine Wolff, DVM. in California. She told me that she has never regretted putting down a 15-year-old feline. They always have lots of pathology. She told me that all I was doing was rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. And I finally accepted his fate and it relieved my mind of any lingering doubt that I might be ending his life when all he needed was more time to heal. I knew it would be a weekday before I could make arrangements with a veterinarian. I had obligations to take a dear friend to the oncologist on Monday and so Tuesday was the day we planned to put him to sleep.

Monday night I spent a lot of time with him and cried and poured all my love out to him. Tuesday was predicted to reach 70 degrees and we planned to let him soak up the warmth of the sun's rays one final time. I went through the motions of offering him food that morning as I did every day, and to my amazement, he started licking the chicken neck and then managed to consume it.  I hand fed him three chicken necks that morning. We changed our plans and decided perhaps he was going to beat this.  That afternoon, I managed to hand feed him about 5 very tiny slices of beef, less then what I could cup in my hand.  And so later on that day, I injected more B complex and more antibiotics in Arjan. I drove to town to buy more electrolytes for his water.

I boiled him some chicken neck soup. At dinnertime he ate about 5 cooked chicken neck skins and licked at the cooked necks with his raspy tongue and abraded some of the meat off, but he would not actually chew up the necks.

I spent most of his last evening by his side, stroking him and observing him. We had a lot of quality time together. And he was barely out of my sight that day. He had around the clock attention and I am sure he knew how much he was loved. He was very peaceful last night, too much so, as if the day and eating the little bit he did exhausted him. It was all too familiar - I remember visiting my father in the hospital. He had been on IV nutrition for weeks, but finally he was out of ICU and they were spoon-feeding him his first meal - and he sat up and spoke with me and joked with the nurse. However, he was a breatharian now, and he could not consume food anymore. Within 2 days he passed away.

I went to bed hopeful. I slept better then I have this past week, however I awoke with dread and checked on Arjan early. His eyes were still clear and direct, but he was more prone then other days. And when he tried to change positions, I could tell he was weaker. And I could tell he wanted a drink, however, he was unable to rise on his own to turn around 180 degrees to drink from his water bowl. He managed to turn 90 degrees and he had to stop.

I drove him over into his exercise yard, hoping the movement of the truck would bring him to his feet, but it did not. I parked the truck facing his brother Sharu in the main cage. I let him soak up the beauty of his world and feel at peace. I went through one more period of denial. I palpated his abdomen and felt that lump again and for a moment I considered driving him 70 miles to Dr Adney for another X ray - for him to find a block somewhere and just perform surgery and make this all stop happening. And then I came to my senses - Arjan could not survive surgery, even if he needed it. And a block does not cause this fluid build up. And his liver is all shrunk up. And he is not going to recover.  It was time to put him to sleep and end his suffering. He had tried so hard for me, and when he rallied yesterday to try to eat, he gave me hope.  But it was not fair to continue to ask this of Arjan. He led a full life, he gave everything he had to us, and I have no regrets.

I chose a peaceful spot nearby to Cinnabar to dig his grave. He will rest under a dogwood tree. I dug most of the grave that afternoon. Arjan was removed from the transport cage he spent the last week of his life in and he lay upon our truck bed, positioned for final rest.

The next day, which was Thanksgiving Day I performed his necropsy. The lump I had felt was a large intestinal tumor. He had many smaller ones as well. The cancer had metastases to his liver as well. I have collected samples and am sending them off for pathology.

Arjan and Cinnabar were very loved.  I will be forever in their debt for making my life complete. On this national day of thanks, I give thanks that I was blessed with 15 years of sharing my life with these two and their brother Sharu.

Lynn Culver

Mother Earth, Father Sky

This is our beloved son Arjan.

The cycle of his life is complete.

What came from the earth,

returns to the earth.

What came from the spirit,

returns to the spirit –

Mother earth,

embrace your perfect child.

Father sky, hear me.

This is Arjan, a prince among cats.

A warrior who loves peace.

He is beauty, intelligence, strength,

agility, courage, mischief, passion,

devotion. If we are immortal, then

he is immortal because our love for

him will never die.

Farewell Arjan.

Find the trail to your brother.

I can see your face in the clouds.

I can hear your voice in the wind.

I can follow your trail.

I will find you.

We will all be together again.






Feline Conservation Center 

Bart & Lynn Culver


(479) 394-5235