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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • November 2017
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Mr. Silver, Rest In Peace

This is a blog post I have been putting off writing for quite some time.

It started Thursday, June 29.  I was very excited that day because my friend Jessie and I had agreed to meet in downtown Chicago to attend a symposium of the Winn Foundation. We were going to go out to dinner and stay all night at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel across from Millenium Park.  We hadn’t decided what we would do the next day but it was going to be fun.

I went around the house saying good-bye to my husband, Zeke the dog, and all the cats. I went downstairs looking for Mr. Silver and found him lying on his favorite chair looking very sad. He had not eaten a thing. He did not purr when I petted him. Because I am his mama, I knew something was wrong.

My veterinarian was also attending the symposium so I explained what was going on with Mr. Silver. She was to go out of town the next day and would be gone for a week so she offered to leave the symposium and meet Jim with Mr. Silver at her home. Blood tests were performed and sent off to a lab. The results showed nothing of great concern but we started him on hydration and antibiotics.  They did not help and our vet was still out of town so on July 4 we took him to a specialty vet clinic that is open 24/7.  They were very kind and thorough. They recommended a biopsy because the ultrasound had shown something on his liver. We were warned that a biopsy could be dangerous but we agreed it was necessary.

The next morning Jim and I were standing in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee and talking about Mr. Silver. My phone rang. It was the vet who, with grave concern in his voice, said after the biopsy procedure Mr. Silver’s heart had stopped. They were able to revive him but he wanted to know if it happened again, what should they do. Jim and I were in shock–we stood there looking at each other, mouths opened but no words were spoken .  The vet said “let me go back and check on him again before you make a decision.” He came back to the phone and told us Mr. Silver’s heart had stopped again while he was gone and they were unable to revive him.

The date was July 5, a day that has been a source of sadness for me for 55 years. That is the date my first baby was born and died. My friend Jessie feels, and I agree with her, Mr. Silver is now sitting on Stephen’s lap and bringing him great joy and love.

The next day the vet called and explained in trying to determine the cause of Mr. Silver’s death they discovered during the biopsy procedure, his stomach was punctured and blood surrounded his lungs and heart.  He said you may not want to go to the expense of a necropsy because that is what killed him. We felt we still needed to go through with the necropsy to try to find out the reason for his illness. The report came back and there was no definitive reason other than the blood loss. It was stated his heart and brain were normal. There was inflamation but where it came from we will never know.

Mr. Silver was gone. I cannot begin to explain our pain. It has taken me this long before I can begin to talk about it.  Of course, I told everyone who was getting a kitten from us at that time and they shared in our sorrow.

What prompted me to finally tell Mr. Silver’s story is that I received the following notice from The Winn Feline Foundation in my email yesterday.

It is well known that there is a great deal of money contributed for research on dog diseases, and although there are many more cats than dogs in pet homes, very little is given to cat research.  Dr. Neils Pedersen from UC Davis is the foremost researcher in cat diseases and the Winn Feline Foundation supports his efforts. If you are moved to make a donation either in memory of Mr. Silver or another cat you may have known and loved, you can do so by clicking the button “Give Now To Winn”  Don’t be confused by the statement Pet Memorial for Veterinarians. I called them today and said “is this just for veterinarians..” They assured me it was not.

Mr. Silver on lap

You will always be my favorite lap warmer!

“Every Cat, Every Day Benefits From Winn-Funded Research”
November 1, 2017
A Winn Month of Catsgiving
November is Thanksgiving and Catsgiving Month
November is the month many of us celebrate Thanksgiving and more broadly we all can celebrate Catsgiving. It is a special day and time to be thankful to be cat parents and for all the blessings we have as individuals and families. One common blessing we truly value is the cats in our family, who bring us so much laughter, joy and unconditional love.  For cat lovers, life without a kitty, several, or many would be gloomy for sure.
Every Cat, Every Day Benefits From Winn Funded Research!
Winn Feline Foundation is an international, independent non-profit solely dedicated to cats.  Next year is Winn’s 50th Anniversary. Through generous donations from cat lovers all over the world, Winn helps finance important, humane feline research. The Winn web site www.winnfelinefoundation.orgcontains a wealth of information about cat health and the research funded.  All cats around the world benefit by the significant research Winn supports.
Great strides are being made in FIP, Cancer, Renal Disease, Cardiac Disease, Behavioral Health, Shelter Care and more because of Winn.  
Why November is important…
The month of November, along with the final days of 2017, is critical to funding studies submitted for Winn’s 2018 grants.  Winn receives many excellent proposals but only a limited number are selected due to funding resources.
Please Give Now — you help recognize Winn’s good works on behalf of every cat and support critical research needed to continue making progress.
Every person donating $25 or more in November will have a choice of
Winn Feline Foundation’s adorable car magnet or a copy of Winn’s coffee table sized beautiful 50th Anniversary Book. All donors will be entered in a drawing to win one of two original drawings of your kitty or fur angel by talented artist Megan Davison, Bria tee-shirts, or Black Cats Matter car magnets. Donations may be directly given to Winn’s general research fund or one of Winn’s special funds. Learn more about How Giving Helps.
Winn wishes all of you and your human and feline family members a 
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Catsgiving! #Cures4Cats
There’s no place like Winn for the future of cat health!
Winn Feline Foundation
Phone: 201-275-0624
Fax: 877-933-0939


Leave a comment


  1. Liz Lock Daigle

     /  November 2, 2017

    Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Silver. The death of a cat can truly leave a hole in your heart.

  2. Tina Minnier

     /  November 2, 2017

    Nancy and Jim,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know all too well the loss of a fur baby that left us way too early and know there really isn’t anything I can say that will make it any easier. I hope you can take a little comfort in the fact that Mr Silver lives on in all of the kittens he fathered. Take care of yourselves.

  3. Debbie Smith

     /  November 2, 2017

    I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Silver! He is the daddy to both of our beloved kitties, so has a special place in our hearts! While our Miskha looks like Sophia, our Talya looks just like Mr. Silver. She is such a sweet kitty too…always looking for love and attention. We’ll always be thankful to Semper Fi Siberians and Mr. Silver and Sophia for our wonderful companions!

  4. Ed Wilbur

     /  November 2, 2017

    Jim, One beautiful King and a great article. We lost one of ours years ago. We know the why and how but could not afford sending her to Chapel Hill to the school for conformation. Either way there is nothing to ease the pain that comes with the loss.

    Semper Fi



  5. He was such a stunning cat. I’m thankful to see so many pictures of him after hearing his story. Glad you shared it. Also glad for all that the Winn foundation is doing!

  6. Kelsey Tassen

     /  November 2, 2017

    I am so sorry to read this email, and honestly can’t Imagine what you are going through. I would be devastated to lose my Rizzo. You are in our thoughts. Your Mr. Silver looks so much like Rizzo, I will attach a photo for you see how much he has grown. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

    Thank you for all the joy have you provided us by allowing us to adopt him from you.

    Kelsey Tassen

    Sent from iPhone


  7. Maureen Johnson

     /  November 2, 2017

    So sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Silver! Thank you for letting us know. I find comfort in knowing how much he was loved. Love, Hugs and Prayers

  8. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. One of the most difficult things to go through. Our little Finn looks so much like his daddy and seems to have inherited his lap warming skills. Thank you Mr. Silver for providing so many other families with love.

    Beth and Courtney Hannibal

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Amy Schubert

     /  November 3, 2017

    Oh I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing but I admit it was painful to read and I write this while crying. The initial shock and then the grief are very real. We are blessed to have Mr. Silver’s babies in our house; he lives on. Our sincere condolences with complete understanding of your grief.

  10. That is the saddest! Lord knows WHAT I would do if something like that happened to Vladimir!!! So much love being sent to you all!

  11. Sue R

     /  November 3, 2017

    Jim and Nancy~ So sorry to hear about Mr. Silver. He was such a beautiful cat and I’m sure brought you many memories to cherish. Know that he lives on in many homes that have been blessed with his kittens, including ours, and we are forever grateful for that. Hugs and prayers to you!

  12. Shea

     /  November 3, 2017

    Oh no! So sorry to hear about Mr. Silver. 😦

  13. Sandra Rasmussen

     /  November 3, 2017

    So sorry to hear about Mr. Silver. He was a beautiful cat and a good friend, and a father to “Sugar”. A lot of “Sugar’s markings look like Mr. Silver’s. How old was he?

    Nancy we are moving in 10 days for Huntley, Il in the Del Webb community that is there. Do you have any words of wisdom about moving day and Sugar? Also, we have to find a vet out there. Would you recommend your Dr. Patti and if so where is she located?

    We are excited about our move. Sugar will have lots of room to explore compared to our little apartment.

    Again, so sorry. Sandi and Tony >

  14. Heartbreaking…I read this through my tears. And to think you lost Mr. Silver on the anniversary of meeting and saying good-bye to your son, Stephen, too. I never realized before how much Katya’s face features look like Mr. Silver. It is not like they know him, but it made me sad to think my girl’s daddy is no longer here. I guess that is just this girl missing her own dad. May you feel God’s presence as you grieve.

  15. Lois Cotta

     /  November 3, 2017

    Dear Nancy and Jim,
    I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Silver’s passing. He was stunning and I will always appreciate all that he passed down to our Izzy. I can only imagine how painful this must be to you both, and especially on the anniversary of your own dear son’s death, what sorrow. We are thinking and praying for you both. I’m so sorry we will never be able to get a second kitty from you, but thank you for all the wonderful kittens you brought into this world and the love you shared with all of us. Enjoy this new time in your life!

  16. Becky Kinsler

     /  November 6, 2017

    We are so sorry to hear about Mr. Silver’s passing. I’m glad we had the pleasure of meeting him earlier this year. Mr. Silver was such a handsome cat & left no doubt that he was King of the Castle! Our hearts are with you. We are so blessed to have met you & become part of the family of pet parents. Thank you for sharing Jackie with us! We love her dearly and enjoy having her as part of our family!!


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