The Greatest Cat in the World

Tortoise Shell Cat drawing by BZTAT
“Slick” drawing by BZTAT

All of my cats are great. The best EVER.

But Slick is extra special. She has been my faithful companion for 18 years, and she is truly the greatest cat in the world.

Slick, my tortoise shell cat
Slick with her buddy Bub

Slick has been with me through the loss of our other feline companions, Bub and the original Beezie. She has been with me through relationships that did not last. She was with me when I went to Texas to bring my mother back to Ohio, and she was with me through the challenge of coping with my mother’s Alzheimer’s Disease.

She has been with me through different jobs, a career change, the eventual death of my mother, and other events that both challenged and enriched our lives.

It is hard for me to imagine that such a fun and loving animal came very close to a shortened life due to abandonment before she ever had a chance to bring her immense love to someone.

Slick was found along a riverbed when she was about 3 months old. She was rescued by state wildlife officers who were engaged in a wildlife rescue on the Tuscarawas River. An oil pipeline had ruptured and sullied the waters, threatening the wildlife that lived along the river. I was a volunteer with the rescue effort, and was surprised to find that the officers had rescued a domestic animal.

tortoise shell cat bztat
Slick as a youngster, making a tree out of the cabinet tops.

Slick has tortoise shell markings, which were mistaken for oil by the officers back then. She did not have oil on her, however, she did have an injured paw, which decreased her odds for survival if she had been taken to a shelter. So this wonderful cat came home with me, and what joy she has brought to my life. (Read more about her rescue story here.)

Slick is in the waning years of her life, now. She was diagnosed with chronic renal failure 2 years ago, and her illness has taken a turn for the worse this week. She is not keeping enough fluids in her body, so the vet says I need to give her subcutaneous fluids daily.

I am not looking for a miracle, and I am not looking to perform heroics with her. If I can keep her reasonably healthy and comfortable, though, while she lives out her remaining days, I will do what I can.

Anyone who has pets that are receiving intensive veterinary care knows that this does not come cheap. In order to finance her care, I plan to offer some special deals and arrangements to sell artwork rapidly. Stay tuned.

I am sharing this story now, because it is affecting me deeply, and I feel the need to share with others who have felt similar feelings towards their pets’ care.

Slick, my tortoise shell cat
The Greatest Cat in the World

I also am sharing this story because many cats have never had the opportunity to love and be loved as Slick has had. Many cats that were abandoned like her make it to shelters, but never find homes.

In my mind, that means that both cats and people have missed out on one of the greatest experiences to be had – the loving relationship between a human being and a cat.

Petfinder has a campaign right now to promote the adoption of cats by encouraging those of us who enjoy cats to proclaim that we are proud cat parents. I am a cat parent to 5 wonderful cats.

Again, all 5 are special to me. Today, more than ever, though, I am proud to say I am a cat parent to Slick, as I cherish every moment that I have left with the Greatest Cat in the World.

I love my cat

Are you a cat parent? See how you can proclaim it and share it in a way that helps cats get adopted here. If you are not yet a cat parent, what’s holding you back?
I remember the state when your wish doesn’t match your opportunities. Men, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I always looked with pity at the men who bought the pills along with condoms.

There are many wonderful cats waiting to make your life as special as Slick has made mine.


  1. Heidi P. says:

    I’m so glad Slick found you so you could take care of each other. It sounds like you gave her the best life ever and I’m sure she is forever grateful. Hubby and I have been proud cat parents since before we got married. He wasn’t a “cat person” until we adopted our Sophie and now she’s daddy’s girl and his office manager. We lost our two brother cats within a year of each other to undetected heart defects but I would have gone to the ends of the earth to fix them if it meant a few more years with them (Max was 3 and Sammy was 4). But their passing meant opening our hearts and home to Harry and Frankie. All of our cats have come from shelters or rescue groups. I keep seeing the saying “Who ever said money doesn’t buy love never paid an adoption fee” and it rings so true in our house.

    • bztat says:

      I agree about that adoption fee saying. My guys all came to me from friends or friends of friends, so I never paid a fee, but I would in a heartbeat if needed. I am sorry you lost your brother cats so close, but glad your hearts gave Harry and Frankie a home!

  2. Vicki Cook says:

    Slick is a very special cat who came into your life for a reason. In fact, all cats coming into our lives for a reason – whether it’s to teach us something, be our muse or simply be our companion. My life would be so different without my cats and other furry companions. They’ve been with me through all the good times and the bad – and sometimes it’s during the bad times that you really need a furry friend to hug and love!

    • bztat says:

      Isn’t amazing how each and every cat leaves its own special impact? They give so much and take so little. What would our lives be like without them? I do not want to know.

  3. Bernadette says:

    Torties always seem to have the most dramatic stories! I’m so glad you found her and have shared your lives for all these years. I hope you have many more–I gave my Stanley fluids for four years and he lived to be 25–but even if not, I am glad you can do for her what she needs. I’ll be thinking of you, and my tortie girls, and sending you my best.

    • bztat says:

      I love torties. 🙂 Slick is the second one I have had, and there is something really special about these girls. Since Slick has had CRF for a couple of years, my vet says we cannot expect too much longevity, but as long as she can be comfortable, that’s all that matters. of course, I hope we can can hang together for many more days, months, years, but I will be happy with whatever we get. 🙂 Thx for the kind thoughts!

  4. brenda says:

    Hey, Bz, I am so sorry. You share your soul with Slick. She loved you and guided you through one trauma after another, and licked your tears, and purred you to sleep, and curled up by your side through thick and thin — it’s one of the greatest gifts you can ever receive. And she knows you love her. I’m glad you know Slick’s status, and can take extra special care of her, now. You’ve been taking care of each other for years — the answer to each other’s prayers. Sometimes, I think I never would have survived my life’s dark moments, without a cat to love me.
    Slick’s your angel, as much as you are hers. Kisses and purrs to you both.

    • bztat says:

      Thx Brenda. You are so right – we share a soul. And she is my angel, always there beside me. I am just trying to take it one day at a time and enjoy what we have for as long as we have, and hopefully that will be quite awhile!

  5. Alisa Upson says:

    We lost our beloved 15 yr old torti Calli in Oct of last year. She was our first cat as a married couple, coming into our lives after we found out I could not get pregnant. After her came 4 more “children”, two of them she outlived – reigning as our “Queen”. But her health declined rapidly last fall, and because she was one, to quote my vet “that chose not to be treated” (she would try to take your hand off if you had to give her a pill), we decided not to prolong her suffering. But she is very missed as she was our first. And, just weeks after we said good-bye to her, we unexpectantly opened our home, and our hearts, to the most unique kitten we have ever raised… Enjoy each moment you have together, treasure each memory. When we knew we didn’t have long with Calli, I took lots of pics, even videos, and just loved on her as much as I could.

    • bztat says:

      Torties are so special, Alisa, and those cats that you have through those most formative and challenging times in your life are so much a part of you. I am so sorry that you lost your Callie. i am sure it still hurts, as I still grieve cats that I have lost over 10 years ago. Luckily you still have space in your heart for new adventures with new felines who have an endless supply of love and joy to give. 🙂 Thx for your comment!

  6. Sandy says:

    There is nothing better than the love of an animal, especially cats. I have a Tortie my husband and I adopted from our local SPCA12 years ago. She’s a sassy old gal but I wouldn’t trade her in for the world. We have since found ourselves cat parents to an additional five cats. Two are strays who really adopted us and live outside with just about every creature comfort they could meow for, the other four are their offspring we couldn’t rehome so we kept them. We never intended to have so many cats, we call it a happy accident and we love every one of them. So, from our happy cat filled home to yours, prayers, positive thoughts and much love while you and beloved Slick take this journey together. ♥

    • bztat says:

      No one ever intends to have so many cats, well, any cat for that matter. It is all about THEIR intentions, as they know better than us. 🙂 i am so glad that you were there for the offspring of your stray/ferals. All cats deserve a home. Thx for the kind words. My happy cat filled home sends love back to yours!

  7. Beverly says:

    Slick is lucky to have you as her kitty mom, and you are luck to have her in your life. Thank you for sharing Slick’s story. I have a 14 yo calico who is battling cancer now. Opie was abandoned as a very small kitten on a local army base, and the guys in my office found her and brought her to me – knowing that I would be a sucker for her (and I was! ) 😉 Opie and my other two cats (age 15 and 13) are part of our family. Wishing the best for you and Slick.

    • bztat says:

      Thank you Beverly. And Opie is every bit as lucky to have you! I hope she wins, or at least succeeds in her battle with cancer and is comfortable and bringing comfort to you. Thanks for sharing her story. My best to you and her the rest of your family!

  8. Christine says:

    Giving Slick fluids is not hard at all and really not that expensive. I did it to a few of my cats …..It will keep her comfortable and help her kidneys out. I was in animal rescue for over 18 years and along the way acquired 18 cats (all indoors) and fostered 17 kittens at one time ….at the same time I had 18….Lots of work, but, well worth it when they all made it and were adopted. I am down to 8 now as many have gone to the BRIDGE…..But you are doing the right thing for SLICK as you have all her life. They truly are angels in my eyes……BEST WISHES….Christine in Oregon

    • bztat says:

      Thx Christine. You have been such a saint for your cats, and I am sure that they have rewarded you with much love in return! I was surprised that the fluids are not as expensive as anticipated. But the vet visits to follow up, blood work, special food – all that adds up to challenge a precarious emerging artist budget that is already strained. It is worth it though. I am OK with making and selling more art for my girl, and I enjoy making it more affordable for me best fans when I can. Thx for your comments!

  9. Katie says:

    what a beautiful girl and a beautiful story. We lost our Fluff to kidney failure when she was only 7 years old – I wish Slick peace and comfort in her journey.

    • bztat says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Katie. Seven is so young. *hugs* We are lucky that this came later in life for her, and that, up til now, she has been basically asymptomatic. Thanks for your kind words of peace and comfort.

  10. Toni says:

    I have a beautiful tortie who looks very much like Slick. Her name is Mace and she is almost 19. I’ve had many cats over the years but she is indeed very special. Found out recently that she has a tumor. For now she is doing well. We lost our dear friend Boo to renal failure last Nov. He was a sleek handsome black sweetie. He was 15. Mace declined a bit after that which was an anxious time. I don’t know how long she will be with me. .. but I’ve been greatly blessed she and Boo chose me as their guardians.

    • bztat says:

      Torties rock, huh Toni? I am glad Mace is doing well. So sorry to hear that she and you lost Boo. 🙁 I hope that you and she still have many adventures ahead together!

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