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Our Big Boy Kebu


Savannah Super Cat
So very sorry for your loss, John! It's so hard to make that decision when they've been loving, loyal members of your family for such a long time. We were blessed to have Toonces for just over 21 years. She has been gone for 3 1/2 years now, but I don't believe they ever really leave. At least I hope not, because I swear, I've seen her run past me on more than one occasion. My other 3 were sleeping at the time, so I know it wasn't them. I'm sure you'll see your Kebu too, when you least expect it. My heart goes out to you and your family.

John Popp

Site Supporter
Thanks much for the notes of condolence.

A little bit about Kebu.

Kebu and Jester were brought home as a birthday gift for my wife Trish. We had recently lost our cat Teka who was 23 years old. Trish always had pets around growing up but none that were ever actually hers. We were both pretty broke up over Teka passing, and I was pretty convinced that just one cat would ever replace him. So the plan was set to go out an find two kittens at the local shelter.

Upon arrival there were actually 3 all black brothers, One (Jester) was obviously the most akin to the personality traits of Teka. Unfortunately he was in the arms of a little girl who I patiently waited for her to set down. I made a choice of one of the other two brothers (Kebu), most notably because he was significantly larger than the other two. Not as playful as Jester seemed to be but more so than the third brother.

Finally the little girl set Jester down and I picked him up quicker than Al Haig proclaimed he was in charge. Upon telling the tech at the shelter I would take them both, she picked him up calling him Jester and began talking to him. So a kitten with an already installed name, and one that fit well. She inserted him in the holding cage with his brother while we got the paperwork together and the pretty much ran in circles on the walls rarely touching the floor of the crate. Others took notice of how spun up the two of them were and someone mentioned whoever is taking those two home is really in for it.

Later that evening, after stashing the kittens and returning from dinner, right on cue they both ran out of the kitchen to an immediately blubbering Trish. That's when I first learned she never had her own pet, which choked her up a little more. We played for a while with the two of them, one never far from the other and we started to discuss names. I mentioned that at the shelter one already had the name Jester, and Trish said that when she was a kid she used to imagine having a kitten of her own named Jester, commence with more blubbering and tears.

Kebu ended up with his name a few days later as a result of Trish taking note of some players entering the NBA draft. Seemed appropriate, a big lumbering guy in Kebu Stewart and a kitten that seemed to match.

Peas and Carrots, Peanut Butter and Jelly, the two were inseparable. Jester always the clown, and Kebu always big and handsome. They played non-stop, speed and quickness vs size, strength and bulk. A total laugh riot.

Later that first year, Kebu got sick, loose stools quickly becoming dehydrated and of course got worse over night when the yogurt and cooked chicken didn't help. As always, these things seem to happen on Saturday evening or Sunday when you can't make your way to your regular vet. So off to the emergency Animal Hospital where Kebu was given some antibiotics and fluids.

From that day forward, Kebu was never right again. He shivered for hours from the fluid he was given and you could actually feel how cool it was by touching the fur on his back. He became slow and lumbering, somewhat lethargic and shortly after became a problem pee'r. Our once bight green eyed boy named Kebu had become Special K, and he would bea chore to deal with over the next 16 years of his life.

The changes didn't go unnoticed by Jester either. Once buddies on equal footing, Jester started taking advantage of Kebu now a few fries short of a happy meal. For the most part they got a long pretty well, but they really couldn't play much anymore as Jester simply overwhelmed Kebu. It wasn't until we got a third kitten that things between the two of them started to work out again, as they needed to band together to make sure this odd white kitten wasn't garnering the attention aimed at them in the past.

So it went for the rest of their lives, Kebu following Jester wherever he would go and always idolizing him. Kebu was definitely heartbroken when Jester passed and just a few months later had totally stopped eating. We pumped life back into him but you could see it in his eyes that the joy from his life was gone. He made efforts to befriend Chongo, but there was a short leash on just how much he would tolerate. They might play for a few minutes, but Kebu would promptly shut things down.

So when Kebu had stopped eating again and looked to be a bit dehydrated, I just couldn't put him through it again. He had already resigned himself to being primarily alone, and the last few weeks often just staring into space. I still harbor some guilt because I could have probably pumped life into him again, but something he had totally lost his zest for. I looked at their baby pictures together, the ones through the rest of their lives, and realized they weren't often very far apart. It made the decision an easy one, just saying goodbye difficult.


Savannah Super Cat
Oh, that is one of the most beautiful tributes I've ever read! Kebu and Jester were blessed to have such loving parents as you and your wife!