Fudge Ripple Kovalcik died Saturday 17 August 2002 in the car on the way to our vet in Framingham due to complications of his advanced heart disease.

We found out early in July that Fudge had significant heart disease. (Our pet sitter had to take him to MSPCA Angell Memorial Hospital while we were away because he was having trouble breathing.) We did what we could for him and he had several more good weeks.

Attached is a picture of him playing with a catnip snake about a week before he died.

Fudge had a good day Friday (the day before he died). He had a follow-up vet appointment including an ultrasound that went about as well as could be expected. He was eating well on Fancy Feast and even had some of our steak for dinner, was breathing normally, was active, and seemed happy. He could still jump on the counter (and refrigerator) better than his brother Peach could. (He had really developed a taste for Fancy Feast and Active Life cat food in the last month.)

Saturday (the day he died) Fudge was having trouble breathing again. We made the decision to take him to the vet to end his suffering. Unfortunately, he died in the car before we could get there. He is at peace now. Our vet thinks he developed a blood clot in his lungs overnight and his heart finally gave out.

Fudge had a long good life of almost 17 years and we will all miss him dearly.

-Rick, Susan, Peach Melba, Oreo Cookie, & Peanut Butter Cup

Special thanks to:

All the people who have called and sent cards and email.

Our cat sitter, Stacy, for the special care in taking Fudge to Angell that allowed us to have an extra good month with him.

All the vets at MSPCA Angell Memorial Hospital.

And, last but not least, Dr. Terri Nord, our vet at Framingham Animal Hospital who gives all of our cats the best care.

Memories of Fudge:

For most of the time, Fudge and Peach went back and forth being "alpha" cat. Towards the end, Peach was clearly "alpha" cat, even over Cookie and Peanut. (We suspect that Peanut is "alpha cat in training".) However, Fudge was very much a "sweet prince". While his brother, Peach, was more likely to come looking for food, Fudge was more likely to come looking for affection or just to check things out.

When I went with my friend Claire to look at two kittens that were available for adoption from her upstairs neighbor's family, Fudge was the first one to come out and greet us; Peach was hiding in the corner behind something.

Peach was the first to jump on the counter as a kitten. Once Fudge could jump on the counter, he then jumped on the refrigerator, teaching Peach to jump on the refrigerator too.

Fudge as a kitten used to climb into the box spring under the bed and walk around in it. We eventually had to put a fitted sheet on the box spring (upside down) to stop him from climbing in.

Fudge also used to love to go up in the attic in our house in Newton. If we left the pull-down open, Fudge would even climb the ladder. Getting him down was another story. I generally had to entice him into a box and then quickly close the box with him inside and then carry the box down the stairs. We don't know if he smelled birds, rodents, or something else, but he didn't want to leave the attic. Fortunately, we didn't have that much trouble getting him off the screened-in porch.

Fudge once jumped on the table and picked up a blueberry toastee (flat muffin) in his teeth when no one was looking and took it to the other side of the room to eat it. This led to the line "Hey, that’s my blueberry toastee!" No, by that time it was Fudge’s.

When Susan and I were unpacking from our move from Waltham to Newton, we found that Fudge and Peach really loved to play with tissue paper. We eventually started lining cat beds and boxes with tissue paper for them. One day Fudge was seen getting up from his bed, going into the bathroom, taking tissues out of the tissue box, and dragging them back to his bed. Really.

We also found out that Fudge had a glue fetish. Elmer's Glue we could understand, but he would also go wild at times over stamps, return address labels, and even envelopes.

After we moved to Newton, we added a garage on, and used to come in from the garage to the unfinished part of the basement. Fudge and Peach used to run into the unfinished part of the basement to greet us. Fudge would roll around in ecstasy on the rough concrete floor of the unfinished part of the basement. Sometime later, I found a medium sized piece of concrete (about 2 foot by 3 foot by several inches that weighed about 100 pounds) while working in the yard. I thought Fudge would like it someplace more convenient than the unfinished part of the basement. So, I dragged it inside and put it on a furniture mover I had. Fudge never touched it. Go figure.

Fudge also loved to run into our bedroom and knead on the rough surface of a waffle-weave blanket we had or roll around in the comforter. We eventually bought Fudge and Peach a comforter of their own (with cotton summer and flannel winter comforter covers). This they did use.

Fudge really like to watch television, especially Disney movies or cartoons. He would sit on the floor in front of the television or on the arm of the couch and watch.

Fudge and Peach were very much "groomers". If you petted them or combed them, they would usually groom you back by licking you. Once Fudge went to lick Susan, but she was wearing a wrist brace with Velcro. Fudge’s tongue (being rough) got temporarily stuck to the Velcro. The look on Fudge's face from priceless but he got over it quickly.

We used to close the French door from the kitchen to the front hall to keep Fudge and Peach downstairs at night so they would not howl outside our bedroom door. We found out that we had to lock the door because Peach was very good at opening it. Usually in the morning Fudge would wait for Peach to open the door after we unlocked it and they would both go upstairs. Sometimes Fudge would get impatient and meow. Usually we would go over and open the door for him. Once we were busy and Fudge was very insistent at meowing for the door to be opened. Peach got up from the family room, opened the door, looked at Fudge, and then went back to where he was sleeping in the family room. Fudge went upstairs. Fudge had everyone, including Peach, wrapped around his paws.