In his last year, Big Footsie developed heart problems and he suffered from high blood pressure. These problems may have damaged his kidneys since they began to fail also. Kidney problems are often treated with subcutaneous fluids. Many older cats can live longer, happier lives with regular subcutaneous hydration. Unfortunately for Big Footsie, his heart problem would have been made worse by hydration.
Finally, his Mom, Susan and his Vet, Dr. Cole agreed that there was no hope for recovery and his discomfort was too great. Susan and Cole said their goodbyes and Cole gave Footsie his final loving care on Wednesday, July 8, 2009.
Dr. Cole Bierbaum
I know one thing I would like to say is that he represented the true beliefs that FuRR stands for. A life that he was about to live and a life that he lived just because an organization cared. I think every day about how many people he “touched” and how many more Footsies that are out there.
I have often thought about E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web" when thinking about you and Big Footsie. All the world thought Wilbur was "Some Pig," as Charlotte the spider had written. And it's true, Wilbur WAS "Some Pig," just as Footsie was most certainly Some Cat. But what people in the book forgot to acknowledge was the fact that Charlotte was also Some Spider, to have accomplished what she did! You are Charlotte, Susan, the force of intelligent kindness behind the scenes, with Footsie as your "front man," cohort, and emissary in the wonderful work the two of you have accomplished with the children who come to your library.
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of a legend. It never gets easy for the normal ones, let alone a star like Big Footsie. I guess BF was sent as a special messenger to accomplish what others were not able to do. You and BF made an incredible impact on the lives of the children at school. The good thing is that BF is now sporting a new set of wings as SBF...Super Big Footsie, and cloud hopping in search of the perfect sleeping cloud. No more hurting, just having a ball zorching around the sky. SBF may very well show back up in another four footed amigo in the not too distant future. Stranger things have happened.
Susan, the inmate at Wrightsville who does our large print work, sent the following message as part of a fax I received this morning. He has been in prison for many years, and will be there for many more. He is a great big "bear" of a man, and if he didn't come into the system with a gentle spirit, he seems to have developed one. Inmates are not allowed to use e-mail, of course, or I'm sure he would have sent one directly to you. Here is what he wrote:
"I read in the newspaper the other day about the passing of the school's library cat, "Big Footsie." I want to offer the students my condolences for their loss. I hope they have fun with either Alex or Piper, whichever they choose."
I so enjoyed reading about Big Footsie’s life. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him several times at FuRR events. I was so saddened by news of his passing. But, what a joyous life he lived and shared with Susan! If I may, I’d like to leave a fitting quote: “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Big Footsie, we will never forget you!
I met Big Footsie on Halloween one year long ago. He was with Susan in back of Premium Pet Products, and pictures were being taken. Rita Cavenaugh was dressed as a witch, and she was posing in a scene that had been set up with a tombstone and a spooky full moon in the sky behind it. And on the tombstone was perched, perfectly still, a black cat with bat wings. Now I have cats but I have never had a cat who would do that. People were milling around, the camera was flashing, strangers wandering in and out, and this black cat just sat there on that tombstone like he was born to do it. Thus my first impression of Big Footsie, and Iíll never forget it. He was a cat in a million. Anybody who knew him would say that they were privileged to know him, and I say it too. He just had a presence. I think Big Footsie was an old, old soul. I wonder what his next incarnation will be, or if heíll even bother with one. This time maybe heíll just choose nirvana.
From Brandon, 5th grade at Arkansas School for the blind
Big Footsie was my best friend. I am terribly sorry he died. He can never be replaced. He was my friend. He was the cat I knew the best. Since the loss, I have decided to do a memorial service for Big Footsie on either Saturday or Sunday with my family.
From Brianna, 5th grade at Arkansas School for the Blind
Big Footsie was the best library cat. I love all the cats, but I loved him the best. I loved how he pushed the books off the shelf and played with a ball Brandon and I got him. I will miss him very much. He was the greatest cat I ever knew. Nobody will ever replace Big Footsie. He will always be cherished by the kids and will be missed by everyone including Ms. Loesch and Dr. Cole. We love you Big Footsie. You will always be cherished.
If you have some thoughts about Big Footsie that you'd like to published on this page, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. About once a week we will add accepted submission to this page. Do you have any Footsie pics? Send those too. We might find a spot for them also.