Special Update for Fenek

Special Update for Fenek

“If you want to make God smile, tell Him about your plans.” — 20th-Century rendering of an Old Testament proverb.

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Sad news for all Fenek’s friends and supporters. On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 21, Fenek began to have trouble breathing. Upon examination, the diagnosis was grave, and there was little anyone could do but make him more comfortable before letting him go.

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For about four years, from mid-2017 through half of 2021, a number of things I hadn’t planned kept me from doing much related to Tabby’s Place. But in the spirit of “This too shall pass,” events began to line up with my desires in summer 2021, and I was able to offer my services as a Special Needs correspondent.

The staff at Tabby’s Place had plans, too. They told me they had a cat in mind for me, a loving and lovable lug of a lap cat named Fenek, who had come to Tabby’s Place from a shelter in Brooklyn.

This next is from the first letter I wrote for him, in September 2021: “My first clue about Fenek’s affectionate nature came while arranging to meet him. His office roommate, Volunteer Director Karina, asked me if I would come in while she wasn’t there. ‘If someone else is in my office,’ she explained, ‘he won’t leave me alone.’

“We arranged a date and time, and soon I arrived and knocked on Karina’s door. On her desk, Fenek was resting on a blanket. He remained there as Karina walked out, and I walked in and sat in a second chair opposite the one she uses. Another clue: she advised me to change chairs. Sure enough, moments after I got comfortable in the swivel chair, Fenek arose, moseyed over, and climbed onto my lap. I have to wonder, how long would he have stayed on that blanket as long as I wasn’t in the proper chair for meeting him?”

This lasted for about six months, until the discovery of heart disease in late March 2022. Added to his existing condition of diabetes, he received multiple medications every day, but to see him in recent months, if you didn’t know him before, you’d think he was just a spry senior cat.

He had a penchant for showing his affection with love nibbles that sometimes became uncomfortable, but it was easy to forgive him when he stretched up on my lap, placing his front feet near my face as we went nose to nose. I looked forward to each visit, and there was always something to write about for his monthly update to you and everyone who supported him. It was thanks to you and to Tabby’s Place through you that the past two-plus years were the best of Fenek’s life.

Fenek enjoys a special visit.

Last Sunday was the annual Thanksgiving With the Cats at Tabby’s Place. I took a break from my duties around 1:00 and went straight to the lounge to see Fenek. A volunteer was already there with her children, and one young girl was petting Fenek as he lay on a blanket beneath a window. Her smile was so full of joy that I sat down and pulled out my phone to photograph it. But Fenek had other plans, standing up, walking over to where I was sitting, and hopping straight into my lap, to the delight of everyone in the lounge. We had a good session of Quality Time that only ended when he stood up, stretched, and hopped down to get a snack and a drink of water.

Losing Fenek wasn’t in anybody’s plans, but it was always understood, that’s how life happens, it’s an inescapable part of the equation. Everyone who passed through the lounge during his tenure there as the Distinguished Gentleman cat will have lasting memories of his spirit, his feistiness, his playfulness, and his affection.

Your Correspondent,


Note: Since our precious Fenek has passed away, we have transferred your sponsorship to another cat in need: Taylor Ham. We’ve selected this rolly polly snuggler for you because, like Fenek, Taylor Ham exudes a zest for life in spite of a diagnosis of  diabetes. Taylor Ham shared the Lounge with Fenek, and hopes that during your next visit, you’ll share your snack. 

You can read about Taylor Ham here, and look forward to receiving your first update on him in December.

If you prefer, you can select a different Special Needs cat to sponsor. Click here to meet all our Special Needs cats, and contact us by email if you’d like to transfer your sponsorship. Otherwise, you will receive updates on Taylor Ham each month going forward. As always, your generous support will go where it’s most needed.

Thank you for your love and beautiful generosity to Fenek. The Tabby’s Place cats are deeply blessed to have you in their lives.