Friday, February 5, 2010

Times of sadness...

My bike and scooter sit in front of my house, their covered forms collecting the new fallen snow. Their outward situation reflects my inward thoughts as I look back on the events of the day.

This morning, my wife woke me with the pronouncement: "Willie's having a seizure!"

I brought him in onto our bed and he seemed very weak. He seemed so light to me, compared to even a few days before. Over the past month or two he appeared to be losing weight, and we were worried about him, but we had no extra cash to pay for a visit to the vet. The last two weeks had been even worse, though he seemed to be rallying a couple of days ago.

When he started having seizures this morning, we knew the time had come to take him to the vet, though we suspected that nothing could be done. To make matters worse, our youngest cat was starting to show the same symptoms, so we put them both in carriers and headed out the door.

It seemed to take an eternity for the vet to see us. I sat in the examining room holding my dear feline friend in my arms, when I realized, this was the first time he'd ever sat on my lap for more than a few short moments in the ten and a half years he had lived with us. He didn't struggle because he just didn't have the strength to put in the effort. The thought brought me to tears.

When the vet finally came into the room, he gave us the news that we feared, but for reasons we had not expected. Willie was very sick, and his liver and kidneys had apparently failed and he had lost more than half of his body weight.* He said that they could run some tests, but that it was likely that there was nothing to be done for a senior cat like Willie and he agreed that due to his apparent suffering, the kindest thing to do would be to put him to sleep.

Willie let the doctor know how he felt about that by clawing him in the hand, but then collapsed and started into another seizure. They gave him a sedative and let him rest on the bench by the door while they examined our other sick kitty; Jo-Jo. Jo-Jo was in better shape, but still showed signs of a toxin* of some sort. Since he is only a year old, we opted to try some medication and were given some antibiotics and steroid for him (He's actually seeming a bit better this evening already).

All too soon, it was time for Willie to get back on the table. My wife and I hugged him one last time and scratched his head as the doctor put the needle in his foreleg. He slipped silently into what I imagine is the endless dream into which all lesser creatures must go when the pass from this life.

Perhaps there is a place in heaven for beloved pets (I know, it's not very theologically correct), but if there were, I can imagine that Willie is at this moment happily shredding a giant couch.

*Unbeknownst to us, Onions are toxic to cats. We found a bag of onions that had apparently gone bad and had oozed some juice onto the floor. Willie and Jo-Jo had apparently licked at it and became sick. Jo-Jo also enjoys stealing food and we use a lot of onions and garlic in our cooking. If you treasure your dog or cat, do not let them have anything with Onions or garlic in it. They contain a toxin that will cause anemia and possibly (in the case of our cats) liver failure.


David said...

i extend my deepest sympathies to you, my friend.

682202 said...

Sorry for your loss. It's always hard when losing a family pet. I hope your other is doing well. GAW