Say Goodbye.

May 2, 2012 at 10:36 am | Posted in Heartbreak, My life | 20 Comments

Over the past few years we’ve had some health scares with Puck.

First there was the peeing on the carpets when O first came home, that lasted for 6 months and makes it so our house reeks of cat pee when it gets hot.

Then the low blood sugar. Which we thought was cancer but nothing ever showed up on ultrasound or x-ray.

Then we thought he had kidney disease. Which turned out, really, to be a bladder or kidney infection of some kind which cleared up with antibiotics.

In fact, after that shot, he was eating GREAT, put on weight for the first time in a couple of years, and looked so much healthier. I thought, hey, great, we’re doing fine!

So we’ve been joking that he seems to be going through his nine lives pretty well, and had, you know, at LEAST 5 more to go through before we had to worry.

His luck, it seems, is running out.

He hasn’t eaten, not really at all, for the past three weeks.

The first week I assumed it was kidney issues and dehydration and/or constipation, so I took him to the vet to get him looked at. The vet told me that he was probably dehydrated, yes, but he wasn’t constipated. He just wasn’t eating.

Labs came back all normal. No kidney disease.

So I remarked to Charlie, hey, okay, there’s nothing WRONG with him. Great, right?

Except, you know, he’s still not eating. And he’s fallen a couple of times trying to jump on our bed, enough that we had to put a roughneck at the foot to help him. He’s fallen off the couch a couple of times too.

And more awful? When we are sleeping at night, his stomach is making these AWFUL sounds. Gurgling. Growling. It sounds like his guts are twisting like a bunch of worms in there. And it’s loud enough that it wakes us up at night.

Another two weeks of this, and I was worried enough that I made an appointment to bring him back to see the vet.

He had lost 1.5lbs in two weeks.

And the vet said to me, man, he’s presenting like a cat with cancer. She used some term for what he looked like – skin and bones, essentially – and told me that we really needed to try and incent him to eat as much as we could. That she’d do more tests to diagnose cancer, but he was kind of too fragile right now.

We gave him fluids. Did an antibiotic shot, you know, just in case this was some sort of bug. Started him on prednisone at the vet’s recommendation, since that will help make him stronger AND stimulate his appetite.

Brought him back the next day for another prednisone injection and they gave him an appetite stimulant pill as well.

I’ve given him tuna in oil, tuna in water, treats, tried people food I think he might like (cream cheese, regular cheese, peanut butter).

Nothing. It’s like he WANTS to eat, but he takes a couple of bites and then either loses interest or walks away.

And last night and today he hasn’t even tried.

It’s awful. Last night, I begged him, my throat thick with tears, eat, please eat. Please. Just take a bite.

I spoke with his vet last night, too. She told me, we both know that this is really bad. She told me that if this doesn’t turn around, we’re likely looking at the end. That he’s starving himself. That even though he doesn’t seem to be in pain now, we need to keep an eye out.

I don’t want him to suffer. He’s been my constant for 15 years now, seen me through so much change in our lives, that he’s earned the right to comfort.

But man. This is so much harder than I thought it would ever be. For all my complaining about his yowling at night, the early morning wakeups for food, the peeing on our rugs, the hairballs and puke and cleaning the litterpan…

… he’s been with me for 15 years now. I love him.

Charlie and I had the halting conversation about The End this morning. The vet and I are supposed to talk on Friday, so I’m hoping we can limp along until then. I am not home tonight or tomorrow night – am helping my best friend with child care this week – and I selfishly want one more night on the couch with him.

I guess I’m hoping, really, that he’ll turn this around and magically reach into his bag of lives and pull another one out.

I don’t know how to say goodbye.



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  1. Oh no. I’ve had 2 cats die from cancer in the past 10 year. Each time, they stopped eating, lost 1-2 pounds over a week or 2. Once had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her stomach. The other had kidney cancer. It was so hard putting them down :(. Hugs to you **.

  2. I’m crying so hard right now reading this. Losing a furbaby is hands-down, one of the hardest things to endure. I’m so, so, so sorry, Serenity. So sorry. ((hug)) <3<3<3

  3. Oh, God, this is bringing back the last month of my dog’s life, when we tried desperately to keep kidney disease at bay with extra fluids. In the end I had one last beautiful night with him when I slept on the floor with him cradled in my lap, singing to him. I wanted that night to never end, but of course it did. Thank you for sharing this; I miss my dog so much even though it’s been almost three years since he died.

  4. It is so, so hard when our constant companions full of their unconditional love, come to the end of their lives. We owe it to them, though, to not be selfish and to ease them into their foreverafter as soon as we know it is time. I hope he lets you know so that you have peace of mind and heart.

    Sending you hugs.

  5. There are only three times my husband and children have seen me openly sob–gut wrenching sobs. When my mother died, and when two of my pets died.
    I am so sorry for your heartbreak.

  6. Oh no. I am so sorry. My dog has seen me through so much, and while I know such a day will come for her eventually, I’m in tears right now just thinking about it. I am sure he knows how much he is loved. I hope his end is peaceful.

  7. This is the worst part of owning a pet.

    I hope you know when the time is right and find peace in that knowledge.

  8. Oh Serenity, I’m so sorry.

  9. Serenity, I know very much what you are going through. We lost our family dog of 12 years, a month ago, and it has left a gaping hole in my heart… I know that I will heal over time, but our pets are family and do occupy a special and unique place in our lives that many can understand.

    Like Cathy said so well above, knowing the right time, and making that decision can the most difficult part of the process. Wishing you peace and lots of extra love for Puck.

  10. I am in tears reading this post. I am so sorry. It is so hard to let a family member go. Wishing you strength and hope he goes peacefully and without pain.

  11. I’m so sorry – these are really hard decisions to make, no matter how many times you go through this. I’ll be hoping for a turnaround as well, but I also know you don’t want to see Puck suffer. I wish you peace and strength in caring for Puck and making this hard decision.

  12. I’m so sorry. We’ve had to put down all 3 of our pets since BabyHope was born – the last was just before Christmas. It was excruciating every time, even though it was really the only choice.


  13. I am so sorry, Serenity. I’m in tears reading this. This is the worst part of sharing our lives with animals. I hope Puck lets you know when it is time so that you can make the decision with peace of mind.


  14. Big, gigantic hugs. XOXO

  15. Well over a year ago we had to put down the dogger and I’m STILL not ok with it. Tearing up as I type as a matter of fact. It’s just so so so tough to say good bye.

  16. I’m so sorry. I’m keeping Puck and your family in my thoughts. I’ve started to type several sentences but the tears are flowing now, so I can only send much love to a good cat.

  17. It’s a hard choice to have to make. In the end, if you focus on making the right choice for them, you can’t do better.


  18. I’m so sorry. Making that decision is so, so tough.

  19. I’m so, so sorry. šŸ˜¦

  20. I am so, so sorry. šŸ˜¦

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