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A Very Bad Day

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook already know this was a Very Bad Day. Short Twitter sized updates were all I could mentally handle earlier.
hellbob & I lost our beloved cat, Gabriel, earlier today.


The medical crap that you probably don't want to read.
Last Tuesday night we noticed that Gabe was very dehydrated and shaky. We did what we could for him including using a syringe to get him to drink water and Pedialyte. Wednesday morning Rick worked from home and got Gabriel in to the vet as soon as he could. They got some IV fluids into him immediately and diagnosed it as mid-stage kidney failure, which also caused dehydration and anemia. They gave him some shots to boost his blood cell production and sent him home with subcutaneous fluids for us to give him. He seemed to perk up right away with the treatments and was trying to eat and drink again. We took him back on Thursday for another shot, to pick up the syringes full of medicine that we would need to give him once a week, and to go over his test results. At this point the doctor seemed hopeful too that he would pull out of it. He was still going to need regular treatment and monitoring for the kidney failure, but they seemed to believe that he was not terminal. Friday, Saturday & Sunday we took care of him. We gave him his fluids every day & he was eating and drinking more than he had been, although not as much as we would have liked. He seemed to be keeping everything down too.

Then, last night, Sunday night, he was very wobbly as he was sitting there. He wouldn't drink or eat his regular food. We gave him some canned food which he seemed happy to eat. The wobbling stopped. But at midnight he threw up most everything he'd eaten and was so week he ended up falling into it. We washed him up and tried to get more liquids into him, but he just wanted to lay there.


The last day.
We tucked him up in bed between us, and really neither of us got much sleep. In the morning we made the impossible decision that his condition was too serious for us to put him through the pain and confusion of the extreme treatment he'd need. It was so hard. If he'd been younger we probably would have tried to fight for the extra time. But at almost 19 years old (the equivalent of 90 human years) we didn't want to risk putting him through all that just so we could selfishly have him for a few more weeks or a few more months. I'm grateful that we'd gotten our tax refund last week. That way we could make the decision based solely on what was best for Gabe without have to feel guilty that the decision was based in part on money.

The appointment was made for the evening right when I'd get home from work, and hellbob made arrangements to work from home so Gabriel wouldn't be alone.

I tried to go to work. I even drove all the way there, and pulled myself together. When I walked through the door though, the first time I tried to talk I just fell apart. I was going to tell them that I didn't think I'd be able to work a full day and I just started crying. Every single person at work has at least one pet. They all told me not to worry about it, to just go home. There was very little lab work and Jenn said she could easily do it. So after more sniffles and after making sure there wasn't anything she'd have questions about I got in my car and headed back home.

I stopped at the store for a few things, including liverwurst. It's Gabe's favorite snack. I couldn't make a liverwurst sandwich without "accidentally" dropping a few chunks.

When I'd told Rick I was coming home he moved the appointment up to 3:30.

I tried giving Gabe a small bit of liverwurst and he sniffed it but wouldn't try to eat it. He didn't even try to lick it. I think that is when I knew that he really was ready to go. The boy never turned down liverwurst in his life except for a few months after I'd foolishly tried to use his favorite food to hide pills.

genevra stopped by in the early afternoon with gigglemonkey_b & technomonkey_m so they could all say goodbye to Gabe. technomonkey_m didn't want to come in at first because since Gabe was sick he didn't want to get sick too. He was fine once genevra explained that it wasn't a sick he could catch. I got lots of hugs from them and they told Gabriel goodbye and that they'd miss him. gigglemonkey_b even told Lump that she was sorry Gabe was going to die. I didn't have the heart to tell her that Lump is probably thrilled to death to be an only child now. She hates almost everyone, but especially Gabe.

Shortly after genevra & the twins left, while Rick was still on a call for work, I saw his breathing get shallower & shallower, accompanied with gasps for breath. We went in to Rick who hung up on his work call. We just held Gabe together. It was so fast from there. He was gone within 5 minutes.

He went so fast. It was quick and peaceful and hopefully painless. He was in Rick's arms with me there. It was best that way. He hated the vets office and would have hated to be there.
It was just so damn hard. Our cats growing up were all either outdoor cats or indoor/outdoor since we lived out in the boonies. I'd never had a cat die of old age before.

When I met Rick 17 1/2 years ago he had this awesome cat. Friendly as could be. Purred like a mother-fucker. The very first time Rick kissed me that cat was curled up on my lap. That was Gabriel. My entire life with Rick has also been with Gabriel. I just can't imagine not having Gabe around.



You were the best cat I've ever had, Gabriel. If there is an afterlife, I hope you enjoy the hell out of it.



Gabriel ~ 1991-2010

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Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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scubagrrl
Apr. 27th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
**hugs**
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
Thanks. Monday was really rough, but we're both doing much better today.
machinegirl
Apr. 27th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
*hugs* Gabriel was BEAUTIFUL.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. Yeah, he was our handsome boy. :)
dragonsally
Apr. 27th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
Okay, I'm having trouble typing through the tears...I'm so glad Gabe went with both of you there in his home,he sounds like he was a beautiful cat and there is going to be a big hole in your lives now.

Sending so much love to you and Rick.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Yeah, there were more than a few tears here too as I typed it. He was a really great cat.
stonelizard
Apr. 27th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
I am so sorry.

He had a wonderful and long life and he got to leave while he was in your arms.

HUGS
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks. We're gonna miss him. We're going much better now than we were on Monday.
theseamster
Apr. 27th, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
Darn it all, you made me cry. Strangely, Kanika is not much of a lap cat and not only happened to be on my lap as I was scrolling down and got to your post but also stayed as I read the whole thing only to leave as I started typing. I'm so sorry.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
Awww, so sweet of Kanika.
Thank you. We're doing better here now, but it hits me at weird moments that he's gone.
mad_brilliant_
Apr. 27th, 2010 09:08 am (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. :(
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
Thank you. We're doing ok here now. Monday was the worst.
san_valentine
Apr. 27th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
So sorry to hear about your loss. I had to say goodbye to Skiffle last year, after 12 years together. She had an operation to examine a lump on her face and the vet called from the surgery room to say it was an advanced tumour and she only had weeks at best. She'd been very poorly right before going in, so the best thing was to let the vet increase the anaesthetic while she was already out, and let her slip away.
I could have brought her home and nursed her for a few days or weeks, but she had been so poorly it seemed kindest to let her go there and then, rather than make her linger so I could say goodbye. I left at the vet's in the morning and never saw her again. It was a hard decision to make.

Hugs to you and Rick
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
Thank you. Hugs to you too. That's so sad that you didn't get to see her again. :(
bloodlossgirl
Apr. 27th, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
Awww, I'm so sorry :( Gabe was so beloved. I send you both hugs.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. Monday was really rough, but we're both doing better each day.
irish_dragon
Apr. 27th, 2010 10:53 am (UTC)
hugs
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
Thank you. Monday was really rough, but we're both doing better now.
tx_cronopio
Apr. 27th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, honey! You gave him a great life.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
Thanks hon. He gave us a great life too.
ethel
Apr. 27th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you both.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Thanks. We're doing better than Monday, but we're still at that stage where it keeps hitting us at odd moments. We miss him.
snowcalla
Apr. 27th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry your kitty died. I know how hard it is - they really are part of the family. Zack died May 2008 and I still cry at times when I think of him.

It is a very, very good thing that Gabe didn't die alone or die at the Vet's office. That he was with his family.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Yes, they really are family. Heck, he was older than most of my friends kids! We buried him in the back corner of the yard and our neighbors who have been cat-sitting him for the last 10 years when we're out of town are going to bring over a hosta for him.
vanaabegra
Apr. 27th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Very sad to lose a kitty. *Hugs*
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. *hug*
jmanna
Apr. 27th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear this. I went through something similar with Kiki.
hellziggy
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah, it's just so hard when you don't know for sure if there's any pain. We don't think there was.
(no subject) - jmanna - Apr. 30th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
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