Thursday, October 29, 2009

Perspective

My Rocket Socks is dying. We have had her for ten years. As she was a starving stray when we took her in I have no idea how old she is. In dog years my cat is probably ancient. Anyway she is coming to the end of her long and sweet life. I cry all the time.

I knew she was not well when we left for the wedding. She was a bit lethargic and her breath smelled awful. She has had bad teeth for years. I kept putting off getting them all pulled as I didn't want her to be without teeth. As she was still eating like a horse and drinking like a fire engine I figured she was fine and I would take her to the vet and get the teeth attended to when we got home. I checked on her during the week we were gone and her caretaker said she was about the same. I was not worried in the slightest.

She had lost two pounds by the time we returned home. She was so dehydrated her skin was tenting up. The whole house stank of her foul breath. I rushed her to the vet. You guessed it. Renal failure. I should have guessed it too only I was so focused on her teeth kidney failure never occurred to me. I felt pole axed when the nice young vet told me she was dying. I couldn't think. He kept gently asking me to make a decision about putting her to sleep vs. treatment. I was unable to process what he was saying. Finally he left me alone and let me sit down and hold her and think. Eventually he came back into the room and talked to me. He said although her lab work was "off the chart" he thought she had a good chance of "coming out" of "this episode." She was still eating and drinking and eliminating. She did not seem to be in any pain. She was still alert. After much conversation I decided to opt for treatment. I was not ready to lose her.

She spent two days at the vet. They gave her two bags of IV fluid. A bag of IV fluid is almost the same size as a cat. They put her on antibiotics for her teeth. They let me bring her her rat. She curled up around it and slept. I spent the two days holding her basket and howling like another sick animal. Grief like I have never experienced it. I think I have lived in a house of grief my whole life but have never ventured beyond the foyer. Her death is allowing me to finally enter all the rooms and wash them clear. One more blessing she is giving me.

We brought her home. I am giving her oral antibiotics daily and irrigating her mouth with peroxide and salt water every few hours. She hates it all. Me too. She perked right up after all that fluid. Was almost like her old self for four days. But it was not to last. In the past twenty-four hours her eating, drinking and eliminating have slowed way down. We are going to the vet in the morning. I hope it will be for more IV fluid and a return home, but I am not counting on it.

When we were at the vet's the first time he told us how they dispose of their dead animals. They take them to the dump and throw them on the pile of all the road kill and untagged wild animals found during the past month. Then they burn them. I was so grateful he told us that. We will bring her home. I have picked out her favorite basket and blanket. We will wrap her in her blanket, put her in her basket with her blue rat, put all of that in a big garbage bag and then bury her beside the rose bush. It has been getting below zero here at night. Mark dug the hole a couple of days ago while the ground was still soft.

I intend to spend the evening holding and petting my kitty whom I love. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Take care of yourselves. Love Lynn

4 comments:

Cindy...154 said...

I am glad I read this today, the day you wrote it so I can tell you that I am thinking of you now and will be thinking of you tomorrow. I am so glad you have Mark to help you. I know it is hard. I lost my cat of 11 years (Howie) when he rather suddenly was overtaken with fluid in his lungs. He was a great cat and I still miss him even though that was back in 2006 and we have plenty of pets. Hang in there. So sorry about your Socks. Take care.

mumtotwo said...

tears running down dear bea...so sorry. i know exactly how you feel..and the gifts from kitty? priceless so sorry.
love robin x

Annimal said...

My heart is with you. I buried my much loved Bobo 4 years ago and it still twists my heart. I literally couldn't go to work when he died, I was grieving so.
A cherished pet takes a hole out of our hearts and their death is painful.
I put Bobo on his bed, dug a deep wide hole and put him to eternal sleep. The snow started just after I had refilled the hole and it was so beautiful, it helped my healing.
Could I ask you to reconsider the plastic bag? dust-to-dust. It's so much more natural to have decomposition as it should be and not shrouded in plastic. If you feel better to have the body "in something" maybe a paper bag or cardboard box? Also, make sure it's deep enough and protected from predators.

Cindy...154 said...

I hope you are doing ok. Just checking in.