It’s hard to believe that it’s now a little over three weeks since I lost my best friend.
Lili had been my feline companion for over sixteen years. She was 17….but for a cat that is equivalent to 85. I should do so well when I’m that age.
About a year ago she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, a common disease in elderly cats. Up to that point she had not acted “elderly”.
One of her favorite things and a constant source of entertainment for family and friends was her laser light. She absolutely loved to chase that little red dot all over the place. There were times when she would sit and stare at me from across the room and I knew what she wanted.
Her doctor suggested we try prescription food as a treatment and she did very well on that until about this past March when she decided she was tired of eating the same thing every day and only wanted Temptations cat treats. The feline version of potato chips. Of course being a good cat mom I was ready to indulge her every whim. But she still needed to be medicated so I took her back to the doctor where we got pills for the hyperthyroidism and the new diagnosis of high blood pressure. She also had a heart murmur.
Lili was a little thing. She never weighed more than seven pounds soaking wet but she had lost a lot of weight. In mid March she was 4.5 lbs! We went to the Vet every few weeks for blood pressure checks and blood work follow up.
May 16 she was in for her check and Dr. Jon came out to see me saying he thought she had fluid in her chest because she was having trouble breathing. He asked my permission for a chest x-ray which of course I approved. A little while later he called me back to see the x-ray. She did indeed have fluid in her chest pressing on her lungs. He had me leave her for the afternoon and aspirated most of the fluid. I picked her up around dinner time and noticed a major improvement both in alertness and appetite. She ate regular cat food…the kind with the gravy mostly licking the gravy off. She submitted to her twice a day pills. She didn’t like them but she didn’t bite or scratch me.
The last week in May she was unable to walk down the hall to the litter box. I carried her to the box every few hours and she did her “duty” and I carried her back to either her pillow or my lap. She had very few accidents once I got the message that she needed to be carried.
On May 30 she stopped eating. She had absolutely no interest in food and would only drink a little water. Since her eating habits had become erratic I wasn’t worried about one day but by Monday morning I knew that I could not watch her starve herself to death. I cried, I prayed and I cried some more. About 10am I called the Vet’s office and made an appointment. I broke down on the phone. They are so wonderful and kind. I took her in knowing full well that depending on what Dr. Jon said I was ready to make the decision that every pet owner dreads.
When I got there they took us right into an exam room and the doctor was with us within minutes. Dr. Jon did a thorough exam and couldn’t find anything that would cause the loss of appetite other than the problems she already had. She only weighed just over three pounds. The good news was that she didn’t seem to be in any pain or distress. He said he thought she was probably in kidney failure but without more tests he wouldn’t know for sure. I asked how long he thought she could go on like this and he said a week, maybe two. I asked about the final arrangements. I had been through this with her mother seven years ago. I signed the paperwork and he told me that when we were through I could just leave and didn’t have to settle her bill until later….so I didn’t have to stand around in the lobby.
I was with her, holding her when he gave her the injections. She passed peacefully in my arms. When I was ready he took her into his arms as though she was his own.
This link is to a slide show with pictures of Lili. There aren’t many from our early years as I didn’t have a digital camera. The few I have, I scanned into the computer and the scanner changed the color so I made them black and white….after all…those are her best colors.
It’s amazing how such a tiny cat can leave such a big hole in my heart.