In Memoriam

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.

About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Broken Heart, Cats, Loss of a Friend and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In Memoriam

  1. Barbara Palmer says:

    My heart is with you. I’ve gone through this a couple of times. Our fur kids really know how to become such a big part of our lives.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thank you, Barbara. She was such a patient little thing….putting up with me spending a month in Venice. Dealing with cat sitters. This last January when I got home from Venice she had to have her paw on me constantly and even slept with her head against my chest so she could listen to my heart beat. Yes, I was her cat mom.

  2. Sue Merritt says:

    I can feel your pain loud and clear. Wish I could help in some way. Just know you have many friends that are here if you want to talk. I am glad you have so many pictures to bring you comfort. Lily was very much loved….and I know she felt that.

  3. Sue Merritt says:

    Just know I am thinking of you. You were wonderful with Lili. How nice that you both had each other’s love.


    Sent from my iPad


    • mvaden1948 says:

      Thanks, Sue. I have had a few furry friends coming by to comfort me. At the apartment complex where I live we have a small cat colony. They are not feral and some are quite friendly but they come for food and a lot of us feed them. I think some of them have homes and are just moochers but it’s hard to tell. I have three really friendly ones that come on my patio for snuggles and petting. It helps a lot. I’m not ready to adopt another one….yet.

  4. biankonera says:

    My heart goes out to you. Our furry friends are true gems in our life so when they leave us the loss is terrible. Stay strong!

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Eva. I am doing as well as can be expected. I have several furry, feline friends who stop by every day on my patio for pets and food. I had been feeding them before and they are a real comfort now.

  5. theveniceexperience says:

    Cara, Michelle- we know full well the hole in your heart you are feeling. Our pets are our family, they give us such joy. You have years of happy memories of Lilli. Perhaps someday soon there will be a Lilli 2 to keep you company. Grande hugs from Venice!- Karen

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Karen,
      The vacancy probably won’t be filled for a few years until I’m living in Venice.
      I know you went through this with your beloved dogs a while back. I don’t know if I told you that I think of you every time I see a Corgi….even the ones belonging to the Queen!

  6. Oh, dear Misha ~ I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. I wasn’t expecting to find this when I popped over to say hello. Your beautiful Lili ~ such a gorgeous little lady and I can imagine how much you are feeling the loss of your sweet furbabe. Take good care and be gentle with yourself. Love and hugs from Ella and me x0

  7. mvaden1948 says:

    Grazie, Shell. I don’t know how I missed you in the group email I sent out the day after.
    I do miss her terribly. It was so good to have retired from my job and be able to spend full time with her these last months. Her doctor’s office made an impression of her paw print in baker’s clay and put her name on it too so I have a little reminder. Her picture is my wall paper on my computer.
    Here where I live we have a mini cat colony. Only one or two are really homeless but we have a total about eight who stop by the food bowls. One of them, a big guy, short haired tuxedo (I later discovered his name is Buster) came on to my patio the evening that she passed and spent over an hour with me… he knew.
    I’ll email you with the link to the “comfort of friends” with pictures of these cats. Not all but most of them.

    • Oh, gosh ~ what a beautiful thing for her doctor to do for you. Animals do ‘know’, don’t they ~ I’m glad Buster was there to keep you company that night. Thank you for showing me your dear little cat colony. Likewise, I’m glad they are there for you. Take good care, much love, bella.

  8. Pecora Nera says:

    Oh I am sorry to hear this.

    Our kittens are driving me mad, but I wouldn’t want to lose them.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie my friend. I never mentioned it to you because I didn’t want you to send me Scooby Doo.
      I’m getting by with the comfort of my cat friends who visit me here on my patio. I’m still feeding our small colony here at the apartment complex.
      And now I have your email so I’ll be contacting you when I next travel to Italy.

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