Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Never Long Enough

We could have had Cloudy for 50 years and it wouldn't have been long enough. But that doesn't bring us any comfort when we only had her for a month and we suddenly lost her.



Cloudy was euthanized tonight. She had immune mediated hemolytic anemia, and she was almost gone by the time the diagnosis came back. Spending thousands of dollars on transfusions and anti-rejection meds, as well as rehydrating and giving her antibiotics prophylactically, with days to be spent in the hospital, hoping that we could somehow restore her blood and stop the immune cells from attacking the new blood all at once before she died from the effects, well, it didn't seem like it was in her best interest. Nor could I afford it.



We found out a few things about her. She was between 3 and 5 years old and likely had this disease for a long time before it started to really effect her, and since we only had her for 4 weeks, all the things that we thought were a part of her personality could have been symptoms. She had an enormous mass in her belly that was only palpable tonight because she'd lost so much weight. The mass was likely her spleen grossly enlarged or a tumor that could have caused the IMHA. Her prognosis was bad even if we had $10K to throw at making her better. And if we'd left her outside, she probably wouldn't have lived more than a few days from when we found her in December.



When the doctor administered the shot, she went limp within the first cc of the injection, and he commented afterward that he'd never seen a cat go that quickly, which was due to her being so close to dying already. He assured us that we did he right thing, but I'm sure they're trained to tell survivors that no matter what. It doesn't change the guilt of knowing that if I had $2,500 tonight, they would have tried to transfuse her right then. And if I had many more thousands of dollars, I might have been able to afford the next week of treatment, and then there would be the lifetime of tranfusions and constant monitoring and medication. If I had money, should I have tried? Not a question I want an answer to, so don't bother telling me.



So, my brother and I said our goodbyes, which never includes that word, strangely. We had her only one month, but will remember her for a lifetime. She touched us deeply, she brought us joy, and maybe, just maybe, we hope we gave her some too.



We love you, Cloudy.

17 comments:

GeekChic said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss Happy Villain. My condolences to you and your brother.

librarian nervosa said...

Oh Jesus no. :( I'm so so sorry. She was a very beautiful cat.

Anonymous said...

She was adorable. Thank you for giving her the happiest month of her life.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

I am so sorry to hear this. You gave Cloudy a month of love and care she would not have had otherwise. She passed surrounded by loving people rather than freezing on the streets. Any treatment might have just made her suffer more. You did the right thing.

ranger said...

(typing through tears) It's never easy to see a pet go, no matter how long she's been a part of your life. Bye bye, Cloudy.

PaintingChef said...

I'm so sorry sweetie. But know that you made the last month of her life perfect because she was warm and loved. You did the good and merciful thing but that doesn't make you miss her any less, I know. Huge to you.

Leelu said...

Oh, honey, I'm sorry. *hugs*

Give my sympathy to your brother, too. I know he's got to be hurting.

Jane in Edmonton said...

My sympathy to you and your brother - I had to take one of my cats on that final journey in 2008 and it is really hard. I think you made the right choice, though, and thank you for taking her in and made her comfortable in her last months.

Manda said...

I'm so sorry! Just remember that you gave her a month of love and comfort and shelter. That's the best thing you could have done for her. ((((hugs))))

Dragon Reads said...

Oh my dear, I am so sorry for your loss. You took in an animal that would have frozen in this brutal cold, made it's last weeks secure and warm, and let her go when there was no choice.
Cloudy was loved more in the brief time with your family than she ever was with the people who just abandoned her to die on the streets. Rest in peace, Cloudy--you will be missed.

Mme.G said...

I'm so sorry to hear this! I was very happy when I read you decided to keep Cloudy in your home; from the photos, she looked very happy with you as her kitty mama. You did the right thing twice: first by taking her in, and then by letting her leave the world with dignity and less suffering. Hugs to you.

Kate P said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. She was a sweet little kitty. I'm glad to have gotten to meet her--thank you for taking care of her and sharing her story with us.

Virtual hugs for you guys--and I'm going to go hug my cat in honor of Cloudy.

Rachel said...

There's nothing I can say to take away the pain, but I am very glad she was comfortable for her last month... We just lost a 3 year old ball of love to the same thing...
*hug*
hard to believe I'm crying this hard for a kitty I never met :*(
I feel like I lost a friend...

Virtua said...

This sucks longer and harder than nearly anything, but do know that every decision you made was the right one, even though you'll likely still have those "what if" thoughts for a long,long time. She got a month of what, unfirtunately, most animals never, ever have: love and care, and dignity when she had to leave. Remember that no matter how badly it makes you want to torch something, it's still true that it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Cat. said...

Like everyone else, I'm so sorry to hear this. Cloudy was my little Christmas angel/mascot, proof that even in the darkest, coldest time, someone might show up and take care of the littlest of the critters. Thank you for sharing her story, and yours. Hugs to you and your bro!

Happy Villain said...

Thank you, everyone. It's so sweet and wonderful to know how her story touched others who never even knew her. I wish you all could've met her. From a true "dog person", she was a cat you could not resist. And I still think I hear her little squeaky meow around the house, which is both comforting and heartbreaking at the same time. Thanks again.

Mary Ellen said...

Oh, shit, I'm so sorry! She was such a pretty girl. The month of love and warmth and cuddling you gave her was an absolute blessing.