Saturday, January 9, 2016
Goodbye to our beloved Spike
We weren't the most experienced cat owners when he joined our family - we hadn't known that we should introduce him in stages to his new surroundings and we simply put him down on the floor to learn his way around the house. He spent the first few days hiding in a tucked away space under our bed which made him feel safe - and this is where he headed to in the last couple of months when he was sick.
He has been a healthy cat through most of his life with us - agile, active and always looked well fed! The first time he showed signs of getting sick was only a few months ago. He started to lose weight and seemed a bit lethargic and when he started to hide under the bed we realized something was wrong. He was diagnosed with diabetes so we quickly switched him over to a grain free, vegetable free soft cat food diet and started up insulin shots. He responded well to this and started to gain weight so we thought all was back on track.
One month ago , we heard him making a strange sound and saw that he was struggling to get up from his cat bed.. When I picked him up he started to have a severe seizure. I have never seen that before and it is a terrible experience to go through. He was breathing but very limp so we rushed him to the emergency vet clinic. He spent the night there on fluids but we really didn't have any answers as to the source of the seizure, other than the possibility that his blood sugar levels may have been too low at the time.
He had seemed to rally after the visit to the emergency clinic and our subsequent visit to our regular vet resulted in a higher daily insulin dose. But this past week his activity levels slowed down significantly and he was sleeping most of the day. On Wednesday morning he had lost the ability to move himself off the kitchen counter so we knew we had better take him to the vet as soon as possible. This time we had a diagnosis - pancreatitis and ketoacidosis. He spent two nights at the vet while they tried to stabilize him but his condition continued to deteriorate.
Friday morning we stopped in to see him but could see he wasn't getting better. He didn't seem to know we were there and his eyes showed the impact of the medication from the drip. We made the decision to help him move on and cuddled him for one last time as he lay on the vet's table. Being deaf, we knew he wouldn't hear us telling him we loved him, but we breathed into his neck fur while we stroked his head - and heard a soft barely inaudible purr ..so we hoped he knew we were there with him for his last minutes.
Nine years old when he left us - and the youngest of our four whitesters. We always thought he would be with us for many more years and can feel how empty the house is right now, even with the other three cats. I look up often, expecting to see him curled up in one of his many favorite spots - or strolling around the corner to come visit us in the living room. Short as the time seems, I would never give up a minute of the time we shared with this beautful boy.