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R.I.P. Spot

It's with heavy heart and burning eyes that I tell you my beloved cat Spot has died.

As I posted yesterday, she had not been doing so well, and I was going to see if we could see the vet on Monday.

Last night when I came home from work, I found that she'd thrown up a lot, and she was under the bed having a seizure. I took her to the emergency pet clinic. They took her temperature, which was low even by human standards, and her blood sugar, which was extremely low. The doctor gave her a dextrose injection, and she came around, but he said that she might have damage from the brain being starved of glucose for who knows how long. We discussed my options, and he gave me time to be with her and to decide what course of action to take.

Diabetes alone may have been manageable, as might the cancer, but the combination complicated things. When she was first diagnosed back in February, I had to make a decision, too. It was possible that further diagnostic testing and surgery could have helped with the cancer, but Spot was about 16 years old, which is a good long life for a cat, so I opted to use steroids to control the inflammation, and every day she lived was a gift.

The decision to euthanize Spot is probably one of the most agonizing I've ever had to make. I knew what the answer had to be. Spot was never a vomity cat, so I think the cancer may have finally overcome what the steroids could do and caused a blockage. I didn't want her to spend a few more days or weeks suffering if this would recur.

Still, I didn't want to give up, but I know my cat, and she purred like a diesel engine all the time. Whether she was happy or in distress, the motor was always running. After the dextrose shot made her come out of the seizure and respond to me, she wasn't purring. I waited, hoping, but nothing. A few weeks ago, I got a stethoscope to listen to my own heart, and I decided to listen to Spot's, but I couldn't hear it over the purr. While I was waiting and hoping, I put my ear to her, and heard for the first time that tiny heart beating. Just that, and not a hint of her purr. I think that's when I decided. It hurt so much. I didn't want Spot to go, but it would have been selfish to make her stay.

I will probably always wonder deep down if I made the right decision. I've been crying so much that my head hurts. I called into work because I'm a mess. I need some time to grieve. I knew this day would come, but I always figured it would be later. I wish I could communicate to Ares what has happened. He saw me take her away and not bring her back. I think he thinks she's outside somewhere, enjoying the sunny day. He'll miss her, but I know that she's gone.

It's hard to believe that we made this video less than two weeks ago:

I know some of you may want to say things to give solace, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. I really do. But before anyone posts the "Rainbow Bridge" or talks about chasing mice in Kitty Heaven, please understand my viewpoint. I can't believe in those things. I don't think I could explain it any better than George Hrab does in his introduction to "Small Comfort":

I do appreciate your sympathies, so please do comment if you want. If you want to buy something (flowers, cards, etc.) in memory of Spot, I'd rather you made a donation of like amount to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Companion Animal Fund. Help the living in memoriam of the dead.

Thank you.

Plushes Post-Wash Plus Spot

Spot on the Dock Steps

Spot Loves Snow!

Spot Loves to Be Teabagged

Dirty Dirty Spot!



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry for your loss, M
Jul. 9th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon. That means a lot. :)
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Your photos are lovely, too
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Spot was very photogenic. I have many more that aren't on Flickr.
Jul. 9th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Peace be with you and Ares.
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
She was beautiful.

The best to you, in the wake of all this.
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Jul. 10th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
OMG, Spot ate apples! My cat used to go bonkers for baby carrots.

I had to put her down too, years ago. I still feel like a murderess sometimes.

But that is part of the compact. You took good care of Spot. I'm sorry your time is done. :(
Jul. 10th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
It's like all the pain I saved her from is in me now, and it's here all at once. I bear it proudly. She was so sweet. Giving her a home and love were the easy things. Medication gave us a few extra months together. Death was the hardest gift I've ever given.

I'm sorry about your cat, too. They really make our lives happier, I think. Thanks for commiserating.
Jul. 10th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if you followed my LJ last February, but I decided to put my cat, Cocoa, to sleep after having her for 17 1/2 years at that time. It was such a difficult decision to make. I felt guilty about putting her to sleep as well, especially because I think she was purring that morning. But, she had a lot of medical issues her last year, and was on daily medication, so I knew her quality of life was being compromised.

Take all the time you need to grieve, and snuggle Ares extra tight tonight. I'll be thinking of you tonight.
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Having made the decision is really hard. I did see your posts when you lost your Cocoa, and I went back in your archive and read them again just now. The way you described it was like you had my experience. It's good to know that I'm not alone in worrying whether I made the right decision. Your sympathies and thoughts mean a lot. Thank you.
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
It does feel like a selfish act, even though it should seem selfless. Having animal lovers tell me that it's the most wonderful gift you can give your pet makes me feel better about the decision I made.

And, Cocoa visits me in my dreams often, so I know she will always be with me. Just like Spot.

Jul. 10th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
I've already had a couple of times where I think I see her out of the corner of my eye, and then I realize...
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
It's been a year and a half for me, and that *still* happens to me. :-D It makes me smile more than it makes me sad...like her spirit is still with me or something. (I'm agnostic, though, but I do see how religious beliefs can be comforting during grief.)
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Wishful thinking is tempting, but I would know it was only that. The same thing happened when Patti's cat Floyd died. He hung out with me a lot, too.
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry my dear. It's hard to lose a companion, no matter how long and full the life.
Jul. 10th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 10th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the sympathy. It was so hard.
Jul. 10th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
*hugs* She was a beautiful cat, and a well-loved cat, and you made the best - probably the only - decision you could have. You chose to spare her further suffering.

And if you are anything like me - that is little or no consolation in any case.

I am so, SO sorry for your loss.
Jul. 10th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
*hugs back* She really was. It was one of those decisions where I kind of knew from the start how it would end, but I got there kicking and screaming. The best consolations I can take from her euthanasia is that I got to be there for her, and I know that it was quick but painless.

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )