I began reading this forum a few days ago after losing my beloved little boy cat, Felix. I kept thinking about posting something but haven't really felt up to it but here goes...
Felix was put to sleep on Tuesday night. He was 16 and would have been 17 on the 28th July. Basically a couple of years ago we (my husband Steven and I) found he had blood in his urine. We took him to the vets and eventually after months of tests they found he had a tumour in his bladder. This was removed and he made a complete recovery. About a year ago Felix had problems with his teeth and we took him to the emergency vet as he was clearly unwell and wouldn't let us touch his face. The vet said that he had an infection but they were more concerned that he was very dehydrated. They put him on a drip and kept him in for the night. He was then transferred to our vets the following day by pet ambulance where he had most of his teeth removed, just leaving two. In terms of the dehydration the vet felt that Felix was having problems with his kidneys. We just have to make sure that Felix had water available for him at all times and make sure he didn't eat anything too salty etc.
Anyway, recently Felix has been crying when going to the toilet and last weekend I noticed a bit of blood in the litter tray. We arranged to take Felix to the vet last Monday who said that the blood and discomfort were down to the kidney disease Felix had but said that unfortunately Felix had a large tumour in his intestine. She said that there was nothing that could be done about the tumour and the only thing they could do was try Felix on pain relief syrup to see if that would relieve his problems when going to the toilet. If not then the best thing would be to put Felix to sleep. If it did work then Felix could live for a few more weeks or even months. She therefore gave him a painkilling injection and gave us a week's worth of pain killer syrup (metacam) but did explain to us that really metacam wouldn't normally be given to cats with kidney problems but as Felix had cancer anyway which he wouldn’t' survive then it would be better to keep Felix pain free. We were obviously upset but I felt that Felix would be with us for a good while yet as, apart from when he went to the toilet, he seemed okay. A bit quiet but still playful now and then.
Anyway Felix went to the toilet a few times that night and in the morning and didn't cry once and I really thought it was working. Morning came and he was fine still. I went to work and emailed my husband at lunchtime to ask how he was and he said Felix was sleeping but was fine and had been out. By the time I got home from work Felix was very quiet and laid on the settee and didn’t really greet me. I put some of the metacam in with some fish to give to Felix but he wasn’t interested. Obviously I was worried by this time. Felix eventually came and sat on my lap for a while and I thought he was coming round. After a while my husband noticed that Felix was panting and we knew that this was it. Felix got down off my lap and more or less collapsed on to the floor, breathing heavily. He then struggled to get up and went in to the hallway. Bless him, he was trying to get to the litter tray as he collapsed again just in front of it and went to the toilet on the carpet. He was trying to be a good boy to the last. He then gave a little cry. Steven picked him up just trying to keep Felix conscious. It was heartbreaking. We have very little money so I called my stepdad to pick us up to take us to the emergency vet across the city. I rang them and explained that Felix was dying. My stepdad lives the other side of the city so it took him 45 minutes to get to us and then a further half hour to get to the vets. Felix was just about alive still when we got to the vets. The vet said does he need to be put to sleep and I said only if absolutely necessary. She then took him out of his box and said he was fading fast and needed to be put to sleep. It was awful. I wasn’t going to stay to be honest but found the strength to do so. The most heartbreaking thing was when Felix was lying on the table barely conscious the vet gave my husband the consent form to sign which he started doing and then Felix nudged his writing hand with his head. The vet then shaved Felix’s leg in order to insert the needle and Felix started crying again. Then she put the needle in and Felix put his little head down and went to sleep.
It’s Sunday night now and I am still numb with shock and dazed. I have got to go to work tomorrow for the first time since it happened as I took the rest of the week off as holiday because I couldn’t face going in. I am absolutely dreading it. The first thing I do on a working day is watch the news and Felix always comes to sit on my lap and I can’t bear the thought of him not doing it tomorrow and not being there when I get home. I know life has to go on but right now I don’t want it to. To do so would be an acceptance of what’s happened and I don’t want to accept it.
We do have another cat called Andrei so we have to get back to normal for him. Don’t get me wrong, we love him just as much but he has a totally different personality to Felix. Felix was a homely, affectionate cat whereas Andrei spends a lot of time outdoors and doesn’t really like being picked up. We love him to bits though and dread the thought of him going too even though we know he will one day. He is 15 next month and we are going to take him to the vets soon just for a check up just in case.
We lost Felix’s brother Thomas suddenly in 2000 when he died whilst we were out and I thought I would never get over it but I did so I know I will this time but it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. We still keep wondering whether Felix could have been saved and why he went downhill so fast.
Anyway this post is a lot longer than I intended so thank you if you managed to read though to the end. Felix is in my avatar by the way.
PS I love the poem and it has given me a lot of strengh to carry on. I also really like this one -
WILD AND FREE
(P J Quick)
I hope you're running wild and free now you have gone to eternity,
Free from pain and young again as once you used to be.
I hope you're running wild and free, as free as the wind in the trees,
Playing and purring in ecstasy, or sleeping and dreaming at ease.
I hope you're running wild and free, as free as the clouds in the sky,
Rushing excitedly, a kitten again, with eyes as blue as the sea.
I hope you're running wild and free, sometimes maybe remembering me,
For I know the time will come one day when we'll both be wild and free.