Lamont
How do you make a grown man sob uncontrollably?

Make him take apart the kitty-tree after his best friend has been put down. 

Short of tail (Manx) , long on affection, intelligence, and certainly "Not just a cat".

It was love at sight at the SPCA in 2012. She was housed back in the darkest corner of the shelter, maybe squirreled away by a volunteer hoping no one would find her. It tool all of about 20 seconds for us to bond with this 6.4 lb darling, so of course, she came home with us.

We had her a way too short 6 years, and she's left a huge hole where my heart used to be.

The little girl who,  on the night my back went in to a crippling spasm, lay next to me, in the hallway, keeping me safe for 3 hours, and never left my side. 

It's been 9 dreadfully empty days since she died, and I am thinking there won't be another cat for a very long time. (if ever)

She had been doing reasonably well since last Summer when she was diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism, complicated by an existing heart murmur. We weighed the treatment options and labs showed that she was a poor candidate for radio-iodine, leaving us to try to manage her condition with methimazole, which she did not tolerate well. Even so, we seemed to have found a balance that worked, until it didn't.

She took a sudden turn for the worse, and developed congestive heart failure, so we made that dreadful decision, and ended her suffering. 

It isn't fair that such an angel should have to die at a young-ish age. (probably 10-12 years old, as far as we know) 

Last week I tried to find a lab that could test my home for the chemicals they suspect are the cause of this hyperthyroidism, (fire retardant PDBEs) but there are no easy answers as to where it came from, or how we could remove them.

Then it occurred to me...assuming it is our house that is contaminated what then?

Like what things in our home contain these chemicals, and how would we test each piece of furniture or rug or is the house just contaminated and "un-cleanable"? I just cannot bear the thought of ever bringing another cat in to a place that might eventually kill her. 

Besides, there won't ever be another Bertie.

Thanks for reading. My deepest sympathy to all of you, too.

L
Bertie_Blue_Blanket.jpg
Bertie's Daddy
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Sandilee
Hi..... just read your sad post on your sweet kitty. She was beautiful. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know your pain is great and your heart is broken. I lost my sweet Siamese girl on February 20, 2018 to a coyote attack. I have been inconsolable and grieving horribly. I have no great words of wisdom, wish I did. I know what you mean about not getting another kitty sometime in the future. I don't think I could handle the pain of losing another one. This is a good place to share your thoughts and pain, everyone here is grieving and understands what you are going through.
Sandi
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Lamont
Sandilee wrote:
Hi..... just read your sad post on your sweet kitty. She was beautiful. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know your pain is great and your heart is broken. I lost my sweet Siamese girl on February 20, 2018 to a coyote attack. I have been inconsolable and grieving horribly. I have no great words of wisdom, wish I did. I know what you mean about not getting another kitty sometime in the future. I don't think I could handle the pain of losing another one. This is a good place to share your thoughts and pain, everyone here is grieving and understands what you are going through.


Thanks Sandilee, for now what I am doing is lying to myself about it "getting easier". All my best to you.
L
Bertie's Daddy
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Sandilee
Lamont......it has been 7 days since I lost Lucy and the pain is just as great as it was last Tuesday. Hard to believe that it will ever get any better. Nothing is helping me deal with the loss of my girl.
Sandi
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Kittypiller
So sorry to hear you lost your fur baby I feel your pain, I had to put my 4 1/2 year old kitty named butters to sleep dec 21 she had cancer & kidney failure. It was the hardest decision ive ever had to make and its been over 2 months and it still feels like it was just yesterday. Bertie is no longer in pain and will always be with you in your heart. She is in heaven watching over you. I am here anytime you want to chat or vent you can pm me and i will answere asap. Again sorry for your loss
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Lamont
Kittypiller wrote:
So sorry to hear you lost your fur baby I feel your pain, I had to put my 4 1/2 year old kitty named butters to sleep dec 21 she had cancer & kidney failure. It was the hardest decision ive ever had to make and its been over 2 months and it still feels like it was just yesterday. Bertie is no longer in pain and will always be with you in your heart. She is in heaven watching over you. I am here anytime you want to chat or vent you can pm me and i will answere asap. Again sorry for your loss


Thanks for your kindness. I am so sad about all our kitties with these dreadful illnesses. I keep reading about one disease or another that is taking our beloved from us.
I am thinking it's something in the food, the furniture, the carpet, all the chemicals they put in everything. 

Our sweet cats might just be the "Kitties in the coal mine", for all we know, we could be well on our way to being next.

What a mess. There is no reason for a 4 year old, or even a 10 year old, well cared for pet to die of cancer or organ failure. I feel so hopeless to do anything about it, though. I am afraid there isn't much any of us can do about all the harmful stuff around our homes.  

You have my sympathy, and thanks again.

L





Bertie's Daddy
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RileysMom
Lamont,

I fully agree with you, on so many levels. I do my best the limit the amount of toxins in my home, but my doggies still got seriously sick. In today’s world, unfortunately there is only so much that can be done, we do the best we can and then go forward from there.

I truly am sorry for your loss. It is very difficult to care for a sick pet and to see them decline. My heart goes out to you.
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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Lamont
RileysMom wrote:
Lamont, I fully agree with you, on so many levels. I do my best the limit the amount of toxins in my home, but my doggies still got seriously sick. In today’s world, unfortunately there is only so much that can be done, we do the best we can and then go forward from there. I truly am sorry for your loss. It is very difficult to care for a sick pet and to see them decline. My heart goes out to you.



I got one of those annoying Roombas for the house a few years ago, and it routinely scarfed up a lot of dusty, fine material, and of course cat hair. 

Our house is 90 years old, and was the victim of a couple of remodeling crimes in the 1980s. So it's anyone's guess what is floating in the air around here.

I hate to be paranoid, on top of my grief, but I don't think I'll adopt until I am convinced my house and contents are not going to cause another animal to get sick.

I know that strays, and chronic runaways, like our Bertie was before we got her are often exposed to all sorts of hazards, including chemicals, so adopting them certainly is a step up from being a homeless stray. But I would hate to think she might have had a better chance in another home.

I know, my fears are probably just another expression of my sadness, after all it's natural to feel some guilt when it's your decision to end their life. So the logical thing of course is to lash out at the whole chemical industry, the pet food mafia, and while I am at it, my vet, and me for placing her at risk.

On the other hand, maybe there are a lot of pets out there that are dying needlessly and  little alarm on our part might be a good thing, assuming there are some solutions. I do think it bears attention that so many animals get cancer, kidney disease and hyper-T. 

It's a cruel world, though, when even many of us humans can't get get access to affordable healthcare, or have to live in places that put them at high-risk for environmental health problems. 

But every time I get really upset about the USA or EU, I think back to a trip to India I did in the early 70s.  I still am haunted by the way of life there for millions of people, and I feel pretty lucky. 


I read about Riley this AM after your reply. I am hoping that I can begin to put things in perspective as I think you have. 
I'm grateful for your wisdom. It helps those of us who are still wretched, miserable and not ready to even start to get a grip.
I have lost family, and many close friends over the years to one thing or another, and I will admit that I have shed a few tears in grief, but our animals are true innocents and I think we bond to them in a protective way so their deaths can be way more difficult to handle. 
It's like this: People know about death and dying and so, when they die, or when I die, it's something I have already come to terms with, unless of course it's accidental, or happens due to some crime. But our pets trust us implicitly to be there for them, as they are for us. 
When we had to put our little Hazel down, years ago, and she wasn't even "my cat", I just lost it, right there at the pet hospital. The only thing keeping me vertical after i stumbled out of the lobby was a city tree that I just help on to. "Devastated" didn't even begin to describe how I felt. 
Now, years later, Bertie, who had really been "my cat" even though she liked my wife, too. But it was I that fed her, brushed her, clipped her claws, tidied up her poopatorium, and so so. I was Bertie's Cat Daddy, and she wasn't shy about her affection either.


Bertie's Daddy
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Lamont
I brought Bertie's remains home from the vet today. At least she's home with us now.


Bertie's Daddy
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RileysMom
Hi Lamont,

I’m glad Bertie is back home with you, though I’m sad it’s in this way. I hear you about feeling fearful for a future pet. My two girls were 10 this last year, not related to each other though, and BOTH of them began showing symptoms of their diseases this last summer within weeks of each other. I have racked my brain trying to figure out if they were exposed to something that would cause them to have diseases at the same time. Talk about feeling paranoid! I could only think of one thing, which was the new oven we had to get a year ago. That thing put off noxious fumes for weeks. We had to keep the windows open whenever we turned it on and I tried to keep the dogs out of the area when it was in use. Could that have been it? Maybe. But, the fact is, they may have had symptoms prior to that which just weren’t significant enough to pay a lot of attention to. The disease could have been hiding in the background for a long time and it was just terrible coincidence that both of them manifested it at the same time.

I think when something like this happens, we want something to blame or to find a rational explanation for why it happened. If we have that explanation, then in our minds, there’s a possible solution to prevent it from happening again. Therefore, we don’t have to experience this pain again. There’s validity to it, because if something is preventable then by all means we should do what we can. But, it also can get out of hand because of our grief.

My mom died of cancer 9 years ago which sparked my interest into all things natural and avoiding man made chemicals like the plague. I do think there’s something to it. We live in a toxic world, and with things like cancer on the rise, there has to be a reason for it. The growth of these health problems seems to coincide with the growth of technology and mass production. Just like you going to India, I’ve been to China, and the pollution is extreme. I don’t know how people survive in these places.

It makes me sad that everything is this way. And that even when you do your best, you’re still affected by everyone else’s pollution. It could drive a person mad thinking about all of it. So, I guess we just do the best we can. Whether an animal is with us or in someone else’s home, they’re still going to be exposed to toxins, they still have to live in this world. All we can do is ensure we give them the best life possible.

I don’t know if my dogs would have gotten sick if they had lived with someone else, that thought has crossed my mind multiple times. But what I do know is that a lot of people do not take care of their pets, or they dispose of them when it becomes inconvenient for them. So from that standpoint, if my dogs were going to get sick at all, I’m glad they got sick with me. Even though the outcome was not successful, I do know I gave them the best care I possibly could have and I know they were loved to the end. Much as I’m sure the same was true for your Bertie.

Lamont, I’m sorry we’re both in this position of losing these furry guys to awful diseases. It isn’t fair, to them or us. My heart goes out to you and everyone else dealing with similar circumstances. Take care of yourself and hope you’re hanging in there okay.
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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Lamont
RileysMom wrote:
Hi Lamont, I’m glad Bertie is back home with you, though I’m sad it’s in this way. I hear you about feeling fearful for a future pet. My two girls were 10 this last year, not related to each other though, and BOTH of them began showing symptoms of their diseases this last summer within weeks of each other. I have racked my brain trying to figure out if they were exposed to something that would cause them to have diseases at the same time. Talk about feeling paranoid! ....


Really...if it's one thing, like the stove, when you can shoo them out, or air the house out....but the silent, odorless hazards like fire retardants or other chemicals we can't really detect in our homes, give me the creeps.

They recently made changes to the water content in our city, so who knows what the consequences of that might be in the long-term?

If it isn't one thing, then it's another!
Bertie's Daddy
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ForMitookie_03
Hi Lamont,

I think I posted on another thread of yours before I saw this one.  Who knows, my mind is a little scrambled these days.  Anyway, I didn't know the circumstances of Bertie's death until I saw this thread.  My Mitookie also died because of hyperthyroidism.  He was first diagnosed about 4 years ago.  Went on the methimazole.  It didn't work so they removed one thyroid gland in March of 2016.  He was okay for a little while then started with diarrhea.  He was then diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  Well, it would get better, then go back to being bad again.  We tried all kinds of antibiotics and steroids and during this time he had to go back on the methimazole for rising thyroid levels again.  On January 25th he underwent a second surgery to remove the remaining thyroid gland and it had doubled in size and had cysts on it.  The vet thought he'd be feeling so much better.  Two days later I had to put him to sleep.  He never bounced back and suffered a stroke or seizure, still not sure which.  He started breathing again so I rushed him to the emergency vet.  He got a calcium bolus and perked up.  Three hours later they called to tell me he collapsed and couldn't breath again.  I had to rush over and make that dreaded decision.  I won't go into all the emotions I experienced and am still experiencing because you are going through the exact same thing.  I believe Tookie's heart gave out.  He was disoriented and blind by the time I got back to the emergency vet.  It was absolutely horrible.  He was 15 and the love of my life.  I too wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I don't.  All I can say is only time will make things better.  How much time, I don't know.  I'm still waiting.  In the meantime however, we are all here for you.  Take care of yourself.  Bertie was a beauty indeed.

Marina
Marina ~ Mitookie's Mom
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PeppermintPatty
I am so sorry for your recent loss, Lamont. What a beauty Bertie is.

Reflecting back on the kitties I have adopted in my life, the two that died the youngest were adoptees from the local shelter, both estimated to be about 1-1/2 years of age at the time of adoption. I raised my other two from the time they were baby kittens, and they lived to be 17 and 19.

So, as far as your beloved Bertie goes, perhaps it was not necessarily what she was exposed to when you had her. If she didn't get a fair shake in her younger days, that may have been a contributing factor. I know, in my case, that is probably what happened. My Annie, who died at 13, had been returned to the shelter twice because they inadvertently discovered that she was not comfortable around children. So she ended up in two homes with small children who got frustrated with her because all she would do is hide. Since I don't have children, that was a selling point for me, and that little pumpkin blossomed at her own pace when she was with me. But I'm sure it stressed her out to the point where it probably had an adverse effect on her health.

Don't be too hard on yourself about this. We all second guess and question ourselves. I wish you peace at this incredibly difficult time. I am quite certain that you provided the best life possible for Bertie and she was lucky to have you as her dad.
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DonnaM
Bertie in the sky, with diamonds.  She looks wonderful!

I've always sung to my cats.  Just lost my wonderful Ernie, the pain is tremendous, but I have had wonderful support from friends & family (all of whom have had many critters over time and understand completely), this forum, some books, local organizations and hotlines.  I still sing to Ernie.  He brought the great joy to everyone who met him.

I'm glad Bertie's home with you. 

I agree with Peppermint Patty.  Hyperthyroidism is not necessarily caused by chemicals, and is a not uncommon disease with kitties.  I've had cats with it, so have family members and friends. Some cats respond well, others not so much, which is very hard.  I lost my kitty George of 18 years in 2006 with it. 

When we bring animals into our lives, we can forget their lives are shorter than ours, that there are hazards everywhere in life, and at some point we will suffer greatly when they are sick or gone.  But we take them our into homes and hearts anyway, because they give us so much when they are here.  Some of our critters live longer and some not so much, but the pain always comes.  It's the price we pay.  There wouldn't be pain if there wasn't so much love. 

We can choose whether or not to bring new animal pals into lives after a loss.  Some of us choose to do so right away, some wait a long time, some never do.  Everyone is different and makes the choice when the time is right. 

When I lost my George in 2006, his brother Nick a few days later (they were pals, both old), I was heartbroken.  My husband and I went to the animal shelter a few days later because I couldn't stand the empty house, and I found my amazing Ernie, who gave us such joy and helped heal me from loss of George and Nick.  We also picked up a young cat from our vet who needed a home.  I have places for them all in my photo album and on my bookshelves and my heart.  They're all different.  A few years later we picked up a third cat just because.  Then a few years ago my neighbors found an old broken stray and we took him in, he lasted 3 years before we needed to let him go.  He was a sweet, cranky old bastard with a lot of medical issues.  Lotta pain there too, but just to see him happily relaxing in our garden shade on a warm summers day was worth it.

I know you are in such great pain that life feels unbearable right now.  Please do whatever you need to do, cry, be angry, whatever.  Pour yourself into your grief, feel it all, it is healing and a testament to your relationship with Bertie.  Trust yourself.  You know what to do.  And as PP noted, we all second-guess ourselves as to what causes things -- but most of the time, we really don't know.  Don't let fear prevent you from receiving and giving more critter love, if that's what you choose to do when you're ready.  I know it hurts, but it's so worth it

Above all please be kind to yourself.

Bertie in the sky, with diamonds.

All my heart to all of you on this thread and forum.




DonnaM
Ernie in the Sky, With Diamonds

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Lamont
Donna, thanks for the image. She was quite the beauty, a tomboy, for sure but always made sure she was looking her best, except one night she got out in a torrential storm, and came home 6 hours looking like a sewer rat. I am sure she had a great time, though.

Bertie in the sky, with diamonds.  She looks wonderful!
Bertie's Daddy
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