I got my little princess, Buttercup (cat) right after I lost another cat of mine, whom I also think may have had cancer.  Buttercup was at the local PetSmart through an agency and I formally adopted her.  I remember the first time I held her I asked her if she would like to come home with me and it was a great blessing to me when she agreed.

I have never had a princess cat before.  She seemed to be born to it.  She was so elegant and regal.  She reminded me of Princess Diana.  Yet she was also a sneaky pete and had an ornery side.  That always caught me off guard that she could be so regal and so ornery at the same time.  If I put a glass of iced tea on the coffee table and look up a moment later, she would be helping herself. 

She also LOVED boxes.  Any boxes.  If a box came into the house she would fuss around it until it was opened and she could see what was inside it.  She wasn't allowed outdoors but since she wanted out so badly I bought her a pet stroller and she was so very happy to go outdoors with me pushing her along in the stroller.  Princess to the core.   She would sway from side to side with joy just to be out, like Stevie Wonder does when he plays the piano.  It was so cute.  She would be so happy.

About a year ago she started very subtly acting like things maybe weren't up to par.  I took her in to her vet for an extensive exam but outside of a fever he couldn't find anything wrong, with all kinds of blood work.  We tried some antbiotics in hopes it would help.  Then a few months went by and next thing I knew out of the blue she went acutely blind.  There was no warning really, just one day she couldn't see and her eyes had damaged retinas.  She was rushed to the emergency vet place and they thought perhaps she had diabetes.

She was tested for diabetes and re-examined by her vet to try to figure out what was going on but to no avail.  About this time she started lossing massive amounts of weight and she developed what I thought was a bad cold.  I took her to a walk-in clinic and that was the first time I was told she probably had lymphoma.  I was devastated!  They felt a mass in her tummy and felt that the blindness was central nervous system involvement and that her snuffly breathing noises were respiratory involvement and sinus involvement of the lymphoma.  We began to medicate her with antibiotics and other meds to try to help her along, but it was torture for her and for me.  She'd wax and wane, maybe doing a little better for a few days and then relapsing. 

Last week I took her to her main vet for a definitive diagnosis and he found multiple masses in her tummy and he told me she had lung involvement with the suspected lymphoma.  Up until this time she at least enjoyed eating her meat food and could use her litterbox, but the last three days she seemed to go downhill.  I wanted to try to let her pass away on her own and not make a decision about her life, but she seemed to have lost all quality of life.  She got where she would act very hungry but when food would be put out, she wouldn't eat it.  She rarely was drinking water now.  Her breathing was so labored. 

I put her by the patio door to catch some sun (warmth) and she wanted so much to relax and take a snooze but she couldn't because of her labored breathing.  She had no vision for about six months.  She couldn't smell.  As much as my heart was breaking to not take her in, I couldn't stand to watch her suffer any longer.  She kept her chin up this whole time and hung in there, but there was no quality left in her life. 

I had to take her in to the vet this afternoon to put her to sleep and it broke my heart.  The only thing that helped me make it through the ordeal was that I believe that our pets do go to heaven and I believe when she drew her last breath on earth her heavenly eyes were opened and what a sight she would see!  She wouldn't be blind anymore and never, ever again will she have to suffer with struggling to breathe or with fevers or any other distress.  I miss my little girl so much, and my heart is broken, but she is in a better place.  It just breaks my heart that she had so much hardship in her short 7 years on this earth and she was such a dear, sweet little girl.
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As you know, I just went through the same thing. The whole story is actually very similar other than the blindness and breathing issues.. We kept taking our cat to the vet and they could never find anything. It was a horrible place to be in because we had no idea how to help. For the last few months he was having a lot of trouble keeping his food down. It was heartbreaking to see that he was hungry, but that every time he ate he would just throw it back up.

We started feeding him cream and small amounts of wet food to try to help him, but eventually he just stopped eating. We were all very worried and took him to the vet again. This time they found the mass in his intestines and told us that he didn't have much longer.

They gave him a saline injection at the vet which seemed to perk him up for a few days. He was eating and drinking again, but I knew we probably didn't have very long. He was active and with us maybe 4 or 5 days before he stopped eating again. I consider it to be his gift to us.. a time for us to really spend some time with him and say goodbye. He would come be with us as much as he could stand, sitting in our laps and purring just like he did when he was still healthy.

You gave sweet Buttercup another chance at life, and although it may have been cut somewhat short, she had 6 full years of joy with you. I'm sure that even in the last year she felt your love for her and appreciated how much you cared for her. It was very compassionate of you to help her transition to her next life.

Our cat Domino has taught me secrets of life and death.. I wasn't sure in the time leading up to his passing what I thought about what happens after life, but the feelings in my heart since his passing have led me to understand that his spirit persists. His physical body is gone, but his spirit lives on in the next existence and also in my heart. I know he will be with me always.

I have passed many times since he left through both peace and sadness. Last night I just couldn't come to terms with never being able to hold him again, but I heard a whisper in my heart reminding me that I didn't need to be afraid, that this life is temporary and it could not exist without death.. that our spirits are eternal and the only part of me that is mourning his passing is my physical self that can only see him as being gone forever.

My heart goes out to you.

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Thank you so much for your kind moral support.  I am also very sorry for your loss.  I know what you mean about the mixed feelings.  I've been reading some books about animals going to heaven that I found on Amazon, I believe one is called something like "Cold Noses at Heaven's Gate".  Today at the 24 hour mark of Buttercup's passing my heart was so torn but I have to keep whispering to myself that she's been without pain or struggles for 24 hours now, she can SEE now, where the last six months she had been blind. All of her pains and trials are forever gone and now she's happy.  What started out as the worst day of her life turned into the best day of her life, as I believe she's with the Lord.  I agree with you, it's the physical part of them we miss and it hurts.  I want so badly to hold her again and kiss her sweet little head.  I've been teary all day.  I really, really appreciate your kind words and I hope you will find some comfort knowing you gave your baby all the love he could hope for.  I'm very sorry for your loss.  May the Lord bring you some comfort during this very difficult time.
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