I lost my three year old Bengal, Heli about four days ago. She was suffering from some undiagnosed illness and in the end, we ran out of time before we could find out what was wrong and help her. It all happened so suddenly that I'm still trying to come to terms with it. There's the usual feelings of guilt, of wondering if I could have just done more, of questioning myself if I had just tried a bit more if things could have turned out a little differently.

I had two cats, now have one. Heli and her brother Tamas. They were from the same litter and I've had them since they were 18 weeks old. They adored each other and loved to cuddle and play. Heli was the more adventurous of the two and the one who loved to cuddle. She used to climb onto my lap and nap for hours. She was always the first one at the door when I came home from work, and she loved to chase around mice that I'd throw for her.

Everything seemed fine until earlier this year when I started noticing she was eating less. Example, she used to eat her entire plate of food but she was leaving around a quarter of it each time. But since she was mostly still interested in eating, playing like normal and had no litter box problems I thought she was just getting bored of her food so I tried some other foods.

It wasn't until about four weeks ago did things take a drastic turn for the worse. One morning, I found Heli on her side barely able to breathe and extremely pale. I rushed her to the emergency vet since my normal vet wasn't open yet. They put her on oxygen, got her color back and sent her home with instructions for my regular vet.

When I took her in to my regular vet, we ran some blood tests, did some x-rays and other testing. None of the results made any sense to them. Aside from a mild case of URI, she seemed fine. So they sent her home with some antibiotics which I faithfully gave to her, on time and every day.

Early last week, Heli stopped eating altogether. I rushed her back to the vet and when they did tests on her this time, her blood count was down a little and her breathing was getting worse though her URI was doing better. They gave her an injection to help her breathing and sent us home with another appointment to come back for more tests in a few days.

Heli did not make it to that followup appointment. She did not seem interested in food, play or even cuddles. Then about four days ago as I was prepping her bed for the night, she vomited and collapsed right in front of my eyes. I rushed her to the emergency vet but by the time I got there, she was so pale, weak and crying in pain. I wanted so badly to help her and broke down in the examination room at the emergency vet when they told me her blood count was so low that not even a transfusion could bring her back. They offered to try it anyway, but there was a chance of adverse reaction and because she was a purebred, her risk for side effects was higher.

I just couldn't put her through anymore. I chose to let her go. The decision still eats away at me days later and I have a hard time focusing on anything except the what ifs. What if I told them to go ahead and she recovered? What if I had spent more time with her? What if I had paid closer attention? What if I had just taken her in at the start of the year when she was starting to show signs of not eating all her food?

I still don't know what happened to her or why this happened to her. She was perfectly healthy and normal before. I thought I would have so many happy years with her and her brother. Now she's gone out of our lives so suddenly.

The worst is seeing Tamas wander the condo, sniffing all the spots she used to love being and meowing for her. He would crane his neck to try and see into the carrier that used to be hers to try and catch a glimpse of her. I've tried to give him extra attention, but he is clearly grieving in his own way and nothing much I do for him has helped. I know we both just need more time.

What inspired me to come here and post this to get it off my chest was finding Tamas digging at one of Heli's old beds in her favorite spot. He was meowing really loudly and incessantly that I came to see what he was doing. I swear he was digging into her bed because he thought he might find her there. It was so heartbreaking to tell him that Heli was not going to come back this time because she was sick and had to go away. I'm tearing up as I type this...so sorry. I think it has helped to get this written out so hopefully someone else has read it and knows how much Heli meant to us and how much she will be missed.
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dear heli's mum- i am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful heli. another sad story of our adorable pets. we are all here for you and feel your pain- you are not alone although you will feel like it. elle xx
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Hi Lessa, I'm so sorry for your loss of beloved Heli that is heartbreaking.. And her brother Tamas, I can't imagine how upset he must be. You did the best you could,  anemia is very hard to treat once it gets bad. Wizberry also had bad anemia at the end and lymphoma and crf and his doc said a transfusion would only give him 2 days and he didn't want to put him through it. 

I also have taken Syb, who is left without her brother Wiz now for multiple tests but still no answers for her weight loss. She goes back in 1 week for a recheck and then maybe we do another ultrasound because someone reviewed another one and said her intestines show border line changes. Fortunately she is eating more now and has only vomited once in 2 weeks. She has had a cold and we're giving her lysine now too. 

Hugs to you and Tamas <3
My beloved sweet Tess August 1999 - February 21 2001
My beloved loyal Byron March 1998 - April 28 2008
My sweet beloved girlie Angelina April 2001- September 2012
Me & my sweet beloved Wizberry forever 1998- April 21, 2016
My sweet beloved Snow Goddess Sybil girlie April 2001- May 11,2018
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Lessa  I still have the "what ifs" about my Winston.  I couldn't afford a lot of testing on my boy.  I am on Disability and the money just wasn't there.  Your baby sounded like she was very sick.  The vet told you there wasn't much hope for her.  I believe you did the right thing to end her suffering.  I also believe I made the right decision for my Winston.

When I read sopme others posts, I realize Winston had more problems than I imagined.  I hope I sopared him any more suffering than was necessary.  I gave him the last gift of love i could give him.  The gift of being pain and misery free.  I think you also did the same.   Blessings  Sue
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Hi Lessa,
I think we all have the "what ifs" but know that you did the right thing for your beloved Heli when you released her from her pain. It must be so sad to see Tamas mourning her and yes we all grieve in our own way. Hopefully in the days and weeks ahead you can comfort each other through this terrible time.
My condolences!
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So sorry for your loss of heli
Make sure you give tamas extra attention

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Thanks so much for all of your kind messages. They really help. Since I live alone and don't have family or friends nearby due to a recent move, it has really felt extra lonely and this forum is a great comfort. I still feel guilty about Heli, and have been thinking about the times when I was too busy with work to spend time with her and feeling bad about it because I wish I had more time with her, but perhaps over time things might feel a little better. 3 years was definitely not enough and I still miss her dearly and keep expecting to wake up and see her curled up in her old bed.
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Lessa  I also live alone.  The house isn't the same without my Big Boy here..I also still have guilt.  I know i did the right thing for him, but that guilt still creeps in.  I did a lot of things with Winston, as much as you could do with a Bulldog.  They can't be too active and the heat is dangerous to them.  He wasn't much for toys but he loved his bones and peanut butter.  I walked him as much as I could, but in the end he was very very slow. 

I know he is happy and young again with all our babies.  I Love you Winston and Max   Mommy  XOXOXOXO
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So sorry for your loss.  Please try to take care of yourself.  I know it's hard but your other baby needs you now.  I've been through this and was still grieving for one when I lost the other 13 weeks ago, almost 2 years later.  Hugs to you ...

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