I adopted my baby Colin on June 9th. 10 days later he died. Over the couple days prior to his death, I took him to several vets to see what was wrong with him because on Sunday he turned from extremely playful and happy to in pain. He couldn't use the bathroom and would cry out in pain.
On Sunday, I took Colin to a vet that was open Sundays (so hard to find). She was busy and really did brush it off. She said to just make sure his litter was clean because some kittens can't use the bathroom when it's dirty. I told her it was clean, but I went home and cleaned it again anyway and replaced the litter. His symptoms kept going. I called another after-hours vet about 45 minutes away (this was the vet recommended by the adoption agency where I got Colin) and explained his situation. They said the vet would call me back. I got so antsy waiting for the call that I hopped in the car with Colin in his carrier and just drove there anyway. We saw the ER doctor, who just felt around and said he's got a full bladder and went to go try to express the urine. He said Colin wouldn't let him, but he said that he's just a kitten and he's never heard of a kitten being blocked. He told me to go home and if it keeps happening by tomorrow, to bring him back. He didn't do any tests.
On Sunday, Colin did not eat. He was vomiting white/clear liquid. I tried to give him liquids through a syringe (tried some water, some pedialyte, some broth) but he wouldn't take much of it. I felt pretty helpless. I was with Colin the entire night, afraid for him. Making sure he was comfortable. Trying to massage him and keep him purring and feeling loved. I wanted to take him to a pet ER, but the one nearby had scary reviews and I wanted to make sure he was cared for well. I didn't sleep trying to make sure he was okay. All the vets in the area opened around 8 or 9am, so I got dressed and ready at 7am. I called the nearrest vet at 8am and they didn't reply so I just hopped in the car with Collin and went to them. They rejected us, saying that we didn't have an appointment. And they were pretty cold about it. They didn't help us find another place and they didn't wish him well. They were pretty rude.
I left to another animal clinic 10 minutes away. The line was terribly long, but they were the only ones who accepted us and took things seriously. The vet was a young one, and a cat lover. She quickly fell in love with Colin like we did, and promised to run tests and do everything she can to figure out what's wrong with him and take care of him. A few hours later, she told us that his kidneys were in pretty bad shape, and it seems something is blocking him from urinating. She says she's never seen that in a kitten unless it was a congenital problem. She says he's so tiny and she's not sure they have catheters that tiny, but they will try to get his urine out and flush him out because the toxins building are hurting him. She kept asking about our budget, and I told her we will pay anything to make sure everything is done to help him. They called us hours later and said that they got him to pee on his own, and he can go home but he wasn't out of the woods yet.
Monday night he came home. He was sedated at first but woke up a little while later. He seemed so much better. He was drinking and eating. I felt hopeful. But again, at night, he tried to urinate but couldn't. He was sitting on the litter for long periods trying. Poor thing even fell asleep in the litter..it was heartbreaking. We talked to the vet in the morning and let them know he was still experiencing those symptoms. They asked us to bring him back in for tests. As I left Colin, I didn't know it would be the last time I saw him. I wish I could have kissed him goodbye. I simply pet him on the head and I told him I hope they find out what's wrong and hope he feels better. They told me to go home and they would call with updates. I left.
The next call I got from them a couple hours later was that Colin started breathing heavily out of nowhere, followed by shallow breathing and then his breathing stopped. His heart stopped. They were trying to revive him with CPR. I was shaking and crying. I immediately dropped everything (I work from home), and drove to the hospital. When I parked, I got another call saying that the CPR was not successful, and that he passed away. I ran inside wanting to see my baby..he was in a blanket..looking peaceful and gone. I never cried so much.
I think for me what was sad was that I imagined how he would go from little and a ball of energy to a fat lazy cat as he grew older, like what usually happens. I am a long time cat owner, and I had my previous cat from when he was a baby until he died at age 17. He lived a long, full life and he knew he was loved. I hope Colin knew we loved him in the extremely short amount of time we had with him. He seemed to have a blast for the first week. It was just hard to see him struggle, in pain, and week in the last few days. I really wish I could have held him one last time and let him know I loved him.
I also can't help but feel extreme guilt. I'm trying to remind myself that I tried everything I could, but I keep going back to..could I have tried enough or done more? The vet kept assuring us it must have been congenital. The adoption agency we got him from never mentioned this. I contacted them after his death to let them know since his siblings were also adopted/going to be adopted. They said he showed no signs of disease and was the most active playful one of his litter. I just feel really terrible and wish I could have done more to help him survive and have a chance at life.
I have lost a cat before that I had for 17 years. It hurt to lose my best friend. But with Colin, I only had him 10 days but it still hurts just as much. He really did lift my spirits at a time I'm experiencing depression. He was such a joy to have around. Now that he's gone, the depression has come back much, much worse. I feel so tired and don't want to do anything. I miss him. I feel guilty that I was so preoccupied with getting him help that I didn't really hold him on his last day.
Here's Colin a few days ago. He scratched me up and I loved every minute of it. https://imgur.com/a/l44E6y5