Two weeks ago today, 6/28, my beautiful almost 15 yo Maine Coon, Lucy, was doing fine in the morning, sleeping contently in the bed she loves. It's the last photo I took of her, and it was a while since I took any photos, so I wonder if it was preparation of what was to come. I went to the park and came home to cook dinner. I heard a thump, went into the living room, and she was dragging her back legs. I took her to an animal hospital who thought it was trauma, not a clot. she could move her back legs a bit and feel pain. I decided to wait to get more tests at my vet the next morning. My vet also thought she did something to her spine, for when he pressed on an area of her back, she reacted. He prescribed steroids, but also baby aspirin, in case there was a small clot. 

Lucy had a hyperthyroid for the past two years, and on meds 2x/day. It was high when the blood tests were done, so the dosage was increased. Her coat got shinier in a couple of days, so knew it was working. Everything else checked-out fine when they did a geriatric panel. Since she couldn't drag herself to the litter box, I had to clean-up after her. She seemed to have caught a virus from the steroids, so was put on l-lysine, which made her better. So, she was eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, cleaning her face after eating, meowing, but still couldn't stand on her legs, although they still moved. She always had itchy ears, so when I administer pills, she'd thump her legs, which she would do during this time. This past Tuesday, I had a job interview, so had to leave her alone for a few hours, I had no choice. I was actually positive in the morning, and looking into acupuncture for her. She actually sat on her legs, the first time since it happened. So, I felt okay to leave her. Well, when I returned about 4 hours later, I came home to her on her side, her neck warped back, vomit by her head and still some on her mouth. She was still breathing, but her mouth gaped open and her eyes were half shut. I knew this was it. I took her to the vet and he said it's time to let her go. I agreed as I sobbed. I have no sure answer as to what happened. He seemed to think now that it could have a been a clot that went to her brain. In a way, I feel that Lucy waited until after my interview to leave. 

So, at the end of April, I was told that my entire dept. at work was getting laid-off at the end of July. So, since then I've been absorbed with finding a new job and stressed-out. I feel enormously guilty because in hindsight, I missed symptoms of her hyperthryoid, and I should have seen them because she was already diagnosed. She was never an active cat, nor jumped on anything other than a low bed, chair, and couch. So, I saw her sleeping a bit more as her getting older or the heat. She drank and peed a little more, but it was hot and humid out and I was doing the same. Her fur was getting some large mats, but as cats age they don't groom as often, and she hasn't groomed herself as much for the past year. She occasionally got diarrhea, but pumpkin in her food helped that. She would yowl around 6am, but since I got a new, higher bed a few months ago, that she couldn't jump on, I thought she was just telling me to wake-up. I feel horrible, because perhaps if I noticed these things, and brought her to the vet a couple of months ago, she'd be alive. She was also diagnosed with a heart murmur years ago, but the vet never insisted on an echo. It was just suggested. Sometimes the vet would hear it, sometimes not. I never witnessed labored breathing either. She moved slow, but again, she's older, and was always a relaxed cat. There's no clear answer for what happened to her legs, and what happened on Tuesday. Was it the thryoid causing a clot, or did she injure herself somehow? She was always hesitant when jumping up/down on anything for the 7 years that I had her. She was the only cat I knew who had no interest in sitting in windows. She preferred a good spot on the floor, for which there were a few in my small apartment. I keep asking what I could have done to prevent this. I've apologized to her, hoping her spirit is hearing me. I know someone who's an animal communicator, so I'll be talking with her later. She helped when Lucy was going through her near death ordeal 2 years ago.

All I know is that she was my baby girl, muffin, sugar plum, poopy face. She was so full of love. Anyone who met her always commented on how sweet and chill she was. I miss her kisses, purrs, and cuddles. She liked to sit on my chest, right under my chin. I was just a piece of warm furniture, but it felt good. She liked to sit against my thigh while I sat on the couch, or in my lap when I sat in a chair. She was a zen, peaceful cat, and we had some nice conversations of me talking and her meowing back. I've been crying all week. I had a few outdoor cats, a dog, and guinea pig as a child, but Lucy was my furbaby. I've never loved a pet more than I loved her. I feel awful, that I missed these signs and could have prevented this. Two years ago, she had her teeth out and a bad reaction to the anesthesia that she almost died, her kidneys were shutting down, but after a week in the hospital, and after my insistence on a vitamin I read about online to help heal kidneys, she made a full recovery from near death. She turned around because of those pills. I told her that the deal is that she needs to stay around and reach 20.

Also, a year ago I noticed that she would occasionally shake her head a bit. It would last a few seconds and there was never any apparent pain. I recorded it for my vet. She said that there could be something neurological going on, but to get so many tests and most likely no treatment, to just monitor it. At the regular exam, she checked-out fine. I am of the thought that when it gets as bad as a neurological issue at that age, it would be time to let go. We discussed that. The conclusion was to watch to see if there was any change. There never was. I now wonder if this played into this at all.

As I think back before that Sunday, she was more cuddly when I picked her up, that I did often in the morning, that she didn't want to let go. She'd purr beautifully, rub her head against mine, and shower me with kisses. I wonder if she knew what was coming.

Anyway, this is long, but I'm grappling with my guilt over what I could have done to prevent this. I miss her so much. I live alone, it's so quiet and empty in my apartment. I keep looking and seeing the various places she slept, and expecting her to come around the corner and meow at me, or sit next to me on the couch. I'm not a bad person, but I was so blinded with the stress of my job situation, that I didn't see what was right in front on me. 
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I am so sorry for your loss. What I read is she a a couple things going on. And she beated death allready. Maybe it was her time. You did everything you could for her. Don't blame yourself. I did the same thing, but you have to let that go. She knew loved her with all your heart. And she gave you all the love in return. 

Try to remember the good days. The memories. I am still struggeling. I had let my dog Lucky go july 3rd. I still have her sister. But slowly I'm letting go of my guilt. We can't live in a what if world. 

Remember that you took good care of her. And animals are great in hiding how sick they are sometimes thats their nature. Don't blame yourself.

Given you a big hug and wishing you strength with your loss.

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Connie, thanks so much for your kind words. I loved my girl very much and think that she knew that. As I think about everything, the last few days before her legs gave out, she was super-cuddly with me. I often picked her up in the morning when I woke-up for a quick cuddle. The few days before, she held me very tightly and was reluctant to let go. I'll actually miss the stabbing of her nails. I can't help to think that she knew what was coming. I don't know, I would like to think that was the case, and perhaps it was her saying farewell because it was her time.
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