Thursday, April 27, 2006

In Memoriam

Today I made a decision that every pet owner dreads having to make. I made the decision to have my cat euthanized.

Back in 1997, a roommate of mine decided that he wanted to have a cat too. I swore up and down that I would not be responsible for taking care of his cat. When we parted ways, the cat stayed with me. That was nine years ago.

Chupa and I have been through a lot together. She's outlasted several boyfriends (one of which actually asked me to choose between him and the cat), been through a miriad of roommates, multiple moves, and a couple of name changes. During breakups and dark times she was always there with a purr to make me feel better. We had been through thick and thin together.

Over the last couple of months, Chupa had been loosing a lot of weight. My normally chubby kitty became deathly thin, to the point where you could see her ribs. After several trips to the vet and multiple blood tests, the only thing that was found was that her blood sugar was a little high, possibly indicating diabetes. So I switched to a special prescription cat food for treating diabetes. The idea was to try her on the special diet for a month and see if she improves.

A few days ago, Chupa lost interest in food completely. She wouldn't eat, no matter how hard I tried. I even tried giving her people food (baked chicken) to try to entice her. Nothing. She had a hard time walking around and when I would pet her, her purr sounded sickly. She stopped sleeping with me and instead hid under the bed. Last night she hardly moved at all. She was listless and unresponsive and her body felt cold.

I took her to the vet again first thing this morning. It turns out her liver had shut down and she developed acid lipidosis, possibly as a result of the diabetes. The prognosis was very bad. There was a treatment option available. It involved aggresive IV therapy and feeding tubes, and even then the chance for survival was still low. At this point I had to make a decision. While deep inside I was still hoping for a miracle cure, I decided it would be best for Chupa to just end the suffering. Signing the euthanization forms was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The veterinarian did her best to reassure me that I had made the right decision. I'm glad Chupa is no longer in pain and that I was able to hold her and say good bye.
Chupa the Wonder Cat, you will be missed.

IN MEMORIAM
Chupa

1997 - April 27, 2006

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chupa, Nerdie - whatever we called her will be missed by us too. We are so sorry for your loss. I remember Connor saying goodbye before putting EE to sleep. All the vets and us cried. At least you gave her the dignity and peace she deserved - at an emotional cost I know was hard to bear. Let's get together soon - you need a hug, my dear. E-hugs until then.
Timberly

The Captain said...

I'm so sorry to hear. Our Colours will fly at half mast for Chupa. We know how it is, like when Pippin had to be put down, or when Ms. Merriweather died en route to the doc's. If you need anything, fire off a shot.

BlueMule said...

Hey Quartermaster,

We had to make the same decision with one of our par of geriatric cats during Christmas week this year. He had apparently suffered a stroke. While we could have kept him alive, the decision to let him go was better. I feel for you. It never fails to amaze me how these little critters become a constant in our life. Best wishes for you.

Mule

Anonymous said...

Hi Friendly, I'll never forget how Chupa, (formerly known as Nurtin) would beat down my door every morning to make sure I was alive and do freaky things with her paws on my stomach that made me feel like I needed to pee. I'm sad for you and everyone who has been buddies with Chupa. She was an incredibly dependable and reassuring cat like no other I have met. If you want to escape to the strange land of the kingdom, give me a call.