|Fresh water! (The sink's not pink, and the bare spot on his back is so I could see what I was doing when I gave him fluids.)|
I gave him 50ml of fluids; I know that being dehydrated can interfere with the stuff they inject working. He never fusses. About anything. He's got three scabs from old fluid needle holes - wonder why that happened? I wanted to hold him. We had two hours till the appointment, but he was insistent that he wanted to lay on the mat/his blue kitty pi by the bathroom. I took two of his prozac pills. I picked him up a couple of times, just to tell him how much I loved him. I brushed him carefully and got almost all the knots and food clumps out that he wouldn't let me touch before. Funny, although his breath was really bad today, his fur didn't have such a strong urine-ish odor any more. Dying kidney smells. About 1:30, Rege came home. I gave Scruffy another half can of FF - his very favorite, Gourmet Chicken, and he gobbled it down. And then I wrapped him in the blue pi and a towel, and we left.
He always loved riding in the car and looking out the window. When I was driving alone, and after I learned about cat safety from Dr. Lisa, he didn't get to do that any more. So, he poked his tiny little head out of the towel bundle and looked at the snow and the cars and the tears running down my face. I scratched his ears and his nose in the places he liked: "I scratch your eary-beery, Puffy; I scratch your nosey-rosy." Geez, have I always talked baby talk to this eminently clever and wise little cat? I told him over and over how much I loved him and what a good cat he was and that I wanted him to always stay close to me. He shivered periodically, even with the heater on.
In the morning, I had called the vet's office to pay for the euthanization - isn't that an awful word? - but there really isn't another word that's better, I suppose - so that we wouldn't have to stand around with my dead cat after it was all over. And the technician - who is really sweet - offered to stay extra to be with me. She said they expected to be busy, which wasn't good news. And all the stuff about how I was doing the best thing I could for him. I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that that's true. Not that I think anybody would say that with an evil intent or anything, just that killing a beloved cat doesn't exactly seem like a gift to the cat.
Anyway, when we got there, there was thankfully no one in the waiting room and they said we could just go into the exam room. (The one with no sink - I was gonna ask the vet if he'd empty Puffer's bladder because of the fluids and the bathroom water, but where would he do that?) I put the towel I brought on the stainless steel table - I hate those damned tables, and the blue kitty pi. I sat down to hold him and talk to him and rub his ears, and then the vet came in. He said, "Are you sure you want to do this?" And for one quick moment, it flashed through my mind that I could just stand up with Puffy in my arms and run right out the door. But I didn't. I wanted to hold him during the sedation shot - the first one, but the vet wanted him on the table. So, we curled him up in the pi - he didn't fuss again, as usual. And he gave him the shot in his scruff. Puffy meowed, and turned his head around, like he couldn't believe someone had done that. And then he just put his head down on the edge of the pi. He was breathing steadily, shallowly. (I've been watching his breathing because the kidney failure/chemo papers the hospital gave me said to.) The vet went out, and I just kept rubbing Scruffy's head and ears and whispering to him. Dr. G came back in and checked him to see if he was sedated. He was, he said. He gave him one of those big pink shots in his back leg - I always told people not to use the front leg because he has that awful ingrown claw. It didn't work, and he gave him another big pink shot. I was reminded of poor little Britty a couple years ago, who had to have three of those shots before her dear little heart stopped beating. And then he got out his stethoscope and listened and said, "Well, he's gone. His heart is stopped." But, I could see - well, I thought I could see, although it was clearly just wishful thinking, I guess - that he was breathing - his little bare stomach where they shaved him - I'm positive I saw it moving rhythmically. And both Rege and Dr. G said it wasn't. He wasn't breathing. My Puffy wasn't breathing. It makes me gasp and sob and cry to even remember that minute and that realization.
So, we gathered up the towel and the kitty pi and the extra kitty pi I brought along and my poor sweet boy and put everything in the JoAnne's bag, and we went home. We stopped at Burger King - my cat is dead in the back seat and I'm ordering a hamburger. When we got home, we ate, and then Rege went out and practically had a coronary shoveling the icy mud over my Puffy's grave. And that was it. The end. Almost nine years of loving that funny little cat, who was such an individual, so self-contained, so focused, so loving. And now he's gone.
|One last nap together|
I always had this little fantasy that cats we love who die are afterwards floating around behind our left shoulder (you know, the one where the heart is) after they're gone. So, my beloved Scruffy, if you're back there yet, I just hope that you know how much I loved you, and how hard I tried to take good care of you, and how amazing it was that you were such a sweet gift to me. I love you dearly.
|ScruffyPumpkinPattyPaws on his last day|