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> Ree Ree, I lost my little boy
Steve K.
post Oct 9 2018, 11:39 AM
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Group: Pet Lovers
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We have fed the feral cats in our neighborhood for a number of years. In the spring of 2017, Mama Cat brought four baby kittens with her so that they could eat. Over the course of a few weeks one of those kittens apparently perished because I never saw it again. Two of the remaining kittens seemed to be growing normally. The third kitten was the runt of the litter, he didn't look very healthy, he was very skinny, and he was always dirty. That was Ree Ree. As the days went by I saw that he had no regard for his own safety. He would sleep in the middle of the lawn and I could walk up on him and he didn't know it until I touched his head. As time went by I tried to make friends with him.I would attempt to pet him and after a few weeks he finally let me. After a few more weeks I tried to pick him up and put him in my lap with no success. As time went by he decided that he would join me on the bench. Eventually he would reach up with his paws for me to hoist him up in my lap and then he would cuddle and sometimes he would just doze. After some more time passed he started to rub his nose on each side of my nose when he got in my lap. I assume that was his show of affection and it always resulted in smeared glasses.

Every morning and evening, I would go out through the garage to feed and water the cats. Eventually, when he heard the garage door go up, he would come in and I would be on a stool and we would say good morning. When I went out into the front yard he would follow me to see what I was up to. When I returned from trips to the store, he would see the truck coming and meet me at the curb. After his first few months, his condition improved and he seemed to be healthier with exception of a weepy eye and an occasional cough.

I've had several dogs and cats over the years, but my first dog, Beau, has a special spot in my heart. Ree occupies the same spot.

Last winter we set Ree up with an outdoor house with heat and to make sure that he survived the winter. This year we decided we were going to bring him into the house with our two dogs and our other cat.

This past Thursday, when I opened the garage door I sat and waited for Ree but he didn't come in to see me. I finally went out on the porch and he was there but he didn't want me to pet him or pick him up. I put food in the bowl but he wasn't interested. He got in his bed and so I left him alone. I saw him a few hours later and he seemed to be his old self. Since he was a bit off in the morning, we decided to take him to the vet to get checked out. Since he is a feral, the vet said that she would have to anesthetize him because he had never been vaccinated to keep him from biting anyone. She checked him out and then asked if we wanted to vaccinate him, and if we wanted to neuter him and we said yes. She also tested him for feline leukemia and he tested positive. We have another indoor cat so the vet recommended that we not bring him into the house. We decided that we would let him say outside during the day and bring him into the garage at night during the winter months.

We brought Ree home from the vet and kept him in the garage Thursday night as the vet recommended. The next morning we couldn't find him. I finally found him under the workbench up against the wall. I tried to coax him out but he didn't want anything to do with me. I notice that he had diarrhea in the box and that he threw up. I was told to expect that. The vet said that he could go out in the morning so I opened the door and out he went. We had food and water in the garage for his overnight stay but he didn't touch either. He did drink from the outside bowl when he went out. I had to go out on Friday and when I went to check on him, I found that the had wandered off. When I came home he was laying in front of the garage door. I picked him up to take him into the garage and lay him on the blanket we had there for him but he wanted no part of that. He went out and wandered off again. I let him go because the vet's written instruction said not to stress him out. When I out on Saturday morning, he was laying under my wife's car. I coaxed him out and he walked onto the porch. He appeared to be weak. I tried to get him to drink but he wasn't interested. I picked him up and put him in his bed and covered him up. I went out on an errand and when I came home my wife said that he was half in and half out of his bed so she put him back in and wrapped a towel around him and the bed to keep him from falling out again. I scratched his chin like I always did and he lifted his head and gave me a very faint purr.

At that point we decided to take him to the emergency vet and he died right before we got there. I'm so broken hearted I don't know what to do. I feel like maybe I shouldn't have taken him to the vet but there was something wrong with him Thursday morning. The vet says she thinks it's the feline leukemia that did him in. I looked at the medications that they gave him and one was an antibiotic called Convenia. I did a search and I read all kinds of bad things about Convenia. I feel terrible about that.

I feel like I betrayed him. Ree was such a happy, loving little guy. He was only a year and a half old and I miss him so much. They told me it would take a couple of days and he would be himself again. I should have taken him back to the vet sooner but I thought he would recover based on what they told me.

I apologize, I know this is long but I wanted to tell Ree's whole story.

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post Oct 9 2018, 01:01 PM
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Hi, Steve, please permit me to offer you my sincerest sympathies in the physical loss of your beloved Ree Ree. Losing a companion is never easy regardless of the circumstances or how long we are blessed with the privilege of their company. Losing a companion at such a young age can intensify the grief.

Steve, there is no doubt from what you share with us that you did everything in your human and humane power to give Ree Ree a happy, loving, earthly journey. I think your veterinarian is accurate in her assessment that it is the Feline Leukemia that ultimately caused your beloved Ree's transition from this physical realm. All medications have potential side effects. It could just be a very sad coincidence that the medication was prescribed at an advanced stage of the Feline Leukemia.

Steve, this grief journey is one of the hardest experiences that each of us who have the privilege of having a companion will know. It doesn't matter if it's our first experience or our thousandth - - each loss is uniquely painful because each relationship we have with our individual companions is uniquely different. The good news in the midst of all this pain is that the love bond you and your beloved Ree share is eternal - - it is not restricted to the physical laws of time and space. Your beloved Ree's sweet Living Spirit is always and forever a part of your heart and memories - - he is always and forever a heartbeat close to you. And you are blessed with the privilege of being his sole, and soul, heir to his eternal love.

I know so very well from first hand experience that when our hearts are entrenched in deep grief there are no adequate words in any language that can soothe the searing pain of sorrow. Still I hope the words I share with you will offer you some measure of comfort, support, encouragement, and hope as you travel your grief adjustment journey.

Steve, thank you so much for honoring us in sharing your beloved Ree Ree with us. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, and please let us know how you're doing.

Peace and blessings,

In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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