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New Brunswick, Canada
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Pet Lovers

My Content
1 Dec 2012
First off I will say this is a very long story and I apologise, but I feel I must get it all out. Thank you to the creators of this forum, it has helped me just reading others' stories and experiences this week.

I still cannot believe he is truly gone. We said goodbye to the love of our lives, Bob, only 8 days ago....he was the most special cat I have ever known. I know most people say that about their pet, but he really was the most awesome friend anyone could ask for. When we'd come home, Bob was always there at the door waiting to greet us. He slept on our laps, always wanted to be under the covers at bedtime, could fetch and hit paper balls better then most baseball players...and snored louder than most humans. He never meowed, and I only ever heard him hiss twice, both times when I accidentally stepped on his tail (sorry buddy), and afterwards he felt so bad he'd run right back to me for a cuddle.

Bob was only 7.5 yrs old, and was in fairly good health. We found him at age 3 at the local SPCA almost 5 years ago, and he was truly meant to be our cat...the first time we met him, he had been at the SPCA for a very long time, came in as a stray un-neutured, pretty beat up looking cat with scars on his nose and chunks out of his ear, this cat definitely had a story, and was exactly what I was looking for. I didn't want a "pretty" or perfect cat, I wanted one that had little chance to be picked by a "normal" family...the SPCA was super over crowded being springtime, and this was back when they still put some to sleep due to over-crowding. Never having a pet before, my fiance and I discussed..were we ready to take on a fur kid? Could we afford it? We felt a strong connection with Bob, but we decided to go home and think about it. Later on in the week we decided to go back to the SPCA and adopt Bob, but he was gone...we asked and although dissapointed that he had been adopted, at least he was not put down. We were crushed, and met another nice kitty, but didnt feel that same connection we did with Bob. Again, we left empty handed.

Three weeks later we headed back to the SPCA for another look. Still super over-crowded, we made our way through all the kitty rooms...so many sweet little faces. Still feeling unsure, we started to leave...but my fiance stopped and looked in the small kitten room just off the main lobby, we hadnt looked in there before since we werent looking for a kitten, but decided to stop on our way out. I looked to the very last cage in the room and there was the most handsome cat I have ever seen. He looked so firmiliar....that half moustache...and chunk out of his ear...Bob...?! I read the card..."BOB" had been returned to the SPCA, due to being a little too rough with the other cats at the home where he was adopted. I was so happy I almost cried...."Bob, he's back!" I shouted to my fiance. We took him to the meet and greet room and that was it, Bob would be coming home later in the week with us.

We had almost 5 wonderful years together as a family. About a year or so after coming home with us, Bob got very ill, and we believed at the time he may have ate something in the porch (he was an indoor only cat, although I did take him out on a leash in the backyard occaisionally). We thought he may have gotten into a bag full of gladiola bulbs that were just dug up from the garden. He was vomitting and we took him to the vet, were his liver was determined to have been damaged by possibly eating something (we had a liver biopsy, multiple vet visits, etc) he was on pills and special food for almost a year and finally his liver returned to normal. Then about a year ago in January 2012, he was diagnosed with FLUTD after we found some blood by his litter box, and we started feeding him the vet food and everything returned to normal, however he did gain some weight during this time, he was a pretty big boy at about 17 pounds.

3 weeks ago his appetite decreased (not like him at all) and over the long weekend he did not had a bowel movement, after 5 whole days and still nothing we took him to the vet when they reopened on Tuesday, he was given an enema, xrays, blood work, everything appeared normal except his creatinine was way up...kidney problems? Xrays showed kidneys were enlarged and there were two very small dots on the xrays not really attached to anything, calcium deposits? Cancer? The next day he was still not eating, not drinking much so back to the vet for appetite stimulant, pain meds & sub-q fluids, and the vet showed us how to do them at home which we starting doing twice a day. I begin force-feeding with a syringe. 2 days later he still was not eating, back to the vet for fine needle aspirate to culture his urine to check for infection..the test took 48 hours and it was Wedsnesday night, we wouldn't have the results until Monday sad.gif
By Friday he still awsnt eating, nor drinking...back to the vet for IV fluids for 4 hours and an anti-inflammatory/anti-nausea pill. Monday rolls around and the test results are here: no kidney infection sad.gif This was bad news and we knew it. By Tuesday morning he was very groggy, I think it was the first time he had slept in days since we think he had a reaction to the pain meds given earlier in the week, he just seemed to sit and stare, never sleeping. Wednesday morning was the beginning of the end, we awoke and Bob was very confused, staring at walls, wedging him between the bed and the night table, just pointing his nose in the corner, unable to figure out how to back it up, pacing around the room, repeat. Howled out in pain twice, and now is sniffing like he has a cold on top of everything else and we rushed him back to the vet (#4 time). Two tests given: Feline leukemia-negative, FIV - positive. Definitely an upper respitory infection the dr. says and tells me since he is an FIV cat that the anti-biotics we gave him earlier in the week never would have worked and this could turn into full blown pnumonia quickly, so we give him a stronger anti biotic and more pain meds...kidney levels has strangely returned to normal. She said by Friday if things do not seem to turn around and he is still not eating, or going to the bathroom we should make a decision if he is still very confused, etc. She said FIV is definitely not a death sentence and many cats have it and lead normal lives, but if the confusion and dementia continue they are signs of FIV and there is definitely something else going on most probably cancer of the stomac since FIV cats are more likely to have those and we can continue to do procedures but in the end we may not be able to cure him since he does have FIV. The FIV did explain many of the small issues we had with him over the years: runny eyes that never seemed to clear up, stuffed nose, teeth loss and bad breath.

The rest of Wednesday and Thursday are pretty much a blur, with Bob's condition rapidly deteriorating, and Thursday evening my fiance phones the vets office to make Bob's final appointment so we can say goodbye at 2:20 on Friday. Thursday night stayed with him and he didn't sleep a wink, still pacing around and around the room and when he'd stop he would just stare at the wall. It was horrible to see my best friend like this, at one point I put him up on the bed with me and just held him and told him it would be okay. Later on he decided it was time to pace some more, but instead of using the small tables/chairs I had around the bed to get down, he tried to jump, but ended up landing on his side and could not get back up sad.gif I was pretty much hysterical at this point. My poor, poor sweet Bob. What was this? Why could I not help him? At around 6 am he tried going to the bathroom (#1) for the last time...and it just dripped out, he could barely stand up to go...and by the end was falling over and I had to help him out of the litter box. At this point I made the decision we could not wait any longer, he needed to go to the vet now. I could not stand seeing him suffer like this any longer and losing his dignity. Up until this point I had never even heard of FIV. I couldn't believe I had lost my best friend so quickly to this disease.

Going to the vet last week was the hardest thing we have ever done. I've never said goodbye to a pet like this...the dr. says we made the right decision, but I still have my doubts. Did we really do enough for him? Should we have gone to the vet more then 5 times? Would it have made a difference with the FIV?? Did I do the right thing? Did I force feed him enough? Was there any other tests? Was it really dementia or was he having a worse reaction to the pain medication? Would he have snapped out of it had we waited? He definitely seemed like he was gone in the last couple days, not even a glimmer of himself though. Last but not least, did he really have FIV? I read that if cats are vaccinated against it already they will forever show a false positive result...and if it wasnt FIV, was there anything else we could have done. Since we couldnt bare to have a post-mortem done on him we will never truly know what the cause of the sickness was (cancer, tumour, etc). I miss him so much.

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