Monday, December 19, 2016

Oh, Ink. We Hardly Knew Ye

31. October 1997 - 16. December 2016
Ink cried constantly late Thursday afternoon and all night. I wasn't sure what his problem was. He wanted to go out into the sun room, but the temperatures were too cold so I wouldn't let him out. He kept looking at his water bowl. The Eldest had recently bought him some Breath Fresh and added some to his water. Cats are finicky and I thought maybe, he wasn't happy with the new taste. I put a clean bowl of fresh water, but he'd have no part of it. Before I went to bed, I cleaned the litter box.

During the middle of the night, he came into the bedroom and jumped from bed to dresser. Usuallly his signal for play time or attention. Himself thought maybe he was looking for the Breath Fresh water. So I got up and put a clean bowl of water with the Breath Fresh next to the plain bowl of water. The crying and jumping with a few minutes of cuddles in between continued through the night.

Friday morning,his litter box had been used, but not the usual amount. I suspected maybe a UTI. Crying and looking at water sources (toilet, sink, water dish) continued, but he wouldn't drink. He wasn't eating his kibble, either. When we first got him, he was so tiny (the runt of his litter), his jaws weren't strong enough to crunch the kitty kibble. So for the first two weeks or so we had him, I cooked him oatmeal or scrambled an egg. I thought I could entice him to eat so I made him some scrambled egg. He took a very small nibble. Woudn't drink his water.

He calmed for a little bit while being held. Still wanted to go out to the sun room, but the temperatures were even colder than they were the day before. I did carry him out to the front porch, and he briefly was entertained by trying to paw the ribbons on the outside lights as they blew back and forth across the storm door. Inside again, he sat in the front window for a bit and chattered at the birds at the front feeder.

Called the vet at Banfield, and got an appointment at noon. Had The Eldest help me wrangle Ink into the carrier and to sit with him in the back seat to keep him company on the ride. He hates the carrier and riding in the car. The vet thought he had a bladder blockage, not uncommon in male cats. She sent us to Tufts Animal Hospital and Veterinary School as Banfield isn't equipped to handle that kind of problem.

We saw Dr. B. and a student who took Ink's medical history. She listened patiently and then said she would take Ink, give him a kitty Valium and examine him. An hour or so later, Dr. B. said she didn't think Ink had a blockage. Good news. She wanted to run some blood and urine tests.

The test results came back and indicated a bigger problem. Ink's sodium level was something like 175 in whatever units sodium is measured. The number was off the scale. She said it could be caused by dehyrdration. Ink hadn't had any water in 24 hrs or more. She said it could also be indicative of a thyroid problem or a brain tumor. For her to determine an exact cause would require a 3 to 5 day stay at an estimated cost of $200,000. Way beyond our means. Even if we had the money, she said she was fairly certain, if they were able to reduced his sodium levels, she saw the outcome the same within the next week.

The best course of action was to have my fur baby put down. It was not an easy decision to make, and The Eldest and I took it quite hard. Especially the Eldest. She thought she had caused Ink's problem by giving him the Breath Fresh. I was grateful that Dr. B. told her the Breath Fresh wasn't the issue. Lot of people and vets give it to pets all the time. His problem was most likely a factor of his 19 years of age. The fact that he wanted water but couldn't drink was a mechanism in the brain shutting body functions down. It was his time. (Himself has made this observation early in the morning. Tried to prepare me saying Ink's behavior might be his way of saying it was time for him to go. I wasn't ready to let him go.)

Dr. B brought Ink into the room so we could hold and cuddle him. Say our goodbyes. She even said we could call Himself and The Young One so they could come and be with Ink, too. She was very kind, and caring as were all the staff at Tufts. Dr. B also kindly reassured me that I had made the correct decision. If Ink was her cat, she would have reached the same conclusion.

She didn't rush us as we all hugged and cuddled Ink for the last time. She explained the procedure for him would be painless and quick. She said we could either leave or stay with him for the procedure and we all decided to stay with him until the end.

So my heart has broken, and I'm a mess.  💔 I keep looking for him in all his usual spots. The world is not as colorful or bright as it was.  Ink was a wonderful companion, a source of delight and entertainment. I honestly thought he would outlast me. I'm grateful Ink didn't suffer for very long and for the excellent care he received at Tufts. I've been telling myself I was fortunate to have Ink for 19 years, but it wasn't long enough.

To my sweet, kitty boy, cross the Raimbow Bridge. Jeanette, Dolly, and Mitty will meet you on the other side. Run wild and free through the Summer Lands. Now you can chase the birds, squirrels, and chippies to your heart's content.


  1. [[[crying]]] I'm so sorry, CJ. Nothing more to say....

    1. Thanks, Robin. Your Punny Monday helped a lot.

  2. I am so sorry!!! I'm crying too! Our animals are more than just animals! They are our companions and friends! They are family! You were blessed with 19 years! I'm just thankful Ink went peacefully! Sending you lots of healing hugs!!
    (Thank you for the crow picture!! Love it! Big Hugs!)

    1. Thank you, Stacy. It was just a shock because he seemed fine the day before, and then things went to hell in a hand basket so quickly. I am grateful Ink left the planet peacefully.

      Glad you liked the crow picture. I knew you would.

  3. I didn't cry till the very end, but I know exactly how you feel. Trust me. My cat Dog was nearly 20 when he died quietly in a corner of the room. He never had been one to make a mess of things, so that was SO typical of him. Thoughtful and considerate to the end.

    My heart truly goes out to you CJ. I feel so sorry for you. I know you will look for Ink everywhere, and think you see him out of the corner of your eye. It's just your brain telling you one thing and your heart telling you something different.

    1. The ones we love never really leave us. the flashes out of the corner of the eye a happy memory

  4. I'm really sorry to hear about Ink, CJ.
    He had a long and happy life thanks to you, but that's small comfort I'm sure.

    1. Thanks, Andy. once the shock wears off, it will be a great comfort to remember the long and happy time we had together

  5. So sorry to hear this, but you wrote beautiful tribute to your dear fur baby Ink. We have nine waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge. Sniff ...

  6. Godspeed your journey to heaven Ink, we are truly sorry . We know St Francis was by your side every step of the way; if it helps your family to know, he saw to it you were not afraid and you didnt suffer,
    and your journey was not made "alone". ❤️❤️

    I am truly sorry CJ, I send my sincerest sympathies to you and your family, I know how devastating this time is. I hope you realize that if
    Ink could speak, he would not only say, " thanks mom and dad and girls for everything", he would also say, "I love you all too."

    May God grant you the peace in your heart you long for; I hope you
    know Ink isnt truly...gone....he just has another address right now,
    and just because you can't physically see him, doesnt mean he isnt
    right by your side; because he is, and always will be❤️❤️❤️

    I am sorry~~~~

    Laura and da tabbies; boomer, daisy, tuna and dude and sauce too

    1. Thank you for your kind and comforting words, Laura and da tabbies.

  7. This breaks my heart and I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my sweet Midnight this last March as lymphoma took him from me. He was only 9 years old.

    I feel your pain and I would like to share with you something a good friend of mine said to me after I lost him:

    "Go outside and look up. Midnight's light is shining down on you from the stars. The breeze on your cheek is his face rubbing against yours. He has left behind his body and moved on to a new adventure. Nothing is ever truly lost. It just changes."