31. October 1997 - 16. December 2016
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.