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My cat, Tabitha, is sick and dying
(April 13, 2009)
Unloading some pain...
My cat, Tabitha, is sick and dying. For the past week she has been eating less and less until it's got to the point now, where unless I force-feed, she doesn't eat more than a bite or two. Literally. A piece or two. Her heart is failing her. She's 13 years old and doesn't look a day over two.
When I first laid eyes on her she hissed and spit at my mom as the woman held her. She lived in a rambler home with a bunch of different birds in cages and she was supposed to be taken home by someone else. Her dad, a HUGE black Persian male greeted us at the door and her mom, a small spotted tabby with gorgeous green eyes, helped us look at the kittens.
My mom and I went there to look at her sister and the others since she was, as I said, already spoken for. So the woman held her so that she would stay out of the way. Tabitha hissed and spit at my mom and hissed at me. Or at least as much as a 6 week old kitten (she was born Oct 4th) can hiss. My mom liked her sister and I just really liked Tabitha. The woman let me hold her, then told me that pets choose their owners (Tabitha quit hissing and calmed down when I held her and started to purr.) and her and her husband both were surprised at how she calmed in my arms. The woman told me that there was a woman that was supposed to have picked her up, but she hadn't heard from her and the woman hadn't shown so she told me if I wanted Tabitha, she was mine; she promised. I said yes. I ended up having to wait a looonnnnggg two weeks before getting her home though.
Tabitha stayed mean inside, but became the cat that everyone can do anything with--albiet she has stayed under 7 lbs her whole life--and hold anyway and she's fine with it. She's a talker and a very affectionate cat. She's never been really sick and she had no problems with her spay. Her biggest issue has always been a severe allergic reaction to fleas. One flea bite and she'll get severely sick and her neck loses hair; it gets bad, so thanks to her I've always made this house completely flea-free ;)
I can bathe her, take her for a ride in the car, have her meet compelte strangers all over and everything else and she is a gem. She has raised countless dogs; cats; fish; hamsters; birds and never harmed any of them. Her best friend is my parakeet right now. She was with me when I moved out of this house and then when I moved back in. My dad loved her.
Now after 13 years, my old-biddy is dying and it makes me sad to have to let her go. All the dogs are sticking close to her and even our newest kitten, Dakota, has stopped attacking her (she has attitude issues and is an over-aggressive kitten) which she never really does. She even is laying with her at times, as much as Tabitha allows it.
Unless I force-feed her (soak dry food in water, mash it up; add some Nutri-cal; suck into needleless syringe; squeeze into mouth so she'll eat it--like someone putting a spoon of food in your mouth) she only will eat a bite or two. She's breathing rapidly and even walking from the kitchen to the living room leaves her breathless, but luckily she still has the strength to use the bathroom and walk around, but I don't know how much longer she'll hold on. Any added stress on her and she could suffer a heart attack any minute. My mom's dog went through this as well. There's nothing for the vet to do unless it's to medicate her up (through intravenous and expensive methods) and keep her there and I can't and won't do that. Besides, the stress of going to the vet unneccessarily could, in fact, cause her to have a heart attack, which is what happened with my mom's dog. I know her heart is failing because it's what I do. I know what is wrong when the animals in this house get sick. All animals we've lost in this house, I've looked at before their deaths and knew what was wrong and when they were. They were taken to the vet and even without me having uttered a word, the diagnosis was what I knew it would be. If she shows pain, I'll take her to the vet and do the unselfish thing and put her down so she doesn't have to suffer, but it's hard because I don't want lose her. I've said I don't like cats and I don't really, but she's my cat. I don't want let her go. She's the perfect cat and she's one of my babies. Every time I'm around her, which is often, I check on her to make sure she's still breathing and give her lots of love. I've set her up a heating pad under her bed so she'll be warm, but she frequently has to lay on the ground and stretch out because it gets harder to breathe lately. I don't think it's much longer so I'm making her as comfortable as possible and she's where she needs to be... at home. But it makes me sad. Very sad. Watching one of your babies growing closer to death every day isn't an easy thing to do. My brother won't touch her and my mom starts crying if she thinks about it too much. I've already cried at night thinking about losing her. I miss her and she's not even gone yet.
Give vid a second to load before playing. Saved in lower bandwidth so older computers can handle it. Song is by Yurima 'Rive Flows in You.' If you want the HQ vid of this, go to YouTube and search out 'katkisa' and you can see the original vid, without the lower bandwidth.
HQ of the vid. Same thing, but without pictures at beginning and music. The original.
April 13, 2009 - UPDATE: So last night Tabitha told me that she wants me to stop force-feeding her. When I told her I would stop she started loving me a lot more, as this morning as well so I think she's saying her good-bye's while she still can. She's been giving a lot of love to my mom and I this morning. So I've stopped force-feeding her and will be letting her go on her own. She's still showing no discomfort or pain so I think it's best to wait it out and simply allow her to go on her own time. She sleeps most of the time so it's just a matter of watching and waiting I guess. I feel sick today because I always seem to take on a physical illness when one of my pets starts to die like I can feel it. So I'm feeling like death warmed over today. Also just very sad. I try not to think about it too much because I'll start crying, but Tabitha tells me to just be with her so I am. She's growing weaker and now losing interest in moving around much at all. I won't stress her and take her to the vet then to be put down since she shows no pain, but it hurts me to watch her and know that she's dying and there's nothing I can do. I know she's had a great 13 years, but I only wish I could do 13 more right this moment, even though I know I'm doing right by her. All our pets keep checking on her--more than normal--so I think it's only a matter of hours or days now.
April 14, 2009 UPDATE #2 here
April 15, 2009 UPDATE #3 We've reached the end here
April 16, 2009 UPDATE #4 In the aftermath, they shall mourn here