My last entry, last Wednesday, we'd been to the vet the day before. Lorelei is getting used to her medication, Rocky pooped and we thought Sagwa was doing better.
He even ate kibble.
But Monday, he started not acting so great. He had a hard time walking. He was dehydrated. Three mornings in a row, I gave him fluids. He wouldn't eat anything. He looked uncomfortable.
He didn't spend so much time with us. He didn't come into the office in the morning and jump up on the desks, looking for food and attention.
He didn't sit up much, most of the time was laying down. When he was in the sun, he would eventually lay on his side and sleep. But something would wake him and he'd once again, lay on his tummy. He had a hard time lifting his head and looking up.
Then there was the breathing. Whenever he'd exert himself, he'd have to catch his breath. You could see his sides moving in and out with more effort. I spent yesterday with him. When it was still cold in the morning, I brought him inside and lay him on my chest. After much stroking and soft talking, he lay his head down on my arm. We sat like that for maybe fifteen minutes, but he got anxious and got off of me. He ended up back outside, the sun was higher at this point and he had plenty of sun to keep him warm. And I checked on him. I got down on my knees with his body cradled between them, me giving him gentle pets. I would sit next to him, petting him, and just telling him wonderful things about himself and how much we loved him. I would bring him treats, which he ignored. Occasionally, he'd let out a soft purr. Sometimes barely audible, but I could feel the vibration in his throat.
As the sun left the sky, it cooled off and I carried him inside. I set him down on the coffee table, with the cat blanket under him. He laid down. And I watched him breathe. I was alarmed. It was five o'clock. The vet closes at six. I made a decision.
I called to Brian and told him we needed to get him in. Now. Should I call the vet? Brian wasn't really thrilled, thinking maybe another day. But I didn't feel that way. He shook his head, "whatever you want to do". I called the vet. After describing the symptoms, I was told to bring him down. We put him in a carrier and left.
They took the carrier into the back and we waited. Finally, we were called back to an examining room and the vet came in. Without Sagwa.
The news was bad. She said he didn't even look like the same cat she'd seen just the week before. His blood values were not good. He was anemic and his kidneys had shut down. Past the point of doing anything to extend his life. There was also a problem with his red blood cells. New ones were being made, but where were the mature ones? Nothing showed on the x-rays, but she strongly suspected some form of cancer. The prognosis was not good. We agreed that euthanasia was the best option at this point. She said that he most likely would have died during the night and it would not have been an easy passing.
He was brought into the room, with a catheter in his front leg. The tech gave him to me and brought in a blanket. I gently placed him on the blanket. We were asked if we needed time with him. No, we were ready. We said goodbye. His passing was peaceful.
You know, the past few weeks he had started this thing where, during the night, he would get onto the bed and come over to me. I would wake up with his paws over one of my arms, next to my face and his face would be next to mine. We were sleeping nose to nose. I didn't understand it, but I think I do now. He was saying his goodbyes.
Looking back, he was diagnosed in the beginning stages of renal failure last September. The doctor told us last night, that sometimes the thyroid problem masks kidney problems. And it looks like that happened with Sagwa. He had been slowing down for a while and I say to Brian that it won't be long now. And we steeled ourselves for the inevitable.
It just never gets any easier. He'll be sorely missed.