Potter's last day here was just awful. I don't know if it was as bad for him as it was for us. I hope not.
I think if the vet had realized how badly he was crashing, he wouldn't have sent Potter home. Blood tests don't tell the whole story. No, putting him on the floor and watching him move, watching him try to stand, watching him try to drink....that gives an excellent idea of how he's doing.
We don't understand how it happened so quickly. What did we miss? What did I miss? I know we couldn't have stopped this train, but maybe we could have ended it sooner. But when? He was doing so well last week. Yeah, he was skinny. He's been skinny for a while. But he didn't seem to be drinking more than the other cats. He didn't pee a lot. Other than his weight, there were no signs that something was amiss. And when it hit, it hit hard.
He got progressively worse from Sunday. From the time I took him into the vet on Thursday morning, until we picked him up, it's as if he got one hundred percent worse. It was hell.
He could barely walk. He cried when he tried. He couldn't drink. That was the worst. He'd get over to a drinking fountain, water bowl, whatever held water and try to drink and just cry when he couldn't. It was heartbreaking. The fluids they gave him before we brought him home helped not one little bit. Usually there's some improvement. There was none. Unless he'd gotten so bad we couldn't see any.
It's been hot and humid here and we've kept the house closed up because we're running the air conditioner. Potter wanted to be outside. We left the office door cracked open. Potter seemed to like laying on the grass, stretched out. The grass was damp and cooler on his belly, I suppose. When I saw him down by the pool, though, I was pretty concerned. I didn't want him to try to drink from it and fall in. I brought him back inside and closed the door.
He could only "walk" about four or five feet at a time, then he'd drop and rest. It has to be the absolutely hardest thing I've ever watched. If I had an idea where he was headed, I'd pick him up and take him there. Once in the house, there weren't many places to go. Under the coffee table in the family room, next to the water bowl. In the bedroom, next to the water bowl. He wanted to drink. And he couldn't.
During the night, we'd hear him cry. And we knew there was nothing we could to to ease his pain. It was a fitful sleep for both of us. When I got up, I couldn't find him in the house. As hard as it was for him to walk, he'd made it out a cat door. And down to the pool. It must have taken him a long time. He was laying by the steps that go into the pool. I let him stay there. For the few hours left in his short life, I wasn't going to stop him from doing what he wanted to do. I checked on him every fifteen minutes or so. He eventually made it to the top of the steps that take you into the yard. At that point, I picked him up and took him to the grass in front of the patio. From there, he made his way back inside. I set a bowl of water by him, just in case he wanted to try something where he didn't have to stand. Brian said he did stand and pawed at the water, not having any luck drinking.
Shortly after that, we took him in. He was sedated and we said our goodbyes. he was taken into the back where they placed a catheter in his leg. His blood pressure was so low, they had a hard time doing this. He was brought back in and we said we were ready. Then it was done.
We talked to the vet (a different vet than the day before) and we explained how quickly it all happened, how it just knocked us back with the speed of the progression. How he was doing so well last week, then BOOM! She said it was rare that this happened like this, but that sometimes it did.
And since business is better (and we're not paying out a thousand bucks a month in credit card payments), we're going to start taking the older cats in for geriatric tests.
I don't want to go through this again.
Now we watch to see the changing of the hierarchy. What will be different in the clowder with Potter gone. He had a mighty personality.
I just gave chicken to DaNiece and Sagwa. And it was weird. As I was handing pieces to Mystie, Spot, and Charlie, there was no Potter under the table next to Myst. He was a grabby cat and he inhaled the chicken pieces. I kept looking around for him.