He’d lost over four pounds since last year. The vet checked his mouth and it looked good. Except his gums were very pale. The vet gave me a couple options, depending on the results of the blood test. Basically, there were no options, since the major one was giving him sub-q saline with interferon added. Handsome wouldn’t do sub-q fluids. It was everything I could do to give him oral meds.
The vet felt Handsome either had the FIV related leukemia, that affected his bone marrow. Or some other type of FIV related cancer. Either way, the prognosis wasn’t good. When I said there was no way I could give Handsome the fluids, the vet looked at me and said “well, what do you want to do? He’s not going to get better.” There was the elephant in the room, that no one wanted to acknowledge.
Euthanasia was mentioned. I said “then that’s what we’ll do”. He looked at me and said “that’s the best decision and I’m glad you were able to say it”.
Hans was sedated, then he finally laid down on the towel. The vet shaved a portion of one of his front legs and administered the killing solution. Now, this is going to be really icky, I’ve never seen this before in all the times we’ve said goodbye to our pets and if you have a squeamish stomach, skip the next paragraph.
When Handsome stopped breathing, fluid started coming out of his mouth. A brownish tinged fluid. The vet put a small amount of pressure on Handsome’s chest and more fluid came out. His lungs were full of this stuff. That’s what he’d been “drooling” for all these months. It wasn’t coming from his mouth at all. And I knew that saying goodbye was the best thing I could have done for him.
The vet told me that we gave Handsome a good home. A place of love and warmth, a place where he always had food. We gave Hans a comfortable life. And for what it was worth, nothing we would have or could have done would have changed this outcome. He also said he didn’t know how an animal could be so sick and still go on.
Hans had two jars of baby food this morning (which he puked up on the bed before I took him in). But he did have a good last meal. And for some odd reason, he purred up a storm at the vet’s office. Maybe he knew he’d soon be out of pain.
When the sedative was taking effect, I whispered to him to say “hello” to Ciara for me. And tell Annie and DeeJay we missed them. And I wished him God speed.
I knew, when we took him in, when he was first diagnosed as FIV+, that his time with us would be limited. I knew each day was another day of borrowed time. His throwing up was nothing new. His drooling was nothing new. His breathing always was a little hard. These are things he’d done since he first came to live with us. But I think I knew that his time was near. When I told Brian about his appointment, I told him that there was a possibility that Hans wouldn’t be here when he came home. And I knew to take a picture of him before we left. I thought, well, I’ll take one when we get home, but that little head voice whispered “but what if you come home alone?”. He was a great cat, he was a fun cat. I wish we’d had more time with him. I hope to meet him again someday.
Goodbye, Handsome. You’ll always be in my heart and in my mind.
Friday Ark #98 Be sure to check out the latest edition of The Carnival of the Cats, this week hosted by TBIFOC.