We said our final goodbyes last night.
He just wasn’t getting better. He was getting worse. Yesterday afternoon, he went into the bathroom and got a drink. Then he went into the shower and peed. When he came out, he had to lay down on the floor to rest. It was that much of an effort for him.
I boiled a chicken breast for him in the morning. He ate some of that, then wanted no more. Last night, I got him to eat a little tuna. But it was minimal. He drank some tuna juice. He had a little water out of a glass bowl I held for him tonight. He just looked bad. He was obviously very uncomfortable, he kept licking his lips.
And his breathing was horrible.
I thought maybe he needed to pee and I picked him up and took him out to the litterbox, set in gently in it. He just sat there, looking dazed. And his sides were just rising and falling. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t good at all. I called Brian in to look, I told him it was time.
There was a little discussion, Brian wished we could wait until tomorrow and take him to our regular vet, but I just kept thinking how very badly Bart must feel. Looking back, I think Bart was already gone, it was just his shell. I think he’s been saying goodbye to us this past week. And the other cats knew. I took this last night, before we made the decision.
Richie is to the left of Bart, at one point, his back was to Bart, keeping Bart warm. Ronnie is on the pillow to the right of Bart. And Marco is in front. Oliver is on the other pillow in the background. The rest of the bed was empty.
I’ve never seen the cats snugged up to Bart like that when we weren’t in bed. I think they were watching over him.
Then there was Bart. I’m sure you can see how vacant he is in this picture.
We got him in the carrier and took him down to emergency. I gave the immediate background. He was taken into the back where a doctor checked him over. She came in and discussed the situation with us and we told her that we didn’t want to have testing done, we didn’t want hospital stays, he was old, he couldn’t walk, that he was just tired.
And she looked at us and said “well, he would require hospitalization to get him through this, IV fluids and drugs, and with that you don’t know how long he’ll live; you’re doing the right thing”.
So, I guess it was his kidneys that finally failed. She felt the breathing problem was something unrelated to the kidneys (that was all she said).
She left the room, I was brought in some forms, filled them out, settled the bill. Bart was brought in to us, laid on a thick towel. There was a catheter in his leg. We were told we could take all the time we wanted, we said we didn’t need time, we’d said our goodbyes, we just wanted to be there for him when he passed away.
Shortly the doctor came back in and sedated him, took effect almost immediately. Brian and I were both stroking him, Brian’s face to Bart’s face, I had my head on his side. Brian was crying hard, telling Bart over and over what a great cat he was. Then the doctor euthanized Bart. She listened to his heart with the stethoscope and I asked if he was gone and she nodded. We both gave Bart last goodbye kisses and the doctor gently picked up Bart, wrapped in the towel.
Goodbye sweet Bart. You were one of the best ever.
We’ll miss you and Godspeed.
I took a sleep aid, and slept deeply last night.
I’ll no longer be worried about how he’s walking or eating or how are his kidneys, is he dehydrated, is he in pain from the arthitis….
He’s at peace.
One of the hardest things for me was seeing how thin he was and remembering what happened to my mom when she quit eating and her body started taking nutrition where it could get it. I didn’t want that happening to Bart.
Now I won’t be thinking about it.
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