With Sadness



My heart aches as of late. I needed a place to write and I am not keeping up with my journaling and sometimes typing is easier. Blogger will be my therapy in this post. I posted frequently in the past about my cats, Anthony Jr. and Johnny Cat. Johnny had been hospitalized twice for liver failure and we found out he had diabetes. He stayed on insulin for about a year and a half and we got him on a strict diet and he was able to stop insulin. He was insulin free for about two years. By order of his vet, I would still monitor his blood sugars several times  a week and he was doing so well. Johnny was a giant love bug. He wanted nothing more than to be held or loved or petted or snuggled. He loved everyone he ever met and was very friendly to all people and other animals. Anyone that ever met him said he had a HUGE personality. He has never scratched, bit or hissed at anyone. He is a very mellow cat  who loved to purr and who loved his momma the most!

I noticed about a month and a half ago that he kept meowing more. His purr started to take on a hum as well. I researched this and the world wide web stated this could be a sign of pain. I immediately made an appointment with his Doc. She checked him out, said he was fine and took some blood work. A few days later we found out he was hyperthyroid. He also had a bit of a heart murmur due to the thyroid.  No bigs. I was to give him 1 ml of this weird green liquid medication twice a day. I started him on the meds and he was doing well. He went back to his old self. About three weeks into his medication treatment I was watching some Sunday night tv with John and I noticed his third eyelid in his right eye would blink. I thought this was bizarre. I have never seen a cat with an open eye, fully awake, blink his third eye lid. I did some more searching and started to snap my fingers in front of his eye to see if he would respond. Nothing. Eye was frozen open.

I made an appointment with his doc to check this out. When we arrived the following day she informed me that his eye was not the only thing frozen. His entire right side of this face was paralyzed. She explained that these things happen and there was really nothing we could do other than just monitor him and make sure the other side remained normal. She gave me this weird gel that I had to put on his eye and then I would force his eye closed so it would remain moist. The good thing is that his third eye lid continued to blink often so he didn't have any issues with dry eye or other. A few days after doing the gel twice a day I noticed his eye was becoming foggy. Like someone was sitting close to the window and exhaled on it to create a mist. It bothered me and it appeared that he was starting to lose some vision in the eye so I made another appointment. His regular Doc was out for five days so on that Friday evening I took him to see her partner at the Vet office. She looked at his eye closely and said he had an infection. She then gave me prednisone/antibiotic drops for his eye to go along with the gel and the weird green liquid. She asked if he had any other weird behaviors. He had started to have a decrease in appetite since his eye started up. He was still eating but Johnny has always been a stout guy and had a healthy appetite. Diet food or not, he liked his eats. The vet checked his tummy and asked if she could do an xray because she felt something. She said the radiologist would not be able to read this until the following afternoon and they would call me.

Saturday morning, Hubs had a tennis game so I lay in bed with my John and napped all morning until I got the call. The doc explained that Johnny cat had a mass in his stomach and they would need to do exploratory surgery. I was hesitant. Johnny has been through so much, plus he was now on all of those medications and his heart had a murmur. I wanted to talk to HIS doc. This vet explained that Johnny would be okay to wait until Tuesday to see his Doc when she came back from her vacation. He was still eating and acting fine.

Tuesday I take Johnny in to see his vet. His appetited decreased even more. Sunday evening I had to force feed him. Monday he ate but just barely. When we arrived his doc said Johnny would not be a candidate for surgery at all. He would not make it through. She offered to do an ultrasound to see what was in his stomach. She came back and told me that it was a huge mass. It was entwined in his intestines so even if they were able to operate they could not. On top of this, his other eye was started to cloud as well. She said that his immune system was shot and that was why all of the wierd gels, and liquids and drops he was taking were not working. I was devastated. She said he did not have long. She told me to watch his behavior, watch his appetite, just watch him. He was hospitalized twice before for liver failure and if he continued to not eat his liver would begin to shut down.

I took him home wiht a heavy heart. Through all of this he remained purring and snuggly and seemed like normal Johnny. The following morning I woke and he would not eat at all. He had a lick of gravy and turned his nose away. I tried everything. Every type of canned food, tuna, fresh deli meat, cooked chicken, gravy. Nothing. I called out of work with my Hubs. We called the vet. His doc was not due in until 230. We lay with Johnny all day. We snuggled with him on the couch, on our bed for a few hours, we all lay on a blankie together in our office. The vet finally called and said that we should really consider bringing him in. She was concerned that he could get worse. We could be at work and he could go into liver failure or be in pain.

This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. I have had Johnny in my life for over 13 years. He was with me through so many life changes. Going to college for the first time, graduating college, changing careers, getting married, moving away from my family for the first time and starting a new life in our new home, happy times, sad times, laughter, hope and life. He has been there through everything. My ever changing, constantly growing life. The hardest part was to decide, that even though he was purring and seemed happy, that I was the one that decided to do this. It is a heavy burden. My doc and family assured me it was for the best but three weeks later it still weighs on me heavy. Johnny's spirit was the same but his body was breaking down.

I was there when it happened. I stayed and held his paw and held him and talked to him. This was the most awful and beautiful thing I have done. I had to be there though. I couldn't leave him alone.  I have this image in my head of him laying there. Helpless. It haunts me.

My house is silent now. It is empty and weird and make my heart ache. Johnny is everywhere. His bed my dad made him in his woodshop still sits by our couch, his blankies are still here and there and his toys are around. I cleaned up a bit but most of it just hurts to move but it hurts to see. The day after I woke up and went to his bed to start his regiment of his blood level check and medications and feeding and realized he wasn't there any more. There was nothing to do. So much extra time. I didn't really know what to do with myself.

Everyday I am learning to live without my Johnny. I miss him so much and so fiercely. Some people I work with and others I have met along the way will just say: "It's just a cat". It wasn't just a cat to me. Johnny was my family. I have no children. He was my child in a way. I love/loved him, took care of him, worried about him, cleaned up after him, nurtured him and watched him for almost 14 years. I don't know what to be without him around. I am trying.
I am taking one day at a time.

Johnny was a mommas boy. He brought me so much joy and love. The only thing Johnny ever wanted in life was to be loved. I feel that he achieved that and then some. He is so outrageously loved and I will miss him every second that I live.







2 comments:

Pat Tillett June 14, 2013 at 11:46 PM  

I am so sorry! I know how this feels and it doesn't feel good. Our pets have access to a part of our heart that humans have no access to. I guess that is why it hurts so much.
It's nice that you got to enjoy each other for so long.
I'm still pretty raw from losing one of our cats and it was two years ago. He looks just about identical to your Johnny. He was my buddy.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Hang in there...

Burkey June 15, 2013 at 7:42 AM  

Aww Penny. I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful post and it's so obvious how much Johnny meant to you.

I remember the pain of losing my last cat Jessie who'd been with me for 18 years since I was 4 years old. I still regret going to University that day and mum took her to get put to sleep. Apparently right before they left for the vets she lay down on my bed. It still hurts thinking about it.

Like you say, to some people it's "just a cat", but to any true cat lover it's a much loved member of the family.

I hope you find more peace in the coming weeks and months. x

 
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