We had to put the cat to sleep this morning.
After one great day at home it became apparent that his bladder was obstructed again and that he needed to go back to the vet. We gave him his meds and his subcutaneous fluids last night in the hopes that it would help, but he grew increasingly uncomfortable so we took him back in this morning.
The wonderful vet was able to empty his bladder and make him comfortable again, then we had a talk about future care and quality of life. She thought that once this second obstruction was cleared it possibly wouldn’t happen again, but she said that he was suffering from kidney failure and that he would always require subcutaneous fluid injections and constant medication.
Last week, before we knew just how sick he was, M and I discussed what we would do if the only way to keep our first baby alive was to medicate him daily. This was one cat who did. not. like. to swallow pills. All his medicine had to be turned into liquid and I had to run after him to inject them in his mouth. It’s always been something I was willing to do for 10 days for antibiotics, but not something I was willing to subject him to forever. Throw thrice weekly needle pricks into the mix and you can understand why we were leery.
Then the vet explained that, while she could make him comfortable, and could make him pee on his own again, she couldn’t ever make him better. In her opinion he’d have good days and bad days, but eventually there would be many more bad days than good. He’d be able to go outside, but he probably wouldn’t want to, he’d be able to eat his own food, but he might not have any appetite.
To us that was unacceptable. Janvier loved life. He spent his days outside hunting and exploring. He raced around the house after bottle caps, batting them under furniture and pouncing on them when they were least expecting it. He loved cuddles. But above all he loved to eat. He’d wake us up at the crack of dawn to feed him. He’d scream if we were even five minutes late with his evening meal. He’d steal food all the time, especially from the indignant C. He was a smart, loving, trusting, funny cat.
We didn’t want him to settle for less than optimum quality of life; chased around by syringes full of bitter medicine, poked by big ol‘ needles full of saline. We didn’t want him to endure pain he didn’t understand. And we didn’t want to restrict his exploring and foraging outside. He wouldn’t have understood. He would have lived out his life in a perpetual state of stress and anxiety, and as much as we want him with us, we couldn’t do that to him.
Sleep tight little buddy. We promise we won’t let the neighborhood cats take over the garden. We’re going to miss you more than you’ll ever know.