Friday, October 05, 2007

Goodbye My Friend....

This has been an emotional week. After we moved, we noticed that Billy's movement seemed a little slow. We thought he was just aging. Plus, he started throwing up every once in a while, which wasn't really out of the ordinary for him. Last weekend we realized that Billy hadn't eaten very much and he seemed very weak. We thought he was weak because he wasn't eating. We started giving him Nutrical (which he normally didn't like) and he snarfed that down. He was drinking a lot all weekend. Rob started feeding him one piece of catfood at a time and he ate it. Monday I made an appointment at the vet and he told me that it didn't look very good. I was really surprised about that because he'd been drinking so I didn't think it could be his kidneys. It was. The classic signs of kidney infection are drinking excessively, depression, loss of hind leg mobility, and throwing up. He had all those, but we thought it was all because of other things. The vet recommended we put him to sleep. I called Rob and asked if he wanted me to bring him home for the night or if Rob wanted to come to Aberdeen. In the meantime, my aunt and uncle came to the vet's office and comforted me. Billy was still himself in so many ways. Just weak. So I decided to bring him home and spend the last night together. That night I did some research on the Internet and called a friend of a friend who is a vet. She recommended that we try fluids and antibiotics. We went through this with Bob in 2001 when we moved to Elk Point. She was so depressed that she got down to one pound. I took her to Sioux City on my way to work every day and the vet gave her fluids during the day. This went on for about three weeks and he told me to take her home and make her comfortable. So we did and she ended up eating Rob's yogurt and cheese and lived another five years. So on Tuesday, I went to the vet in town and got a bag of fluids, needles, and antibiotics and learned how to administer everything. He seemed better that day. Rob came home from work and Billy was laying with him. All of the sudden, the worst smell I have ever smelled came out of Billy's butt. Worse than anything that's ever come out of Rob's even. And Billy started meowing. Which usually means he was going to throw up. So I started chasing him with napkins. He farted again and bloody poop came out. So as I'm trying to clean it up, he ran away to another spot while Rob sat in the corner gagging. As you can imagine, that didn't go over very well. He kept telling me that he wasn't going to be able to do diapers. Like that's gonna happen. So anyway, after Billy was finished pooping all over, he felt better. Wouldn't you? We had a prayer service that night so when we got home, he still had a light in his eyes. He layed with Rob for a while and I went to bed. When Rob was coming to bed, Billy started walking (normally again) to the kitchen to eat. Oh, he'd started eating again on Monday night. All of the sudden he stopped and laid down. He was real wobbly after that. Rob brought him into the bedroom and put him on the bed and he started the awful meow again. So he put him on the floor and he quit. On the bed, awful meow. On the floor, quit. He finally quit so Rob laid him down in between us while he was getting into bed. As he got into bed, Rob said "Did he pee?". Sure enough. He had. And it soaked everything on the bed. So Rob held him as I cleaned it up and got new sheets and blankets. Billy didn't get off the bed all night and slept between us. Wednesday morning at about 5:40 he started meowing again. I picked him up and ran into the litter box. He couldn't stand so I held him up as he went to the bathroom. Rob came out and we knew he wasn't getting better. We cleaned him up and held him for a long time. I went to work and Rob stayed home with him. I called the vet at 8:00 and went home to get him after that. Rob didn't think he could be there. I came home and we cried and held him for a while and then I knew I had to go. So I drove down the road and as I got to the stop sign I noticed Rob behind me. So they gave him a shot that made him sleep. I didn't realize that was all it did so I thought he was gone. He came back in and asked if we were ready. He gave him the second shot and that was it. He was gone. Rob hadn't planned to go with me to my mom and dad's to bury him but then he decided he couldn't not be there. He showered and got ready and we went to the farm. We buried him next to Bob. We're glad we waited and tried the fluids. The vets had told us he probably wasn't in pain on Monday. By Wednesday I think he was getting there. So we knew we couldn't help. He was our cat. But he was Rob's cat. Bob was mine. So I knew exactly what he was going through. We wanted to hold out hope but we didn't want him to suffer.

So for the first time in 11 years we came home to an empty house. Wednesday after we got home from work we went for a long walk to stay away from the house. Thursday night we went out to eat with Rob's parents. As much as we love spending time with them, we needed the distraction from what was going on. And as much as I know they love spending time with us, that's why they did it. Rob went to the football game but I stayed home tonight. I haven't gotten anything done this week around the house so I really wanted to be home. I still find myself talking to Billy. As I went to bed the last few nights I said aloud "Come on, Billy Boy. Let's go to bed". And then caught myself. And on Wednesday when I brought stuff in from the car, I propped the door open and right away I thought "I better watch that Billy doesn't get out". At night I listen for the sound of his toenails on the hardwood floor or his collar on the water dish. I need to put away the litterbox and his food and water bowls but I can't do that yet. As I cried to my mom on Monday I said "these were the only babies I had when I couldn't have one of my own. They comforted me as I cried and as I prayed for yet another procedure to work". And she said "maybe God gave you these kitties to bring you to the baby. Now it's the baby's turn.". And my friend Marcy said "maybe God wanted a kitty". I'm pretty sure God is a cat-person. :)

We're doing OK. It's been difficult but it helps to know that he isn't sick any more. We also know Billy and Bob are together and that makes them happy.


Starfish said...

I am so very sorry. I have two cats of my own, so I know what you mean about them being your babies before you could have ones of your own. It sounds like you took amazing care of him, not every animal gets that kind of love. Hugs to you..

OHN said...

Any one of us that has loved our pets can understand how you are feeling. The first pet I lost after IF was devastating...she had been my baby and it didn't matter that she had 4 legs:)

I love the photo of the two kitties are right,they are with each other now and if they are like mine at all, they are having a blast.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about Billy. I know you guys loved your cats deaply and they loved you guys also. I'm with your mom. Maybe this was God saying it's the baby's turn to be in your life. Hope the rest of the week goes better for you guys.