Update on Foster Cat:
1 Nov 2013: after switching from steroid injections every week or so, he started taking prednisolone (steroid) tablets. And suddenly he started getting his miaow back! He’s had an up and down month, but the ups have been very, very good and he’s been a happy old boy.
1 Dec 2013: The ups have plateaued off and he had a steady month of being spoiled rotten and loved.
9 Dec 2013: He’s struggling to eat and wants to sleep all the time. I can persuade him to eat his steroids by hiding them in lumps of cheese (ha! You should see me persuading minxy children and recalcitrant husbands to take their medicines…), and can always coax him to drink a little milk. But it’s taking him all day to eat a pouch of wet food – he’s interested, but he won’t or can’t eat much.
Wed 18 Dec
It was the usual hectic morning at Garrison Trout, but it came to an abrupt halt when I went in to fetch Foster Cat’s breakfast to feed him his morning steroid pill. He was lying awkwardly on his cushion, last night’s dinner still untouched. And the little lumps of his best-loved cheese that hid last night’s steroid pill were intact. I gave him his all-time favourite treat of a Crispie. Nothing. Not even a sniff or acknowledgement that it was there. He stiffly jumped down and waddled to the door to get out, breathing quickly. I let him outside and made him up a bowl of just-warm milk (another sure-fire favourite). He wouldn’t come in from his new hidey-hole and didn’t struggle when I carried him in. He looked at the milk and slunk off to the sofa.
I stopped the minxes from half-killing each other and sadly told them that they needed to say goodbye to Foster Cat: I was going to call the vet because I thought his time had finally come. They calmly and gently stroked him and told him how much they loved him. Maxi whipped out a pencil and paper and drew a quick portrait of him.
While they did that, I had a long mental check: was this sudden? Nope, he’d given us a few scares last week, and he’d never really gotten much butter. Did he seem to be in pain? Yes. Was the poor old boy suffering? Hell, yes. Could I think of any other alternative? No. Shit.
I tried to get hold of my brother via Skype, because this really would be the last time he’d be able to see his beloved cat. Yet again, the time difference defeated us. I called the vet. They wanted us in immediately. Double-shit – no time to really say goodbye. But… he really was beyond miserable. Even kisses from Maxi didn’t make him move (he usually scarpered very quickly at getting soppy kid kisses).
I had to take Mini in with me, and the receptionist kindly agreed to keep her occupied while I went in with Foster Cat. The vet gave him a quick check over, then shaved the fur off his leg. I quipped that this must be the worst part of her job and she agreed. I picked up some of his shaved fur and stuffed it in my pocket. I stopped trying not to cry and sobbed and blubbed over my beautiful boy. I gathered him in my arms and croaked stupid stuff, like what a good boy he was; a very clever boy; the very best boy. The vet gave him a sedative and he passed out asleep in my arms. She gave him the heart-stopper and he died.
For a long while I stroked his warm, soft fur and sniffed his strangely-sweet-smelling head. Then I stood up, turned my back on him, and walked out with his empty cat basket to collect my chatty 3 yo. And that’s when I discovered that I’d left my purse at home…
The vet will hang on to Foster Cat’s body until the weekend when we’ll go bury him.