Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Phoebe crosses the Rainbow Bridge

When we came home from vacation we noticed that Phoebe seemed to have lost some weight. We figured it was probably because the Pig (an aptly named cat) had taken advantage of our absence and crowded his way into Phoebe's food bowl. The house-sitter didn't notice anything wrong with her, so we started feeding her more often and by herself.

She didn't gain any weight and seemed to be getting weaker so I took her to our vet on Thursday (the Shabazz-man, as Grendel calls him) and he couldn't find anything visibly wrong; he recommended a blood test.

I called him up yesterday to get the results and he said that all her counts were very low and to bring her in for an X-ray. So I did, and when they weighed her they found she had lost another quarter of a pound since Thursday. Not good.

I could tell that the Shabazz-man was hoping he's see something obvious in the X-rays, but there was nothing. He decided to give her an antibiotic shot and send her home with more antibiotic and steroid combined, as well as special food, but over the course of the conversation I could tell he was becoming more and more certain that the prognosis was pretty bleak. I asked if there was any specific danger sign to look for, as we did not want her to suffer. He said no, but then said it would be a matter of weeks, not months. It was probably leukemia or bone cancer by how swiftly it progressed.

I took her home and she ate a third of the can of cat food. That seemed a good sign. She rested on her blanket on the floor. Before I went to bed I lay down next to her and told her how much we loved her.

In the morning it was clear that she was much weaker. That was that, there's no way we were going to let her suffer, so Liam called up the Shabazz-man and was able to bring her right in. I had to go to school to meet with a student. I hated not being able to go with them, but I said goodbye to Phoebe and we loaded her into Liam's car. We were both heartbroken.

Liam came into school and said that all went as well as one could expect--she left peacefully and painlessly. The vet agreed it was "an acceptable time" for Phoebe to go.

She was a sweet cat, a gentle cat, who never made any trouble. She loved being brushed. We called her "FooFoo," FooFighter" and "Fluffy." She came into our lives suddenly, from a student of ours, D., forced to give up all her cats after a terrible tragedy. She left us too soon.

22 comments:

Brian R said...

So sorry to hear this news. prayers of comfort for you

Oystercard said...

my condolences

FranIAm said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear this- my heart goes out to you all... prayers all around.

Earthbound Spirit said...

My heart goes out to you, so sorry for your loss...

Randal Graves said...

My condolences on your loss.

Caminante said...

This cat lover is so sad for you. Once I finish writing this note, I will go over to the church and light a candle for Phoebe who has crossed the rainbow bridge, and for all her four-legged creatures who loved her and now mourn her. Such hard news.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Oh, Aghaveagh--I'm so sorry! Much love and many prayers for you and your whole family.

Love,
Doxy & Jasper

Lindy said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Aghaveagh. Peace and may Saint Francis comfort you.

eileen said...

I'm so sorry, Aghaveagh.

This kitty lover, and one who took my kitty to his release from suffering, feels your pain keenly. Comfort to you and Liam...

Boxer rebel said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss.

Caminante said...

Mrmph, I wasn't totally awake when I wrote my earlier note. I meant two-legged creatures too. The intention is good though and the candle burns by Mary who hears all our prayers.

Distributorcap said...

i am SO sorry for your loss (I came here from FranIAm) -- i just had to say goodbye to my best pal of 8 years - George. In the end he was suffering and I think he was telling me it was ok

i still miss him, but i am so glad he is not in pain.

i wish comfort and peace to you

whiteycat4104 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Our feline friends are the angels that God sends us. Blessings upon you at this difficult time.

Padre Mickey said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Several friends have lost pets over the past few weeks.
Peace to you and your remaining mascotas.

Aghaveagh said...

Thank you all for your kindness. Although I am weeping as I write this, mixed in with the tears of sadness are tears of gratitude for those who understand how much a little kitty can mean to us humans, and how devastated we feel when they leave us.

I wish I could explain to Tuxedo, The Pig, and Millerton Store why their buddy did not come back from the vet. But I think they knew how sick she was.

dguzman said...

I'm here from FranIAm, and I wanted to tell you that it does get better. I lost my Shaboopie three years ago, and it hurt like the devil at first. Now, I can miss her and remember her without crying, and I think of her romping wherever she is--and I know she's happy and pain-free.

It's very hard for the other babies to understand, but they'll move on when they're ready.

Peace.

Whiskeymarie said...

Here from Fran's too-

This is the second time in a week I've sat at my computer, teary-eyed, reading about someone's cat dying.

I'm going to go and kiss my furry little kids right now...

So sorry for you, my heart broke a little reading this.

Tracie the Red said...

I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier....

12 August - one month to the day since I had to let my baby Bean go, because she had G.I. cancer.

Your kitty sounds like she was having very similar symptoms (but I am no vet).

My heart breaks for you and your family for the loss of this lovely cat. They really are our fur-babies indeed.

Mauigirl said...

Came here from FranIam also - so very sorry to hear of the loss of your beautiful cat. It is sad enough when they go so soon of old age, but when they are taken even sooner by cancer or another ailment, it's even more heartbreaking. My deepest sympathies.

JCF said...

JCF from MP's: my deepest empathy and condolences on your loss. :-( Phoebe was a beautiful cat---probably rolling in the Eternal Catnip by now...

Katie Schwartz said...

I am so sorry for your loss. So, deeply sorry. Everything you said and felt, especially about her not suffering is exactly how I felt when I put my canine son down last year. I wish I could take the pain away. I know how deep it runs and how unrelenting and unforgiving it feels.

You are in my thoughts.

My sincere condolences to you.

Ken said...

I'm unhappily reminded of how I had to let by beloved cat Pushkin go on 9/6/06. Appetite gone, strength gone, even steroids could not help her. In her wordless way she communicated to me she'd had enough. The vet helped release her on what I counted as her 17th birthday. The story:

http://bestiaire.typepad.com/moreau/2008/03/and-the-letting.html

I hope it is a consolation or at least a reminder that to love any animal is to face a moment too many of us have had to endure. God bless you and send you comfort.