Sunday, 22 June 2014

Crying over Knatti




It feels like this blog way too often becomes a place for me to cry over cats. This time it's Knatti, sweet, shy little Knatti who has always been the most peaceful of our cats. He's still alive, though just barely hanging on, but unless a miracle happens, there's nothing more to do than take that horrible decision pet owners sometimes have to face.

Knatti went missing earlier this week and while we tried to tell ourselves he was ok, we did worry sooner than we would've with many of the others. Partially because Knatti almost always come in to us 2-3 times a day and is around the house at night, more or less regularly, and partially because he's had a history of sensitive stomach so we want to see him (and feed him) as often as possible to make sure he's ok. I haven't counted, but he was gone at least 48 hours and some more before suddenly turning up yesterday afternoon -- in such a bad condition. I've never seen a cat so dehydrated -- sure, they can be gone and come home dying, but this has happened so, so fast! -- he was in a horrible state and I don't know how he managed to make it home to us. He refused to eat or drink and there was nothing else to do, but hope the vet was in on the biggest summer holiday of the year.

The verdict was grim from the beginning: he was in such a bad state that the vet feared the kidneys were gone and that nothing could be done to help him, but put him on IV to give him a chance. Today I spoke to the vet and the news were just as bad as yesterday. Worse. The treatment hasn't worked (so far), he's not showing the improvements he should be showing at this poing, and we were told to discuss letting him go. He'll stay one more night -- and I'm so sad to have to leave him in an unknown environment for so long, being ill and probably feeling unsecure in this place with new people, new smells, new animals. After all, he came home to be near us and this is how we repay him, leaving him somewhere he doesn't understand -- somewhere that in the end can't save him. I want him at home, in bed where we could comfort him and soothe him. Unless a miracle happens now, tomorrow will be his last day.

(To make matters worse, all mom can go on about is the vet bill, which I'm paying solo, and questioning if we can afford it. If she had her way, Knatti would've been put down already yesterday to minimize both vet costs and the number of cats we have.)

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That above is the newest pic of Knatti I have here. Have taken a few more just a few days ago, but they're on my sister's camera. Below are a few more pics, which I've shown on the blog before.








Evening addendum: I couldn't sleep well last night and when I did I dreamed of Knatti. Knatti being scared by thunder during the night, us trying to get to Knatti but being unable. Then I woke early and spent most of the morning feel sick and worried, with a big lump churning in the stomach. I tried to distract my mind during the afternoon, perhaps even try to hope for that miracle. A late miracle, but not too late. Now it's almost evening again. Last night I was at least partially able to fall asleep in the evening from the shock of seeing the state Knatti was in, the emotional turmoil, but also from feeling he was in the right hands (even if the verdict was negative already then). This night I don't know how to sleep, know that tomorrow we'll have to decide Knatti's fate and there seem to be only one thing to do. Only hours left -- and he'll spend them alone, so far from us and we so far from him.

The hardest part right now -- especially now that it's soon night -- is that he's at the vets still receiving treatment, one more dark night away, and my heart is breaking because I can't shake off the feeling that he's feeling abandoned and alone, perhaps being not just ill but scared in that strange place without familiar faces or scents (he has a blanket from home so I hope it's a tiny comfort). Facing the fact he'll most likely die very soon isn't easy, but as long as it isn't happening right now I can push it away. Right now I'm crying over him feeling abandoned and frightened by all that's happening: the illness, our taking him to a strange, unknown place and not coming back. I want to hold him in my arms and soothe him and tell him everything's going to be ok. Heck, if possible I would've told the vet I'd spend the night on the floor next to him. Not only can't I make him healthy, I can't even give him comfort because I'm not with him. It just hurts so much thinking of him so alone and uneasy. He doesn't know what's happening to him, where he is, where we are, if we'll even come back. It feels light he was lightyears away from me when he should be at home, safe. If not from illness so safe in the sense of being wrapped in love, familiar surroundings and a peaceful athmosphere.

It just pains me to think that we can't give him that now. We try to give him something else, a chance to live, but it's such a slim chance that it's hard to not just see the unease and ordeal we're putting him through by leaving him at the vet's for treatment this long. I don't want him to worry, to be scared or feel abandoned tonight. It must seem like forever to him since we left him, since we (in his eyes) left him, dumped him, never to return. He came home because he wanted to be near us, to have us help him and we did that by removing him further from us -- in distance and time -- than he's ever been.

2 comments:

  1. My heart is with you. I faced this same thing last summer on the holiday. I took him to the vets and paid the crazy bill, extra due to the holiday, and got the verdict that the most likely cause was his kidneys. I paid for some tests to make sure, bought some medicine that might help if it was something else, then took him home. The vet swore he wasn't in any pain, but he cried all night unless I was holing him or petting him. I'd received the call a couple hours after getting home saying that the worst was confirmed and that it was his kidneys. There were a couple things they could do, both expensive, and neither guaranteed to help, but if it did help, it might buy him a bit more time. Maybe a few weeks, maybe as much as a year. After sitting with him all night, I knew it was time to let him go. While the money was an issue, if it would definitely have helped him get better, I'd have considered it, but to put him through either procedure, have him go through the stress of being in an unfamiliar place, all on a slim chance it might give him a little bit longer... it wasn't worth it. He deserved better. It was painful for me to make that choice, but I know it was the right one for him, as well as for me. I know what you're going through, but don;t be too hard on your mom just because she doesn't see things the same way you do. Money, unfortunately does matter in this world, and needs to be taken into consideration.. as does needless suffering. Kidney treatments for animals aren't very dependable, and the animal undoes it surrounded by strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. Sometimes that call is easy to make, and some times it's hard, but never think it's ever careless or selfish.

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    Replies
    1. Those who give us the most love and the most cherised memories are also the ones causing us the most pain and heartache. They can leave us so helpless when they need help the most.

      Few things are as hard as coping with a beloved cat getting ill. Now, some might not like to hear me say that just months after losing my dad, but the way I see it, when cats get ill and die, it's grief mixed with a guilt of not having done what a cat owner should do: care for and protect their beloved pets. That it's my responsibility and the cats look to me to fix things when they're beyond the limits of a cat. I provide food, shelter, play, healthcare, a warm house in the winter, ear scratching and cuddles -- everything -- and when I can't I've failed them.

      The hardest part right now -- especially now that it's soon night -- is that he's at the vets, one more dark night away, and my heart is breaking because I can't shake off the feeling that he's feeling abandoned and alone, perhaps being not just ill but scared in that strange place without familiar faces or scents (he has a blanket from home so I hope it's a tiny comfort). Facing the fact he'll most likely die very soon isn't easy, but as long as it isn't happening right now I can push it away. Right now I'm crying over him feeling abandoned and frightened by all that's happening: the illness, our taking him to a strange, unknown place and not coming back. I want to hold him in my arms and soothe him and tell him everything's going to be ok. Heck, if possible I would've told the vet I'd spend the night on the floor next to him. Not only can't I make him healthy, I can't even give him comfort because I'm not with him. It just hurts so much thinking of him so alone and uneasy. It feels light he was lightyears away from me when he should be at home, safe. If not from illness so safe in the sense of being wrapped in love, familiar surroundings and a peaceful athmosphere.

      Tomorrow we'll meet him, but perhaps just for his last minutes. I guess there's still that miracle to believe in, but it just seems like it's too late. It was too late already when he came home. I can't help but think that if this isn't helping, maybe we should've stayed at home, let him die here, hoping it'd be a peaceful death without pains or agony. Not adding stress, worry and abandonment to his last days. But you can't give up hoping, you must try what can be tried. Now him being there and we here is torment to us, but had we waited to go to the vet we would've tormented ourselves with being responsible for his death. I guess we'll still feel bad as the final decision is in our hands and, also, we'll ask ourselves about signs we missed that he was rapidly getting seriously ill.

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