Sunday, February 10, 2019

And then there were 3

Katie. Katydid. TaterTot. Tayto. KitKat.

I've been expecting to lose Annie for so long, this one came as a surprise. I wondered how Katie would manage, losing her sparring partner. Apparently she managed it by going first.

Quite unexpectedly, too - as far as we could tell, she was as healthy as she'd always been, until she suddenly wasn't. Which, as things go, is probably the best way to go about it. She didn't linger, and I doubt she knew what was going on.

The last few weeks, Katie had been looking a little stringy. Seeing that she was 17, I didn't find that unusual, since people tend either to gain or lose weight as they age. In all other respects, she was herself.

She'd always been a big drinker, so her water intake didn't seem unusual. But Thursday, I picked her up and she suddenly seemed abruptly lighter, in a way that didn't feel right. I got a vet appointment for her, trying the vet here in town, and he ran basic blood and urine tests on her, and gave her a round of IV fluids because she was dehydrated.

At that point, I was pretty sure that it was either hyperthyroidism (which Lily had) or diabetes (Max and Cosmo). I was hoping for thyroid, because my diabetic cats have had really bad luck. Cosmo was never able to be regulated, and he went into a coma. Max took to insulin okay, but he developed a lot of other associated problems, including asthma, and died about 6 months after his diagnosis.

The vet called about an hour later with her test results. Diabetes. I thought about it. I called Mario. I talked to Katie, and soaked her calico fur, but I knew what we were going to do. 

Yesterday morning, she made another trip to the vet. They gave her treats and spray cheese before giving her a shot, and she was so busy snacking she didn't realize what happened. As deaths go, it was pretty good.

I could have let her linger, tried to stabilize her blood sugar, and keep her on twice-daily insulin for the rest of her life, however long that would have been. But I didn't think that was right for her. She'd never been sick a day in her life - she'd never even been back to the vet since she was spayed in 2002 - and I didn't want to end her life treating her like a pincushion.

I let her leave the party while she was still enjoying herself. And since she was the official greeter, dinner guest, and all-around pain in the ass, the house is going to be much quieter.


Pattyskypants said...

You did the right thing. Our 19 year old Himalayan passed on two years ago, but I made the mistake of subjecting him to three days of unbelievable medical interventions (blood transfusions, tubes here there and everywhere) before the vets finally admitted it was probably useless and to just let him go. He'd taken to sleeping in the closet and was somewhat unresponsive when we gathered him up to rush him to the vet hospital. I think it would have been much more humane (and certainly more graceful) to have just let him sleep and die in peace. And it wouldn't have cost me $4,000. So sorry for your loss!

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing. I think we always second-guess ourselves where our pets are concerned, and if there seems a reasonable chance of fixing what's gone wrong, we'll almost always try it. 19 was a good age for your Himalayan, like it was for Katie, and it's not the length of life, anyway - it's the quality. We did our best, and we loved them.

Vicki said...

So sorry to hear this. Alas we (and the cats) must all go.

Martina said...

She looks like our Lucky, who left my family way too soon. So sorry for your loss.

Moosiemoose said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I believe you did the right thing. I had to put down my 15 1/2 yr old dog a year ago. Looking back I think I waited too long and may have caused him unneeded pain. That will always bother me a great deal. Jean

Cindy said...

I'm so very sorry. She was a beautiful cat. It's never easy to make that decision, but you did the necessary thing. {hugs}

Unknown said...

So hard and so right. The loss of these dear beings is monumental.

edj3 said...

Oh what a pretty girl, and I too believe you did the right thing. Not that you need the anonymous approval of an internet person :)