15 April 2010

Princess *sigh*

It sucks to lose a loved one.

I think most would agree there are cat people and dog people. Some like the affectionate ways of dogs, we like the self sufficient ways of cats. The SandCastle has been home to many cats over the years. Sometimes as few as one but as many as four at times.

Let me introduce Princess. She came to the SandCastle with her brother "Tuxedo Kitty" due to his black coat with a white vest. We named her "Princess" for her uppity attitude or sometimes "Champagne Kitty" to include her color with the attitude. She didn't like to be petted or touched but she always held her head high. Unfortunately Tuxedo Kitty was killed several years ago by a neighborhood dog.

She ascended the top cat throne when my first cat died a couple years ago. Since then she has taken on responsibility for guarding the house. Anytime I'm in the house, she'd be in a position to keep an eye on me. Frequently she'd climb up on the back of my office chair as a headrest. Or she'd be out front on guard for the other neighborhood cats. She was no lap kitty and but she also wouldn't get violent when the SCSon would pick her up and carry her around the house.

Looks like we are about to lose Princess. She has been going through at least 10 seizures a day like this for about a week.
Mind you the convulsions had been going on for at least 10 seconds before the video starts. Also I'm surprised the back end does not seem to be involved as most I've seen involve all four limbs plus the head. Most occur away from anything that can injure her during the convulsions, but the other day her head kept banging on the railing.

The vet proffered there are many reasons she might be having convulsions. Maybe she got into something she shouldn't have. Maybe a scorpion like what got the SCSon last week or some chemical problem. But once he saw this video, he pretty much ruled those causes out. He prescribed some kitty sized epilepsy drugs. As the pharmacist handed over the prescription he read out the dosage and schedule "3mL, twice a day... but I don't know how you're going to get her to take it! Good luck!" We are now two days into the drugs and there is no real change. Still some 10 seizures a day. The seizures can't be fun for Princess nor the kitty downers. It may be time to put her down.

The newest feline arrival, "Lear", has been giving her room and not taking advantage of Princess' diminished capacity. But then Lear is a 'fraidy cat and won't set foot outside the front door or let us approach.

The SCSon is understandably upset. We've lost pets before but this is the first one where he's old enough to understand what's happening. He doesn't understand why more can't be done. We have seen others spend thousands on expensive treatments and in the end the pet died anyway. We are not in a position to make that choice.

Update: The deed is done. SCSon reports she went down swinging, Apparently she didn't think much of being stuck with a needle. (But then neither do I.) (scson:I HATE SHOTS!!!!!) The vet shaved off some hair and gave it too him. It's been placed into a glass bottle within a stained and decorated wooden box. I commended him for being strong enough to be there in the room.

Also the SCQueen corrects my memory... Tuxedo Kitty's name was actually "Whiskers" for her white whiskers contrasting dramatically against her mostly black coat. Oh, and he was a she. Whiskers was a girl. (I never looked and it wasn't important to me)

SCSon will probably cry himself to sleep tonight. He just mentioned the vet wasn't very caring and made no attempt to calm her down. Squeaks, I wish we could have come to you. I know you'd have taken good care of her. I tried to explain some doctors have a real sucky bedside manner. Unfortunately this is just one of life's painful lessons.

Always the optimist, SCSon saw the comment about Princess resting atop my office chair. He then noted many of the hairs were still there and took to collecting them. "Maybe there's enough DNA here that we can clone her!" Ah the optimism of youth.

Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts. We appreciate it.


Squeaky Wheel said...

I am so sorry, Danno. I wish there was something helpful I could say, or something in my (small) arsenal of veterinary knowledge that would provide some hope. I think I agree that the best option would be to put her down. Those seizures can cause internal injuries, including bruising of muscles and organs. I can't imagine that 10 of those per day can be very comfortable, and if the anti-epileptic medication is not doing anything, then there's likely not much more that can be done.

My thoughts are with you and your family, and especially with Princess. I hope the end, however it comes, is as comfortable and painless as it can be.

Anonymous said...

You did not mention the age of your cat.

I'm not a cat person, but the video looked very much like the seizures our boxer dog went through. She was at the end of her expected life, 12 years, and she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor pressing on parts of her brain was what caused the seizures.

No way to operate or correct, so we had the vet to put her to sleep. Hard decision, but it was best for the animal, even though our daughter cried for two weeks.

Best of luck with your issue, but remember that the animal's feelings(pain/fright/disorientation) may be more important than your emotional discomfort.


danno said...

Squeaks - I meant to drop you a line asking your opinion. Thanks for weighing in. Your opinion gives me confidence we are doing the right thing.

I'm trying to remember how old she is... I think it was 1997 making her 13. Yes, she's had a good life. We are going to miss her.

wv: negate. Neon Gate?

Squeaky Wheel said...

13 years is a good, long life for a cat, and it sounds like she had a wonderful one with your family. At the very least, she was comfortable and safe, and there are many animals who don't get that chance.

TrueBlueSam said...

Robert Service had a more eloquent thought than I can come up with:
I think the longer that we live
The more do we grow sensitive
Of hurt and harm to man and beast,
And learn to suffer at the least
Surmise of other's suffering;
Till pity, like an eager spring
Wells up, and we are over-fain
To vibrate to the chords of pain.

Pets are family; it really hurts to lose one.

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry. You did the right thing. I know that you probably already know that. But it really is the kindest thing we do for our pets. That love is real and it is raw. Bless you and know that people care about the hurt you are going through.

Anonymous said...

*hugs* to everyone.


Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry.

It's hard: our pets can't make their own exit when there's nothing left for them but pain, so they depend on us. The selfish way out is to keep them around for as long as possible, to put off the hard decisions to make ourselves feel better. You didn't: you and SCSon did right by Princess.

Tass said...

So sorry to hear about Princess. I've a 21+ year old cat w/ renal failure and I check every day to make sure her quality of life is as good as it can be. I dread the decision you had to make.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...