Those final moments are spent kind of in limbo. Getting extra kisses in. Her one last nap with Rozzy. A special plate of raw tuna. And then the time comes and that’ s it, this is it and you watch the vet stick the needle in, and those last desperate moments where you try to say everything you wanted to say to her before she slips away. I am confident I sent her off with all I wanted to say. As one who has lost so many loved ones without the ability to have that one last conversation before they left, I make a point to do so when the situation is controlled. It’s just what I do.
My vets are wonderful. They had tears in their eyes as well. They, too, talked to her and petted her as she slipped away. They remarked on just how awesome Cray was, from not being a spastic asshole when she was in for checkups, to being in awe of a cat that did not mind wearing dog clothes.
As I lay in a useless heap on the couch afterwards, there was an undeniable feeling that swept over me that let me know that my craybutt had met up with kittykat in the afterlife, and it was all good. That moment was brief, but incredibly strong. And then it faded and I haven’t had it since. Call me batshit if you want, I don’t care.
I received her pawprint and a lock of her fur in the mail yesterday. The tears flowed. The vets did make a point of getting a good sample of all her gray and orange. That was appreciated. But when I think of her now, there’s a dull ache of missing her, but there’s no pain. There’s no despair. It’s just love. A lot of love that resonates from my core and reaches to the heavens and she gets it and she knows it.
Cray is safe now and I am thankful for that.
It’s been a trying week. Scuse while I regain composure.
Cray lost the use of one of her back legs last night. I think she was going blind, and she stopped using the litterbox again, and I’ve been hand feeding her, and she’s been having trouble breathing. It was time to let her go.
Incoming search terms:
- trase passantino
Cray is healing.
She. Is. Healing.
In a last ditch effort, I removed all the bandages and let the wounds go to the open air and prayed. Every morning and evening, I dilligently spray her down with Bactine to reduce the risk of infection. Just the thought of her open wounds exposed like that squicks me the hell out. I mean, they’re covered by her flannel jammies so she won’t lick herself to death, but they’re still open. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re beginning to scar up. The biggest wound on her one side is about 30% scarred over now. She’s still eating like a pig and is using the litterbox again and back in her place with Boog in bed at night.
I think that was the biggest concern with me right there. Cray is Boog’s kitty, and he adores her. And during his week here this past week, he asked me about his name and the people he got it from [Jeremy's grandfather and my dad, respectively] and how those people aren’t with us, and how he does not like it when people die. And I know that death is all part of the greater scheme of things and these things happen – shit, my dad died when my sister was a bit older than Boog – but when you have some kind of control over that situation, things are a little different.
So I gave it one more try. And it seems to be working.
There’s a special sensitive skin formula made by Science Diet that owners in this situation said has helped, but looking at the list of ingredients, there was no way in hell I was subjecting my cats to that crap. I racked my brain thinking what else I could give her to help her skin, when all of a sudden I am all, “DUH, fish oil” so now the cats get a nice hefty dose of Wild Alaskan Salmon oil at mealtimes.
If anything, I’ll have the shiniest cats in Cleveland.
We’re not out of the woods yet here, but it’s certainly a hell of a lot better than it has been.
And I want to thank all of you for sending me your love and support in this. It means a lot.
Cray has become that grandma who isn’t fucked up enough to be in a home, so you end up volunteering to take her in so she can live out her last years in a familiar place. She kinda smells and maybe cramps your social schedule a bit, but for the most part she’s not any trouble, and she’ll happily sit with you while you watch your America’s Funniest Home Videos marathon.
These last few weeks have been an emotional whirlwind with her, actually, and I really, really hope none of you ever have to deal with this, ever. There is so little information about her condition online, although what I have found has been helpful, although I don’t know how well it’s working. We’re in catch-22 land here because she’s got some open wounds, but pressure on her skin causes it to react, so any bandage put on too tight, or too loose which results in rubbing on the skin, makes it worse. And, of course, you can’t have a cat with freaking open wounds wandering the house.
She spends most of her time looking like a cat mummy sausage. I have to constantly monitor this because she’ll tear at the bandages. I’ve stopped using non stick pads on the wounds because all those have been doing is melding into her skin. Right now, its just some antibacterial spray and a lightly wrapped gause bandage around her midsection. Also, vitamin C supplementation – no more than 250 mg at a time because cats can’t absorb any more than that at once. Her wounds have not gotten any worse, but I dont see any improvement, either.
For further protection, I considered just wrapping her whole damn body because any little bump she suffers causes a reaction. But, yanno, I want to let her have SOME dignity. So I came up with a much better solution.
She looks totally dignified in this, doesn’t she? Shut up. This has actually been a godsend, as its providing extra protection. And it has a faux buttflap.
This is hard. Its very hard. There have been times when I have had to put her in the sink and cut wads of rotting skin and rotten fur off of her body. And then it gets better, and then worse again. She is perfectly healthy and alert otherwise – she walks around and eat likes a horse, its just that her skin is completely falling off.
And then there’s that point where my brain explodes because to just off her right now because this care regimen is entirely inconvenient is totally selfish and she’s been with me for 15 years and I want to make sure I give it all I can before I make that decision. At the same time, my heart aches because I don’t want to see her suffer. And maybe my heart is seeing her not suffering as much as she actually is, because I don’t want to make that decision just yet. And even thinking about making that decision makes you guilt ridden because you don’t want to give up on her.
This has been really fucking tough and an occupation of my mental energy and time at the moment and preventing me from talking about the truly wonderful things that are happening in my life right now. But the time, I think, is coming.
And it destroys me to say that.
A few weeks ago, Cray, the household pet elder, began displaying signs of some pretty horrific allergies. It started around her face, with her nose raw and irritated, and she was losing fur around her ears. I spent some time changing up the cats food to see if her symptoms would improve. Around Thanksgiving, I discovered that she had licked a HUGE section of her fur and skin off on the side of her body. We’re talking raw and dripping with blood. Seriously, it was nasty. IS nasty. A few trips to the vet have led her to rounds of steroids, antibiotics, and the oh so stylish Elizabethan collar, which improved her reception by at least 50 channels.
Despite this collar and my constant attention to wound care, the skin affliction spread. The old area is healing, but there are new sections down her body that are getting worse. Her fur is literally peeling off, skin and all.
Tonight’s round at the vet – and I love my vet, who gets bonus points for immediately recognizing her name – suspects that she has a rare condition called cutaneous asthenia. He’s read about it, but has never witnessed a case with his own eyes. Basically, her skin is collagen deficient and extremely fragile.
And there is no cure. Only precautions to take to make her life easier. Reading up on the internets gave me a list of things to do and new food to try. I’ve wrapped her entire midsection in gauze, medical pads, and antibiotic cream. Hopefully this will help prevent her from messing with her skin, and allow her to go around without that hugeass collar on for longer periods of time.
We’re taking a few more weeks to see how things go, but if things worsen, vet is suggesting a skin biopsy.
Not that there is good timing for anything like this, but it’s Christmastime, and i’m supposed to be busy spreading holiday cheer up peoples’ asses. This, plus a few other life stressors have me not really feeling it this year, and it bums me out.
My eye is twitchy.
If you have any extra brain power, a few extra thoughts sent Cray’s way would be appreciated. I’ve had this cat since 1997 and I am not about to give up on her easily.
I will also report that macadamia nut and dark chocolate therapy did zilcho. Oh, emotional eating, I have not turned to you in a long time.