Registered: 1570738712 Posts: 2
Hello. I am new to this & am not too sure how this works. My baby girl passed peacefully last night in my arms at the vet and I am struggling. Hoping that typing this out will help me get some relief. I got Zora when she was just a couple months old, back in 2013. I wasn't a big cat person, but my ex at the time begged for her. We ended up splitting up, and the cat stayed with me. Over the next 6 years, Zora grew on me like a weed. She was my best friend and had turned me into a cat lover. I decided to get her a new playmate, Mona, as well. Zora was always the "healthy" cat. Mona was allergic to life so she had frequent vet visits, but Zora was always the healthy one. Well fast forward 6 years, several different houses later, and here we are. I am now engaged and have a baby boy on the way. My fiance and I have 3 dogs, and 2 cats, Mona and Zora. Zora loved everyone. The dogs, my fiance, guests, everyone. She was the glue of the household. She was the queen. Well earlier this week, I started to notice that Zora hadn't really touched her food for a day or two. We also noticed that she was sleeping more, and that her breathing just didn't look right. It looked forced. While I was at work on Tuesday, my fiance took Zora to the local vet. The vet knew right away after listening to her chest that something was wrong. She did an xray, and said she had a lot of fluid buildup in her chest. She advised us to take her to an emergency vet immediately in Louisville (close to our small town) for a more accurate diagnosis. When we arrived, the vet took Zora back and about an hour and a half later, came and told us that he fears she has heart failure. He asked to do a "chest tap" to drain her fluids, and advised us that it is pretty severe. We agree to the chest tap, and a blood test. About 45 minutes later he comes and takes us to the back to go over her xrays. He showed us all of the fluid that had built up. It was a lot and her heart was enlarged and pushing on her trachea. He said she may have another 6-12 months if she responds well to medications, and advised us to see the cardiologist for an advanced prognosis. He gave her some pain meds, and gave us diuretics (water pills) to give her the next day. We had hopes that we would take her home, and she would get better. The chest tap was supposed to make her breathing a lot better for at least 2-3 weeks until we could see the cardiologist. Well this vet visit was $1,200 and the cardiologist consultation would be another $750. We took Zora home, she didn't feel too good the remainder of the night. The next day was terrible. Zora wouldn't touch her food, didn't want to be in the same room as us, and her breathing was bad again. I even tried giving her her favorite food, salmon and she had 0 interest. She just looked miserable. I held her and cried for a long time. She looked at me in the eyes, and gave me a slow cat kiss almost as if saying she was ready. We knew that she was in heart failure and didn't have much longer with her. She could barely hold her head up and her breathing just looked so so painful. We had agreed to schedule an appointment 2 days later to have her euthanized, but she seemed like she was ready to go. She didn't have interest in anything and she just looked like she was in pure misery. My fiance told me that it is selfish to make her suffer like this any longer. So we drove back down to the emergency vet in Louisville, and the same vet came and spoke with us in the "comfort room". He said that since she wasn't responding to the water pills, there wouldn't be much more they could do besides constant chest taps, and that she would still be suffering. A little while later, after many tears, I agreed and my sweet baby Zora passed away peacefully in my arms. I am still in shock that this could happen so suddenly with a seemingly perfect 6 year old cat. My heart is shattered, I didn't sleep at all last night and I just keep second guessing myself on if I should've tried to hold off and see a cardiologist. I wanted to, but she seemed so miserable and I couldn't watch her suffer any longer. I just miss her so much and I can't stop blaming myself & thinking about what I could've done differently. My world has been turned upside down and I am struggling to cope. I'm a 6' 230lb male and I've been sobbing like a baby non stop since last night. I wish I would've had more time to prepare. Just last week we were playing and she was fine and now she is gone forever. I miss my Zora.
Registered: 1444060919 Posts: 639
What you described was Zora coming to the end of her life. I know that sounds awful to say, horrible. I know that. But that is in my opinion what was happening Just experiencing that is enough to send someone's life into a tailspin. Just that experience alone. The trauma of all you described. And I am talking about before she finished living. Couple that with the fact you miss her and it is an opportunity for exactly what you are going through. An opportunity I myself know too well. Witnessing our beloved family member sucumb to illness is devastating. All the running around you did between various veterinarians and speicalists. That is draining, exhausing and really takes it toll. I was do determined that my cat Pearl not die, that in one week I had 13 appointments with her at various places. I was going for second opinions, seeing specialists. It was a living nightare. And when the dust settles, all that anxiety catches up with us. In the end I chose a vet who was insensitive and inexperienced to save my girl's life. And I have suffered for a long time about the vet I chose.
It doesn't matter if you are a 6 foot male, 230 lbs. You are a human being, you are YOU. And you are allowed to be who you are. It's OK that the you who are on the inside is coming out. The fact you are experiecing the pain you are in a good step. I know that sounds crazy. But the one's who they say people worry about are the people who are frozen and can't react. Given the cirumstances, you are in a very normal place. I am extremely sorry for this horrible experience you are having. I personally can say that in due time the severity of this all will ease up so that you can start to get a grip on things, but for now, this time is not the right time. Allow yourself to feel what is happening and don't worry about if there is something wrong with you. There isn't. This is exactly what it feels like to lose someone we love. All this pain is new to you. You have never felt this kind of pain or endured all that goes with the pain. The crying, the sobbing, the regrets. To put it short, the TORTURE. But it all part of the process and I can promise you that some day this time in your life is something you will look back on and say "I never thought that would improve. I thought I would be stuck in that place forever". You will still love Zora and will never forget her. But you won't be torture. Grief is cylical. This painful time is going to run it's course. Give it time and don't fight it. Like I said, given the circumstances, your experience is sheer hell...but very much normal..given the circumstances. You will be OK. Stay the course. I am so sorry for Zora and for you. God bless, Stephanie
Registered: 1570738712 Posts: 2
Thank you so so much for your reply. I was having a really rough morning and really needed to hear that. Thank you. I am so sorry about your Pearl. I am sure she was a sweetheart. It kills me to see my other cat looking around for Zora. She refuses to get on her cat tower now & that's where they would hangout most of the day. I can say that Zora had the most peaceful passing, with me telling her how much she was loved until the end. That helps some. It just kills me that she was only 6. I keep thinking to myself that I should've fought harder, that the next person she saw would've given better news. But I know that wasn't fair to her. I could tell in her eyes that she wasn't the same Zora that she used to be. My dog, Cass, has been very depressed since I came home that night with an empty crate. I don't think he realizes shes gone, but I think he just doesn't understand why I am sad and why he can't fix it. It kills me so I try to suck it up for his sake. I know things will get easier in time. It helps to talk about it. At least for now. I got a little joy yesterday by ordering memorial keepsakes off the internet. My Fiance is pregnant, due in April. I always knew Zora was going to be the best furry big sister. She loved EVERYONE. Again, thank you so much Stephanie. Your reply helped me a lot this morning when I got into work.
Registered: 1444060919 Posts: 639
I am glad my reply helped. Our lives rapidly become turned upside down when our beloved pet or pets die. I mean they "immediately" get turned upside down. Our lives can also begin to unravel before the death as we see and recognize that things do not look good. And we anticipate "problems" ahead...not knowing exactly what they are, but knowing they aren't good.
One thing that helped me personally was calling pet loss hotlines. I was soooo besides myself that emotionally I could not function. I really mean that too. I had to put on a strong front to go to work but I was a basetcase. Looking back, I have no idea how I could pull off a day's work. You can all the pet loss hotlines as often as you want and they are free. Just tell them someone in a pet loss group suggested you call and the person on the other end will pick up the conversation. They won't ask for things like last name, address, etc. That's all confidential and you don't have to give it. They won't ask "where do you work" and so on. Here's the actual link I used. https://www.petloss.com/phones.htm You can also call regular crisis hotlines. Keep talking and sharing. God bless, Stephanie