My cat

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My beloved cat Figaro is doing very poorly, and I'm sobbing and can't stop and feel like a real wimp to say nothing of a poor example for my kids but I love this cat so.

    thank you was just shy of 3 when we got Figs. thank you picked him out and named him (can you tell "Pinocchio" was the video of the day then?). Figs was about 2 months old when we got him - all black except white feet, tuxedo shirt, and whiskers. Skinny thing, but tall even then. Such a good cat from the start.

    A week after we got him, I found out I was preggo with- Wee, and got all that well-intentioned advice about cats smothering babies. I have to admit that Figs did sleep on one of my kids' heads but he slept there like he was this big cat hat. I would walk in in the mornings and there Boo would be, just grinning away, with Figaro gently curled around the top of his head. It was the cutest thing. I almost think Figs was guarding Boo, as he was having some medical problems at the time.

    Figs was pure feline. The first time he brought me a gift (live bird), I was just horrified. But he was a hunter, and darn good at it. He used to wait for a door to be opened and then he'd scoot right outside. husband spent so many nights those years in WA searching for our cat. I would worry that Figs was going to get run over and husband, being the good man that he is, would get the bowl of cat food and roam all over the neighborhood, rattling the food in the bowl and calling Figs' name.

    We got a tortoise shell cat a couple years later, Furball. She and Figs would just tear after each other all over our house. We called them the kamikaze kitties. Up the couch, across the love seat, around the rec. room, then back again. It was a riot.

    We moved to CA in '96. The cats did just fine with the move until... one day Figs headed out an opened door and didn't come back. We were living up in the Sierra foothills, had only been there a couple of weeks, and with each passing day that he was gone, I was sure he had lost his way or been eaten by a wild critter. I was devastated, and husband was seriously in the dog house because he'd been the one who'd accidently let Figs out. Over 2 weeks later, I heard a meowing at our back door and sure enough, old Figs had come home. I'd give a limb or two to know what he'd been doing those 2 weeks. He'd lost a ton of weight but other than that seemed to be okay. We wonder if he'd gotten trapped in someone's weekend home garage or something - wherever he was, it cured him of his wanderlust. I think he's wandered outside twice since then.

    Figs didn't really meow. He had a deep sound he made, almost like a baby lion roar. Oh, and his purr - I swear he had an engine in him. He would rub up against us until we let him sit in our laps and then just purr and rumble and vibrate. I've never heard a purr like his. He used to drive husband and me crazy because he'd sit by the shower waiting for us to get out and then rub himself against our legs, leaving tons of black fur. It was a daily routine for him.

    At his prime, he was just huge - over 23 pounds, not much of it excess fat. Just this big fluffy black thing. When we moved into this house, he wandered it for days, doing his lion roar. I think it was because there had been a dog here before and he wanted to make sure that the house knew that *he* was the king now.

    He's been a pretty tolerant cat. He survived thank you. Furball left us in CA, but when we got Elsie and Soda 7 years ago, he would put up with their kitten play until he couldn't take it any longer and then he would give them a smack on the head (claws in). He and Soda ended up becoming pretty close - they would spoon and groom each other.

    He's been declining the last 2 years or so. Gradual weight loss, not much energy. I think his joints have been aching too. But still our Figs. Last spring he got the wandering meows - would walk from room to room, stop, meow a few times, then go to another room and repeat. Vet said it's kind of a cat Alzheimer's. He stopped grooming himself about then too. Got a nasty tooth infection the beginning of the summer but rallied a bit with- the antibiotics.

    We've been giving him special food to try to keep him strong and he is still eating, but I realized yesterday that I hadn't seen him get up since the weekend. I had a gotten a special cat pad for him that is supposed to absorb his body heat and reflect it - thought it would help his joints. We've been bringing his food to him for a while now but he would still get up to go to the cat box... but no more. He seems to only be peeing now.

    I cleaned him up last night, got a new fluffy blanket for him to lay on, and I slept next to him all night.

    I'm horribly conflicted about putting an animal down - always have been. Figs doesn't seem to be uncomfortable and ... this cat is older than 2 of my kids. He's the first animal who has owned me, heart and soul, and while the rational side of me says death is part of life, I'm just heartbroken that his time has come. This beloved cat has provided so much joy and comfort though the years. I want to do right by him.

    So... I guess I'll buck up and be an adult about this. Will call the vet this morning so she can take a look at him. I need to try to find thank you too, since Figs has been "his" cat. We had already talked about what thank you's wishes are - he doesn't want Figs to suffer. He's expressed the wish to be here but... I don't know if that's possible. difficult child issues.

    I'm sorry for rambling so much but I just needed to share this with someone. husband, while being a good man, is rather unemotional about all this. It kinda ticks me off... not really, I've been with- the man 22 years now, I get how he works, but... I don't know.

    If you could hold a good thought for my much loved cat, I'd appreciate it. He's really just been the best of the best.:pet:
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, here I am at work just bawling my eyes out! I will send all my positive vibes to Figs today. Sounds just like my cat. He has my heart. So, I feel for you.

    I have no other words - just HUGE HUGS! And many, many good thoughts for you and Figs. I also hope you can reach thank you.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Sue, having lost my two beloved old girl fuzzbutts in less than a year you know I'm sitting here weeping with you, too. I'm so sorry. sigh. :(

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    There is nothing I could say to make you feel any better about Figs' health. I truly am sorry for what you are facing. Just know that you don't have to be the tough girl or the adult. Our fuzzy children become our rock when everything around us stops understanding us. Seems with four legs they could run faster away from us than anyone, yet they choose to stay and comfort us. Who wouldn't mourn loosing that type of a friend for any length of time? I believe, we'll be together again someday. It's just the inbetween and making new friends that becomes harder as we grow older. They (our furry children) understand us better than we understand ourselves and actually don't want us to be alone...Figs loves you and he knows you love him. In the end that's what matters. It's what matters most.

    Everyone deals with loss or the thought of loss in their own way. I've found out this year that the time I spend being angry at someone for how they grieve over the loss of someone I love is less time I spent remembering how much they made me happy. Keep that in mind when you judge someone on how they handle impending loss. It will help you focus on what was important to you about Figs and lessen the loss. I think memories are our loved ones way of filling the holes they leave in our lives when they go.

    Keep that in mind as much as you can. Just know you're not alone.

    Hugs & Love
    Star :D
  5. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Having a dear pet doing poorly, can truly get to us. The emotional attachment funs deep for many people. Just do what you can to what you can to keep him as comfortable as possible. Put a loved pet down can be hard, but when it is the best for them, we owe that to them. If he is not suffering and in pain, just do what you can do help him. If pain gets worse, help him by allowing him to not suffer. That is the greatest love we can give a loved pet.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Oh, Sue.....honey, I'm so sorry.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm so sorry. It is hard to accept their eventual end of life even when we know it's coming. Don't feel bad about your feelings! I bawled my eyes out over a chicken we'd only had for 6 mos for gosh sakes -- never apologize for your emotional attachments. They're what make our life richer.

    I hope your Figaro does not suffer and goes quietly in his own time. You have so many wonderful memories, your post would be a good memento to print out and keep for later on.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sue, I am so so sorry. Your post has me crying too. Reminds me of Jamies cat who waited for him to come home and sit in the bathroom to hold him one last time. Then he just quietly passed away.

    It is never easy. Like Star, I do think they wait to see us again some day. I am gonna have a whole lot of furry friends on the other side!
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{Figaro}}} {{{slsh}}} I'm so sorry. Sending gentle hugs~
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Thank you guys so much. The GOOD NEWS is that Figs is still with us and, relatively speaking, as okay as an old cat can be. Vet did a UA to check for infection/kidney function/diabetes - we'll get results in a couple of days. She feels that he's become immobile due to his arthritis, so we're going to try some pain medications and see if that helps. He has lost another 2 pounds since July :( but he really is eating - I sit next to him while he eats to shoo the girls away from his food (he gets the really yummy soft food now and the girls circle like vultures). Heart rate and temp were ok, and he had a slew of blood work back in July that was decent. His thyroid function was better then than it had been last year, but if he's still losing wt in 2 weeks, we'll recheck it again.

    He's used puppy pads for the last 2 years or so, so we're covered there - just have to make some accommodations distance-wise.

    These vets are such good people. They have several animals that live in the clinic because they're basically unadoptable. I met a new guy today, a beautiful golden cat that is a paraplegic (car accident). He's got a lot of ongoing medical issues so rather than risk him being put down, they keep him there. So that reminded me too that these ladies are going to help us keep Figs as comfortable and healthy as possible for the long haul.

    Funny how I've taken for granted my furbabies sitting on my lap when I work, wrapping themselves around my legs when I'm trying to make dinner, wanted to be scratched and petted and just loved on. I really wouldn't know what to do without them.

    And husband was a gem and came home early so I could get Figs to the vet without having to take all the kids. So while he doesn't get upset like I do, he does care.

    Going to go lie down with- my cat now. ;) Thanks again.
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Now that cats are living so much longer, vets are seeing a LOT of arthritis. Used to a cat was lucky to make it to ten or twelve before dying of renal failure or the like.

    husband and I had an old guy who lived to be nearly 23 years of age. He had his share of health problems, including getting quite senile and losing his hearing, but the big issue was that he had horrible arthritis in his spine, hips, and shoulders.

    Back then, there weren't really any good long-term pain killers that cats could take. It was when they first came out with the joint supplements for humans and we used to open them up and mix a bit of the powder into some baby food meat to get him to take it.

    I think it helped, but we finally did wind up putting the poor guy down when he was in such pain that he'd become nearly immobile.

    Hopefully your old gentleman will do well with modern medication. If you have access to a veterinary acupunturist, both dogs and cats often get really good results from that treatment as well.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad the visit to the vet went well. Hugs to you and Figs.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sue, thanks for the update on Figaro....I'm so glad that he's being well cared for.

    Keeping fingers crossed that the pain medications help Fig. Sally, the wonder dog, is taking pain medication. It's helping tremendously. (She & I wonder about the house goofy on pain medications - it has to be quite the picture.)
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    My dog takes Etodelac for his spinal arthritis and does very well on it. It's an NSAID so you don't get the "high" from it.

    His liver function needs to be tested every few months and the medication must be given with food.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm glad he is feeling better. And I think you are setting a fine example of compassion for your kids. Big hugs!
  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Sue, so sorry on coming on this late. I think that pets are sometimes your best loved ones. When someone says unconditional love, that is what I think of.

    I'm not great advice on putting a pet down. I let Rockstar go far too long but I just couldn't let go. He went for months without even being able to stand up. He passed away the day I left. Talk about a super guilt trip.

    So, maybe you can sift through my memories of Rock and you can post some of your kittie. I'm sure she's had a wonderful life.

    Actually, this one is the best. It was was the morning that I was leaving and we were snuggling outside. He's trying to stand, but can't make it. I just enjoyed the big hug.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009