Our sweet beloved little girl, Lucy was put to sleep on Friday, April 23, 2010 at approximately 10:10 pm.
Our precious girl, Ms. Lucy did have some medical problems (diabetes & hyperthyroidism), which were very well controlled. She also had a diagnosis of asthma, but thankfully we only had to use Prednisone once or twice.
In the beginning of April, we began to notice some difference in her breathing. It didn't stop her from running around & playing - she loved to chase our little guy, Mr. Yoster.
On Thursday, April 15, we went to her regular vet's office, but since our vet wasn't there, (they have two offices), we saw someone else.
A chest x-ray was done which revealed a pleural effusion. He did a tap (thoracocentesis) and removed 100 ml of milky white fluid. He sent the fluid to the lab for testing, but told me that she could have cancer or heart disease or a chylothorax. He prescribed Lasix to be given twice/day.
That evening her respiratory rate was 39 -- much improved from 60. She had a fantastic Friday & Saturday! We were feeling very relieved knowing that she was feeling better.
We got a call on Saturday (from the tech/receptionist) and were told that the lab results showed this was a "chylous effusion". No cancerous cells were present in the fluid, but that didn't rule out a tumor or cancer.
In the very early morning of 4/18 she came to me with some difficult breathing. When I had taken her to the vet on 4/15, her respirations were only at the very top of her chest -- indicating that the fluid had pushed her lungs to the top of her chest. On this early morning, I noted that her respirations were occupying her chest and now included belly breathing.
We returned for a follow-up x-ray on 4/22. I said, "she's still having some trouble breathing, some days are better than others", and he replied, "the x-ray looks better, I can see her heart now!" He increased her Lasix just a bit. He didn't say whether or not there was any more fluid -- looking back, I didn't ask.
During her last week on earth, she would eat - but then, there were times that she didn't want to eat. Mr. Yoster would stay near her, as if keeping vigil. When she would come out to the living room to join us, I felt as if my heart would truly burst. If we were watching a movie, she jump up on the couch/recliner, and sit behind my head. I put my hands up and gave her all the love she wanted.
It was ALWAYS music to my ears just to hear her -- whether purring or breathing or snoring,
I loved all of her.
She always knew when it was medication time -- whether it was her insulin & tapazole (twice/daily), often times she'd come to me when I was late. I'd mix her methimazole in some beech nut baby food turkey w/water, and she'd get her insulin at the same time. We would always call her, "Our little alarm clock".
In the last couple of days, when her eating declined, it was most important for her to get the lasix and methimazole. Earlier in the week, she LOVED the pill pockets (chicken), but the last 24+ hours, she'd just turn her head away . She even turned away her much loved baby food.
On April 23rd at 12:30pm I made a call to the vet's office and said that he was having more difficulty breathing and could we please come in. She said that our regular vet was at lunch and would call back in 45 minutes. The phone rang within 15 minutes and the secretary said that Dr. B (saw him the day before) wanted us to wait 24 hours for the Lasix to "kick in", and to call back first thing Saturday morning. I really doubted that any amount of Lasix was going to be beneficial to her. I felt that she might have needed another tap - the tech said, "we have to save those for when they're really needed".
When Ben came home from work, I said that we needed to bring her to the emergency vet. The nurse came out and brought her right back to the treatment area.
I signed a paper so they could give her oxygen. After about 1/2 hour, we were brought into a room where the vet was going to speak with us. When she first came into the room, after she introduced herself, I told her that we would do anything for Lucy.
She told us that she was given a sedative to help relax her along with Lasix. She said she had to perform a thoracocentesis and got 200ml of chylous fluid , but also got some air as well. She explained that it didn't look good to have had 100ml removed on 4/15 and then another 200ml removed just 8 days later. I told her that an x-ray was taken the day before, and the vet told me that he could see her heart. She said if that were true, then a good portion of this fluid developed in just under 30 hours.
She painted a very bleak & hopeless picture for our little girl, stating that she probably had heart disease and/or a tumor. We went back to see her and there she was in the small incubator. Her pupils were so dilated, but that was because of the sedative. She was very happy to see us, as we were to see her!
She was a lot more comfortable without all that fluid in her chest. We just wanted to bundle her up and take her home right then and there! But, we knew that that would have been very selfish of us. She had also lost roughly one pound in a weeks time.
I posed a question to the vet, "what would you do if this was your cat"? Her reply was that she would let her go. I knew that having difficulty breathing was an awful way to live, and our girl must have been afraid. We didn't want to be heroic with our precious girl and we certainly didn't want her to suffer
When we were traveling to the emergency hospital two hours earlier, in NO way did we ever think that we might have to make that decision. But, we did.
She said she was going to place a catheter in her front paw and then bring her to us. The door opened and our eyes met...... I really would give anything just to feel my sweet girl in my arms again. We shared a bond that was stronger than any other bond I've ever had.
The vet gave her to me and I gently held her; Ben and I gave her kisses and loves. I had a jar of Beech Nut turkey baby food and asked if I could try and give her some. She watched me open the jar and I started feeding her with my finger. She lapped it up and loved it. It made us very happy to see her enjoy it.
The vet administered the sedative first and said we could spend time with her - but, I knew that hearing is the last sense to go. We both told her how much we loved her and how truly happy she made our lives. I held her sweet precious little face and gave her a kiss, then said, "Always & forever". She was gone.
It has been just over 2 weeks now, and I cannot believe that she is gone. Her "shell" is gone, but her beautiful & loving spirit will ALWAYS be in this house - she will forever live on in our hearts. Mr. Yoster misses her a lot, too. We're doing all we can to comfort him.
Much peace & love to all of you,
Ms. Lucy is the tortie:
Here's Mr. Yoster: