Monday, September 10, 2007

Okay, anyone that knows me, knows that I have a very special cat in my life. Her name is Bob... I call her "Bobby" and sometimes "Roberta." She is the best cat on the planet. She and I (yes... Bob is a SHE) have talks (some of you have been lucky enough to witness this first-hand) and loves turkey. She actually snorts when it's turkey-time. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday!

Last Sunday, Steve noticed that she wasn't quite herself. I'd noticed too... usually she sleeps in bed with me (she likes to sleep on my head and sometimes chew my hair), but lately has not been in our bed. She's been chillin' downstairs in Steve's blue chair.

Anyway, she was definitely "off" and we decided to take her to the Animal Hospital. They took her back right away and we didn't see or hear from them for three hours. Talk about feeling anxious! I had cried before we took her, because I was really scared that she wasn't going to be coming home with us.

The vet finally came to talk to us and told us that she was "perfectly normal." WHAT??? Impossible I said! We described her normal behavior compared to her behavior on Sunday and the vet said that she was probably just sick. She prescribed some meds and sent us on our way.

Well... throughout the week she didn't get any better. In fact, she just got worse. Steve and I have been so busy with work, I had a field trip last week and then conferences each day after school, and Steve's got a lot that he's doing.

The soonest that we could get her to our Holly Springs vet was Friday. Steve took her in and the vet said that there was definitely something wrong, but he wasn't sure. He took some blood and said that he'd have the results today. He said that his best guess was that she had a Potassium deficiency, and it could be treated with medication.

Throughout the weekend she didn't get better. It was heart-wrenching to watch her deteriorate. This is MY cat... the one that I got for my 21st birthday. This is the cat that when I went through my divorce, kept me sane. She is the cat that was almost killed/eaten by Lou (my dog that I had for about a minute).

This cat is my world and means everything to me... and she was slowly getting worse.

This weekend was awful. She couldn't walk... couldn't do anything but lay on her side and moan. Steve and I were praying that it was a Potassium problem that could be fixed. We were wrong.

This morning Steve got a call from the vet. She has FID... the feline version of AIDS. There's no cure and it always results in death. The vet said that Bob was so far along, that the most humane thing to do would be to bring her in this afternoon and have her put down.

Steve sent me an email this afternoon telling me this and I cracked. Thank God my assistant was there and could take my class to lunch. I called him and he basically said that he didn't want to take her by himself.

Not only is it bad news for Bob... but it's transferred to other cats and we have five others that now MUST be tested. Steve's taking Tommy and Toebe on Wednesday and then Mindy, Eddie and Hurmin on Friday.

I rushed home from work so I could spend some time with her before we had to go. I came upstairs and she was on the floor at the opening to our bathroom. I got on the floor with her and cried like a baby. To think that my cat... my sweet Bobby was going to be leaving me shortly was so painful.

I cried and hugged her and told her how much I loved her. She was a great cat... and got me through the most difficult time of my life. She and I had a connection that only a few pet lovers could ever appreciate. I told her to just go on her own because I couldn't imagine having to watch the vet end her life.

Steve called and said he was going to have to meet me at the vet's. I gathered her into my arms for the last time and carried her limp body to her cat carrier. All week her body was slowly shutting down. She could eat, but had no strength to stand. She could no longer bend her arms or legs and lost all muscle flexibility.

We got into the car and drove to the vet. I cried the whole way. When we got to the vet's office, Steve had just pulled in. I got out and opened the back door and she was in her carrier. She looked like she had an itch, so I opened the top and reached inside to help her itch. She had bent her leg, which she had not been able to do all week. She couldn't quite reach her neck, so I scratched for her. She stuck her neck way out and opened her eyes wide (they had been almost closed all week). Then she moved her body so she was in a different position.

Steve came to the side of the car and took the carrier inside for me. I was crying the whole time and once inside they escorted us to a room.
As soon as we went inside, we looked and she took one final breath. We both said that it didn't look like she was breathing. The vet tech listened for a heartbeat and said that she couldn't confirm anything, but she was pretty certain that Bob had passed on.

The vet came in to check and told us that she had passed on and was no longer with us. It was so painful, but I am glad that she went on her own.
We are having her cremated and will be coming home later this week.
I now feel empty and sad and there's a hole there that will never be filled by another animal. Bob was my soul-cat. She came into my life almost 10 years ago and fulfilled every day as the best cat that ever lived.

I have the most supportive husband... he cried with me and held me through the whole thing. Now we're going to hope that Bob didn't pass on the virus to any of the other cats. It's spread through saliva... and they all share the same food.

Keep us in your prayers.