Twelve years ago a good friend and co-worker of mine at another animal hospital took his own life. To this day I have not gotten over it, nor will I ever. For those of you who believe in the afterlife, he has come to visit me quite a few times over the years. He has also visited our other co workers (they can attest to it). After he passed, everything was a whirlwind of sadness and organization. He was also a pet sitter and we had to take over his clients. Twelve years ago I started pet sitting for Bugsy who he had already been watching for a few years. Today Bugsy lost his battle with cancer. My old co-corker and I were the only 2 people to ever pet sit for Bugsy and I always held that close. It was my last real connection to him. His owner and I became like family and he was such a special cat to me for all of these reasons.
He was always a "hefty cat" topping off at about 26 lbs. It was tough to lift him, but he would always sit on the couch with me and watch TV. He loved food, yelling at the closet, drinking out of everything except for his water bowl, and playing hide and seek behind the coffee table. He was the apple of his moms eye - very bonded and very close. She hated to leave him alone in the house but felt better knowing that I was taking care of him. He lived a long and mostly healthy life until his 15th year when he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and then cancer. He was being treated with chemo and steroids but he wasn't responding. I spent the last few weeks shoving pills in his mouth and then force feeding him twice a day because he wouldn't eat on his own. I kept hoping that it would just be temporary and it would give him the boost that he needed to respond to the medication. Unfortunately it only prolonged his life so that he could spend a little more time with us. He was visibly declining yesterday and would barely take the food I was giving him. I knew then that he had given up and his mom agreed. In the past 24 hours his back legs were giving out on him, he was becoming uncomfortable, and he just wanted to sleep. It was time and we all dreaded this day. I said my goodbyes last night because I just knew that today was the day. I intermittently cried all day, as did his mom. We both did everything in our power to keep him with us and comfortable.
After 12 years with a cat that was not my own, he really felt like part of my cat family. I have cried for other clients passing, but this felt like I had lost one of my own. My own emotions surprised me and I have been in mourning all day. He will be greatly missed, but I know that he is no longer in pain and in cat heaven looking down on us. Here are some pictures from throughout the years.....
I love you Bugsy. !2 years was not enough for me. I will miss you.