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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Sad Goodbye to an old cat friend

Last Saturday I had to say goodbye to an old man cat (19 years old to be exact) that was owned by a client turned friend.  He had been having issues with his mouth for quite some time, but in the past month it had gotten progressively worse.  He was hungry, and he would eat - but he had attacks after most meals where he would gag and struggle to swallow.  He would shake it off, calm down, and then go eat more.  It got to the point where he didn't eat for over 24 hours and his owner knew that was it.

We were in constant communication about this.  When is the right time?  How will she know?  Is he suffering?  It's tough to answer these questions, because you really just know when it's time.  They will tell you.  Last Saturday, he told her.  She asked me to come to the vet for moral support. I met her over there midday and he went very peacefully.  You could tell that he was ready and that he had enough.  He had 19 years of adventures and crazy times (more than my own cats!).

He was an indoor/outdoor cat in the city which meant that he mostly hung out in the backyard (and other backyards that were close by)  He chased birds, killed mice, snoozed in the sun (and sometimes rain), and came in for meals and love.  He was loud and grumpy, but so sweet!  He also gave me some heart palpitations  over the years.  One time I went in to feed him and could not find him anywhere in the house.  I searched everywhere and then thought to look out back.  I'm calling for him and he doesn't come running.  I see him sleeping on the roof of the shed (outhouse?) in the yard behind his.  I call him and get no response.  I clap my hands and start yelling his name.  Nothing.  I tried to climb on a chair to reach him to tap  him and he was Just out of reach. I then thought he was dead and began to freak out.  I was looking for anything around me to be helpful.  I started throwing small pebbles at him to see if he was in fact dead.  I hit him with 3 or 4 rocks and I saw him stretch, yawn, and proceed to come over the neighbors call and stand at his back door yelling for dinner.  (the little stinker)

R.I.P. Arlo, you will be missed

This was where he was outside when I couldn't reach him! Directly in the middle behind the giant tree.             



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