lost 1 of my 2 best friends
I will try to make this as brief as possible, but it will probably be long, so I apologize in advance.
Around 3 years ago, my mom found 3 small wild kittens on the farm she lives on. They thought that something happened to the mother because they seemed abandoned. She caught 2 of them, and the 3rd was more wild and couldn't be caught. I caught the 3rd one trying to eat from their trash pile (they didn't have trash pickup at this time). The 3rd one seemed very sickly and I didn't think he would live. My mom kept the 3 on the porch and fed them, her husband gave the 3rd one some antibiotics and he improved. My mom wanted to keep them, but he didn't want them in the house. 1 of them died, and she asked if I would keep the 2. I had pets as a kid, but I didn't consider myself much of an animal person and I didn't want them. She wouldn't let it go, so finally I agreed to take them. She got them their shots, and had them neutered and we found out that they were little boys. I let my ex-wife name them, and she decided they were "Mittens" and "Pepper".
Mittens was the first kitten my mom found, Pepper was the 3rd dirty, sickly one that I caught in the trash pile and didn't think would live. Mittens was noticeably bigger, I always wondered if Pepper's growth was stunted from being sick or being wild a little bit longer. Mittens and Pepper were absolutely inseparable, they did everything together. Eat, play, sleep, even groom each other. But they have very different personalities. Mittens was very quiet and reserved, only meowed 2 times that I ever heard. Pepper always meows and makes other sounds, and was the more playful, and gets into more mischief. Mittens was bigger and stronger, and when they would play fight, would always win, but when there was trouble to get into, it seemed like he was the reluctant follower. When Pepper would get into stuff he shouldn't, Mittens would sit there looking at me like "do you see what he's doing? I know not to do that". I really came to enjoy them, and be entertained by watching them.
My ex-wife left, and it was just me and "the boys" as I called them. The marriage wasn't that great, so the divorce didn't really affect me as much. I'm not a very social person, and have very few friends, and other things happened in that time that their company really helped me through. I did my best to be responsible with them, I read food reviews online and gave them the best food I could, I would only let them out into my fenced backyard while I was out there to watch them. I gave them as much attention and affection as I could.
"The boys" and I had a great life until 2 months ago. I noticed Mittens seemed to be having a hard time urinating, and I took him to the vet. They explained urine crystals to me, but it might just be a bladder infection. I got a urine sample and they said it was just an infection, they gave him an antibiotic and anti inflammatory and he got better for a week or so, then started having problems again. I took him back, did another urine sample, and they said he had crystals. They gave him an anti inflammatory again, and sold me some prescription food to dissolve them, told me to get him to drink more water etc. I was a little concerned that they gave me 2 different diagnosis in that short of a time, so I found another vet to take him to for a second opinion.
The second vet confirmed the urine crystals, said for me to get him on the food and come back in a month for another test. He was fine until this past weekend and I noticed him having trouble again. I tried getting him in to the vet Saturday morning, but they couldn't see him until Monday. He continued to get worse and I took him to a 24 hr emergency clinic on Sunday. They said he was completely blocked and they could put a catheter in him. They said he might not make it through the procedure from being weakened. I wanted to give him a chance at life, so I let them do it. I got to take him home later that night and he was in terrible shape. He didn't move all night long, and his breathing was very shallow. I slept on the floor by him. I called the vet in the morning, and they told me to keep the afternoon appointment, but call if he got worse. I called my mom and she called a vet they use with the farm animals, who said I could bring him right away. I got dressed and went to pick him up to leave, and he had passed away while I dressed. When I composed myself, I went to Lowes and got some pine wood, and made him a little wood casket, put his pillow in the bottom, wrapped him in a blanket, and my mom and I buried him in the backyard he loved to explore with his brother.
I am a 40 year old man and I feel I have faced a lot of adversity in my life, and I can't believe how deeply this has affected me. I am overwhelmed with the guilt that he suffered all night long because of my decision. If I had known how traumatic of an experience that was going to be for him, I would have had him put down and ended his suffering. I have the guilt that I should have taken him to the emergency clinic on Saturday when I was concerned about him. I wish I could have held him as he passed from this world, rather than him dying alone. He was such an amazing pet, and I feel like I failed him in so many ways, and now he's gone, and there's nothing I can do to make all of this right. I don't have children, never really been an animal person but I feel like I buried my child. I'm not a man to cry, but I have cried and cried over him.