This Friday, my kitty Smoke died. He was my second cat, but barely so. I had brought home my first cat, Peanuts, only two weeks before him. So Smoke was actually my first pet to die.
He'd been having intermittent diarrhea since early this year, and I neglected to get him checked out. He had always been a big eater, so I wasn't concerned.
I also failed to notice he had lost weight because he was so tiny.
On Tuesday, I finally took him to get a blood sample. I guess by then his anemia (which I didn't know about at the time) was so advanced that either the amount for the sample was too much or he couldn't handle the anesthesia. It took him several hours to fully wake up.
On Wednesday he was weak and breathing rapidly, and he had lost some control of his bowels and bladder. I thought he had simply gotten infected at the office with a feline cold at the vet's office and it wasn't anything serious. On Thursday I was coming back to hear the results, so I would take him then.
On Thursday, he probably spent the whole time I was at work curled up in a corner in the laundry room, near the litterbox. When I returned, he got, walked a few meters noticeably swaying and making the most pitiful meows. The vet told me he had some kind of hepatic problem, as well as a very low hematocrit count, and recommended a blood transfusion. At this point I could see he was definitely not doing well and I wanted it to get done right away, so I took him to a 24 h clinic. It wasn't until 9 pm that he was looked at. The vet explained how it worked to get blood for a transfusion, and it might take as long as until Saturday before he can get transfused. He also told me that Smoke had a very slim chance of surviving the night, so I should wait until then to see how he did, before thinking about how to get the blood. This broke my heart, and as soon as I exited the clinic I burst into tears.
If I'd known he wasn't going to make I'd have taken him home and slept with him like usual, but I wanted to give him the best chance possible.
Early next morning I was called and told what I already expected. Even as I touched his cold body and saw his unblinking, still eyes, and as his paws didn't close when I grasped them like always, none of it seemed real. It felt like a bad dream I couldn't wake up from.
Everything about this is just horrible. I have no consolation. He would have turned 3 sometime in December, so it was far too early for him. He died very suddenly, so I didn't have time to prepare and to properly say goodbye while he still lived. He died alone in a cage in a clinic, far from his loved ones and with nobody to comfort him.
And finally, what makes this the hardest is that I know that he died because of me. I failed in my responsibilities as a guardian and he paid the ultimate price. Now I'm just filled with guilt and remorse, and I have no one to apologize to and no one who can forgive me. I can only endure this pain alone until it goes away.
I never knew something could hurt so much.
At least I have hundreds of photos of him and a few videos, and even a couple of short isolated clips of his voice. I have no excuse not to remember him.
Goodbye, Smoke. I hope I made you happy and that you didn't have to suffer much because of me. I will never forget our short time together.