We'll miss you, Smoke - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Post We'll miss you, Smoke

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.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 07:05 AM
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Oh that is hard. Much sympathy. Please take care of yourself, guilt is a terrible burden. Cats are good at hiding things, it's a survival mechanism, and you're not meant to see how unwell they are.

Watch your other cat for signs of grief. They mourn just as we do.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 08:08 AM
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I am so sorry for your loss. Please don't feel guilty. Like eldercat said, cats are very good at hiding things.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 12:37 PM
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I had a somewhat similar thing happen to one of my first cats too; didn't realize how sick she was until it was too late. It was sooo hard to accept, and like you blamed myself for my ignorance. Years later I came to the realization that I'll see my little girl in the spiritual world. This has given me a lot of consolation. My sympathies are with you on your loss of Smoke--he was a beauty, lovely color and bewitching eyes!

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 02:22 PM
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So sorry for your loss. I know what it feels like with the guilt i didn't do enough. Love the pic with the cats in a man's lap. It looks like a heart shape the way the cats are laying. Yes, keep an eye on the other cat for signs of grief.


Razzle and Geets-they left paw prints on my heart. Love you, love you always.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Yes, I'm definitely keeping an eye on Peanuts. For now, he's already noticed that Smoke isn't showing up at the usual times, like when I give out treats, or whistle for him. He turns his ear to the other room, as if listening for any movement. He's still waiting for him to come out from wherever he's hiding.

he was a beauty, lovely color and bewitching eyes!
Bewitching is the exact word. He had the loveliest way to stare up at you, like he was trying to put a spell on you with his gaze.
He was also so tiny and adorable. He was already an adult, but in perfect health he only weighted about 3 kg; you could easily mistake him for a large kitten if you'd never seen him before. I wasn't able to capture that in any of the photographs, unfortunately.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:10 PM
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We all have made mistakes or look back and think there are mistakes. I had a beautiful older cat who slept a lot and didn't know that she had a small puncture wound that was infected. Due to her age she died at the vets also and I couldn't believe it. I really don't know how I would have known but it won't be forgotten. We can only learn from life. I am so sorry for your loss.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:07 AM
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I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. He was so young - no wonder you didn't suspect anything was seriously wrong. So many of us who have lost kitties live with a terrible sense of guilt about what we could and should have done differently. But as cat owner again said, we learn, and we become even better kitty caregivers to our other kitties.

I know none of this will make things any easier for you though. I'm glad you have so many wonderful pictures to remember him by. Lots of sympathy and hugs to you.
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