Our beloved Dory is no longer with us. On thursday last week we took the decision to put her to sleep. It was the worst day of my life.
She came to us via our neighbour. They adopted her as a rescue kitten from an abusive household, but they had two other cats, three kids and a big dog, and Dory only ever went to them for food. She spent the rest of the time living in our wood shed. After a year, our neighbours asked us to care for her and we jumped at the chance. That was 15 years ago.
My wife and I became the only two bipeds that Dory would trust. She needed a quiet life in a safe environment with no kids or other animals, and we were able to give her that. At the beginning of 2018 she started to lose weight and have terrible digestive problems (front and rear) and after ultrasounds, tests and scopes, it was determined she'd developed IBS. We were able to adjust her diet to compensate and she settled down. She responded really well to B12 injections every few weeks so we kept that up. Around autumn last year she started to drop weight again, drinking more and using her box more. Stupid kidneys. One had stopped working and the other was struggling to compensate. Come Christmas and she started to lose interest in her wet food, preferring dry only. The weight continued to fall albeit slowly. Then she contracted a kidney infection that we were able to fight off with two weeks of antibiotics. A couple of weeks ago the IBS flared up really badly again and we just couldn't find a food that would settle her tummy and be easy on her kidneys. She started going outside the box and blood started to appear occasionally in her soft poops. We finally decided her quality of life was declining and fearing she would run away and die alone, outside in the cold, we took the awful decision to have her put to sleep. My wife and I wanted her to pass away knowing she was loved, with both of us there. When the time came, she was already relaxed. I was down at her level with my arm on the table. She nuzzled my wrist and then rested her chin on my hand. I felt the weight of her head as she passed away.
We arranged for a private cremation and we're awaiting her ashes.
People on this forum will know - of course - that this has left a gigantic hole in our lives. Nobody sleeping on the bed at night. No paw to the face in the morning. No pitter patter of her wandering around on the wood floors.
We are both heartbroken but we are convinced it was the right time to act. At her peak she was a fluffy wool monster at 9.5lbs. When we let her go she was 6.5lbs. It was - I'm sure - the right thing to do because we didn't want to put her through more changes of diet, more vet visits, more tests, more injections. It was becoming cruel. What made it so difficult was that outwardly, she appeared fine (apart from the weight loss). Her personality never changed. She was Dory to the very end.
I took this photo at the crematorium before we left her. I carefully wrapped her in her blanket so just her head was showing.
We miss her like crazy. And having typed all of this I'm now crying again.