I’m going to keep this fairly short, but I wanted to share that I lost my Sam cat on Friday.
I got home from running errands and found him by the back of the house unable to move his back legs and panting hard. It was already almost 6 pm so no local vets were still open, and the closest emergency vet is like 90 minutes away, so I was in a bit of a panic as I texted a woman I went to school with who is now a vet. She told me to go ahead and bring him up to her clinic and she’d meet me there. I spent the almost hour-long drive talking to him, asking him to hang on, trying to make sure he understood that we were going for help.
About 45 minutes into the drive, his panting stopped, and I had a feeling that was a bad thing, not good. I could tell he was still breathing at first, but the next time I tried to check it was impossible to tell while still driving since he was facing away from me in the kitty carrier.
When we finally made it to the vet clinic, I let my friend know before I even got out of the car that I didn’t think he made it, and she agreed as soon as she saw him, but took him inside to examine anyway in hopes of figuring out what happened.
He had no visible injuries, was only 5, and had always been the picture of health, so I had no clue what might have happened except that it had to be something internal. The first thing she had asked when I texted her the symptoms was if he had a history of heart murmur, and although I’d never known about it, she was 95% sure that he’d had an undiagnosed one that had caused a clot towards the back of his body, thus not being able to use his back legs and the blue-ish back paw pads when she examined him.
I was obviously a mess. I’d been running on adrenaline from the minute I found him until we arrived at her office a little over an hour later, so my brain couldn’t quite wrap around the idea that my little guy was gone. I’m still working on that.
Sam was pretty much the perfect cat. He had such a funny personality – he loved to be held upside down like a baby, he’d go sit by the back fence to taunt the neighbors’ dogs, he LOVED his little brothers when they were born and would even let them “nurse” on him when they were babies. If I overslept, he knew how to yell and wake me up. He let me put hats on him for silly photos. And of course, he was polydactyl, and always walked with his extra thumbs sticking out in a way that made him look like he wore high heels.
We should’ve had at least five or ten more years together, but at least it was pretty quick vs. being some kind of drawn out illness. And I’m SO thankful to know what happened – I owe my friend big time for going back to work at 7 pm on a Friday night so that I didn’t have to go to the emergency vet, which let’s be honest I really couldn’t afford anyway. If she hadn’t examined him I’d still be totally confused and probably blaming myself in every possible way, but she said that finding him sooner wouldn’t have helped – there’s not much they can do when this happens except euthanasia to end the pain quicker. It’s still SUCH a shock – he was basically my age in cat years and a super active, healthy, happy guy.
I’m doing better than when I lost Jasper back in February, but ugh, I’m going to miss his little feet so much.