Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Pollux

Tonight, I had my cat put down.

This was Pollux, who I’ve known since he was a year old and who was raised from being weaned by my ex-wife. When we were divorced, he chose to stay with me. Nathan and I took him to the vet last weekend, which I wrote about previously, and his foot had been healing fine. Unfortunately, he seemed to be getting more and more listless, though this began at least a week ago, maybe two, and had gotten a lot worse this week.

In the last two days, he seemed more disoriented than normal (he was blind to begin with) and started stumbling and otherwise not walking well. Yesterday, he didn’t seem to move more than a couple of feet from wherever he was put. He did make it from the bedroom out into the hall and onto the first step, where I found him in the middle of the night. He’s been sleeping in bed with R and me and not leaving much.

In the last few weeks, he’s also started peeing, randomly, on the floor. In the last week, he still did it but not as large amounts. Today, I realized that I hadn’t found any in a day and a half and the water dish was nearly full. He also didn’t seem to have eaten in the last 24 hours. When I walked in tonight, he was spread eagled, face down, on the floor. I thought he might be dead but he was still breathing and mildly responsive.

I dropped everything and took him to the same animal hospital as on Saturday. After waiting an hour and a half, they looked at him and said that he was very dehydrated. I explained the symptoms and they agreed with my guess that it was probably his kidneys. They put an IV in him and took him in back for blood tests. The results were that he was undergoing complete kidney failure. If I left him there for a few days and they did a full set of fluids and drugs, he might stabilize and they could find out if the damage was permanent or if some function could be recovered. Their best case was likely six months to a year with him being given an IV every day along with a bunch of drugs.

He was 15. He survived the hyperthyroidism brought on by a tumor two years ago and the hypertension that made him blind last year. He’s been pretty unhappy and listless since he went blind. I made a decision that I wasn’t happy with after talking to R but it seemed to be for the best. That’s two cats that I’ve put down in the last two years. Freya had cancer that came to a head just before the wedding in 2004.

My youngest cat, Nova, taken because Pollux needed a friend and Freya had died, is young and very healthy. We’ll have to think about whether he’s going to be an only cat or not.