She died 8 days before her 18th birthday
The two of us at Christmas 2008
When I was in college, my roomate surprised me with a kitten. She was with me all through school, my graduation, first apartment and 'real' job. She was my good buddy and we had much fun throughout our lives.
I discovered that she was not a good tree climber when she was chased out of the house by the roomate's dog and I didn't see her for 9 days. After many LOST CAT posters, I was starting to lose hope when someone working on the house next door saw a skinny cat in a tree. He called her but she wouldn't come down. I was at work at the time, but when I received a phone call that this may be my Samantha, I came home and looked up at the shaky walnut tree.
Yep, it was her. SO, how does one remove a cat from a tree when they don't own a ladder? They call the fire department. They came and rescued her, she got a clean bill of health and we continued to share each other's company.
She had a typical cat life. She was healthy, showing no signs of disease. One day in 2005, she began to wail and her tongue was sticking out. I thought she was dying and took her to the emergency vet.
He asked if this was an euthanasia. I said, "Not if you can help her!" He said he'd try and put her in an oxygen chamber. I peeked in on her and noticed her sleeping peacefully. The next day, I received the news that she has an enlarged heart and was suffering from CHF. Her regular vet prescribed Atenolol and we went home.
She was fine for the next 4 years. However, she lost the sight in both her eyes. I attributed this to old age...
This past weekend, she began to have difficulty swallowing and was gagging on Pounce treats. She gurgled when she breathed. I treated her with my emergency Lasix and sent her to bed. She woke me twice that night by her thrashing. She was having convulsions.
I was scared and held her. THe next day was a trip to the vet. I said I am not ready to lose her yet and to please help figure out what was going on. Appparently, she had a thyroid tumor. At her age, it was suggested that she not be operated on, as she might not survive. It seems that this thyroid problem and her heart condition were related, but I never felt the tumor!
I am wondering why her vet in 2005 did not follow through with checking blood pressure. The vet gave her some nutritional supplements, some Vitamin B-12 and an IV to help hydrate her. I took her home and she seemed happy. We sat on the couch and watched TV and I took her to bed.
That night, she made an awful sounding distress call which woke me up so I picked her up and held her. She died in my arms.
I am heartbroken and felt so helpless. I am going through these awful stages of guilt and anger. I am experiencing a lot of "What If" questions and am driving myself nuts. I know she was elderly, but her birthday was coming up and I was so hoping she would have made it. I just keep wondering if there was something I could have done differently to give her more time.