Merlin (2015 - 2017)
Almost 2 months ago my cat Merlin passed away, he was only 2 years and some months old, which makes it even more difficult to accept. He was, at least apparently, a completely healthy cat until around March this year, when he lost a bit of his appetite and later on started to pant sometimes, like he was having some trouble to breathe, it was summer then, he had a long and thick fur and we thought maybe it was it, even more so because he started eating normally again soon after.
The panting thing got more frequently tho, around May, and we, already worried, decided to take him to the vet, other than this he was acting perfectly normal, thinking back now he may have showed other symptoms but, if so, very subtly, I used to spend almost 24h a day with him, almost everyday, and cared about him deeply, I think I would have noticed? Or maybe I was just ignorant about this illness (even tho my family has had lots of cats since I was 5 years old I haven't until now seen something like this), but he was a really calm cat so even his personality made it difficult for me to notice something serious was going on, I feel guilty for not noticing (or taking him to the vet earlier too) either way.
The day we took him to the vet he had a serious crisis there and had to be put on oxygen treatment, his mouth got a bluish color, the vet took a x-ray of his thorax and noticed his heart was enlarged, we live in a small town so we don't have a specialist or equipment available but the vet called a cardiologist and made an appointment for us for the next week, unfortunately he didn't make it until then.
He came home from the vet that day, and back to his usual cute self, but 5 days later, out of nowhere, he was sleeping minutes before, I can't take that image out of my head, he had another breathing crisis that he didn't manage to come back from, I was home (and although it was horrible to see him suffering and drifting away, I'm glad he wasn't alone) and when I noticed I desperately called another vet who has a clinic near my house, I kept trying to massage his chest, fan him, etc, I didn't know what I was doing, to be honest, I just wanted him to breathe, but when the vet arrived it was too late...
Since the appointment with the cardiologist couldn't happen, we don't know for sure what he had but from what we've seen, heard and read, we're pretty sure he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that turned into a congestive heart failure, which we discovered, is quite common in cats, and that, in his case, sadly had a quick and severe progression. We also discovered that this disease is often asymptomatic (reinforced by the fact that he was neutered and the vet that made the procedure didn't notice anything either?) and letal, besides being genetic (we took him from the streets and didn't know his family background) and often not treatable.
It was shocking, from the way he behaved we never imagined he had something so serious, the vet that came when he passed said he probably only lived those 2 years because he found a good home, I try to find comfort in thinking that otherwise he'd have been on the streets with such a horrible illness, suffering, but it has been so hard...
He was such a beautiful and peculiar cat, such an amazing companion and friend, we had/have such a special connection, he was/is so important to me. Since day one he choose me as his person, I was the one who found him, and my love for him just grew stronger. It seems that he entered my life to be my friend, and my friend, my best friend, he was.
He was the first cat I got so connected with since Diná passed away in 2013, my 15 years old grey cat, due to cancer. He was by my side during such difficult times, I deal with some mental health issues and he helped me so much, just by being there, he was always there...
Losing him so soon seems so unfair, I just can hope and make an effort to believe he's being compensated now for being the angel he was (like all other animals), in a place where he's healthy and happy again and forever.