Missing Merlin

by Adriana

Merlin (2015 - 2017)

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.

Comments for Missing Merlin

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Apr 18, 2019
So sorry -- I understand
by: Angela

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I lost my baby Izzy about 7 years ago to the same issue. She was only 3 years old. We had no idea and no warning. My parents called me at work one day and said something was wrong and that they were rushing her to the vet, but she was already gone by the time I got there. She was like a child to me. I still miss her. Love to you and so sorry that you had to experience this devastating loss, too. We will see them again one day, in heaven. I have to believe that.

Sep 04, 2017
To Lisa
by: Adriana

Thank you so very much for the kind reply, it means a lot.
I'm sorry you and your family have to deal with HCM, I truly wish you all the best.
It's really hard not to self-blame, but I try to rationalize that if there were signs I'd have notice something, I used to spend a lot of time with him and cared for him very deeply, I miss him with all my heart.
We also discovered recently that the HCM was probably a consequence of a congenital defect, which means that we really wouldn't be able to do much for him, it hurts anyways...
Thank you again.

Aug 26, 2017
so very sorry
by: Anonymous

Im deeply sorry for your sudden loss. As a pet owner of several dozen pets in my lifetime I can understand your grief. I also understand the nature of HCM as I, my son and daughter have this disease. I wish there had been more definitive signs for you to have seen sooner so he could have gotten care he needed and still be here with you today. I , msyelf required heart surgery after about 13 years of diagnosis. I was misdiagnosed 13 years ago and then when my son developed signs we had further tests done and it was confirmed. I had surgery in January 2016. Anyway what I mean to say is the signs of this disease can be very subtle for a long time so please try not to feel guilty for not knowing sooner. Im certain he knew you were there with him when it mattered most.

Lisa McAdams

Aug 19, 2017
To Becky
by: Adriana

Thank you so much for the kind reply, it really means a lot.
He truly was family, one of the most important and treasured parts of my life, I miss him deeply, everyday.
I'm sorry about your Bailey, I'm sure he had a great life.
When they have to go so suddenly it's so hard to accept it...
I too tried to memorialize Merlin by planting a jasmine tree, one of my favourites, just like Merlin also was.
I hope we'll meet our boys again one day, healthy and happy.

Jul 26, 2017
Sorry for your loss
by: Becky

I am so very sorry for your loss. Merlin is beautiful. I know the pain of losing a furbaby, and it hurts very deeply. Your Merlin was family. Pain will ease the pain, but you will always miss Merlin. My Bailey has been gone for 6 years as of 8-30-17. He died from congestive heart failure, he liked 6 weeks being 16 years old. He died at home also; he was playing with his ball, and just dropped dead. Every single day since he left me, I thing about & miss him. There are many ways to cope with your grief that might give your comfort. I have solar lights on Bailey's grave as well as wind chimes hanging in the tree above his grave. I have made doggy wreaths to put on his grave. Bailey was my sunshine and my little light, I look out my bedroom window at night & see his grave with the solar lights. Every time I hear the wind chimes, I think of Bailey, and pray he is thinking about me in heaven. Merlin will forever be with you because he is in your heart, you can fell him there. Prayers for you.

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