We had to say goodbye to our cat Angus today.
His mobility has been declining over the past 18 months, to the point
where we sometimes had to bring him food, carry him to the litterbox,
and clean him after he used the box. But otherwise he seemed reasonably
content. This afternoon he was uninterested in food, which is very
unusual for him. But he asked to be lifted onto the couch to cuddle with
A few hours later, he suddenly began open-mouthed panting. I took him to
the emergency vet. They put him in an oxygen cage for a while and gave
him meds to calm him. An X-ray showed that he probably had fluid in his
chest. I was kind of expecting that. They gave him some diuretics and he
was able to breathe room air, but his breathing was still labored.
I wasn't surprised about the fluid in his chest. But another X-ray also
showed a mass in his chest. The vet said that even if we took care of
the fluid, the mass was contributing to his breathing problems. She said
we could pursue further diagnosis and treatment, and laid out all our
options, but it was clear that further treatment would be stressful on
us and him.
We thought Angus would prefer not to be put through that. We didn't want
to bring him home because his breathing was still labored. We decided we
needed to put him to sleep.
I love and need cats, but I sure hate this part. There are going to be
so many Angus-shaped holes in my life now.
When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was bring him his
medicine (to treat his chronic constipation), which he actually liked.
He always had a huge appetite. At some point he learned to bang his food
bowl on the table when he was hungry.
After he ate his breakfast, he would nap next to the sunny window.
At night I often listen to an audiobook and play a computer game. Angus
would lie next to me and ask for belly rubs. He loved getting belly rubs
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