Archive for June 9th, 2012

I know too much about failing kidneys in dogs and now I can add cats to the list. Sigh. Our 1st puppy mill minpin, Mia, taught me valuable lessons about the ups and downs of demolished organs. She came to us on borrowed time. I did everything by the conventional book and we got a few extra months with her. I swore I’d never do subcutaneous fluids again. Mia’s Diary.

Our precious Momma Mia.

Two more minpins, mother and daughter, would also be lost to failing kidneys. With both of them, I used a different approach. I did not follow the rules. They ate whatever they wanted. The “rule” is low protein and bland. I let them be. With Katie (mother) I boosted her a few times over a year and a half with some fluid therapy. It was the same with her daughter, Kaley. Both made it to sixteen and we didn’t have their last days fighting over needles. The end came quickly with both but it was a good and peaceful end to full lives. I had not been able to give that to Mia since she came to us already dying. We just didn’t have enough time to make up for her crappy life before us.

Always happy Katie (left) w/her man Ramirez.

The clown Kaley.

It’d been a couple years since I’d had to think about kidneys but then along came Setzer. The week I brought him home he was hospitalized… having crashed from failing kidneys. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Alas! He was not some pansy little cat to be outdone by a couple of bean shaped things in his body. He came back from that crash with renewed vigor and appetite. He actually doubled his weight! Not an easy feat since one of the things that happens is loss of appetite due to nausea. I was determined to let him decide our course of action.

I’m trying to clean his litter box!

We’re just a few months shy of Setz being part of us for a full two years. In that time he became my shoulder cat, my napping buddy, my constant reminder I wasn’t doing something fast enough and a tremendous source of comfort. He crashed a few more times. He surprised all of us by coming back from those crashes. I did do something I swore I’d never do. We began fluid therapy after the last major crash. He didn’t protest. I fussed about it a lot more than he did.

The needle.

The life extending fluid. (Lactated ringers)

Tuna helped.

He gave us an extra 5 weeks to spend basking in his glory. But, as is the story with failing kidneys, they began making him feel like the worst kind of crap. Everyone could feel it. Kobay, was showing concern for him often. He wasn’t wanting attention from anyone, though, not even her.

Trying her best to snuggle with him.

Failing kidneys have a distinct smell that is unmistakable.

She did her best, they had bonded the moment he came into the house.

On June 1st we let him go. His body was simply done. Our hearts were broken but so thankful to have had this special cat find us. My shoulder feels cold and empty without him there. He has given me so much more than I was able to give him. I suppose I can no longer say –  I’m not a cat person! There will never be another to come close to my Setzer-boy.

His cremains.

I held him as our vet gave him his peaceful sleep. Eva Cassidy, sang him to the Bridge.

Take me in your arms

And let the love you seek

Wash away your sorrow

Let the morning

Be ours to keep.

Such a spirit can never really be gone.

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