July 17th 2010 2:26 pm
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Hello and farewell friends,
I decided it would be a good idea to move on to Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday 13th July. I really wasn't living the kind of life I wanted to live anymore. Sure, mum and dad wanted me around however I was, but unless I'm living life to the max, I'm not a happy boy. I knew it would be hard for them to make a decision to help me on my way and being as they've always been so good to me, I saved them from having to make that decision and I passed away at home, before they got a chance to do anything about it. They held me and told me they'd love me forever and that I would always be their special boy.They said we'd all be together again someday and that made it easier for me to let go of this life and leave behind my earthly body, and my broken heart and lungs.
I'd tried for a long time to act normal. I was pretty convincing. I carried on my normal activities, even though it was a struggle sometimes. I'd just sit down, rest, roll on my back in a cute way and try to act natural when I was exhausted, so's not to alarm them. My lungs were becoming very diseased and it was hurting my heart. Then when I started to have that cough, it gave the game away and I could no longer conceal my illness - drat!
They tried their hardest, I'll give them that - 17 vet visits since March 11th. I was getting pretty vexed about that, to be honest. I had pills, injections, inhaled medications, x rays and ultrasounds...you name it - I was made to endure it.
The first ultrasound on April 15th may as well not have happened. The vet who does ultrasound examinations at the surgery I go to (not my usual vet) misdiagnosed me. He said I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, so I was treated accordingly with Fortekor (benazepril) and Frusemide (a diuretic to get the fluid off my lungs). Trouble is, there was no fluid from a cardiogenic reason on my lungs - he got it wrong. How and why we don't know, but we know I never seemed to improve from that day on. A nice fellow but incompetent as an ultrasonographer, I'm afraid to say. Mum and dad think that being given diuretics for 2 1/2 months that I didn't need, was very detrimental to my health...
So, on Friday July 9th I finally saw a cardiologist. She came to my vets surgery with all her high tech equipment and did another ultrasound on me. The results proved what my mum and dad and my usual vet suspected all along. My primary problem was severe lung disease and this had caused a condition which is rarely seen in cats - Cor Pulmonale. It's usually only dogs and humans who develop Cor Pulmonale. It's right sided heart failure caused by my heart over-working to compensate for poor lung function. Sarah, the cardiologist, said my right atrium was MASSIVE ( I emphasised that because the cardiologist did)and my right ventricle wall was thickened. The left side of my heart looked normal. My tricuspid valve was regurgitating, which sounds pretty ikky, I know. This was happening because my heart was straining to pump the blood through my 'leathery' lungs to get oxygenated.
What made my lungs leathery we're not exactly sure. The sort of tests which would have had to be done to find out, such as lung biopsies or 'washing' out the lungs to test the cells, were just too risky to do in my weakened state as they would have involved a general anaesthetic. Mum thinks I had feline COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With COPD, two types of cells cause inflammation, one type responds to steroids and the other type doesn't. This would explain why they couldn't get my condition under control, which they should have been able to do if it was asthma. The cardiologist said that she thought I had pulmonary fibrosis, which can be cause by a number of things, or can just occur on it's own. The inhalers had helped with the coughing but my breathing never got easier - my sides heaved in and out all the time. By the time they found out what was *really* wrong, too much damage had been done to my heart. The stress of the ultrasound on the 9th of July and the fact we were having a mini heatwave were just too much for me. That night it was so HOT in our house. Dad took me outside and slept on the grass with me all night - it was AWESOME...I finally got to stay out all night just once before I left. They rushed me to the vets the next morning as I started to breathe open-mouthed. I was given free-flow oxygen all day, then went back home again that night as I had perked up a lot. The truth is I never really recovered from that episode. I went home and just lay on my side in a very weak state from saturday until tuesday, when I moved on to the Bridge...
Mum kept me hydrated with oral fluids and syringed my new heart tablets(vetmedin) into my mouth on Sunday and Monday. On monday night I started to drink on my own again but on Tuesday morning, I wouldn't drink and I wouldn't even swallow when mum tried to give me some fluids. This was when I got really fed up and decided I'd had enough.
I had a great 8 1/2 years with mum and dad. I tried for so long to get to live with them and I got my way in the end :-D. They were the best mum and dad ever. I was totally pampered and OK, maybe I was spoiled...
They got me everything I wanted and they never went on holiday or left me overnight EVER in all those years (well, one night, when they had to stay overnight at a special wedding). They don't have regular 9-5 jobs and are able to be at home a lot, so I probably spent as much time with them as the average person with a 20 year old cat. Basically, I have been their world since I came into it - which is exactly what I intended. I don't like to look down and see them distraught like they are but I really am in a better place now...they'll understand when they get here. It's hard for them because I only lived to be 10 and they wanted me around for many more years.
I know my mum would like to thank everyone for the rosettes, special gifts, pictures and messages of comfort. It has helped them a lot. She will thank everyone individually when she feels able to do so.
I love you all...please look after yourselves....if you ever have a suspected heart problem (God forbid), see a CARDIOLOGIST if you can. They're the only ones with the knowledge to diagnose you properly.
Ta ta for now,
I am heartbroken you left us and your family so soon..No words or meows can convey our feelings..so just know this..you left huge pawprints on everyone you touched..your meows and purrs will be missed..So until we meet again, fly free and know you are so loved and remembered by all..
Chef Rooster and clowder
Although we feel devastated by your loss, I'm sure nothing compares to what your family is experiencing. You were their King of Hearts, and the best kitty on that side of the pond. Please know how saddened we are by the news of your passing and let mum know that we are here for her should she ever need anything. Fly free, Blade. We will always love you...
I haven't been on the group pages too much, and I just saw this awful news. Mom & I are so very sorry. You gave a good fight Blade, and it was good that you got to be outside, and to be home when it came time to cross the bridge. You will be in our thoughts & your parents will be too. Purrs, Tigger