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15 april 2000 – 19 maart 2006
‘Vreugde en verdriet hebben we gedeeld
Met vreugde hebben we gespeeld
Het verdriet gevoeld en
Samen weg gekroeld
Waarheen je ook zal gaan
onze liefde blijft eeuwig bestaan’
Vaarwel, lieve Red. Rust zacht. Wij houden van jou.
(Gedicht door Maria Egas voor de SHCN)
What we had never thought, has actually happened. This afternoon we lost our sweet cat, Red. She was just 5 years old. She was a healthy cat, very persistent but loving. She always washed our fingers or licked our face. If we tried to push her away, she would insist to stay and keep washing. We thought that she would live to be 20 or at least 15. But… apparently that was not ‘the plan’….
Friday night when we came home, we noticed that she was very absent and quiet. Then we noticed that she was incredibly thin. This we had not noticed before, and it was very unfortunate. I hugged her, tried to play with her, she didn’t react as cheerful as usual. She approached me very slowly and I noticed that she was slightly limping.
Saturday morning we called the vet and made an appointment to go in the afternoon. Before we brought her to the vet, I gave the cats can food. Red still had her appetite, but she was clearly lost her fighting over the mood fierceness. The fact that she still had appetite, made me feel better. But the vet’s diagnose said that her kidneys were failing. We asked for a bloodtest right away. It did confirm the vet’s diagnose. The machine couldn’t even determine how high the value is anymore, because it already passed the maximum value set for the machine. We made a decision to leave Red with the vet for two days. The vet thought that she would get better. They usually do.
Sunday morning, today, we got a called from the vet’s assistant. She needed help from us, because she had to clean Red’s cage. Red was not really cooperating and fiercely hissing at her. Nor laughed when he heard this. I felt happy too. We thought, yay, she’s back and is showing who is the boss. The assistant said that we needed to be there at one o’ clock. I couldn’t wait till I could see Red again. But when we got there, the news that the vet gave us was not the news that I wanted to hear at all. She warned us before we saw Red to mentally prepare ourself. Red’s condition has worsened in the last 30 minutes to one hour before hour arrival. She got a very high fever and seemed to be in a dying state.
Finally, we saw her in her cage. Her body was twitching every few second. I guess, it was the fever. The vet explained again that at that state there was no turning back. I kept calling her name, but she didn’t respond. Her eyes were open, but they didn’t respond. The vet left us alone to let us think and make a decision. The decision came, but it was a tough one. We have decided to put her to sleep. When the vet came back, we told her about it and she offered to take off the IV needle and put Red on a towel so that we could hold her and sit down wit her. We were alone again and we took turn in holding her. I called her name again, did the ‘tick tick’ motion with my fingers which I usually did when she did something naughty and knew that something was off limit. Her tail gave some response. Her eyes blinked several time. I was so happy. I thought I would get her back and could take back our decision. But a few minutes later, she went back to that twitching mode and blank eyed again. We couldn’t stop our tears. We were already crying when the vet was there. We were still crying when the vet was back. We just did not care. The vet finally came with a syringe filled with blue green fluid. She assured me that the fluid also contains enough dose of narcotic beside the main ingredient. It just take a few seconds for it to work, she said. I believed that, I watched enough vet series on Animal Planet so it was nothing new. But now it happened to my own pet that I needed that reassurance. She offered if we would like to give the injection. We both refused. So she did it by puncturing the IV tube with the needle and injected the fluid. We said goodbye to Red again. I was silently praying that she would go to a cat heaven if there is one. Or the rainbow bridge.
Tomorrow, the SHCN will pick up her body from the vet and cremate it privately, separate from other pets. Then they will put Red’s ashes in an urn and deliver it back to the vet, where we can pick it up. We will keep the urn and give Red a final resting place, in our house near our heart.