Friday, March 23, 2012


Well, Thursday morning Buddy woke up around 8AM, two hours after I went to bed.  He was just standing on my bed talking a bit to me.  He wasn't pacing back and forth as he usually does but I knew he wanted to start his morning routine. We went to take care of his toileting first.  After he took care of business, we started our ritual of having milk, eating breakfast with the Azodyl capsule added, drinking water, doing the sub-q with Famotidine injection, a long and lengthy process.

He appeared better, more animated and he ate without much coaxing but it was apparent he wasn't walking.  He tried but kept stumbling.  After a while, he wasn't walking at all.  We began to make plans to euthanize him.

My brother called the doctor's office to make an appointment.  We were told to come in for 7PM.  The day was spent agonizing as well as vacillating about our decision.  After running the entire gamut of emotions, questioning, second-guessing, fighting, re-thinking our decision, we noticed Buddy's walking had improved , he wasn't stumbling.  His general condition was even better than it had been early morning.  Another call was made and we cancelled the appointment.

After discussing Buddy's condition at length, my brother left a voice mail for Dr. Young telling her we had a few questions.

Dr. Young is always sensitive to Buddy's and our needs.  She is very patient and understanding.  She returned the call, discussing with my brother Buddy's current condition, reviewing the notes from our visit with Dr. Klein and filling us in on what to expect from now on emphasizing that what we're seeing is typical, Buddy isn't in pain and there isn't much more we can do for him except keep him fed, hydrated and comfortable as we've been doing.  The end result?  We were both relieved that we reversed our decision to euthanize Buddy.

After what turned out to be an incredibly stressful day, we partnered on completing Buddy's evening routine, preparing supper for ourselves and feeding and coddling Annie to try and make up for spending the day totally focused on Buddy.

Buddy slept on my lap the remainder of the evening or the back of the recliner until bedtime when we went through our final evening routine of offering him food and water then seeing to his toileting needs.  We settled down for the night with Buddy covered in blankets sleeping next to me and Annie at the foot of my bed.

I awoke somewhere between 9 & 9:30AM with a start, instinctively I knew Buddy wasn't with me.  I looked around my bed and room but he wasn't anywhere in sight.  Where was he?  I learned many years ago not to call him - he never answers.  In fact, Buddy always took great delight in watching us rush around frantically looking for him never revealing his whereabouts.  I went from room to room looking for him.  A package of All-in-One printer cartridges was on the floor next to the recliner.  This told me Buddy had walked across the side table next to the recliner.  There were papers belonging to my brother on the floor behind the recliner; this told me Buddy had jumped from the side table to a tray containing papers my brother was sorting.  Still no sign of him.

I found him in the kitchen curled up on the counter top.  Imagine my surprise!  He used his old cat condo with two perches as a ladder to get to his place on the counter top.  What a relief to know he was OK.  My brother had the idea to move this particular item into the kitchen - I'd placed it next to my bed so Buddy could use it there.  There he was, like the Sphinx, curled up on his bath towel serenely surveying his domain.  When he saw me, I was greeted with a few meows and a look that said "Hi, Mom are you going to serve breakfast now?'  Thus, our Friday morning routine started.

Basically, we know where we stand but we don't know for how long.  I'm grateful it played out this way.  It might sound selfish but it will give the humans in this household a chance to adjust to what is inevitable.  And I sincerely hope we do make that adjustment.

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