the day we lost Eva

May 21, 2014 | Comments Off

I still feel so guilty. I sensed something was off. I will never forgive myself.

I thought Eva wasn’t feeling well around mid-February. She had diarrhea and threw up, and then the same thing happened with most of the other cats. I made a post on February 19th called “diarrhea central” about all that and having the mobile vet come out and so on. It cleared up for all of them. Now, she was hanging out in bed with me more often than usual, but nothing overly alarming. I mean, I was concerned here and there, but she was still doing absolutely everything else the same! I did notice that every once in a while her purr seemed gravel-like (perhaps like six times in three months). Then I also noticed that her big belly, as we’d always joke that it looked like she was carrying a pumpkin around in it, didn’t seem as big. We bought a booklet to start writing down all of their weights in. At first even the vet attributed her weight loss to the fact that we changed them from free eating dry kibble all day long to eating wet food at set times. They all lost some weight after all. Then she turned into a slower eater in March. She still ate, but she did a lot more licking of the food. At her home exam, the vet thought she was fine, but she said that we could bring her in for bloodwork and X-rays if we wanted to, and I wanted to. I thought since she was purring differently and eating slower that maybe there was a throat issue.

So that Friday morning on March 28th, she was waiting for breakfast, but the vet wasn’t sure if she would need to be sedated for the throat X-rays or not. She had quite the firecracker reputation, and she wasn’t shy about jumping up high all over the various cabinets in the exam rooms or smacking the vets in their faces! I stayed home to feed the others, a huge regret of mine now, while Mark drove her to her office appointment. He said they chatted and things seemed quite normal on the ride over. While there, she attempted to jump up high on a thin scale and had to be rescued (ha!), and she was actually pleasant for the exam and didn’t need to be sedated. She had a clean exam, an exam I got to be a part of over the phone. Her throat was clear, and the X-rays turned out fine. As for the bloodwork, we were told to expect it that night or the next day.

When they arrived home, the cleaner was here, and I recall telling her that I had to go greet my baby – and I ran down the stairs as fast as my bad back would let me so I could be the one to let her out of her carrier. She flew up the stairs, so I thought I’d give her some space before offering her some breakfast that she had obviously missed out on. I guess I went online for a bit, and I’m not sure if I heard her vomit or just saw it when I came downstairs, but I saw her on the end table next to some vomit and Sam right by her on the floor. I opened her a can of food, and she ended up doing that thing she did when she didn’t like something or was done with something – she took her front paw and started covering it up like it was garbage to her, like she was covering up her litterbox messes. I tried a different flavor, but she didn’t want that either. She was still jumping around, so I thought she maybe had an upset tummy from the ride in the car. She hadn’t been in one in quite a long time. I saw her on her cat’s trapeze. I saw her in her pet haven. Then she jumped into bed with me, and that’s when I started noticing something was wrong. At one point it looked like she wanted to jump down but was afraid to, so I made it so she’d have various levels to use as steps. She used them to climb down and then she hid under the chair. I didn’t want her hiding, so I gently slid the chair away from her. She then rejoined me on the bed.

By this point, we were in constant texting communication with the vet, who was going to come see us at the end of her shift. The vet thought the same things we did. First we gave her some syrup. The idea was that she was nauseous because her blood sugar was low, and this could get her interested in eating again. It didn’t. Then Eva started crying in pain because her tummy was hurting her. Mark first was sent to a pharmacy that ended up not even being in existence any longer before running back over to their office to get her pain medication. We were angry and worried about the delay the miscommunication caused. She threw it right up. We thought she was nauseous from being in the car and from the stress of being at the vet for the first time in ages, and we also thought that her belly was hurting her because she hadn’t eaten in so long. Then we made her boiled chicken and rice. She sort of sniffed it, but she didn’t eat any of it. We were scared, but we knew the vet was coming and that she would be bringing fluids for Eva. Based on how well her morning vet visit went, this was very strange and very scary. When she would move and cry, I wanted to die. I kept telling her that she would be okay, that help was coming, because that was what I believed. We thought about taking her to the emergency vet then, but we still thought the mobile vet would be able to help her. Then the vet called us with the bloodwork results that were taken from earlier that morning, and they weren’t good. She had anemia. Then she foamed at the mouth a few times, and I didn’t know if waiting was the right thing to do anymore. We went back and forth on it. And back and forth. The whole afternoon she was on the bed with me, and I pet her and gave her kisses, but I also knew not to be “in her face” too much. I also was very gentle whenever I got on and off the bed because I didn’t want to jostle her any. Though the mobile vet didn’t get to our house as soon as I would have liked her to, I think the timing all happened for a reason. I carried Eva into the bathroom for her exam, but she wasn’t feeling up to running off. The vet said that this was a completely different cat than the one she saw that morning. Eva’s gums were pale and she had an enlarged liver. The vet then called the emergency vet to tell them that we were on our way. I thought they’d be keeping her overnight to get her anemia under control. I thought that would help the issue with the liver and so on. The carrier door has a tendency to rattle, so I held it tightly on the ride there so it wouldn’t. I just didn’t want that noise to disturb her.

Once we got there, it was Saturday, the 29th, at like 12:30am. They were expecting us, but it still annoyed me that they asked us a few questions before taking her right back. Also, my memory is fuzzy as to whether I told her that I loved her and that I’d see her soon. Mark is sure that I did say those things because they’re like automatic for me. When we were called back, they asked us about resuscitation and such. I was in such a daze that I wasn’t even thinking we needed to be asked those types of questions. It seemed strange to me. They were also asking if she got into any rat poison, and so on.

Then the worst part happened. A doctor walked in and told us that Eva had a lot of blood in her belly and was arresting. I wasn’t processing her words. I thought they were going to make her blood and liver better. I mean, she was supposed to have more time than this! I cried, shrieked, and screamed. Mark and I both broke down. She went into cardiac arrest. They thought something possibly ruptured when she vomited earlier in the day. And based on the ultrasound, they thought her omentum, the tissue that holds her intestines together, had cancer. We had them try to resuscitate her three times, which is the maximum number of times they will try. Unfortunately, our baby girl died. Obviously I would not be getting an autopsy done, so the verdict in the end was carcinomatosis of the omentum.

They brought her in for us to say goodbye to her before we had her cremated. We cried all over her, kissed her, and talked to her, of course. We were in shock. It was unreal to have this happen all in one day. Not that it was any better in the end, but we had some time to mentally prepare somewhat with Kip’s cancer. She was such a crazy, vibrant cat! Having her was like having two of her because she was that wild and fun! My baby had been dying all day in front of me, and I didn’t know it. I feel like I didn’t do enough for her. I have many regrets about how we handled those last hours. Maybe I should have trusted my mommy instincts more, but I don’t know if they ever would have led me down the path to an ultrasound in a month and a half’s time (from the time of the diarrhea spell to the time she died). I just don’t know. And with what it looked like inside there, surgery probably wouldn’t have done her any good.

It is really abnormally quiet in this house now. I miss her meows that sounded like duck quacks. I miss her love of my hair bands. I miss her drinking out of the bathroom sink. I miss her short, stubby legs and pumpkin belly. I miss the huge tufts of hair in her ears. I miss her long whiskers. I miss her symmetrical tiger stripes. I miss her expressive eyes. I miss how active she was. I miss how fun she was. I miss seeing her walking along the ledge of the tub whenever I take a shower. I miss her galloping around here. I miss seeing her on the trapeze or just lounging in the guest room. I miss her love bites. I miss her bunny kicks. I just miss it all. I miss her so freaking much.

Rest in peace, my little angel.

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