Charlie was the best cat we could have ever asked for. We are hurting so much for her passing, but I know I’ll feel better after sharing her story.
She was our first foster failure. We took her and her two siblings into our house until they were big enough to get spayed. She was only a pound verses her siblings two pounds. She was tiny! She was bottle fed and very sick, but we didn’t nurse her back to health, but got her when she was a bit healthier. We decided to keep her when it was time for them to get adopted.
All animals get spayed/neutered before adoption. This is where the problems first started. They went in for her surgery, but she turned blue under the anesthesia so they woke her back up. Afterwards we got a chest X-ray (normal for a 3-4 month old kitten). Then we started seeing these odd signs. She would go into moments of distress where she would vocalize like she was in pain and then pant/breathe heavy. It would happen odd times, and usually only lasting no more than a minute and then she was back to normal, but never found a good correlation between the events. One night a couple weeks ago, she had one of these episodes but wouldn’t come out of it, so we rushed her to the emergency vet and they did tests and all were mostly normal. The X-ray possibly showed an enlarged heart and possible fluid. So off we went for an ultrasound (came back normal except size of her heart, but since she was a runt it was possible her heart grew but her body didn’t as fast). She was scheduled for an echocardiogram next Wednesday to hopefully get more answers. Well last night, she had yet another long episode, but worse than we’ve ever seen. Rushed her to the emergency vet, and they got her in an oxygen cage, but we could still hear her crying. Her temperature was down to 93 (normal 101) We decided to not do anymore diagnostics, but opted to see her before we left her for the night. She perked right up and started her usual purring like she was normal. That was the last time we’d ever see her. She stopped breathing a couple hours later when we got the phone call. Her heart stopped beating just a short while after, so all we know is that she went fast, and we tried to do everything for her.
We know she’s at least free of any pain, but I just wish we had an answer as to what happened. She was maybe 6-7 months old and only 4 pounds. She was a crazy happy kitten and loved her siblings. We are torn up, and even though we were prepared, it still happened so fast. Our regular vet thinks it might have been neurologic, or possibly a heart/lung issue, but likely she was just born with it. It’s been hard being at home, knowing just hours ago she was a normal kitten, causing trouble, but being her sweet self, purring away on our laps. I don’t know how to stop crying, since she was just so young when she passed. I keep thinking, maybe we should’ve declined her IV catheter at the vet (they were trying to place it when she went neurologic per the vet and then stopped breathing), or maybe we should’ve taken her home, but I know she was more comfortable there. I’m torn up over not being the last person she saw before she left this world, but if she didn’t go well, I’m glad I have that memory of her reassuring us with her sweet purrs. We did what we could, but our hearts are broken.
Rest In Peace, our sweet Charlie. 5/27/18-10/17/18.