A Tough Several Days with our cat James that end with a tough but right decision

James in Box

James Loved Boxes!

So i don’t know what the right music is for when you know you have to put a cat to sleep. We have now five cats. Two years ago we had to put our 19-year-old cat Simon to sleep and it was hard. I was doing really well not feeling to badly about the situation with our 10 year-old cat James this week, until this morning, when I faced the prospect of having to call the Vet and make the appointment!

. On Monday of this week,  my wife saw James try to jump onto a fairly low chair, he didn’t make it and then he tried a table that was slightly higher and he didn’t make that either. The next morning, I was watching as he was laying on the bed and he tried to change positions and he couldn’t, he kept falling over, finally he made it. To me, it seemed that maybe he had hurt one of his back legs in one of those falls. Anyway, we called the Vet and went in for a visit.

As we were taking him out of the carrier at the Vet’s office, he appeared to be having a hard time keeping his balance. When the Doctor came in he said that he was vastibular, meaning his world has spinning and lopsided. Dr Daniels explained that this is something that can go wrong with older cat’s brains and is called “old cat rolling syndrome”. My wife said that she thought maybe he had a stroke and the Doctor confirmed that was one possibility the other was a tumor, and that without an MRI it would be hard to tell. He suggested that we have an adult cat blood series done to make sure that all his organs were working properly and that they would start him on a steroid and see how he responded. Many times cats show improvement within the first two to three days if it is the rolling syndrome. The next morning, the blood tests came back, and everything was pretty normal, which was a good thing. However, throughout the day James appeared to be havng a harder and harder time holding his head up and by the end of the night my wife even had to hold him up to use the litter box. He slept through the night and at one point fell off of the bed.

So by this morning we had pretty much decided that we would have to put him to sleep. He couldn’t use the litter box and really didn’t eat, basically he was just lying on the couch. But then I came into the room and he had gotten off of the couch and was sitting up under the couch. So I went to get some food and he ate it  and I even got a little water down him, so I thought maybe he had  a chance. I called the Vet and discussed the situation with him and decided to wait until tomorrow to do anything. But through the day, he has gotten progressively worse until I arrived at a point where I knew that the right thing to do is to end his suffering. The point was reached when I tried to get him to stand and he couldn’t even get his feet in the right position to stand. So now as I write this, he is laying under the couch in our middle room, and we are waiting for a 6:40 appointment at the Vet’s office.. I was supposed to work at Target tonight, not my normal night but they called yesterday and asked if I could work. Since I hadn’t called the Vet yet, I called Target to tell them that I would possibly be late but would try to come in. I thought that I would not be hard to make that call – wrong. I really had a hard time getting the words out. My bosses at Target said not to worry about coming in, which was a relief. Now some of you may be saying that it is only a cat, well, that may be true, but to us they are big part of our family, especially now that the kids are gone!

While we would hate to see him pass. it may be nicer if he did before the Vet visit. I remember the last time, when I watched my wife hold Simon while the Vet administered the shot and I really don’t want to have to go through that again watching one that you love pass and the other cry is not a fun thing. (It’s now 7:54 PM and we have been to the Vet’s and James has been sent to join Simon, Benny and a stray cat Angus that we sheltered for a while – I stayed in the room, but had to keep my eyes closed to avoid both James and my wife.)

As I attempted to write a post earlier I knew that wouldn’t happen, but I think that the Xanax that I took allowed me to write this post. So as for music tonight, well, the one song that kinda fits the way I fell is Chris Walls’ “I Feel Like Hank Williams, Tonight” and while the pain that the songwriter is feeling is not the same as I’m feeling – pain is pain – so here’s the song and maybe I’m ready for little Hank Williams tonight or at least a little Jerry Jeff….