This is a very heartbreaking time for me. I was in no way, shape or form prepared for what happened on February 23rd with my Bladey. Especially after having such an unexpected heartbreak when his brother Riley died on June 30, 2015. (Here's Riley's Rainbow Bridge Residency: http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/RILEY058/Resident.htm)|
First I want to share with you about how I adopted Blade...or should I say, HE adopted me. It was August 2004, I was a full-time realtor. I had lost my kitty cat, Buddy in January of 2004. Buddy was all black (here's Buddy's Rainbow Bridge Residency: http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy092/Resident.htm) Buddy was only 5 when I had to have him put to sleep. Devastating, of course. In February tho, I adopted Riley (from above) and Spencer. I had zero plans of getting any more cats.
Back to me being a Realtor. I was in Springfield, PA, showing my clients a house. As soon as I got out of my car, this black cat came running up to me purring, meowing, rubbing up against me. He looked like Buddy! My heart sank! I was like "oh my gosh, this is Buddy's way of telling me he's ok!" I was petting this cat and he was loving it up. Well, I had clients with me, remember? So I told the kitty I'd be back, but I had to show a house. The clients were walking around the house and I was looking out the front door for the cat! He was no where to be found. I was so upset now.
My clients decide they like the house but they are going to think about it. I tell them no problem. They leave. I lock up the house and walk out the door. I look all over. No cat anywhere. I decide to call the cat, you know how everyone calls a cat (I have no idea how to spell that.) Well wouldn't you know this little black cat comes running to me from all the way up the block! I couldn't believe it! Came right up to me purring, rubbing up against me. He was so sweet and so friendly. I was like oh my gosh, he's so nice he has to be someones cat. I better talk to a neighbor, because he may have got out.
I went across the street and a neighbor came out. I ask if she knows the deal with the cat. She said oh yeah her and all the neighbors take turns feeding him and giving him water because he's living on the streets now. I was like well what do you mean now. She told me that this kitty's owners moved. They took the family dog but just let the cat out. I could not believe it. I was furious now. I said ok well, he's my cat now. This lady had the nerve to say well I need to call the owner first. I said you can call anybody you damn well want to, but he's my cat now and he's coming home with me now. I scooped his lil butt up and put him in the backseat of my car. He slept the whole way home. I decided to name him Blade.
Riley and Spencer were about 8 months old at the time I brought Blade home. Blade was about that age too, maybe a few months older. Riley and Spencer were kept upstairs until Blade was taken to the vet. He checked out good except the vet said he tested positive for FIV. I was so upset. The vet said I had nothing to worry about, he will still live a long, healthy life, I just need to keep him separated from Riley and Spencer. She also suggested I test him again in the future.
Well even though I had to keep them separated everything was great. Blade was so awesome and so friendly. I couldn't believe anyone could ever just leave him behind. It was so upsetting to me and I promised Blade that I'd never, ever leave him ever. And wherever I went, he'd go with me.
I had Blade retested for FIV and guess what? He came back negative! The vet said sometimes when they are young they get false results and when they get older they are negative. She said they can get it from their mothers but then when they get older then end up being negative themselves, that's why she always recommended retesting.
Anyway, I was soooo thrilled that I could now have Blade and Riley and Spencer all out at once! Boy was I mistaken. Blade was a lover, big time...with humans. Blade, however, despised other cats. And he was a tough guy. I've seen cats, fight it out and get over it, but this was not happening in this situation. So I made the decision to always keep him and my other babies separate.
That worked well for us, even when we moved into the new house with our new family (I got married and now had two stepkids as well.) All kitties adapted well. But they still had to be separated. Blade just loved everyone and would let anyone pet him that would give him the time of day.
He'd sleep in my stepson's bed during the day when he was at school, he'd come downstairs and take catnaps with me in the afternoon and I'd take turns sleeping with him on the couch some nights vs sleeping in my bed with my other 2 babies. Blade loved to cuddle. Blade loved to play. Blade loved to play so much that even if he was sick I could coerce him to play a little (depending on HOW sick he was of course.)
I had lots of scares with my Bladey. He had pancreatitis, so he had to be put on a bland special diet. Blade actually ate real human chicken. We'd cook it and chop it up for him. So he'd eat bland human food and have vitamins (plus some dry food.) He did excellent on his diet.
Blade also had hyperthyroidism. He was eating everything in site but not gaining any weight? I was so worried, but turned out he had hyperthyroidism and it wasn't like cancer or anything making him lose weight. But he took his pills everyday like a champ. Twice a day. He was so good and oh my gosh sooooo smart!
Every night Blade would rub up against my legs and meow and then he'd walk ahead of me up to his bedroom, because that's where he'd eat dinner and sleep for the night. Until the next morning, he'd meow and meow until I'd open the door for him for breakfast and he'd dart out of there and run downstairs waiting. He loved that scratch lounge of his too, so I'd move it up and downstairs every day.
Besides the bland diet and taking pills for hyperthyroidism, Blade was a pretty healthy and active guy. All of that changed on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Blade was laying on my stepsons bed in the afternoon as usual. I'm in my bedroom. I hear him howl (I now know he was in pain.) I run out of the room and he's in the hallway looking at me howling. I ask him what's wrong. He walks into his bedroom and hops in the litter pain. He looked like he was having issues going, but then he went. I told him he'd be ok. He jumped out and went under the bed. I looked under at him and told him he'd be ok. He looked fine and I went back into the bedroom.
Then I hear my stepson say, "Blade what's wrong?" I go rushing into the hallway and ask what's wrong. My stepson said I think Blade threw up. I looked under the bed and there were 3 piles of throw up. Which Blade throwing up isn't too crazy unusual. But then he got up from under the bed and attempted to walk to his litter pan.
It looked like he was dragging his butt like a dog would, but then I realized he had no feeling in the back portion of his body! His back legs were completely limp! He practically dove head first into his litter pan because he had no back legs. He was going to the bathroom but he was sitting in it and stepping in it because he couldn't move. He dove headfirst out of the litter pan and I scooped him up and took him right to the vet. I cried on the way to the vet because I knew it wasn't good.
Especially when I put my hand in his cage and he would just fall on it against the cage door because he couldn't move right. I told the vet tech what had happened. She told the vet. Blade and I were in the room when the vet came in and the vet just looked a way like I've never seen him look before. My heart sank.
He checked Blade out, including pushing soooo hard on his two back paws that I swear I saw that doctors thumbs turn a different color, but no reaction whatsoever from Blade on that being done to him. Doctor said it is called Saddle Thrombus. It's blood clot that cuts off blood supply to the legs . This leads to severe pain, disuse of the legs and severe damage to the tissues, blood vessels, and nerves.
The doc said that in 95% of the cases it just doesn't work out. He said even if folks attempt to treat it that usually what happens is the animal has another blood clot but this time to a major organ and it's not good. I said and in the meantime while you're giving him therapy and treatment he can't walk and he's confused? And he said yes. He said if I treated Blade, he probably would have a 5% chance of doing well. He said, or we could do everything we could do for him to treat him and none of it works at all.
I ask him my ultimate question. What would you do if it was your cat? He looked at me and he just couldn't even say it, he just shook his head and kinda put his head down. I think he felt so horrible for me in that moment because he know how devastated I was losing Riley unexpectedly in June. While balling my eyes out I shook my head and said ok.
Blade and I talked for a little bit and I explained everything that was going on. It just broke my heart to hear him howling in pain and he would just look at me with this confused look on his face like WTF is going on with me? Because he could see his back feet and he'd lick his tail and feet but he'd try to get up and move them and he'd just fall. They just wouldn't move for him. And he would just look at me all confused like please help me!
It was so hard that day, but I know I did the right thing for my babyboy. I read about some "successes" with Saddle Thrombus and to be honest, the things those cats went through to be considered a "success" I would never put any of my babies through.
I cried to Blade kissing him and holding him and telling him that I was so sorry that I couldn't help him and I'm sorry this happened to him.
I love you my little Blade Runner. I will love you forever and I miss you dearly. I will miss our catnaps together in the afternoon, I'll miss you laying next to me and purring when I'm working. I'll miss your loving personality (and your lil attitude when you've had enough petting.) I loved playing with you and I'll miss those times. I'll miss the crinkling sounds I'd hear when you would move around in your pirate ship and I'll miss seeing you looking out the window sitting in your new cat tree that you just got for Christmas. And one of my favorite things to watch you do, was fitting inside any box, no matter what the size. You just loved your boxes!
I will never forget you Bladey and I look forward to seeing you again and crossing over the Rainbow Bridge with you. Until I see you again, please have fun with Riley, Buddy, Garfield and even Oreo (the outside kitty, remember him?) They will all take good care of you babyboy, I know they will. Sleep well Blade, have a great catnap with pleasant dreams.....and I'll see you soon to get you some breakfast bright and early!