Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Goodbye my sweet Sophie. . .

In August of 2012, my sweet kitty girl was diagnosed with hypotrophic cardiomyopathy . . heart failure.  We had returned from the groomer for her regular shave (she had massive hair that matted easily, this was the best upkeep).  That evening she was breathing really hard.  I sent her to work with a friend the next day.  My friend was a vet tech at a vet that I had used on and off for Sophie.  She stayed there overnight. . . I can't remember what they thought the problem was but I do remember they treated her with steroids which ultimately would never have helped the situation.

The next day my friend called me and said they wanted to transfer her to VSS (Veterinary Specialty Services).   This is a great vet clinic in the St Louis area, that is open 24 hours and has amazing doctors on staff.  Interestingly my friend now works there.   I met her at the clinic and she brought in my very sick kitty.  She had a heated water bladder in the carrier with her as she couldn't maintain body temperature.

This photo was taken after her diagnosis and after her last professional shave.
She never looked that well shaved again because I had to do it.
She loved her heated kitty bed!

The cardiologist examined her and said that she thought she could get her through this episode . . . if she did her prognosis was 6 months - 2 years.   I agreed to the estimated cost and my baby girl stayed in the hospital for 3 days if I remember right.  She was so weak when she came home that I carried her to the litter box several times.  It was a long recovery with at least one emergency trip back to VSS.  But then she stabilized. . . we adjusted medication as necessary. . . she was on a *lot* of medication. . .

Over the years her kidneys had been stressed by the medication. This is common with "heart kitties" as the medication is constantly removing fluid.  She stabilized on medication three times a day. . . every 8 hours. . . she was on potassium, vetmedin, spironolactone (a type of diuretic), clopidogrel (aka plavix), furosemide (probably the most common diuretic/lasix) . .  every Sunday we'd put all these together in various gelcaps and I had a box of pill boxes - one pill box for each day of the week.  Each box had 4 compartments and we filled three of those. . .

At an appointment earlier this year the vet walked into the room and asked how her "miracle kitty" was doing.  I think she was really surprised my tough Sophie girl had totally blown past her prognosis.

Last week things took a turn for the worse.  I came home Monday evening and her breathing seemed too fast.  I had to meet someone in town in an hour and Sophie was purring for me, so I decided to see what she looked like when I got back.  (You can't count breathing when the kitty is purring).   When I got back she was still breathing too fast and wasn't laying or sitting comfortably.  At 8 pm I gave her a lasix and waited 45 mins to see if that helped.  My husband wanted to see how she was in the morning, but I had a bad feeling so we left for the hospital at 8:45.  Sophie stayed the night on oxygen and the ER vet tried to tap fluid off her lungs, but I was told he didn't get much.

Tuesday her cardiologist saw her and her kidney levels were elevated and she still had fluid around her lungs.  She was going to try to be more aggressive getting the fluid off and Sophie would stay on oxygen and stay the night.

Wednesday morning (if you read my previous post you know Tuesday night was a nightmare). . . the cardiologist called and said there was nothing left she could do.  The kidneys were more elevated and the fluid wasn't leaving.   She suggested putting her down.  I trust this vet 100% and I knew we'd done everything we could do.

Sophie and her "brother" Mr Blue.  They weren't friends and this was about as close as they got!
Mr Blue has never been the only kitty in the house.
He's a bit out of sorts and I can tell he misses his big sister. 
So for the first time in my life I made the decision to put a pet down. . . and my husband and I went over there and I got to say goodbye to my baby girl.  She gave me massive purry-kitty-love and I thanked her for being the best kitty girl anyone could hope to have.  I held her on my lap while she forever went to sleep.  It sucked.  I cried.  I miss her so much.

My baby girl had the best heart, unfortunately it just wasn't a strong heart.  She got the short end of the stick.  I will forever be grateful for those 4 years I had with her.  There is a hole in my life right now and my house just isn't the same. . .

One thing Sophie just *loved* was laying in Eli's saddle pads.  I'd leave them out on the floor just for her.

This is probably my favorite photo of  Sophie.  

The week prior to last, I was off work.  I basically got to spend her last week at home (or at least more at home than I am normally) and I'm thankful for that.  In hindsight I think there were times she was saying goodbye. . . she was showing a bit more affection than normal and meowing more than usual (she was usually very quiet).  I don't have many regrets other than wondering if I could have caught this sooner.

This was the last photo I took of my sweet sweet Sophie. . . we called her Sophie McSophers . . . and various other nicknames. . . sometimes just baby girl.  

Goodbye my sweet baby girl.  Love forever. . .