On Saturday morning, around 9:30am, Bo started crying in the bedroom. We came to him (all of us, even Luke), and found him unwilling to move, clearly unhappy. Luke tried playing with him, but Bo wasn’t interested. Finally, Luke just settled for cleaning him thoroughly. We brought him to the vet at noon – he had moved a bit in the intervening time, to be near to people, but was still not doing well.
The vet noted his temp was low, and he was pale. Blood tests and X rays turned up nothing; at this point the theory at hand was that he’d eaten a string or somesuch – apparently the body doesn’t do well trying to digest something a foot long. The vet, unable to find something certain, but concerned, recommended we take Bo to the emergency clinic.
We did – took him up there, had the vet there check him out, and she quickly came back with a much more serious diagnosis – Bo had very poor circulation in his hind legs and wasn’t able to use them very well. She also looked at the X ray film and noted his heart wasn’t the right shape. The new theory was that his heart was failing, and he’d thrown a clot. If we could keep him healthy for a week or so, a cardiac ultrasound would be the next diagnostic step. Meanwhile, he was kept overnight at the clinic for observation. When I visited him before I left, he’d been given pain medication and IV fluids, and was pulling himself around the cage on his forelegs, his hind legs barely able to help.
We got a call last night around 10 that he’d progressed to full paralysis of the legs, but that his bowels and tail were still working.
This morning, nothing had changed, but he wasn’t doing well. The doctor explained that the prognosis really wasn’t all that good – blood thinners for cats don’t work very reliably, she said, and even if they did dissolve the clot, he’d likely be permanently incapacitated, on dangerous blood thinners, and we’d have no knowing when another clot would do more damage. As she explained the increasingly long-shot diagnostic steps, I had the appalling realization that we were losing him. That the cat we’d welcomed into our lives and our hearts was going to die before he’d even been here two years.
Becky and I went in together to say goodbye. He was listless, and had only gotten worse, even in the hour since I’d spoken with the vet on the phone. He was ours, though, and, bawling, we stayed with him to the end.
God bless you, Bo.The Dream Library)