Yesterday, we said goodbye to Tommy. It was sudden and unexpected, and just all-around awful.
I’ll reprint what Fred posted on his Facebook page below with the details. Monday’s post will be my tribute to Tommy; I just wanted to let y’all know that he was gone.
After posing for such an awesome picture on the bookcase yesterday, our cat Tom Cullen went out in the back yard to hang out near the fence, as he loves to do. At bedtime I had to go out and get him, because he was too happy rolling around on the warm concrete to come inside when I called for him. He ate his crunchies and retired to the bookcase in the front room to survey his kingdom.
When Robyn was making the plates for snack time this morning I realized I hadn’t seen him since last night. After a long search, I found him in one of the cabinets in the front room, curled up on a blanket. I picked him up and sweet-talked him on the way to the front room. He smelled funny, but not too bad. Not then.
When I put him down by his plate his hind end flopped to the side. His tail was limp. He looked up at me and meowed mournfully, then turned away from the plate and tried to walk away from it. “Tried” because his lifeless hindquarters dragged behind him across the rug. His legs were wet with urine and waste, and he struggled for every inch of progress.
We got him into a carrier and raced to the closest emergency vet, where we we learned that he had a saddle thrombus: a blood clot that had lodged in his aorta at the point where it bifurcates to carry blood to his hind legs and tail. His rectal temperature was 92 degrees, which is 9 or 10 degrees below normal, because his hind end was literally dead. They took him into the back, and when they returned with him he was swaddled in a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
We sat in the emergency clinic cuddling Tommy while the vet explained the situation. His legs had slipped free of the rug and I could feel their coldness against my own, could smell the stench baking off him. At about six a.m., we rubbed his head and told him we loved him as he was given propofol intravenously to render him unconscious. A moment later, a second injection of barbituates stopped his heart. They took him into the back again to remove the intravenous port, and gave us a card with his paw print on it. We buried him next to his brother Sugarbutt, who we had to have euthanized a month ago, and Miz Poo, who we had to put down two weeks before that.
So at the risk of sounding snarky, when people tell us to keep every kitten and every stray that comes through and we don’t, it’s because we have to go through this with each one we do.
It never gets easier.
Usually Zuke is the last of the Squash Bugs to get his bottle because he is SO slow and takes forever to finish. But I feel bad for making him go last every single time, so this time Ambercup was last, and she was NOT happy about this turn of events.
Calabash is the gate keeper! When the Squash Bugs are full and have run off energy and are getting sleepy, they put themselves to bed back in the cage. Calabash likes to snoopervise to be sure they’re doing it right.
2014: LAST NIGHT LIVIA WENT HOME!!!
2013: Somethin’ has amazed the Norbs.
2012: Oh, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
2011: The many faces of Sally Peppers.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Kara & babies.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Jodie did rub up against Miz Poo yesterday, and got a smack on the head for her troubles.