On Sunday, November 26th, I started my morning just as I do every morning by heading downstairs to cook breakfast. What I didn’t realize is that it would be one of the most heartbreaking days I would experience besides the miscarriage I had earlier this year.
When we were finished with breakfast and ready to start our day, I headed upstairs to get dressed and noticed my cat Yasmine lying by our bedroom door on her side breathing rapidly. I called out her name and kept asking her over and over if she was okay as I petted her head. She responded after about 30 seconds, got up, walked over to me a few steps and plopped back down again on her side. I knew something wasn’t right. She has asthma, but I’ve never seen her respond like this to her attacks.
I immediately got ready and we were off to find a vet. First one wasn’t located there anymore and the second was in surgery with a dog, so we had to drive a few more miles to an actual animal hospital that was open 24/7, which felt like forever. We arrive, and I tell them she is having trouble breathing and they immediately take her back to check vitals. All I’m doing is sitting there hoping its an easy fix and we’ll have her back home, but 15 minutes later a vet tech comes out to discuss things and informs me that my cat has a heart murmur and fluid around her heart. so much so that they could barely hear anything over the heartbeat to even check the lungs. I’m completely dumbfounded and immediately break down in the waiting room. Then she tells us that she’ll let us know when she has a private room ready to discuss a plan of action.
I had an ounce of hope, but after hearing that she was having heart problems and her being 16 years old and a little overweight, that all disappeared.
I couldn’t keep my thoughts together…
We get called back to a room and the actual vet came in and discussed what was going on. That they could hear fluid around her lungs and couldn’t hear her heartbeat over it so they wanted to do an x-ray which I obviously agreed to since I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. I also asked why the vet tech told us she had a heart murmur which caused me more stress. She asked for her name and said she must have misunderstood what was going on. I think in instances like this, you need to have all of the facts before you come out to the waiting room and distraught the patients over their animals’ well-being. She said they had put her in an oxygen tank and gave her some albuterol and hadn’t seen any improvements so they would like to do an x-ray.
Once the x-rays were done, we go back into the room and get more unexpected heartbreaking news. She said the x-rays don’t look good and she thinks it’s cancer nodules near her lungs or possible scarring from asthma and the only way to find out was to run more testing, which may or may not give an answer.
It’s exactly what I didn’t want to hear. I wanted to help her, but now that I’ve heard cancer, I am just completely broken and distraught, couldn’t stop crying to collect my thoughts and figure out what I should do.
The testing which they recommended, plus an overnight mandatory stay was going to cost us a total of $3800. I, of course, wanted to do what I could to help her, but reality sunk in that she’s also 16 years old.
She said if we didn’t want to do the testing, she said the dreaded word, “euthanasia.” I didn’t want to hear any of that. I couldn’t bear to lose my cat who I’ve had ever since she was a kitten, but I also didn’t want her to suffer.
I went back to her oxygen tank and pet her through the tiny door. She still looked and acted the same but she was responsive to our love and affection. I was sad and torn but knew it was best to put her to rest since she wasn’t responding well to the oxygen or the albuterol asthma medication.
We had said our heartwrenching goodbyes at that moment and shortly thereafter, they sedated her and put her to rest.
I felt like the worst fur mom on the planet. After all was said and done, I wished I would have spoken up and asked for a steroid shot to see if it would clear up some of the inflammation. But I blame my cloudy judgment on my emotions in the moment.
I’ve been beating myself up over here with guilt over things I could have done better or should have done differently this past week.
It’s never easy losing a loved one, whether it’s family, friends or a pet. I don’t wish this pain on my worst enemy. I love my cat and I know she loved us; I just wished things turned out differently than they did.
Now I am constantly reminded of the memories and the little quirks she had; like every time I use the can opener, she’d come running to the kitchen to see if it was tuna and meow her head off at me, or waiting outside for us to get home and running up to the car to greet us, only she’s no longer there. Or, every time we get take out at KFC, her little paw would reach over to me to get me to give her some of my chicken.
I miss my cat horribly and know only time will help heal our wounds…
My daughter doesn’t really understand why Yazzy’s no longer here with us, but she knows that she was sick. I told her she was sick and she couldn’t come back home with us. I did mention that she went to kitty heaven once or twice but she doesn’t really know what that means, so I bought her a stuffed ty beanie that resembled Yasmine to give her comfort and know that she always has Yazzy by her side.
We also have a little memorial in the backyard by the tree where we buried her. She loved laying there in the summer months, so it only seemed fitting. (if you’re curious, we found both of these on Amazon)
She was a great cat and can never be replaced…
We love you Yazzydoodles.