It's been nearly a year since Jewel went to the Rainbow Bridge. I cannot believe it's been nearly a year already. It feels like yesterday that I lost my precious baby.
I haven't talked about Jewel's last days with hardly anyone. It's so painful. But it's time to share this with all of you.
I apologize if this is difficult to read. I appreciate your support so much as telling this story is very hard for me.
Some of you might remember Jewel's last vet visit. While her blood pressure tested as "borderline high," her blood tests showed significant improvement in her BUN and creatinine levels. In fact, there was so much improvement, I wondered if they had accidentally switched Jewel's sample with another cat's! Her BUN was 2.9 in April, 2014 and went down to 2.3 in early August. Her creatinine was 64 in April and went down to 32 in August.
Right after that vet visit, though, I began to notice some changes in Jewel's behavior that worried me. Jewel began to lay down to eat her kibbles instead of sitting or squatting by the bowl. Additionally, there were some nights she started not begging for human food at dinnertime, which was incredibly unusual for her. She used to get so excited about dinnertime that she'd sit by the coffee table and demand food from us before it was even on our plates! Jewel was also defecating outside the litter box. She always had a habit of doing this occasionally, but she would always make it to the bathroom before she left me a present on the floor. After her last vet visit though, she began to defecate in the bedroom and living room.
I hope and pray that nobody judges me for this, but I couldn't afford to take Jewel to the vet for another week and a half. Of course if she had shown signs that she needed to see a vet right away, I would have done whatever I needed to to get her to the vet. But the changes I saw just made me think that we needed to rethink our treatment plan for her pain. I hated seeing her hurting; it broke my heart. Some nights, I'd just sit and cry because it hurt me so much to see her hurting. I just hoped and prayed that she could hold on for a few more days so we could get her some relief.
Unfortunately, things went downhill rapidly after that. Some of you might remember this post from August 26th where I asked for some urgent purrs and prayers for Jewel. Jewel had stopped eating nearly all together at this point. Granted, it was always difficult to know what she would eat. We were forever guessing at what might stimulate her appetite, but we were usually able to find something she would eat. Not this time. She turned her nose up at everything. Her appetite stimulants didn't even get her to eat.
Jewel was also spending a lot of time in her soft kitty cubes at this point. She always loved her cubes, but in the months before her passing, she was usually pretty social. She'd spend time in her pink bed by the couch, come over and demand treats from me, and spend time with my friend D.
I also noticed that Jewel stopped crying when I stuck her with the needle for her subcutaneous fluid treatments. Every single time I gave Jewel subcutaneous fluids, I said, "Here's a little poke, Jewel," and then I'd stick her (which I hated doing!) and she'd let out a big, "RAOW!" I joked that she was cussing me out. But in her last week or so, she stopped raowing at me when I stuck her. After her subcutaneous fluid treatments, Jewel always got rewarded with treats. In her last week, she began refusing treats. Instead, she'd just walk off after her treatments were over.
Because Jewel stopped eating all together, I called the vet and asked her what to do. She agreed to prescribe us some a/d critical care cat food so we could syringe-feed her. We ran out immediately and picked some up. We syringe-fed her for a couple of days. Jewel would swallow the food when it was in her mouth, but she definitely wasn't interested in eating on her own. I could tell she was losing a lot of weight, and it really scared me.
The day before we helped her to the Rainbow Bridge, my friend D woke me up, and he was crying. He doesn't cry much, so I knew something was seriously wrong. He said something about Jewel, and I jumped out of bed and went to her.
I sat on the floor with my baby and cried. My heart was breaking, and I couldn't imagine letting her go the next day. We did our very best to make Jewel comfortable. I carried her everywhere I went from the time I woke up to the time we helped her to the Bridge.
Next week, I'll tell you about Jewel's final night with us. I'm sorry if this is hard to read. Thank you so very much if you've read this. I appreciate your support and friendship so very much.