Monday, October 5, 2009

KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR

I have arthritis in my back that causes me to occasionally feel (and walk) much older than my years. I also carry around a few extra pounds. When Big Sid, our handsome tabby, began having trouble negotiating the steps a few weeks ago, empathy was not difficult - he's more than a bit heavy plus that step was at eye level.

In past weeks, the Big Man started sleeping in the middle of the back lawn at night. Not sure where he normally sleeps but I’m guessing it was somewhere that involved a jump or a climb. In the midst of our recent flea infestation, he also started napping in the covered cat box, stinky but quiet. Between the fragrance of cat poo and the fact that that chubby Sid has not been able to get to his back half for a number of years, we hauled him to the sink for a good wash before hitting him and his feline step-siblings with the Advantage.

The bath was sorely needed and I figured he would feel better with the flea crumbs removed but, instead, he developed wobbly-cat disease – as if he’d had a stroke, his ample stern was not quite following his bow. In hindsight, I’m thinking that bath was the beginning of the end and for that, I feel horrible beyond words. Last Wednesday, I carried his ampleness to the vet where he purred contentedly but would not walk across the room to display his lack of grace for the doctor. Because he is eleven years old, he got a “senior screen”, full blood test that might uncover diabetes or other condition that might afflict the obese elderly. They gave him a shot for pain to see if that would help. By Thursday, his test results showed “normal” but his legs were more wobbly. He still wasn’t showing any indication of discomfort except for his total inability to climb stairs and physical inability to mow everyone down on the way to the food bowl.

Friday morning he was a seal, dragging his big ol’ butt to the food bowl, rear legs not functioning at all. But he ate – he cleaned his plate and the leftovers from the other two plates. Then he crawled back to his towel and plopped the rest of his body down. Back to the vet that afternoon for x-rays and a cortisone shot…pills for home. Sid spent the weekend dragging himself around, front legs powering around his enormous lower body. He slept in the sun’s rays, actually dragging himself out to the back porch once -- I could see he was considering a trip down the steps to the driveway when I carried him back in for fear of him going for a “drag” down the street.
It broke my heart to see him. He was lacking control of his bladder. His feet were cold to the touch….he tail stopped twitching. His front half was still a cuddly teddy bear and he even played a bit with Hope’s hamster as Rambo rolled past him in the ball. By this morning, we knew things didn’t look good for Sid.

Mark’s shop is closed on Mondays so he was elected to take Bubba back to the docs. They consulted. They concurred that his butt-nerve was pinched badly by the arthritis and would not get better. Even surgery was not an option that would help. So Mark held Sid in his arms while they sent him off to take on his next life, where maybe he’d do a little yoga, eat smaller helpings and stay a little more limber for more of his years. Hopefully, we’ll get him back in one of his other lives. I miss that big ol’ ottoman already.

3 comments:

Matt Lewis said...

So sad to lose one who loves unconditionally ... yet we are charged with "doing what's best".

RIP, Syd.

Sandi said...

Awww Debbie, I'm really sorry. He sounded like an awesome cat. He will be happily purring on into the next one. Hang in there lady.

Carson Park Ranger said...

If he had it all to do over again, I doubt that he would have willingly gone on a diet, or changed much of anything.

He was indeed a "handsome tabby."