Archive for May 2014

I adopted my cat Boo in August of 2006 from Safe Harbor Cat Sanctuary in Jackson, MO. My roommate at the time had actually picked out Boo, a long haired black cat, and I had picked out Bear, a short haired black cat, and when we saw we had both picked out black cats we had to get both. True to her name though, Boo was definitely a scaredy cat. When we got her home she hid under a bed and wouldn’t come out for the first few days. So I laid by the bed every night, coaxing her to come out, slowly earning her trust, and the next thing I knew, Boo had become a solid fixture on my bed every day when I got home. She was officially my cat.

Being as though Boo was a scaredy cat, there was one thing she was always good for – whenever Boo was around I could be sure that there was no intruder’s hiding in my room somewhere, and I became less afraid of anything that went bump in the night in general – if Boo wasn’t hiding, there must not be anything there.

Boo was a beautiful cat. She had long black fur, which she cleaned religiously, so she was always super soft. She slept at the foot of my bed for the first year, the second year I had her she made her way up to the middle of the bed where she would sleep on my body pillow, and by the third year I had her she found her permanent spot on the pillow next to me. She has slept by my side for 8 years,  saw me through my numerous heart breaks, was there to celebrate my little triumph’s in life, and she even survived a dozen or so moves with me.

Then a few weeks ago Boo started spending more and more time laying on my TV stand.  At first I assumed it was because it was hot in my room and the glass kept her cool. Slowly though I began to notice that Boo was spending almost all of her time laying on the glass. As I was petting her one night recently, I noticed I could feel her hip bones, and it felt like she had lost a lot of weight. So I took her to the vet the next day… and unfortunately it was not good news. The vet found a large mass in Boo’s abdomen, and based on X-rays she concluded that it was most likely a tumor. I could opt for surgery to remove the tumor, which may not be successful and would not be easy on Boo. They could do an ultrasound and a biopsy and start Boo on radiation treatments. Or I could choose to put Boo to sleep. Seeing as though Boo was already losing her will to eat and drink, I felt as though the first two options were just going to be delaying the inevitable, and rather than to watch her suffer through treatments, I knew the best thing to do for her was to put her to sleep.

So tonight I held Boo in my arms as she took her last breaths, and her beautiful soul left this world.

That was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I just couldn’t get over the feeling that It was not her time, and this was not supposed to happen.

A month and a half before this I took Boo to the vet because my roommate’s cat had bit her tail, and it had become infected. She was perfectly healthy up until that point. The vet gave my cat the antibiotic shot, Convenia, as well as a pain medicine. She was also given the rabies vaccine, since it had been so long since I had taken her to the vet – they suggested I update her vaccine… so I did. After Boo got home from the vet she proceeded to throw up most of what she ate for 4-5 days. That is when I looked up the antibiotic shot that they gave her and found out a whole list of side effects of the shot that the vet had neglected to tell me about. Nausea, Diarrhea, Seizures, Anemia, and DEATH. Yes, Death was listed as a ‘Side Effect’. What the hell?? WHY is this even an option?? Who is going to risk their animal’s life for the convenience of not having to give it a pill for 2 weeks?? On top of all that, the antibiotic stays in the pet’s system for 2 months, so if your animal has an adverse reaction such as nausea or vomiting, it will have that reaction for 2 months!  WHY was I not told about any of this??

When I brought this alarming fact up to my vet, she claimed that she has never had a problem with the Convenia shot and she uses it all of the time.

So what am I to believe? I’m just left with so many questions and what ifs to answer? What if I hadn’t allowed the vet to give her the shot, and requested pills instead. Or what if I had opted out of the pain pill (because as the vet later told me, the pain medicine could have inflamed the organs and set off the rapid growth of an otherwise small cyst). Or was it the vaccine injection that overloaded her system and caused this tumor to grow? Was any of that that even related to why she grew this tumor; or was she just predisposed to this? The sad and unfortunate ending here is that I do not know exactly what developed in my cat’s system that caused her to grow a tumor, and I won’t ever know.

What I learned from all of this was an all to valuable lesson about being extremely cautious about the medicines that a vet recommends, and how important it is to have them go over every side effect and possible reaction a medicine can have. You can never be to careful when you are dealing with a life.

I have always held tight to the belief that everything happens for a reason. However, no words or actions can change what happened, or the fact that tonight the pillow next to me is empty,… and that my heart is breaking.

So for tonight… I remember you Boo… and I say Goodbye.