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Goodbye, my Syd

For many years now, we have been battling chronic renal failure with my cat, Sydney.

I got Syd when she was only a few weeks old, because her mother passed away. She was such a silly kitten! My roommates, Minta and Vyta, thought she was such a wuss that they started calling her Syd Vicious. That soon became her name - I don't even remember what it originally was. Probably something stupid and fluffy. Sydney joined me shortly after graduation from high school in 1988. She was with me through many boyfriends, when I finally met Scott and she made the move down to New Orleans with me. I remember how terrified I was because my roommate had let her out accidentally a couple of days before the move and we couldn't find her! She showed back up at the door the night before we moved.

By now, I guess you've noticed I'm talking about her in the past tense.

We had been working for a while on her renal failure, and I got quite good with giving Subcutaneous fluids. After the boys were born, we found that Matthew was allergic to cats. Shortly before the boys were born, my mother had moved down here and we were all she had in this area. Those circumstances all combined and I let Sydney move over to my mother's apartment. She could keep mom from being lonely, it made Matthew feel better, and mom was able to keep an eye on her full-time to watch for sickness. Whenever Syd got really sick and needed fluids, she would come back over here and stay in the upstairs spare bedroom until she was better. Mom mentioned a few days ago that Syd threw up, but that it only happened that once. I assumed she had just gotten into something or ate a bug.

Today, when mom came to tell the boys goodbye (since we leave in the morning for a week in Indiana) she said Syd was sick and needed to go to the vet. I got her the number and we made an appointment for her to take her this afternoon. Even though she is living with mom, she is still my responsibility so I manage all vet bills and services. Anyway, the vet called me this afternoon and said Syd was severely dehydrated and back in renal failure. Then she said that she also had a heart murmer so there might be heart disease there. She had lost four pounds. She also found a mass in her belly that Syd shied away from. She said Syd needed to be hospitalized and start sub-q fluids, get some blood drawn. She would also like to take a series of X-rays to find out the extent of the heart damage and what the mass was. The tests alone would cost over $500.

I had to ask some hard questions, and they had nothing to do with the money. Say we did the X-rays and were able to begin treatment on things - what outcome were we talking about? She said it would buy her some time. We discussed quality of life issues. I asked that she start the fluids, draw the blood and I would call her back in an hour.

I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. I went up to the vet, had mom meet me there, and I spent some time holding Syd and crying. Finally, I called Dr. S to come in and I signed the papers to have her put to sleep and be cremated. I held Sydney's head in my hands and we looked into each other's eyes as she was shaved and given the injection. She went very peacefully. They left us alone in the room as I yelled and cried because I couldn't believe what I had just done. I told her how much I loved her and I took her collar off.

I'm going to miss my sweet Sydney. She's always been my first baby and was with me through bad relationships, a lost pregnancy, moving in with Scott, the joy of finding out I was pregnant with Michael and Matthew, and so much more. She shared my laughs, my love and my tears and will always be a big part of my life.

I love you Sydney, and hope you don't hurt anymore.


( 13 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
Just the hug and the thought is enough. Thanks.
Aug. 2nd, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
What a pretty girl she was.

Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry sweetie. I understand the gut-wrenching pain of a decision like that. I've done it twice in the last six months myself.

I hope you find comfort in the memories of your fuzzy friend.

Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
Thanks. That's what I'm trying to do.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:27 am (UTC)
oh... no....

I am so sorry... Abby is my first pet, and I'm not even sure what it's going to be like to lose her.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
It hit me way harder than I thought it would. I've never actually been there while they put an animal down, although we have had to put down three ferrets and a few rats. Even though I loved those animals, it wasn't on the LEVEL of Sydney. She was like my baby, even though for the past few years she has lived with my mom. I guess it's like when your kids grow up and leave the house :) You don't stop loving them as much.

I know I'll be glad I stayed with her until the end, but for right now it is haunting me and making it harder.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 01:01 am (UTC)
All death is haunting... I know it must be hard, but I'm a loved-and-lost kinda guy... even if it's fleeting, I'd rather feel the emotion than miss it completely... so I admire your desire to be there at the end.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)

I'm so sorry :(
Aug. 3rd, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
My cat also got out after a move and got into some antifreeze. I also had to do the subcutaneous fluids for a few weeks. My cat hated it with all of her strength she would buck it. All I could do was hold her down and cry while doing it. I know the strength of will and mind to be able to nurse your pet like that. It is not an easy job.

I think you made the right choice in letting Syd go. We all get to that fork in the road. You did the right thing for Syd. My sincerest condolences on your loss.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 05:54 am (UTC)

What a beautiful kitty she was. I am sure now she is running around in cat heaven with little Trap 2.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
I am very sorry for your loss.
Best wishes.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
I am so very very sorry, sweetie. I've lost pets before and some losses are worse than others. I hope you find a way to cope. Hugs to you.
Aug. 4th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)
you didn't know her, but Beta the Wonder Dog was preceded by Tori .. a female black Lab that I'd gotten for my mother (when she lived in Louavull) that turned out to be too much to handle. So, I flew her to Dallas. Sometime after Tori reached age 7, she began limping .. we did X-rays and found a growth of "mass cells" near her tailbone .. inoperable. The most I could hope for was that she wouldn't suffer .. keep her comfortable, etc.

One rear leg swelled to about 3x normal size, then the cancer moved to the other leg. It wouldn't be long before she could no longer walk .. quality of life = nill. So, I made the same decision you did, except that she's buried at a pet cemetery in Carrollton. I haven't gone to see her lately, but I should. Hmm. I was with her in the vet's office when she was euthanized, and she went peacefully. I told myself that it was the kindest thing I could do for her, but it still hurts to think about it, years later.
( 13 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )