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.