Wednesday, November 4, 2009

March 1992 — November 2009

At 8:15 this morning, Ashley was euthanized. Last night, around 3:45 in the morning, she was having difficulty breathing and her heart rate was fluctuating between about 60-120 b/min. Normal for a cat is 180-200 b/min. L and I stayed up with her all night keeping her warm and comfortable.

When I brought her into the vet, she had entered shock and her temperature was only 91°, whereas she was normally at 101°. They took a look at her, took her temp and felt her digestive system—which had literally nothing in it. They then took her in back and put in a catheter into the same arm as before, so all that fur that grew back from when she was in the hospital in July was once again shaved. They asked if I wanted a paw print and I said yes, so they did that and then brought her back into the examining room. They then gave her the sedative, which literally made her fall asleep in almost 2 seconds. She did not like that—she kind of let out a strong angry mew! They then gave her a double dose of barbiturates to stop her heart and then what they said was a "finisher." That may have been the second dose of barbiturates. She passed in about 3 seconds and I spent about 15 more minutes with her.

Immediately, she had lost color in her paws and ears. She was cool to the touch and didn't even smell the same. She was simply not there anymore and in a way it made it easier to say goodbye, knowing that the body is not who she was, but only a vessel.

I was with her the whole time. I let her stay wrapped up in the blanket laying down as I didn't want to squish her any. She didn't struggle or anything.

She has always been a member of my family and I'm so happy that she was able to be with us nearly 18 years. This past week has been especially difficult on both her and myself. She had been unable to walk and stopped eating two days ago. Until the kidney disease she was in remarkably good health. Even this summer she was her usual self, pawing and screaming at us to get up to feed her every morning, sitting with me while I work and just being a generally wonderful friend.

I ended up taking her to our local vet, only about 1 mile away. They were very nice about the whole thing, explaining the entire process. They answered all of my strange questions and listened to me ramble about her. This is not the same vet or clinic she saw while staying in the hospital. This vet was also a grad of Colorado State University.


Tara said...

I'm so sorry. It's so difficult to lose a friend, no matter how many legs they have. You are in my thoughts!

Michelle said...

Kerrie - I'm so sorry, what a sad day. What a nice tribute to her, and how special they offered to give you a paw print. I'm glad you got to be with her, as hard as that must have been. You were good to her. :-)

Sunrise said...

Kerrie, I'm so sorry. It's good that she's no longer suffering, but that never makes it any easier on those left behind. That is really sweet about the paw print and it's nice they let you stay with her and hold her afterward. It's clear she had a happy life and you were able to say goodbye peacefully knowing you did everything you could for her.

Arabian Acres said...

I am sorry kerrie. I can see that she will be missed by both of you and I hope you and Linsday feel better soon. My thoughts are with you both.