Once again I go to the "blogosphere" to console my feelings. Please forgive any sloppiness on my part as my poor cat Bozo is dying before my very eyes.
I haven't written much here in the past yet, dKos is part of my daily routine. Now that you know this, I wish to thank the community here for existing. Despite the wealth of bad news, this community gives me some glimmer of hope... most of the time.
A little background on my buddy should come first:
A number of years ago(Bozo is now 11), I used to stay at my mother trailer to help her with housework and wrapping up her office's weekly business. I got to spend time with mom, her menagerie of animals, and get a small bit of cash while I was at it. Sure, I could have taken no pay for my time but, mom insisted and it was only a small bit (40-50 bucks, sometimes less). My mom was the type of person that animals gravitated to and I could write an entire book on the tales of my mom and the animals in her life.
One weekend I stayed at mom's the neighbors purebreed Tonkinese decided that she would have her kittens at my mom's place rather than at the neighbors. This was not uncommon but again, that is another tale in itself. The mother of the 6 kittens gave birth and died mysteriously 5 days later. We never found out the cause and quietly informed the neighbor who promptly buried the poor mother. That same night two of the litter of 6 died, partly due to what we guessed was asphyxiation because they were positioned under the dead mother. The neighbor asked about the remaining kittens and my mom assured him we would nurture them to adulthood.
I was only visiting my mom for 2-3 days of each week but, jumped right into the care of these little bundles. They all seemed normal young kittens to me and I took great joy seeing them open their eyes and take on normal weight gain, except for one little guy. He was obviously the runt of the bunch and not afraid to let us know he existed. Every night I spent at mom's, the little guy would crawl onto the sofa with me and worm his way into my covers near my legs and crotch. Needless to say, the little guy would often get smashed a bit and begin hollering for me to wake up! I would wake up to rescue him from his plight, talk to him, and then place him back in his cat bed with his other brothers and sisters.
Several weeks went by and the litter was looking healthy and normal. After leaving mom's on Sunday night as usual, I get this call during the week, "When are you coming to pick up your cat?" I stammered a bit and then realized, I wanted this little guy. After all, he obviously took a liking to me despite the fact that he gave me hell while trying to feed him as a tiny toddler. That weekend visit I walked out the door with my buddy of over 11 years.
Bozo the cat was his name or just Bozo for short. I named him this because of the brown spot on his nose which somehow reminded me of my younger days of watching Bozo the Clown on TV for the cartoons. We have been steadfast buddies for these 11 years. He used to run around crazy in my first apartment chasing things and retrieving them for me throw again. We even developed a game involving plastic soda bottle caps where I would bounce them off the walls. He would then punish the naughty cap for jumping around like that and then he would pick it up and bring back to my feet for another toss.
Mind you, Bozo has always been one of those cats who commands attention when he wants it and when he doesn't want it, don't mess with him! It took years just for me to be able to pick him up on demand with minimal fuss. Typically, picking him up meant a scratched neck and back as he crawled up and over you to get away. Despite this weird issue with closeness, Bozo always, always, ALWAYS demanded his place in my bed every night. His niche was just below my crotch or propped up against one leg like an over-sized kitty pillow. Good thing he is a small cat and even still, his presence there was slightly uncomfortable on those hot New Orleans days.
And now... my buddy is dying and I am helpless to do anything. Without going into great detail, my life has been a shambles for the last 5-6 years. Problems with work, corrupt law enforcement, Katrina, untreated depression, finances... it's a mess. To top this off, my buddy Bozo was considered by me an extension of my mother who passed a year after Katrina. Not only did Bozo and I cuddle to soothe my worries but, I also felt I was touching my mother's spirit by speaking to him. And now... that part of my life is dying.
You are probably curious why he is dying well, here is the list of symptoms that have developed over the last 2-3 months:
Lethargy and excessive sleeping. Even to the point where he would forget to join me in the bed :/
Vomiting food, foamy liquids, and clear liquids. These seemed to be at random and with no particular cause.
Horrible bad breath. My research says it should smell like ammonia but, it smells more to me like rotten fish.
Rapid weight loss and emaciation. On his small frame this is particularly scary.
Dehydration. Constantly drinking excessive amounts of water.
Unusual peeing in random spots. He got behind my computer monitor yesterday and peed on a plastic bag that was stashed there. I was upset and raised my voice some but, I knew I can't cause him further duress. The pee was not even like real pee. It was just body temperature water with no urine smell whatsoever.
Foamy urination. I have been monitoring his bathroom habits as best as I can. I have been having to bring him to the litter box a number of times as he thought it was too much effort to go two rooms away to relieve himself. This sort of behavior NEVER occurred up until now. He has been the neatest cat I have ever owned or seen in my life.
He longer wants to sleep with me. He decided sitting on top of my computer tower was the best spot for him. He has fallen off several times now because he is getting clumsier with each passing day. He doesn't even take the great pleasure of sunning himself in the window each day even if I place him on the ledge. He stays for a brief period and then works his way back to my computer tower perch.
Drooling. Considering his current perch of choice, this is getting messy for my computer tower.
And finally, the real nail in the proverbial coffin... He has stopped eating. He has refused to eat anything for 3 days now, counting today.
Most of his symptoms only hit in the last two to three weeks and their onset has been fast and furious. I have been desperately seeking a diagnosis from web research and it seems that my buddy is suffering from renal failure. Before any of you ask why I have yet to bring him to a vet, please consider this. If I could afford to do it, don't you think I would have?! My finances are a wreck and I am currently jobless. My attempts to seek help have been met with stonewall of indifference to my finances. When you consider how the state of Medical care is for humans, please consider how much worse it is for poor pet owners. The only thing offered to me was the SPCA said they could maybe take him in and hope someone adopted him. There is NO WAY I could do separate us like that! Is that selfish?
My only reason for posting here is to hopefully relieve some of the pain that I feel as I watch my buddy of so many years helplessly drool on the side of my tower. He scares me with his occasional pronouncements which says to me he is in pain. I have been trying to snuggle and soothe his wounded body with love but, he is distant and only seems to desire the consolation of perching on top of my computer tower. I wish that just for a little while he could talk to me and I could talk back. I want him to know he has been one of the great joys of my life and I cannot possibly replace him.
Sadly, I lost all my pictures of him during Katrina but, I have a friend bringing his digital camera over in a few hours. I shall post the pictures here as soon as I am able, I promise. There is so much more I want to say, wish I could say but...
my heart is breaking...Updated by CentristandProud at Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:42 PM PDT
My friend brought over his camera and he saw how wrecked I was by this. He stated that if Bozo was still around by morning, we would make a trip to a vet clinic where a friend works on his dime. I do not dare to hope for too much but, it made me cry even more to know that this friend was so touched by my grief that he wants to do this for me and and most importantly, for Bozo. Also, I should have a few pics posted tomorrow.
Updated by CentristandProud at Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:43 PM PDT
Was unable to get the test strips tonight because of transportation difficulties. I think it will be a long night for me because he is acting oddly and keeps looking for places to hide. At least he still looks for water to drink.. Here is hoping the vet can provide some good news tomorrow or worst case, end his suffering. Thank you everyone for your concerns... It really touches my heart in a huge way.
Updated by CentristandProud at Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 03:05 PM PDT
HE'S GONE ! I have been too upset to post anything sooner and I am still sorting getting these pictures transferred so I can post them. For now, I am too upset to post anything more... Will post soon as I am able.
Uploaded with ImageShack.usUpdated by CentristandProud at Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 05:33 PM PDT
I finally got the pictures on my computer and uploaded what I think is the best of the bunch. Please realize this is not Bozo in his prime. In fact, he was not his usual happy self when in a window.
I loved this friend dearly and I find myself weeping uncontrollably whenever I think he is gone. At least he is no longer suffering.