Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday-3:30pm-Goodbye Karma

I am going to write this right now while I am still holding myself together.  From Friday to Saturday things with Karma's ear went horribly wrong.  Her ear was even more swollen, was suddenly turning purple, and there was bleeding!  She had been hiding under the bed--came out Saturday night.  I called McFamily right away and the emergency vet.  Dagan took us over.
 The vet was an absolutely wonderful guy!  He loves cats--even had a calico tattooed on his upper arm--and Karma even liked him!  Tolerating touching without hissing counts as liking...sick as she was she still hissed at every other person who came near her.  :)
  Karma needed surgery to have a tube put in her ear.  We left and went to McFamily's to wait for the phone call that she was waking up after surgery and could go home.  But when he called (must have been close to 2am) he had bad news.  Karma had more wrong with her than just the aural hemotoma of her ear.
She had Feline Infectious Anemia.  It's a parasite that attaches to the red blood cells and kills them.  She actually needed a blood transfusion, but he said that might not help her much at all, anyways, because she was probably already suffering organ damage.  She'd dropped from close to 20 lbs down to 14 pounds.  She also had blood in her urine so they did an ultrasound and she had an inflamed bladder--probably from stress. 
Puzzling as to where she got this, but it is actually possible that she could have been a carrier and even had it from birth and then the stress of the move set it off.  She was one very sick kitten when I brought her home all those years ago.  The vet at that time said she was probably born with the internal parasites she had--and Karma had ear mites really bad, her eyes matted up, but I can't remember if she had fleas back then.  They can get this anemia from fleas, mites, or even mosquitoes, apparently.  She hadn't had any fleas or ear mites since she was a kitten.
Anyways, the only one slim chance she had was to try to give her a couple medications and pain medicine for 24 to 48 hours and then see if her red blood cell count had risen.  If not...  
That was why her ear went berzerk and wouldn't heal--extremely low red blood cell count.  
Dagan brought us home.  I did want to try the last ditch effort for the day or two.
Karma was just fine with the gentle squeezing of her ear to milk the blood out.  In fact she purred when I was doing that.  But the ear would fill up again--because of the low clotting.  He warned about that being a bad sign.  I had to keep a close watch on her because of the risk of sudden death from hemorrhaging.  Any number of things could go wrong.  It was a shock to find out how ill she was!
I was supposed to give her the meds when I got home.  The medication to attempt to kill off the parasites and not kill Karma was horrendous!  They warned me that it made them drool terribly for like 20 minutes or so.  That was an understatement!!  She wretched and drooled and panted and cried!  It was horrible!  After a half an hour it subsided but she was limp and lifeless.  Must be almost like chemo!
I decided right then that the odds were so slim that this was not worth it.  This was way worse than a bit of drooling!  I was not going to torture poor Karma for days.  Even if that worked, it would be a slow recovery and she very likely had other issues that could be potentially lethal, regardless.  (This really hit home when you read it all in the email that emergency sent to her vet's office.)
So, I removed the cone and just gave her pain medication.  I told Dagan and Leah (who agreed with me) that I needed to bring her in Monday to have her put to sleep.  I was just going to spend some nice quiet time with her, pray there wasn't a horrible, painful death in the meantime (but did pray for a peaceful, painless one at home--no such luck), and give her pain meds every 6 hours.
These pictures were taken Sunday morning with her shaved ear and tube.  She'd had her second does of pain medication and was feeling a little better.  Briefly walked around a tiny bit.
She refused to eat or drink, though.  She started up with an occasional deep loose sounding cough and she had a few wet sneezes--she was starting to get something--pneumonia or a bad cold.  She seemed to have occasional trouble swallowing...just normal swallowing.  Sometimes her breathing  sounded a bit too noisy.  She didn't want move.  
You know when it is time. 
She spent 90% of the time on my bed from when we got home from the emergency vet until we went to the regular vet this afternoon.  And I spent nearly that entire time lying next to her on the bed.  The only time she totally relaxed and laid her head down was if I laid next to her and put my arm around her.  And she'd purr and purr until she fell asleep.  She'd never sleep very long.  I had to get up sometimes (pain) to stretch a bit (had my arm around her but I didn't want the weight of my arm on her, so I had to hold it up a bit) and to get her pain meds and milk her ear tube...and as soon as she saw me coming back she'd start purring. 
So I spent the last day and a half snuggled with Karma.  I can still almost hear that happy motor going and feel it against my chest and arm.  She just wanted me near.
Leah brought us over to the regular vets this afternoon while her brother, Aaron could be there while Ian took his nap.  Karma never even cried in the car--or emergency night, either.  She was so not herself.  They brought us to a little room and let me sit with Karma to calm her down--keeping my arm around her in her carrier.  (Karma was never a lap cat--we just took the top half off the carrier).  They took her away to start an IV and we never even heard Karma. (Normally she would have been growling and hissing.)  Then they left Leah and I alone in the room with her.  I had time to calm her down and to tell her they were all done and she'd be fine.  When I was ready--and Karma was as calm as she was going to be--we put a card under the door to let them know we were ready for the vet to come in.
I had one arm around her and the other hand under her head.  I felt every muscle in her body completely relax as I was telling her...don't worry...we're all done, Karma.  They wrapped her like a baby in her towel I always used in her carrier.
Good-bye Miss Karma.
We had a precious, sweet time together before she left.  Private and peaceful--just like she loved our life to be.  I am so thankful for pain medication.    
I will be on hiatus.  
Let's just say that if you don't hear from me all is well.  If there are any problems with the eye surgeries, etc--Leah offered to post for me.  But for now...just need some time.
Thank you everybody who has loved Miss Crabbypants, too, over the years.  She would have been 12 in a couple weeks.  I feel blessed to have had our last private, quiet time together.  I can still feel the rumbly soft fur under my fingers and hear her purring in my ear.  


andi filante said...

Oh, Rita! I am so very sorry and my heart is just breaking for you. I know how very much you love Miss Karma and I know how much you will miss her. So very many hugs to you from me and Phil and Gracie. I will be thinking about you and praying for your comfort, my dear, sweet friend!

Much love and many hugs,

Anonymous said...

I'm SO sorry; losing a beloved pet is not like losing a member of your family--it IS losing a member of your family!!

GrandmaG said...

I remember when Karma was so sick a few years ago. I really thought the end was near then. But she pulled through, and the end actually came much quicker when it was time. I completely understand you wanting to take some time off. As you know, our 17+-year-old cat is still with us, but appears so frail. We thought for sure his time had come a few years ago and it was so upsetting. Take care, friend. And best wishes for an easy recovery from eye surgery.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Oh no, Rita! I will miss reading about Karma and seeing the pictures of her watching the birds and jack rabbits. She was quite the devoted and loving companion to you; and you took exceptionally good care of her through the years.

It sounds like you made the right - although very difficult - decision. Isn't it amazing how cats can be so brave and strong up until the end. They never let on as to what they are going through.

I hope the eye surgeries go well for you and that recovery is quicker than anticipated.

I'll look forward to hearing from you when you are ready. Right now...take the time you need to grieve, remember, and perhaps create something in memory of Karma.

Take good care, Rita.

Furry Bottoms said...

Dear Rita. I cry because I've followed along with karma for a few years. I am so sorry. She was a wonderful companion and you gave her a good life. We love you

TexWisGirl said...

i am so very sorry. i know how absolutely dear she was (to you and to those of us who knew her in blogland). i am glad you were able to spend quiet time with her. and it was indeed time. bless you as you grieve.

Vicky said...

Oh Rita, my heart is breaking for your loss. I will have you in my thoughts.....

Neesie said...

Oh no... I'm so sorry that Karma had to leave you but by your account of events you made the right decision. You loved her so much and couldn't possibly let her suffer. I have tears just reading your words and feel your loss deeply. I know how much she meant to you. Even though I only met her in your posts I feel I knew her I will always picture her looking out at the world from your window. I'm glad you had your special close time to prepare for your final farewell.
Take care and as much time as you need to grieve, but we'll all be here thinking of you and waiting for your return.
Huge hugs and much love to you xx

ChicagoLady said...

Its so tough to let go of our furkids. Your story was very touching, and I hope you find comfort in the peace you gave her the last couple days. Hugs.

Tracey FK said...

Rita I am so desperately sorry for your loss. This is heartbreaking and I am having a bit of a cry I must admit. She was so loved and such a magnificent character and she was blessed to have had such a life with you. I will be holding you in my heart over coming days... Tracey and phoebes xx

AliceKay said...

I am so sorry, Rita. :( We all loved Karma. You shared so much of her life and her personality with us, but you were her companion and she was yours. You were there for her when she needed you, and she knew that. I know what you're going through, and it isn't easy. It's never easy.

My heartfelt condolences to you, my dear friend. I will be thinking of you. *hugs*

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

My heart goes out to you Rita. I know there are no words I can say that will compensate, but I do know that you are in pain right now. I'm so glad you had time to spend alone with her the last two days. I know it meant more to you than it did to her, probably, but it was still worth it. It's hard saying good-bye, but you did it with grace and aplomb.

Good-bye dear Karma. You will be missed by all of us who have followed your antics and poses for Rita's camera all these years.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I saw this of Facebook and came over to read about what happened I have tears running down my face and Leo asking what is wrong I told him that a friends cat died and he said but you don't like cats, I gave him a hug and said I may not have known Karma but it felt like I did and I am still sad that she has died

Intense Guy said...

Oh no.

Karma had a wonderful life after she found you. Hugs you tight. Your loss makes me teary eyed and at a loss for words.

Ruby is rubbing Karma's restored ears and chin today.

DJan said...

I am crying so hard, Rita, because I loved Karma too, and I just didn't expect this. And I understand your need to grieve for her. I will grieve for her also. You have my love and sorrow for your loss. I'm glad she was able to go peacefully. Poor baby. :-(

Sherry Ellis said...

I am soooooo sorry! I feel your pain! Karma was a good kitty, and we're all going to miss her!


Krisha said...

My heart is breaking for you Rita, and the tears are streaming down my face. Karma will be missed by many of us who have grown to know her through you. I'm so very glad you had a chance to say good bye to her.
You have my DEEPEST sympathy.

Janie Junebug said...

I think her behavior changed (no more hissing and growling) because she was ready to go.


MahliB said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there and the sadness takes forever to go away. You did the right thing for your kitty. It is so hard to bear though. I wish you well.

Divers and Sundry said...

My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry you've had this loss. It's a hard decision to make, but you had to think about what was best for her. I'll be thinking about you.

Joyce F said...

Reading through the tears. That cat knew she was loved, and it sounds like she was ready to go. Having just been through this with son's cat I know the heartache and will be thinking of you.

jinxxxygirl said...

Oh Rita! I had no idea things were this bad with karma.. I went back and read more of your posts.. So scary how it can just come out of the blue like that.. I know how much you loved your Karma... Just like i love my Jinx.. I'll be thinking about you and sending you a hug across the miles... I've had to put a few loved pets to sleep and its never an easy thing.. I hope your doing okay.. Hugs Deb (your penpal)

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, Rita, I am so very sorry for your loss. You did absolutely everything you could for Karma and she is lucky that you were there to make her death as peaceful and painless as possible. You did the right thing, it is impossible to fight nature but we can make it less savage and that is what you did for Karma.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am so sorry. We all loved Miss Crabby pants too. We can only ever do the best for our pets and in my opinion you have always had Karma's best interests at heart. You stuck with her to the end....what more can we give those special creatures who are our best friends. Your heart will be broken for a long time, perhaps it will never be the same again because she left paw prints on your heart. Sending you a hug.

Carol Samsel said...

Oh heart is broken for you. It is the hardest decision to make but know that was right. Sending love and prayers your way.

Deb J. in Utah said...

Rita, So sorry to read this post. Losing a beloved pet is just the worst. We are "cat people" and have lost cats who were part of our family. Hurts so bad. God bless you with comfort in your loss.

Serena Lewis said...

OH Rita, I can only imagine the emotional pain you are going through right now. My heart is heavy and tears are streaming down my face. I will surely miss seeing Karma on your blog. Karma was loved by so many of us. She will always have a special place in your heart. I wish I was there to give you big hugs. Thinking of you, my dear friend. (((Hugs)))

Hilary said...

Oh Rita, I'm so very sorry for your deep loss. My heart aches for you. Your beautiful Karma. Your words "You know when it is time." are so true. It's such a hard decision to make but you do know when it's right. That gift to her is so in keeping with the beautiful life she had with you.

Not only did you give Miss Karma a good life, you also brought her to life for all of us who never got the opportunity to know her in the real world but who felt like we did from reading about her antics every day. I felt the love for her also.

I still miss my Skitty boy every day and I know it will be a long time until your ache will subside a bit. My heart just aches for you, Rita.

Goodbye sweet Karma. You were one especially loved kitty. <3

Big, BIG hugs to you, dear Rita. <3

My name is Erika. said...

Oh Rita. This is SO sad. I haven't even known you or Karma for very long, but it is making me sad. I know it is hard but I give you credit for being a strong person knowing what was right for her. Her spirit knows that you did the best for, and I hope that brings you some peace. I wish you strength and comfort as you move forward. And I'm sorry to read about your loss. Hugs-Erika

Feral Turtle said...

I am so terribly sorry for you! What a wonderful life you gave Karma. A big hug to you Rita.

Anonymous said...

oh honey, I'm heartbroken. I loved Miss Karma. Hubby gives his love.
I've been away a bit. I've put out a few posts but I haven't been around to see my friend's blogs. I'm so sorry I've missed you.
You are a strong woman to have been able to write this. I had a hard time reading it.
She was a very sweet cat, even if she was crabby. She was your baby.
My heart bleeds for you Rita.

Hilary said...

Just back to let you know that I'm thinking of you. I hope you are healing.. eyes and heart. <3

Lady Fi said...

Oh gosh - I AM so very sorry to hear this. She was a delightful companion and much loved.

Donn said...

Our thoughs and prayers go out to you, Rita. It's like losing one of the family. She was your light, now she's the light in heaven.
Just keep going, Rita. Stay busy but don't overdo it.

Stephanie Faris said...

Big hugs. I'm SO sorry. Pets are family--it's so heartbreaking when they leave us. But it sounds like you gave her a great home every day of her life, and that's all we can really do for the short time they're with us.

Aaron Lewis said...

I am so sorry for your loss Rita, Karma was a very precious cat. I truly do hope you are doing okay.

TammyVitale said...

Oh so sad. She was so well loved and she knew it. you are such a good kitty momma. I am so sad for your loss and so happy you now have Annie.