Most Likely To:
July 9, 2020
Pee in your least favorite spot
IN MEMORIAM - April 2, 2020
MJ came to us last October after I saw a post for him on Diabetic Cats In Need. His foster could no longer care for him and he was back at the shelter and not doing well. At 17 and with diabetes the shelter, even the amazing shelter it is, was not a place for him to be.
I reached out to the director and long story short Anne and I drove to pick him up. He was sickly from day one. His former foster had similar experiences with him vomiting and painful abdomen but he would stop vomiting with Cerenia. We had for the last few months not had any vomiting, i thought a food change was what corrected that. His blood sugar remained low under 130 without insulin for the majority of the time he was hear but would spike when he didn't feel well and I would give him a dose when needed. At the end of October we thought we were going to lose him. He got really sick and even needed oxygen. I will never forget that week because on a Saturday night at 9pm i went to get medication for him after Dr Singh had called. He had been thinking of his case and discussing it with a colleague and he didn't want me to wait until Monday for the medication. At that time we put him on an antifungal. After that course of treatment he bounced back literally from what we thought was the end. In February his eyes began to get ‘foggy’ and he started seeing the eye specialist for drops but nothing else.
He had nothing going on this year except his eyes until July 2. He has two places he loved to hang out in and the first was the wash room sink and the shelf above my desk. June 30 and July 1 he never came to the kitchen for food and that was totally out of character. I brought food to him and he licked it which was not enough so in to the vet we went. He had x-rays and blood work done July 2 and they revealed pancreatitis, which makes total sense with symptoms of not eating, painful abdomen and increased blood sugar. So we treated him for that. I was able to syringe feed him a little July 3 and 4 and he was still trying to ‘lick’ food if i gave it to him. On Sunday July 5 i knew he needed more than i was able to give him or he would eat so on Monday July 6 we went to the vet and Dr Singh fed him. We did the same on Tuesday. On Wednesday his urine was bright yellow which indicates liver disease and we were afraid of him getting fatty liver so that is why his teeth were pulled and the feeding tube was placed - thinking his teeth were painful and keeping him from eating because he was making a weird movement with his mouth. When the extractions didn't help him want to eat we had to give him the tube.
The whole time something made me feel uneasy. I have had many cats with pancreatitis. Never this hard to control. He was getting food every day until Wednesday, and enough that he should not have fatty liver. I kept telling him to let us know what to do. To tell Dr Singh because Dr Singh will tell me when enough is enough, but MJ never gave signs he was giving up. Signs that he felt like shit, absolutely, but not giving up. That is what was so hard in addition that upon exam and based on x-rays and labs nothing made sense. Yesterday I was not sure about letting him go or putting the tube in. I have no fear of the tubes but i just wasn’t sure if he should be put through another sedation. And then he survived both! We did another x-ray to make sure the tube was placed properly and that's when we saw his insides looked questionable. There was definitely fluid in his lungs or around them, I can't remember which. So we gave Lasix which should have helped reduce it. Last night was extremely difficult watching him struggle to breathe but then after I took the bandage off, he was fine. It wasn’t making sense. This morning at 5am he was doing so well. I fed him and gave antifungal meds, we were going to start a round of that again. I put him in the carrier and took him to Dr Singh just so he could look him over. This is when his heart decided to let us know it was not happy now. I was going to start him on heart medication but didn't get the chance (now we know his heart was too far gone for the medication to work anyway). I think we were home about 40 minutes and he was extremely uncomfortable, the breathing was worse than last night and he just couldn't find the right spot (i knew that was a bad sign).I was going to rush him back to Dr Singh but when I tried to put him in the carrier he flipped out. I ran upstairs to get changed and decided i would just take him in a blanket. When I came downstairs he was laying on his side peeing on the floor. I am not sure I realized what was happening it happened so fast. I leaned down and he just breathed weird and gave a little shake. Then it happened again so i thought maybe he was ok? Then a last breath and I knew that was it.
He was a character for sure. The shelter director said it best, he was a crotchety old man. And he was. He had this raspy ‘meh’ he would snap at you with. He was not a fan of the other cats yet lived with 43 of them as tolerated because he had space to call his own. He drove me crazy jumping on my laptop and changing all the settings. He was famous for peeing on a plastic drawer that was such a pain to clean but when i covered it with pee pads he thought that was acceptable. He loved to sit on my lap and give me deep looks of love, with his face right to mine - but be careful because that love can turn into a biting snap instantly. Funny though that's how I thought because he would ‘snap’ for other reasons but he never actually snapped at my face. In the old house he loved to sleep on my chest with his face on top of mine. Stella gave him a run for his money chasing him as he would try to run from the laundry room to the office but he perfected the mad dash and always got to his shelf safely. The shelf is so empty now.
In 9 months he made a lasting impression. His quirks drove me crazy and made me love him. Most of all he introduced me to the Whiting, IN shelter where I have remained close to his former caretakers. He was definitely meant to be here and has connected me to an amazing rescue community. His life definitely had purpose. Fly Free MJ. I hope there is a shelf at the Rainbow Bridge with your name on it.
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