My eight year old doll-face flame point Himalayan cat Oliver was euthanized Wednesday morning.
In 2009, at just five years old, Oliver was diagnosed with kidney problems and in 2010, he took a turn for the worse despite his special diet. An ultrasound revealed he had polycystic kidney disease. I vowed to fight with him. I learned to give him sub-q fluids here at home. After a couple months of treatments and tests, I promised Oliver there would be no more needles. We would fight with diet and do whatever we could together to keep him as healthy and happy as possible.
Oliver was a warrior. He had good streaks and bad streaks. Some days he’d eat without argument but other days it would take up to 20 minutes to get him to eat just a few bites. When he stopped eating his prescription kibble, I picked up canned moist food. I whipped the mush with water to make it higher in moisture which eliminated the need to worry about how to fend off dehydration. When he got tired of the mushy meals, I mixed wet and dry. Then we went back to just dry kibble again. I began begging him and bribing him with promises of US currency and elaborate vacations. He soon would want petting rewards for eating. Meal time was our time together.
Oliver played and purred. He lived up to his princely title without a doubt. He oversaw his kingdom and fought his disease valiantly. His weight fluctuated since his diagnosis in 2009 (he was only 6 pounds at his heaviest) but he was slowly shrinking. I worked harder to get him eating. Every vet visit resulted in the same praise. He was doing well and we should keep up with what was working. Oliver was bright eyed and bushy tailed. He was my fluffy prince, my sunshine man, my boo, my baby, my heart.
Our vet visit in September revealed a slight weight gain. A weight gain was a huge boost to my peace of mind. But then I noticed changes. Gradually he ate less. He looked smaller to me. I was grateful he still acted normally. No real sign of anything serious. His visit in December showed a weight loss. Then he just looked like he was getting old. His grooming habits slowly changed and became less thorough. I did my best to keep him looking regal and handsome. He still purred and followed me around for petting and chin rubs.
I told several family members and friends that I thought this would be our last winter together. I had a feeling. I couldn’t put my finger on it. We had gone through peaks and valleys and plateaus but I knew. This time it was different. The weekend of February 16th, I knew I had to prepare myself to say goodbye.
I vowed never to keep a pet alive for my own selfish wishes and needs. Oliver was resting peacefully and purring for me Sunday but as the new week began he showed signs that the end was near. His blue eyes looked different. He didn’t come to me when I begged him. I made the call and we said goodbye Wednesday morning. My heart broke as I said my final goodbye and kissed him. My fluffy rescue boy who had never bitten, scratched or lashed out at any member of our household, had crossed the rainbow bridge. My brave prince made me so proud.
People have told me that he wouldn’t have thrived so long with a different owner. Few would have the patience to tolerate his finicky ways especially at meal times. That might be true. I admit I would get frustrated, I’m only human. But Oliver was my angel. I miss his goofy antics and higher-than-thou demeanor. I miss his ear tufts, his crazy wild whiskers, his perfectly-toasted-marshmallow point coloring and his bright blue eyes that captured my heart when I first met him in 2004.
Rest in peace my little man. Know how proud I am to have fought beside you in your war against kidney disease. You will live on in my heart always.