Monday, July 25, 2011

Prepared To Say Good-Bye: w/Good Update

I've been out photographing the cat. He's not been well. We haven't posted the photos from ten days ago after we brought him to the vet because he had been stumbling around the house and acting stranger than usual. That's when the vet recommended a lion cut to get rid of the matted fur Bonsai had everywhere. Roger brushes the cat every day, but come summer and all the brushing in the world doesn't stop this cat from matting up and getting cranky. So, lion cut it was. But then the old lost dog showed up last Sunday and invaded Bonsai's space. That was two days after the lion cut, so the question became, how much indignity can one cat endure? As it turns out, not much. Of course we are drawing connections where there may not be any. It's okay, we're not going to publish our insanity or make a religion out of it. We're just trying to figure out why Bonsai stopped shitting again.
Last Thursday we brought him back to the vet, even after all the times we've sworn out loud that we were no longer going to do heroics for him. It was obvious the cat needed an enema. I've given him organic pureed pumpkin and psyllium seed in his wet food everyday since last November. He was pretty regular until the lion cut and the stray dog. Is any of this related? Probably not. So, Bonsai had an enema on Thursday. Don't tell him that you heard this from us. He hates when we discuss his private stuff. In fact, it's exactly the kind of thing that makes him stop shitting. At least that's what we surmise.

Friday was hell. He even growled at us. Let me say that again. He actually growled at us every time we touched him. He hid under the sauna outside. He lay in the hot sun and nodded his head like he was dying. That's when we decided that if this cat ever stops pooping or peeing again, we're calling the vet to come to the house and put him to sleep. We just can't have him suffer anymore just so he can stay alive to stumble around the house and eat pureed pumpkin and psyllium seed in his wet food. What kind of life is that?
As of Sunday night Bonsai is still alive. He's not well. He seems very old suddenly. We are prepared to help him make his exit, if that is where he's headed. We will not impede him with enemas and hydration anymore. We are his friends, and we still think he's beautiful.

UPDATE:
Bonsai seems much steadier on his feet Monday morning. He's still an old man kitty cat in his ninth life, but for today there won't be a call to the vet. Thank you for your WONDERFUL and THOUGHTFUL comments.

This post is dedicated to a beautiful dog named Raf whose very loving person helped him make his exit on Sunday.

29 comments:

  1. As I try and write a comment a cat is trying to steal the keyboard, laying across it and totally oblivious to what may be important to me..or you. I am a cat person.And I really hope that Bonsai has a great old dump, hereby letting his serfs know that he does not suffer old dogs gladly. Fingers crossed on that.

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  2. oh, roger and robin. xoxxo

    bonsai is a gorgeous cat. he has lived such a safe, comfortable, happy life with you. i know he has had health problems all along, and was very lucky to adopt such grand and caring humans.

    such a hard decision you are making, but it is one of love. my heart is with all of you.

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  3. All I can say is that when it is my time to move on, my good friends would consider and discuss my quality of life and make my passing as peaceful as I know Bonsai's will be. Whatever day that is.
    You can only do the best you can do. And you will. (HUGS)

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  4. Bonsai Kitty is in good, loving hands. That's what I know.

    Blessings and comfort, all around.

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  5. Bonsai did actually crap his brains out on Friday night. But he's still stumbling around like he had been doing before the lion cut of 10 days ago. He's an old sick boy. We're just waiting for the sign. He could rally, and hang in there, but we're not counting on it.

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  6. Sorry to hear that Bonsai is unwell. It is difficult to make this kind of decision, but my experience over the years - with dogs, goats, horses, and even with people, is that you usually know when it is the right time - so it isn't even like making a decision. Take care.

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  7. Bonsai is beautiful and I see wisdom in those eyes. I think he's ashamed of his lion cut (I would be - although I see the reason for it.) I hope that one way or another, he is out of his misery soon.

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  8. Achhh...we all know it comes to this but it's never any easier with the knowing. Bev's right. You'll just know and it will be right, if not easy.

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  9. I'm thinking of Bonsai and you and Roger . . . wishing all of you well.

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  10. Beautiful beautiful Bonzai. Sending love.

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  11. I actually love the lion cut. I love to see the shape of his body. And he may love it, with all the hot matted fur gone. Who knows? When I saw him up close and personal, I was just diggin' all the colors of his skin.

    Such a mystery his health is...he's always been such a sensitive guy, from the day he found his way to your home with his broken down little body.

    You have helped him have such a very good life, and he has been a good fellow for you to have around. The care you have lavished on him paid off well for so long. I, myself, have fond memories of catering to his delicate needs when you two were away. What a diva!

    I know you and Roger will do right by him. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  12. Much love, from one cat freak to two others. And Bonsai too.

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  13. That's tough. I hope he feels better soon but agree with your conclusions on it. Do what you can but then sometimes we have to let go :(

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  14. It was a heartbreak to put Rico Suave, our Best. Cat. Ever. down last fall, but it wasn't a tough decision.

    While I admire vets for pushing the frontiers of their profession with technical heroism, they cross a line when they play on owner guilt in order to exercise their prowess. I've seen many people who really shouldn't spend thousands of dollars in futile life-extension efforts.

    As Betsy once said to a vet, "this cat (whom we loved) is not my mother!"

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  15. I am sure he is not feeling well if he has not had a BM...but that discomfort (and the related growls at you) should disappear when he is relieved from the bloating. he may not be drinking enough water or getting enough exercise to stay regular. both are necessary to good assimilation and GI tract health. all of us have this to look forward to as we become less and less active in our aging process. :( i hope this detour resolves and he has a BM and his tummy settles down some. wish he would drink lots of water. gosh, he will sunburn with that haircut (which i agree with tara is adorable), so i hope he doesn't sit in direct sunlight long! do you have glycerine stool softeners? i used the baby ones with my very old sheltie years ago, and it helped. i also added a little "fiber one" cereal to her food and mixed it with water to soften and add more water to her diet. is it possible he has a hair ball - he may have been doing a lot of grooming with those tangles.
    sending good wishes to all 3 of you. this last stage of life is hard stuff. <3

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  16. You are at that fork in the road all pet owners hate.
    I was pleased the Bonsai did have a massive dump and hope he turns the corner.
    I think you have reached the right decision however. Often we keep them going for us--not for them.
    He and you will know when it is time. I just hope it is a long time from now.
    I do love the cut.

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  17. I don't envy your position.
    He is striking in his lion cut though.

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  18. It is so sad to see our beloved pets going downhill. I'll be thinking of all of you.

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  19. Poor Bonsai! He's such a sweetie
    and beautiful too. I remember when you first became his guardians. He's had his challenges, with the bad leg/hip, but he always was friendly (when he was around, anyway). My best wishes for a rebound or an easy passing, whichever is meant to be. He's been a lucky boy to have you looking out for him.

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  20. He still looks his regal self. It's an inner thing. Nice to see he not just fur. Farewell Bonsai. See you around.

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  21. My heart is with you, too.

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  22. Oh...I have a huge lump in my throat. What a gorgeous kitty; just don't let him suffer. Cats are good at hiding it. My best to you all.

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  23. I can so relate to Bonsai. But I'm an old dog on his 9th life. Fortunately I'm regular and don't bite, but I do growl a lot and nod off sometimes. Give Bonsai my love and yourselves a hug. :)

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  24. OH PS,,,, Maybe Bonsai thinks he has a Lion of the Dharma cut----very cool for kittahs!

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  25. Good luck with Bonsai. I wish you all well. We had to make this decision with my 3 kitties when it was their time and it was never easy but I know we did the right thing for them. If he is staggering around, he may be a bit dehydrated. That happened with my kitty, Bill. Bonsai is in good, loving hands with you and loves you very much.
    Lille

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  26. It's so hard, Robin - I feel for you. (Sniffing at the keyboard).

    When our Kinsey was nearing the end, many friends said to us, "you'll know when it is the right time" - and we did. Not much help, but it's a little easier knowing you did the right thing at the right time.

    Rejoice in love and life even when saying good-bye is so hard.

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  27. Even with the funky cut, he is still beautiful. Glad he is a little better.

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  28. Robin, I'm just seeing this post today. Thank you for the note of remembrance. It's still so, so hard. All my at-home routines were built around Raf's presence. Even old and arthritic, he would not stay in one place, but would haul himself to his feet and follow me. Even when gripped by vertigo, he would follow me everywhere...

    With that loss, I checked back here and saw Bonsai in such trouble. You know my heart and hope are with you and Bonsai and Roger. Don't worry about the lion cut: When fur mats, it pulls at the skin, and left unshaved, will actually tear the skin. Mats are very painful to dogs and cats. You did right--keeping him as comfortable as you can, until you know whether it's time to let him go.

    Oh, we are only human, and we do our best. My love to you all.

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  29. I hope Bonsai stays feeling better. The lion cut looks good on him. I would like to get something like that for Parker Dmitri. Her mats are horrible. Good thoughts to all of you.

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