Minnesota was 60 second away from Euthanasia on April 25th of this year. Before you turn away because you are worried that this story will be sad, fret not! He is alive and well, and doing better than ever.
Let me back up a bit. In December of 2016, I took Minnesota to the vet because he was drinking more water than normal. At the time, he was 15; and after nearly 20 years of owning cats, I highly suspected kidney disease. So, I made an appointment, he had blood work drawn, and I learned that my hunch was correct. I like to say "disease" vs. "failure". I have learned an awful lot about this ailment (unfortunately), but the good news is that a good number of cats live a good while, with a little extra maintenance. (More to come on that.)
With those blood test results, the vet and I made a plan. And for about 4 months, Minnesota did well. And then the day came when he didn't. I called my vet and learned that he had just started a two week vacation. I knew I couldn't wait, so I took him to another local vet; one that had never treated my animals before.
After his initial visit, they asked that I bring Minnesota into their office for the next 3 days when the clinic opened and pick him up when they closed. They told me that they were giving him fluid therapy. I knew that this was vital in the treatment of his disease, so I assumed things were on track. Only, when I brought him home after day one, he was no better, and after day two, he was on death's door. He could not hold his own body weight, and cried in terror if I tried to touch him.
At 6pm on a Saturday night, I found myself in the position of making the most awful decision any pet owner can make. The unselfish position of putting him down, to end his suffering.
I called an emergency vet, and told them I would be heading in to euthanize my baby. In my mind, and in the state that he was in, I figured that the "treatments" had not worked and that his kidneys had completely shut down.
I waited in the small exam room, crying, for nearly an hour. Finally, the emergency vet came in, with her arsenal. She immediately said, "I am first going to give him a sedative, and then we will inject the lethal dose". It literally all happened that fast. No conversation. In 60 seconds, he would be gone.
Even though I had convinced myself that it was his time, something still took over and I stopped her by saying, "But, do you examine him? Make sure that I am doing the right thing?" She immediately told me that he was severely dehydrated. I didn't understand how that could be, with all of the "fluid therapy" he had been receiving for days now.
I continued to probe, and she began to ask me what they had been doing to treat him and it finally became clear that he had not been properly treated. She then told me that she could examine him, but that he needed to be admitted immediately and given IV fluids. She told me she could make no guarantees because she didn't yet know what was wrong with him, but that if I wanted to, she would try. Strangely, that was a hard decision for me. However, I think only because it was so hard for me to understand that he wasn't truly succumbing to this disease, but instead because he had not been treated in these last, very critical, few days. I also didn't want to simply grasp onto false hope; particularly false hope that came with the likelihood that Minnesota would continue to suffer. Ultimately, this vet said the right things, without sounding like she was trying to persuade me, and I chose to hospitalize him.
He was in the hospital for 4 days. However, after just 12 hours, I received a call about how much better he was doing! Suddenly, I was optimistic!
Fast forward to today, and Minnesota is not only healthy, but has the energy of a kitten. He follows me around the house if I am home, making sure I know that he is right beside me. He jumps on the kitchen counter and screams at me anytime he wants his favorite treats. He picks a fight with his brother when he has decided that it is his turn to sit on my lap. I would venture to say that he is better than ever.
I feel very fortunate that Minnesota got another chance. There is not a day that goes by, even when he is at his naughtiest (and believe me, he takes the cake) that I don't pick him up and tell him how fortunate and grateful I am that he is still with me.
It has been 8 months since that event. His last blood work tests showed great improvement from the one just a few months prior. It seems he may go "Benjamin Buttons" on me.
After all of this, coupled with the loss of my female cat, Princess, recently, I really wanted to celebrate them. I wanted to celebrate Minnesota's "might", and I wanted to celebrate the life of Princess. To do so, I have created PetBliss. PetBliss consists of this blog, "our" Instagram, _PetBliss_ and mypetbliss.com. Please follow us in Instagram, and create Bliss for your pet, buy purchasing something that they will enjoy. After all, you're already here!
Until next time,