Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Tribute to Bear

Born March 26, 1999, passed over the Rainbow Bridge March 18, 2011. Because of his story, he was a very special kitty - a beloved kitty.
On Monday, March 14, he was fine early in the morning. By about 10:00, he was sick, not himself at all.I called my husband, who is out of town Monday through Wednesday and told him. He said to make him a vet's appointment for Thursday when he was home to help me. I watched him throughout the day, and he was very droopy. I made an appt. for him. The next day, he couldn't hold up his head. I knew something was terribly wrong. I called the vet's office and asked if I could bring him in on an emergency basis. Of course. I put him in his carrier, and he was too weak to object - just a pitiful little mewling. I was desperate. I got him there as quickly as I could, and they took him right in. After telling me this could cost some big money, I told the lady vet that as long as there was hope, I would pay whatever it took. I was in love with this gentle giant. After taking him away for blood tests, I was informed of what the vet expected. He was in ketoacidosis from diabetes. I had no idea... had only had him for a bit over a year and had nothing to compare his behavior to. I was told that kitties can be sick for a very long time before they let you know it, so that possibly he was diabetic when my sister-in-law had him. He was dehydrated and his blood glucose was 651, with normal being in the human range - 80-120. I nearly fainted on the spot. They admitted him right away and started treatment of IV fluids and insulin. His blood glucose dropped to 321 that evening. I thought he was on the way to recovery.

The next day I called and was told that he had vomited and couldn't be given his insulin. I went with my mom & dad to see him and was shocked to see how bad he looked. I was literally sick myself. My mother said, "I hope he makes it," and I realized how grave it was. I told them I didn't want him to suffer, but was told it would be a couple of days before he came out of his "funk." I called later, and they told me his sugar had gone back up but was down from very high back down to 321 which was better. My husband came home Wednesday night in disbelief at how sick he was. We went together Thursday to see him, and I said I didn't want him to suffer. Jackie (one of the office girls who we hire to take care of our cats when we're gone) told me that the doctor would discuss it with us if she thought there was no hope. We both sobbed when we visited him. He opened his eyes in recognition once but was otherwise lifeless. That evening we went out to eat. We had recently had our land line terminated but had a safety line for call 800 numbers, 911, and we could receive any calls, just not call out. We had also lost our caller ID and voice mail but had hooked up an answering machine for incoming calls. We weren't good at checking the machine though. At 8:00 the next morning, the phone rang. I knew it was the doctor, and I knew what had happened. She said she had left two messages for us the night before telling us that Bear's kidneys were not handling fluids. She found him in the morning, and he had passed in the night.

We're devastated and heart-broken. There is no replacing my "Baby Bear" as I called him. Nothing can replace this terrible void in my heart. I'm eaten up with guilt that I wasn't there to answer the call; that I wasn't there to end his misery; that I wasn't there to be with him as he died. I've posted to my Yahoo groups about Bear, and I've been overwhelmed with the outpouring of stories of their own animals, well wishes and heartfelt sympathy. I was embarrassed, with all the disaster in the world, the catastrophic illnesses, and the loss of human beings, to post this crisis when I put him in the hospital and asked for prayers. I was desperate though and needed help to get through it. I have always thought that stitchers were great people, and now I know for certain that there are no better people in the world to lean on for support - so selfless, caring, and giving.

One lady (who never posts) contacted her daughter who has a diabetic kitty. She wrote to me and got me in contact with a website and message board, all about feline diabetes. I had registered and was ready to take on the challenge of caring for Bear when he died. I had to write her and tell her how grateful I was for her support but that it was too late for my Baby Bear. She wrote to me telling me how sorry she was for me, then said: "Fly away, sweet Bear... fly high, and fly wide, and may you have a soft landing."

20 comments :

blueladie said...

It was very hard reading this and I cried with you. My deepest sympathy for your loss. Love, hugs & prayers, Cathryn

Claudette497 said...

I'm so very sorry. I was hoping this post would be about Bear coming home with you. Pets are part of you; when you lose one, you lose part of yourself. My condolences to you and DH. Take good care

Susieq said...

I'm so sorry Nancy. Even though I know you miss him, I bet when he cross the rainbow bridge your SIL met him with open arms.

Bekca said...

Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. At least Bear is in no more pain, but I now you will miss him terribly. Take care and best wishes.

Ruth said...

My deepest hugs and sympathies to you on Bear. xxx

Sally said...

I am so very sorry Nancy. Lots of hugs for you on the sad loss of Bear.

Debbie said...

Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss. Pets become such a big part of our day-to-day lives and truly bring joy and laughter to our homes. I wish there was a way to ease your grief and please don't be embarrassed. Pet owners understand, at least I do. I am a member of Brooke's Books stitching group and after reading your post wanted to come over and express my condolences.

MaryT said...

Nancy I am so sorry to hear of Baby Bears passing. I lost my Timcat this past winter and I still miss him too.

Hugs
Mary Louise

Babs in Alabama said...

Nancy, I am so sorry. Like Claudette, about half way thru I thought, maybe this has a happy ending but then I read on. I know that only time will heal, but isn't it wonderful to know that others do know exactly how you feel and their words aren't empty but full of love and understanding. Thank you for sharing his special story.
hugs,
babs

grannystitches said...

Nancy so sorry to hear of Bears passing I pray he isn't suffering anymore! I pray your soul be touched by another kitty angel that needs your help your love never to replace Bear but to let his legacy live on! You are in my prayers! Your friend always Kim C.

Anne S said...

Bear was so lucky to have had you in his life this last year. Those of us who are true animal lovers know how much a large part of our lives they become, and their loss of no less of on of our human relatives ... my thoughts are with you as you deal with the loss of your wee Bear {{hugs}} xx

Milly~ said...

So sorry to hear of Bear's passing. Amazing how those little furry creatures capture our hearts in such a big way. Hope the good memories bring you peace at this difficult time. HUGS!

Nancy M said...

Ours pets are certainly part of the family and will be missed. Feel better knowing you gave him a good life and did everything you could do.

Joy said...

Bless your heart Nancy. Our pets are sooo precious to us and bring a special love to our lives. My condolences to you.

Janice Boucher said...

I am so sorry to hear of Bear's passing. I cried as I read it... it brought back memories of our kitties and their passing. Keep thinking of all the special times you had with Bear and how very much he was loved. I hope that given enough time, you will once again be ready to give your love and attention to another little deserving kitty.
(((hugs)))

kims craft obsession said...

I am a cat lover too and couldnt imagine life without my sophie. My grandson says one day as i cross over all my pets will be there waiting for me and come flying over the bridge to greet me. Prayers to you.

Meari said...

So, so sorry about your Bear. At least he's not suffering anymore. ((hugs))

Sari said...

I am sorry about your sweet Bear!

chrisstitches said...

So adorable & sad to hear. Didn't see the pic until now. Heard news on group site.

Kay said...

I am so sorry to hear this, it is so hard to lose a furry loved one, I have been there too many times myself over the years and it is hard to watch them suffer when it is their time. To me my pets are my children and when something happens to them the house is just not the same. My heart goes out to you.