So we had to say a sudden and tearful good bye to our dear cat Hemi last night. It was almost too much to bear.
Jay had just left the bathroom and I'd sat down to pee (as I do quite frequently) and I heard Jay call out to me in a panicky voice, "HUN, Hemi's hurt!"
"I dunno, but he's really hurt! He can't move his back legs!"
"Well come in then!"
So Jay brought Hemi in the bathroom and he was just wailing. I knew something must be really wrong for Jay to look and sound so freaked out. He set Hemi down on the floor and I watched him try to drag himself around by his front legs. I told Jay to get on the phone and call the emergency vet clinic, we need to take him in.
So he ran out of the bathroom and did that, while I sat with Hemi on the floor and tried to console him. He was making the most awful, inhuman sounds. I picked him up and gently carried him to our bed so he would be more comfortable. He was panting so fast in between howls. After we were on the bed a few seconds, he calmed down a bit, but every so often would try to drag himself around again. I just sat there petting him and trying to console him while Jay talked to his mother and then the nurse at the vet clinic.
The nurse asked him to check Hemi's feet and see if they're cold, which they were. She told him it's probably a clot and we needed to bring him in right away. So that's what we did.
When we got to the clinic in Cambridge, they took him to an exam room in the back and put us in another room to wait for the doctor. The whole time I'm trying to console Jay and tell him everything will be fine, I'm sure it's ok, they'll fix him up and it's gonna be alright.
I was wrong.
The doctor came in and said that sadly, it's not looking good. She said Hemi had "thrown a clot", which basically means a clot formed and got stuck in his aortic artery that branched to his back legs, causing the paralysis. She told us that cats are quite prone to getting clots, and that there's probably an underlying heart condition or disease that caused the clot to form. We could try using some medication to dissolve the clot, but it would take a few days and may not even work, and Hemi would be in a lot of pain throughout that time. And even if we did manage to get rid of the clot, he may not ever regain use of his back legs, and then we'd still have to run a bunch of tests on his heart and then treat that problem too.
I didn't realize how hard it would hit me. The tears started to flow and I just couldn't stop them.
Jay said he didn't want Hemi to suffer, so we opted to have him put to sleep. Jay went out to the front desk to pay while I stayed with Hemi. He wasn't wailing as much anymore but he was drooling a lot and still trying to drag himself around. He'd been given a painkiller but was obviously still in distress. The doctor cuddled him with me and said this was her greatest fear for her cats, coming home to find they'd thrown a clot. She was very sympathetic and caring, which helped.
Jay was pretty upset, understandably. Hemi was only 9 years old. I can't describe in words how sad this whole process was. I've never lost a pet before, and I've never been there when one was put to sleep. It was over so quickly. I'm glad Hemi didn't have to suffer for very long. Poor thing must've been terrified.
It was the saddest thing I've ever seen, to see him laying there with his eyes open... not breathing, not moving, it was surreal. I couldn't stop crying... and part of it was seeing Jay suffer. It just broke my heart. I just couldn't believe it... one minute Hemi was here, eating little bits of bacon with us yesterday morning, and then all of a sudden he was just... gone. :(
I know he wasn't my cat, but it still hurts. And it hurts to see Jay so sad. Hemi was his special little buddy. When things weren't static in his life, Hemi was always there for him. I can understand that completely.
I hope Hemi is in a happier place. He will always be loved and never forgotten.