"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Sweet Olivia

This day last year I had to let my Olivia go. The medical truth may be different from the reality as it presented, but for us it was a very quick decline and I had to make a decision to let her go within a few days.

Olivia had kidney problems and although I was having her tested almost every three months, the Vet I used at the time (fired since) kept saying she didn't need medicine YET. She didn't even put her on sub q. I kept telling the Vet she is having trouble walking now and I bought her the doggie steps. Since she didn't say otherwise I chalked it up to old age.

Hind sight being 20/20 I realize now it was her veins collapsing. By the time I rushed her to my other Vet she was really too far gone. Her kidneys shut down. She could not get comfortable and kept moving around and crying. I felt horrible for her. Within three days she could barely move and I could not bear to watch her that way. I could feel with every fiber in me she was suffering and that there was nothing they could do to make her kidneys start to work.

I just wanted them to put her to sleep. I made a big mistake 14 months prior with Emily. I kept her around longer than I should have and I wasn't strong enough to be with her at the time they put her down. I promised Emily, Olivia and myself I would never make any of those mistakes again.

I kept my promise. I made them come as early as they could. I had an interfaith minister come who specializes in pets. I even blogged about his Pet Blessings book. The Vet tech came and she was on my bed. She really had left us already. Only her body was hanging on. It was quick and she was out of her misery.

She was 2 months shy of 17. She was my first cat on my own and I loved her dearly. She was sweet and kind and smart and clean. Being clean was so important to her. She probably thought she got a bum deal when it came to living with me on the clean thing. It's not that I'm dirty I'm just messy. Heck I am a single mommy to my cats. I work a lot and I have to do everything and it's tiring sometime ya know? :)

Olivia had a habit of cleaning the floor after she ate. You would see her sweep with her paw even if nothing was there.

She LOVED to get really flat and play with things. For that reason I called her smooshy mooshy. And she was just so silly at times I called her goosey girl.

She was my protector above all. I loved her.

Olivia I love and miss you very much. I hope you are happy up in heaven with Emily and my Grandma.


Mum-me said...

So sad.... she sounded like a wonderful cat.

I know how you feel. When I first moved out of my parent's home the first thing I did was find a kitten companion. She was my first 'baby' and we understood each other perfectly.

But she started losing her mind - feline dementia. She would forget where she was: she couldn't remember how to get from the kitchen to the sunroom. She forgot how to eat and clean herself. Then she started to forget who I was.

I had to make the heart-breaking decision to put her out of her misery. And I am getting misty-eyed just writing this. She was 17 years old.

Ronda's Rants said...

I am sorry Lauren...they are just like a member of our family!
We have two kitties and they are getting older and I don't want to think about something happening to them!

Babs (Beetle) said...

We lost our Sheba the same way, at 17 too. It is unbearable watching them struggle.

musing said...

I'm so sorry. Olivia sounds like she was a wonderful companion.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to Olivia.

It's the worst feeling in the world when we have to let our beloved pets go. I held my little dog Lucy while they put her to sleep so she would die in my arms. She was only 2 years old and had already suffered so much with a neurological disorder (how ironic). It still breaks my heart to think of her.

swile67 said...

i'm so behind in my blogging..sort of having writer's block..anyways, do want to email you about your dating story...id on't think any differently of you! what a crazy story my friend...hey i laughed hysterically at your subway post today at work ( i can't comment at work on your blog...they block it!!) i needed that laugh so thank you!!! my wee female students would be envious of his bag!!! will talk to you sooon. am gone all day tomorrow for a day of scrapbooking ...i wanted to blog and catch up on email's etc. but it will have to wait. ttyl..thinking of you. hey maybe we could arrange a visit in the summer!!

LadyBanana said...

Such sad sweet memories..

Lisa said...

I can't imagine! My kitty Billie Jean is my first kitty all my own too. On July 3rd I was supposed to go to a race and it rained like heck and I ended up going out to dinner instead. Got home around 9ish and my boyfriend said, "there's something wrong with Billie Jean, and one of the cats threw up in the kitchen and it was green." Uh oh. And she is a little nebshit, so usually as soon as you are in the door, there she is. I went looking for her and she was acting like she was drugged! After searching on the internet for advice, I finally found someone that said I know her best, and I might want to get her to a vet. Being now a holiday, I had to take her to emergency vet hospital. Her temp was up and she was still lethargic. Doc took xrays and there was something in her intestines. My choices were fluids and more xrays, exploratory surgery, take her home, or put her to sleep. Not good! So I'm calling my mom at 1am crying, and hearing it's going to cost up to $3000 to fix her. My dad was in the hospital and I couldn't bare putting her to sleep when she's 8 years old and normally very healthy. So we got the surgery. 2 and a half foot of string and $2500 later, she's perfectly fine! I know how you feel though, this is my kid!

Olivia sounds like she was a great kitty. You did the right thing.

Lauren said...

@everyone, thank you for your kind words and also sharing your stories too.

deeny said...

Just discovered your blog Lauren and I'm glad I did. I lost my cell phone last week and the guy who found it called my father. I also lost my Ondine: my cat died in January -- she was my best friend for 15 years and she was about 18 years old. Her decline was rapid; she'd been healthy the whole time I had her /she had me. I took her to the vet thinking it would possibly be our last trip, left the apartment on the coldest day of the year having just heard that a plane was down in the Hudson. Took the subway a couple of stops to the vet and by the time she had been examined and we knew it was her time to go, we heard that everyone had survived the plane crash. Made me think of "kairos" - "God's time." The vet and staff were so kind and gave me plenty of time. The last sign of life was a twitch of the whiskers above her eyes - I understand that to be a reflex; and so often it was the first sign of life I'd see when Ondine would nudge me awake every morning, sometimes with heroic persistence. I miss my four-legged alarm clock these days.

Thanks for writing!