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Stephen Denney
July 27th 06, 11:00 PM
Warning: this might be too disturbing as I describe her last days.

My cat Middy passed away Saturday, she was about 16. She was a beautiful
and very affectionate cat, all white fur with green eyes and a bit
overweight most of her life.

I first encountered Middy about 11 years ago when she was hanging out at
my four unit apartment complex. I thought she belonged to the people
downstairs but it turns out she lived in the house next door. When I saw
her I would pet her and she really enjoyed that. Then she started coming
up to my apartment. She was quite agile back then, a few times when she
saw me open my door in the morning, she would jump up to the top of the
landlord's truck in front of my apartment and then jump from there to the
ledge of my apartment so she could come in. At first I did not want to let
her in, but while I was in bed (I slept in the front room) I could hear
her outside, very early in the morning, meowing and scratching on the
window screen. So I let her in, and she would jump up on my chest while I
was reclining back and then nuzzle into my armpit and bite on the fabric
of my shirt while she moved her front paws back and forth, as if I were
her mother. At the time I was feeling depressed so it was nice to have as
a new friend this cat who wanted my company so badly.

I came to know the neighbors next door and told them about Middy coming
over here. They are real nice people and said it was fine as long as I did
not feed her and that I let her out when I left the apartment and when
going to bed. I learned that they had four cats, and Middy did not get
along with the others well. So when the man of the house left for work at
4 in the morning, she would be right there at the door begging to be let
out.

Middy and I settled in to this pattern. She would come by early in the
morning to spend time with me, I would let her out later in the morning
when leaving for work, and when I came home, I would often see her waiting
on the ledge in front of my apartment. (It was a bit awkward since I had
not told my landlord about Middy, and he had a no pets policy --
eventually I told him and he agreed to let me keep Middy, but he was in
the process of selling the apartment.) Around 9:30 at night Dana next door
would come by to pick up Middy and take her back home. I became good
friends with the neighbors, and Middy, and they offered to let me adopt
her. Through our friendship I also came to know the other neighbors and
better appreciate the diverse neighborhood.

So I had Middy as my own cat for the last ten years. When I first had her
I would let her roam freely outside during the day while I was at work and
then take her in at night. But I lived in a busy neighborhood and it
reached a point where I felt it was safer to keep her in while I was out
and then let her walk outside with me mainly in the evening and weekends,
during which she would nibble on grass or lay around. It was fun. For
awhile my landlady next door had a very friendly mostly outdoors cat,
Jackson, and while Middy was at first hostile, she warmed up to Jackson,
and often at night I would be walking with both of the cats together.
My landlady sold the place after five years, so Middy was alone again,
with just me.

Middy had various health problems. Constipation was the main problem I had
with her the first few years, eventually that went away. But then she
developed a hyperthyroid problem, and for the rest of her life I had to
give her tapezol (methimazole). Then about a year ago, the vet discovered
she had a heart problem. They diagnosed her with a significantly enlarged
heart and I was told by a specialist last October she would probably go
into heart failure in six to 12 months. The specialist prescribed
diltiazem, but that did not work as it had bad side effects for her, but
then we went to atenol, which did work to some extent in controlling her
heart pattern. For most of the time since then Middy was pretty much her
old self, although I knew her time was limited.

Then about two months ago I noticed her breathing was becoming more
labored and they discovered she had some fluid in her body, which they
believed was related to the heart problem. Because Middy is very
temperamental in the vet clinic, and they did not feel it safe to put her
under general anathesia because of her heart problem, they did not attempt
to drain the fluids, but they prescribed another drug, short name is
lasix, which was a diuretic, and I gave her two of those a day. But then
she started becoming constitipated again, I had to take her in for an
enema, and now I was giving her yet another medicine on a regular basis,
lactulose. So I was giving her four different medications twice a day.
Meanwhile, she was becoming more lethargic and her appetite was going
down. The vets discovered on an x-ray that she had four round objects in
her lungs of which they were 90 percent certain were tumors. She was
losing alot of weight.

The last few days I was only able to get Middy to lick some baby food off
my fingers, and even then she would turn her head away. She had lost
interest in dry food, which used to be her main staple, and then canned
cat food. On Friday night last week I think she went into heart failure,
as she was hyperventillating, with a new rasping sound, threw up what
little food she had in her body and then urinated on the carpet outside
the bathroom. She was in obvious distress. I took her to the emergency
vet, and my friend Judy accompanied me. I told the vet I did not want to
put Middy to sleep. After hearing her problems, he said I should consider
that as an option, but also suggested leaving her overnight and they could
give her all kinds of tests to determine what was wrong, estimated cost
around $1,000. Judy advised me not to do this, that Middy had suffered
enough. In the meantime Middy had been in an oxygen incubator and her
breathing pattern became more normal. So I asked the vet if I could take
her back home for now and bring her back in if she relapsed, and he
agreed.

I took Middy back home and immediately she wanted to go outside. So I sat
outside with her for about an hour, until around 1:30 am, and then she
came back in. The next morning she did not eat but wanted to go outside
again, so I let her out and sat with her some more. A friend of mine who
has had many cats came by and spent some time with us. Middy started
having breathing problems again and cuddled up into a corner, she was
obviously in pain. My friend Donna advised that Middy was suffering and
that she could suffocate to death, which is a horrible way to die. So I
decided to take Middy in to put her to sleep.

I went with two friends of mine, Donna and Judy. I wish she could have
gone more peacefully. And now that she is gone I wonder if I could have
done more to keep her alive. Without her there has ben an emptiness in my
apartment. The first night, I felt an urge to go outside and as I was
walking in the area where Middy and I used to walk, a cat, maybe a stray
popped up from between one of the parked cars. I petted her, and felt for
a few moments that Middy had come back. The cat disappeared. The next
morning at my small Episcopal church, during the prayer session of the
service, I offered a prayer for Middy. I don't know if it was considered
appropriate, no one said anything to me about it afterwards, but it was
important for me.

I still walk outside sometimes at night, thinking of Middy. I don't know
if there is life after death for our pets, but I hope so and I hope to see
Middy again someday.

- Steve Denney

cybercat
July 27th 06, 11:08 PM
"Stephen Denney" > wrote in message
CF.Berkeley.EDU...
> Warning: this might be too disturbing as I describe her last days.
>
> My cat Middy passed away Saturday, she was about 16. She was a beautiful
> and very affectionate cat, all white fur with green eyes and a bit
> overweight most of her life.
>

I am really sorry you lost your friend, it sounds like she was a wonderful
cat and
the two of you were great together. You gave her the best of care, much
better
than many cats get. She was a lucky girl and I know you will miss her. Maybe
later, when the hurt eases some, you might think about adopting another cat
that needs a home. There are so many and they all would be lucky to have
a friend like you.

-L.
July 27th 06, 11:08 PM
Stephen Denney wrote:
> Warning: this might be too disturbing as I describe her last days.

Steve, you did the right thing in choosing to euthanize her, even
though you feel her end wasn't quite like you would have hoped. She is
at peace now and not suffering - that's the best outcome you could have
hoped for. As a vet tech I saw far too many people wait too long and
believe me, you didn't want to do that. It sounds like you made the
right choice at the right time - and you got to spend some quality time
with her before her death, which is awesome. That's about all a pet
guardian can hope for. I think your prayer for Middy was sweet - and I
hope you can find some peace in the days and weeks to come.

Someday another kitty in need will find you, and you can honor Middy by
being as good of a guardian to that kitty as you were to Middy. You
now have a kitty angel looking over you - some day you will see her
again.

take care,
-L.

Candace
July 28th 06, 06:26 AM
Stephen Denney wrote:

> I still walk outside sometimes at night, thinking of Middy. I don't know
> if there is life after death for our pets, but I hope so and I hope to see
> Middy again someday.
>
> - Steve Denney

Steve, I'm very sorry about Middy. I know you miss her and I must tell
you, as a person who has had 5 cats euthanized, you *always" second
guess yourself for a little while, wondering if you did it too soon,
too late, or shouldn't have done it at all. It's normal and, as your
grief dissipates, you *will* know you did the right thing for
Middy...your last gift to her. She had a great life and she lived to a
good old age and she died in the company of the person who loved her
the most. I believe you will see her again.

Someone wrote this to me when one of my cats died: "You may suffer now,
but your cat will have given you more than her death can take away."

I, too, hope you will give another kitty a home someday soon. It is
the best tribute to Middy to help another kitty have a great life.

Candace

Michael Lane
July 30th 06, 01:32 PM
Stephen wrote :

>My cat Middy passed away Saturday,
> she was about 16. She was a beautiful
> and very affectionate cat, all white fur
> with green eyes and a bit overweight
> most of her life.
>I first encountered Middy about 11 years
> ago when she was hanging out at my
> four unit
-------------------------------------------

My sincere condolences. You had 11 good years with Middy . I think the
only thing harder to bear than losing a loved pet is losing a child.
Again you have my Sympathies. A clink of the glass to Middy, a good cat.

Michael Lane

" in vino veritas "
Pliny 100 A D