It is a very sad morning in the Gringo Suelto household, which has now grown quiet. Yesterday afternoon, after a brief bout of who-knows-what, my dear cat, Pandora, died at the age of sixteen.
Apparently healthy until last weekend, she began to eat a bit less, and sleep a bit more, and appeared a touch lethargic. I brought her to the vet Wednesday afternoon, where she had blood drawn, and a physical exam which revealed nothing. She had a normal temperature, and pretty normal reflexes. The vet promised we’d have some preliminary test results on Thursday afternoon, and a full report by Friday. At about 4:30 Thursday afternoon, I got a call that she was quite anemic with a couple of other blood metrics outside their normal range.
“But anemia is a symptom, not a disease,” said the vet. And then she presented a long list of possible additional tests we we could run, but little in the way of a diagnosis, or reason for hope. I hung up discouraged and confused. Overnight Pandora had grown much more listless, had refused to eat, and I was hydrating her with a syringe, dribbling water into her mouth, as she refused to even drink. To clarify my thinking, I drew up a flowchart of what the vet had told me about the various tests, implications, and next steps. Sadly, the flowchart seemed to suggest that the likelihood of a treatment or cure was slim. I told the vet I’d call her the next day after consulting with my friend, and ex, “C.”
Alas, this was not to be simple or easy. Friday dawned, and I was scheduled for a colonoscopy which I simply could not put off, having already rescheduled three times, and the doctor threatened that if I did not get the procedure done on Friday morning that I’d have to find another doctor. As I left the house, Pandora was quiet, but seemingly stable and purred when I brushed her.
When I got back home at about 3:00PM, she was still sleeping quietly and I called the vet to discuss next steps. Since I’m so close by, the vet suggested that I bring her in again, and I dashed down to her office. The vet took one look at Pandora, who at this point was completely out of it, couldn’t walk without staggering, and said, “She’s really already gone. If she were my cat, I’d put her down. I don’t think there’s really much of anything we can do for her at this point.”
I started crying, but knew in my heart that it was the end. I called my friend and ex, “C,” with whom I had originally raised Pandora and updated him. Since he works very close by, he came over, and together we bid a tearful goodbye to Pandora as the vet gently eased her into the great beyond.
Afterward, we brought her home and buried her in the garden, next to her brother Jason Walker, who died in 2013.
May she rest in peace.
Good bye, Pandora. We love you and miss you.