Hope the kitty: Sad news from Salmon Brook Farms…

Lavinia Ross emailed me some news yesterday, news followers of her quarterly update on Salmon Brook Farms blog posts will find sad. Poor Hope the ginger kitty had been in poor health for several months, and all efforts to restore her health were, sadly, to no avail. Lavinia writes:

Hope was born to a feral mother under the old doublewide on the same site as the new house. She and her brother Marcus were absorbed into our family, where they have been loved and cherished.

Hope had been having some intermittent problems with stool, which turned bloody and resulted in a trip to the ER in late January.  The usual interventions were tried first, with no success.  A mass at the ileocecal junction was eventually found on ultrasound, as well as several enlarged lymph nodes.  Given all the data, including muscle wasting, this was deemed most likely to be cancer, and a palliative course of treatment was agreed upon, with the intention of buying her as much quality time as we could. Hope made some progress, and held her own for a while.  She seemed happy to be here, and I was pleased to be able to give her time, and Rick and me additional time with her.

Hope eventually developed ascites, a build up of fluids secreted into the abdominal space, in the last couple of weeks. Although she seemed hungry and thirsty, she became unable eat and drink in the last two days. Fluid was accumulating at a high rate as the cancer was progressing.  Hope’s time had come, and her vet made room in a very busy schedule to help her cross the Great Divide in peace and safety.  We had a good morning together that day.  I gave her the usual morning meds and kept to routine, folded laundry with her, read for a bit and took a short nap.  I spent a while talking to her before I put her in the carrier for the last ride.  She meowed quite a bit on the way over, and it was an hour drive, but once we got to the parking lot, called the office with the space number we were in, I got into the back seat with her and talked some more until the tech came to get us.  She was calm by then, looked me in the eye, and I had the feeling she understood this was a transition, I was there and all was well.  The vet tech took her into the clinic to put in the catheter, and then they brought me in to have some time alone with her before the vet came in to give Hope her release.  It was a state of the art room (new facilities) with subdued lighting and soft towel ready to receive her.  I had brought Hope’s brush along, and brushed her for a while.  She loved that soft brush.  The vet knocked on the door softly, and we discussed things one last time.  We agreed this was the day, Hope’s quality of life was slipping, and there was nothing more to do.  Hope was calm, quiet and clear-eyed, and gently sank down into the blanket as the injections kicked in.   It was almost Zen-like.  The vet was very respectful and gentle, almost reverent in how the process was handled.

Rest in Love, dear little Hope.

Hugs to Lavinia and Rick. Hope will be missed. This has been a year of transition for the cats of Salmon Brook Farms, a sad one. We will miss their places in Lavinia’s reports, but carry them in our hearts. 

22May21: “Seriously, a kitty boy could starve around here!”

Andy noted I was paying attention.

He put on his starving kitty look – as floofy as Persians are, it doesn’t come off that well – and spoke plaintively, “meowmeow” (softly) “meow” (dropping off from weakness…).

Visions of his favorite chicken dish in his head, he marched me off to the kitchen. (Yeah, presentation would offend the average French chat, but Andy is a pragmatic American kitty – food is food, and food is good!

For such a suffering kitty boy, starving you know, Andy still insists we play “What-A-Good-Kitty-Boy-You-Are/You-Are-A Good-Kitty-Andy”, where I open the kitchen cabinet doors so he can check for mousies and I praise him for being such a worthy kitty, the source of vermin-free living.

Seriously, if I’m in that part of the apartment, nothing else gets done until we play this game! Of course, I have to pet and “scritch” him while this praise goes on, and he rubs against me and gets Andy stink all over me. Hey, whatever my little master wants, eh?!

As Andy says, “Food is good!”