Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Fuzzy Hairball

It was a fateful day in January 2001 that my fuzzy hairball came into our life; scrawny, thin, hungry and just a baby kitty.

She was left behind by a heartless neighbour.

We happened to have kitty biscuits in the house so it was definitely fate playing a huge role in both of our lives. She devoured the biscuits in minutes and wanted more. I should have known then that she was going to change our lives.

I named her Pinky because when we found her, she had a pink ribbon around her neck; after a week without any news from her owner, we decided that she was ours to keep.

During the first two years, Pinky stayed in our porch and came into the house whenever we were home; she was a happy, contented little hairball and slowly she wriggled her way into our home and hearts.

It was towards the third year that she became a permanent fixture in our home; she was officially our house cat. The living hall sofa was her favourite "play-dead" position, where she would sleep her afternoons away; the stairs for "hide and seek".

Her favourite past time was swerving between our legs as we came downstairs or went upstairs; she also loved sinking her teeth into our ankles whenever she wanted attention. She must have gotten quite a few taps on her fuzzy butt for this!

My husband has never been much of a cat lover; he grew up without any pets in his life whilst I was always surrounded with pet dogs and cats. Pinky changed him; guess he couldn't resist her big black eyes and angelic face after all.

I'll never forget the day my life changed. It was the 15th of April 2005. Pinky had been vomiting for the past few days and we thought she had a stomach flu. However, as it didn't seem to get better despite medication, we decided to obtain a second consultation from another vet.

The vet suggested taking a blood test to determine the cause of her vomiting. Her results came back that she has kidney failure. To determine whether it was reversible, she had to be immediately put onto IV drips. We admitted her into Animal Medical Centre and she was on IV drips for 3 consecutive days. Her BUN and creatinine levels never went back to a normal level. It was confirmed that Pinky has chronic renal failure; she was born with deformed kidneys and now that the kidney function has been reduced to 30% left, the symptoms have surfaced.

My life changed overnight with bouts of uncontrollable crying and grief. The pain was tremendous. Then came anger. I was going to lose my best friend.

The next few days seemed like many years combined; it was touch and go with Pinky; she was in a very bad state. However, love must have conquered it all and she bounced back; she started eating again and regained her weight.

We made a promise to ourselves that we would do anything and everything to treat her and ensure she has quality of life. I sourced numerous websites on feline chronic renal failure; searching for anything that could help her. Slowly, we got into a daily routine and her health was stable.

She was on daily sub-cutaneous fluids of 300ml, fortekor for hypertension, b complex for appetite and serrazine for infections.

Throughout the last two years, she had three incidents where IV drips were required; it was during the last IV drip that I realised there wouldn't be another one as it wasn't helping her anymore. Her kidneys were definitely getting worse. There were times when I thought she was going to leave us but somehow she always bounced back and recovered.

It was an emotional roller coaster ride; painful but worth every bit when you look into those eyes.

My moods were dictated by her health; good when she was healthy and bad when she wasn't feeling well.

She was a pampered, spoilt little hairball and she knew it; she was the princess in the house and she could do no wrong. She loved her fluff balls and her scratch post. She also loved scratching the family hall sofa and my dressing table.

On 11th April 2007, she had a series of short seizures; she recovered quickly but it had its effect on her. Her BUN and creatinine levels had escalated; we took her for an X-ray at a specialist clinic; the diagnosis was bad. Her left kidney had totally lost its function whilst the right kidney had 20% left. That accounted for her kidneys swelling to the size of a golf ball. Her tiny body was feeling the pressure. I syringe fed her everyday till she regained her appetite and to our amazement, she bounced back yet again and was playing and eating again. She felt so good in our arms.

For someone so small, she had fought back each and every time she had "crashed", she must have loved us as much as we loved her. She craved our approval each time she struggled to eat. She was a fighter right to the end.

Pinky, my baby, my best friend, the joy of my life, passed away on 16th July 2007 at 6.05am.

She had taken her last three long breaths before her soul left us. It just didn't feel right; she was limp and lifeless in my arms. I wanted her back, I didn't want anything to change, my heart was breaking into two.

Now all I have left are her more scratches on the door in the mornings, no more hearing her greet me in the evenings...I've never felt so alone before.

She'll always have a special place in our hearts, unreplaceable and unforgettable. The memory of her face, the memory of the simple joys she found in life, her unconditional love will be etched in our lives forever.

She is now a healthy, happy fuzzy hairball, playing outside in the warm sun; no more needles, no more medicines, no more suffering; we will meet at the Rainbow Bridge, where we'll walk together again.

We love you, Pinky.

1 comment:

sabbytabby said...

My wonderful 7-year-old cat has been missing for 8 days and although I hope with all my heart she will return, I have been reading lots of blogs written by people who lost their little fur balls.

I completely broke down while reading your blog about Pinky. She sounds like she was an amazing kitty who entranced you with her delightful quirks and offered the same type of unconditional love my cat gave to my family. Thank you for writing.