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Lukaska: The Intellectual Post

posted at 10:50 pm
on Jan. 16, 2005

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Lukaska: The Emotional Post

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Been Runnin’ Round

Yesterday, I woke up to the sound of Lukaska throwing up.

She made a mess of one of the two carpets in the place mid-morning on Saturday.

Susie took that as a sign and went to feed her.

She ate hungrily, but threw that up, too.

The rest of the day she just hung out on the rug in front of the kitchen sink.  The floor’s heated, you see. She likes the heat.  She didn’t leave the rug.

When we finally decided that she wasn’t just resting, that she felt bad, our regular vet had closed for the day.

We gave her fluids.  She was more docile for this injection than she’d ever been.  That was a bad sign.

We waited a few more hours.  She ignored food set in front of her. It had become clear a trip to the emergency clinic was in order.

They were very nice there, and listened to Lukaska’s complicated medical history.

They decided it was infected or inflamed kidneys.  Lukaska was by now obviously in a fair amount of pain.  She had a high fever. She cringed when we touched her.

They wanted to keep her overnight and give her an IV, but before we had to agree, the hospital’s on-duty vet managed to reach our vet, who said she’d open up Sunday morning to help. Meanwhile, we should take Lukaska home.

They gave her a shot for the pain, and another for nausea, and another with antibiotics.  They shaved a small patch on her neck to give her the shots.  Then they shaved a large patch on her side to place a patch with a dose of narcotics to keep her comfy until morning.  With the patch on her, marked with the dosage in red, she looked like she’d been marked down for sale at the dollar store.

She came home and immediately pooped on the only other carpet we have. Both rugs have stains that remind us of her sickness.

Lukaska, true to her old self, tore off the patch within minutes of getting home, and got it stuck to her own tail. It lost its stickiness. She then went to spend the night on the kitchen mat.

I stayed up very late last night, working.  Around 5:30 a.m., I went to go see her.  She was sleeping, so I lay down in front of her.  I took the patch and placed my hands around her, holding the patch against her warm skin for about half an hour.  She purred.  She felt so warm, it was like I was holding her heart in my hands.

I slept on the kitchen floor until the circulation left my arms.

Then I went off to bed.

At 9:30, Susie got up and called Dr. Nicky Joosting.  She had us bring Lukaska in.  We left Lukaska there to get an IV with get pain meds, different antibiotics, and to get an x-ray and ultrasound.

We went to our usual Sunday breakfast spot.  Dr. Nicky called my cell.

Dr. Nicky told us that she now knew that Lukaska had several overlapping problems.  Lukaska has been suffering from poor kidney function.  That morning’s x-ray showed that her left kidney was very small, and not well formed. That’s part of why she had kidney trouble symptoms.

As well, her right kidney was larger than normal.  Her right ureter was entirely, or gravely, blocked with kidney stones.  The only possible treatment was a risky microsurgery.  But the surgery was not guaranteed to restore her ureter.  If she survived the surgery, Dr. Nicky said the blockage and fever still was likely to have further damaged her remaining kidney function.  And, even if all the treatment was successful, Lukaska’d still have her existing kidney problem and the probability of future crises.

We drove back to the clinic.  We looked at the x-rays of our cat’s inside.  We walked up to the kennel and looked at our cat’s outside.

We petted her.  And said goodbye.

Nicky got out the needle.

Susie was strong.  She took Lukaska in her lap.

I took my jacket and went out to the car.

I sat alone, and howled at the sun.

Susie held her as she passed away.

I came back inside and sat with Susie and Lukaska in a quiet, shadowy room.  We cried together.

The vet took Lukaska in her towel and laid her down and covered her with another towel, like Lukaska was a tired camper crawling into a sleeping bag.

She asked if we wanted a paw print. We declined.

On our way out, I remembered the cat carrier and asked for it.

I wish I hadn’t.  That empty plastic shell is sitting in the trunk of our car now. I never want touch it again.

We drove home, and came upstairs, and the rest of the day was very, very quiet.

I miss her. She was the best cat.



Previous entry:
Lukaska: The Emotional Post

Next entry:
Been Runnin’ Round


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