Wow. This is definitely not the post that I had intended to write for today. The last 48 hours have been a total whirlwind of emotion for me. My dear Cinco has left my home for his Heavenly home. It was completely unexpected and Dave, Manna, and I are all still in shock. I would like to fill you all in on what happened, for my closure and perhaps for yours as well.
Monday (April 25, 2016), everything was perfectly normal. Cinco was his usual playful self. He begged for food, sat in my lap, purred, gave happy paws, ate treats, and the whole 9 yards. I would never have thought in a million years that anything was wrong with him.
Tuesday, Cinco wasn’t interested in his breakfast. I figured he didn’t want that particular food (being a picky kitty). By dinner, I knew something was wrong because he wasn’t interested in dinner either and wouldn’t accept treats. We had gone through a bout of this with him before in October and the next day he decided to eat again and everything was okay (even according to the veterinarian).
I knew for sure something was wrong later when he started hiding in the closet. Dave and I decided to call the vet first thing in the morning because it was already really late. I was floored when Cinco dutifully came out when he heard me taking pictures of Manna for Wednesday’s Niptoon. He didn’t feel good enough to play (and I didn’t make him), but I got a few shots of him catloafing while Manna inspected him. I could see in his eyes that he wasn’t feeling well.
Visiting the Veterinarian
Wednesday, we went to the veterinarian. Cinco was running a fever of 105° F ( 40.6°C ), which is about 3 degrees above normal. The veterinarian noticed blood splatter on his retinas and a very high resting heart rate and was very concerned. We did an ultrasound. The results were that he had an enlarged liver and dilated kidneys.
The ultrasound didn’t give us enough information, so we did blood work. His blood was so thick that some of the blood tests couldn’t be run. The protein levels in his blood were off the charts. The veterinarian knew that it was cancer (either Large Cell Lymphoma or Multiple Myeloma) for sure and that he was experiencing kidney failure.
Dave had left to go back to work before any of the results from either the ultrasound or bloodwork had come back. The veterinarian gave me three options for treatment. First was chemotherapy. This would cost $3,000 – $5,000 and was not terribly likely to be effective at this point. The second was a treatment of subcutaneous fluids and steroids to make him comfortable until he passes. If Cinco responded to this treatment within 24 hours and perked up, we might have a few extra months with him. Third, was humane euthanasia.
Since Dave was not present, I didn’t want to put Cinco down right away. Dave deserves to have a chance to say goodbye too. He was driving a school bus, so I hadn’t even been able to tell him the results of the test. We did the second treatment and I took Cinco home.
It was a nerve-wracking night, filled with tears as we all came to grips with the reality Cinco’s cancer. Manna sniffed Cinco and groomed his head. She definitely knew what was happening. As the night progressed and Cinco was not perking up, we knew that the most compassionate thing to do was to let go.
We went to the veterinarian’s office as soon as Dave was off of work for his lunch break. Cinco was very weak and he had obviously gone blind overnight. Dave and I hugged each other and we knew humane euthanasia was the right thing to do. The veterinarian was very compassionate and the whole thing was peaceful and quick.
Time to Heal
As you can imagine, Dave, Manna, and I are all very sad at the moment. It is very shocking, but we do have peace that we did the best we could by Cinco. I appreciate all emotional support , especially over the next few weeks. It will be hard. I know we will recover. Cinco gave us a ton of love and we will hold onto that forever. If you know anyone who is able to give, we have begun a YouCaring.com Fundraiser to help cover Cinco’s final expenses (we had to borrow the money).