Monday, February 15, 2010

A Heartbreaking Valentine's

I prefer to keep the blog mostly isolated to Motorcycles, but need to share what we've been through the last week.


We left town last Sunday morning for what was supposed to be a week's get away. On Monday at 5:30 p.m., we received a call from the neighbor who takes care of our cat (Peachey), saying she's coughing, lethargic and lost her appetite. We drove (500 miles), home immediately, saw what looked like blood from one nostril, and took her to the Vet ASAP the next morning (Tuesday). The Vet wasn't sure it was blood, checked her breathing, heart, took blood, urine and later feces samples, gave her a B-12 and antibiotic shots. They thought she was basically healthy and we would have wait 3 days for test results. When we got home from the Vet, Peachey immediately ate. We were happy, but knew she's a nervous eater. I then set up a my studio so she'd have a warm comfortable place to rest.

The next morning we cleaned her up (her nose had more dried discharge), got her to eat and drink a little. She also had her favorite treat, water from a tuna can. It was a warm beautiful day, so we let her go out. She started acting quite normal, visiting some of her favorite spots, wanting to be pet and rolling on her back enjoying the sun. In the late afternoon, she went back to the studio where she slept on my chair for another night. Our hopes were up and we thought she'd surely be better in a few days.

She acted just like this that day

In the morning my wife found Peachey laying on the floor and got her to eat a little. Her nose looked completely fine but, she seemed tired, so we let her rest (back up on my chair), and hoped it was just a reaction to the shots. Around noon or 1 p.m. she wanted to go out and huddled in a spot in the sun for about a half hour. She then went back to my chair and I tinkered in the studio and kept an eye on her until about 3:30 p.m. when I left for a couple of hours. I returned at 5:30 p.m. and checked on her (sleeping), went in the house until about 7:30 p.m., then checked her again. She was laying on the floor on a piece of carpet, so I tried to get her to come over to eat or drink. She got up to walk, and sort of limped and then sat by the door that leads to the garage. I opened the door to show her that it was too cold, but she quickly walked in and laid under my car. I picked her up to take her back to the studio, and could see that she was having problems with her right front leg. I hoped it was a just a cramp from sleeping. I told my wife, and we tried to give her food and water with a dropper. It was 8:00 p.m. and my wife tried calling the Vet, but that's when they close. We still never had any of the test results. We took her inside the house to watch her through the night. I made her a bed in the house and we watched her not sure what to do next. She would occasionally look up like she was startled but would not focus on us or my hand as I moved it. She seemed scared at times and was possibly hallucinating. She was now mostly laying on her belly with her arms forward and limp. She then surprised us by getting up quickly and walking through the kitchen into the living room. She went farther than I would have thought possible before collapsing and letting out 2 terribly sad moans as I picked her up. We knew we better get her emergency care, hoping that if she was hydrated and nourished she would be better. My wife drove as I held her in a box in the back. She was staring up at me, but because of the dark and the motion of the car, I couldn't tell how well she was breathing. Luckily, we were the only ones at the emergency center so were checked in quickly at the reception desk. They quickly took her away for oxygen, an IV to hydrate, and for another blood test. 5-10 minutes later, they called us in. She was laying on the table gasping for air by a oxygen mask, and they had shaved her in some areas for examining. The doctor told us she was bad off, had some bad bruising at the previous test and injection sites (from a blood disorder). She told us that Peachey was going into cardiac arrest, and told us our options. She looked so bad, we had to put her down. It was now around midnight as we left numb and shaken with an empty box. The drive home was surreal. I was relieved that the streets were empty as I slowly drove home. We stayed up until 3:30 a.m. and then tried to sleep. I got maybe 1-2 hours of bad sleep, and my wife got none. The whole next day we were like zombies. We are heartbroken.

Peachy was a Scottish Fold (folded ears), with straight ears. Born 2/15/98. Her breeder sold her when she was six months old to a woman who had her about a year. That woman gave Peachey to a neighbor (the house behind her in the photo above), who kept her maybe 4-5 months. I took care of her when he was away. but after awhile she'd eat at his house and spend the rest of the time at ours. Because of this, we offered to take her in. Actually, she adopted us and fit in perfectly.

Peachey was one moment a coy and sensitive female, the next, an adventurous tough and extremely fast hunter. She constantly hunted and ate all types of bugs including flies, moths, and spiders. She ate birds (even a humming bird), and only left a few feathers, the legs, and a beak as evidence. Once, she brought home two large rats in the same day.

Peachey had to be in on any activity, conversation, or visit from friends and neighbors. She would run to our call, or along with us like a dog to the amazement of others. She seemed to like large dogs and sniffed nose to nose with several. I once saw her do the same with a skunk. Two other skunks didn't like her advances, and she paid for it with sprays in the face.

We were told she got her name from the spot on her back, because it looked like a peach, but many times it actually looked like a heart.

Peachey was the inspiration for this and many other cards and paintings I created for my wife.

Today would have been her 12th birthday. We loved her, will miss her very much and are thankful to have shared many good times over the last 10 years.