Today my big, sweet, loving cat Lou died. I was rubbing his head and back, while Al stood over us both, as the vet administered the drugs that stopped his heart. This was after hours of watching him struggle for breath. Aparently he had a massively enlarged heart and fluid buildup in his lungs. But until around 11 this morning he had shown absolutely no signs of illness. This morning he was waiting on his breakfast when Al got up (as usual), jumped on the bed to say hello to me (as usual), tried to escape out the back door when I took the dog out to pee (as usual). A little after 11 I heard a funny sound. It sounded like one of the cats was scratching something, like a scratching post or furniture, but when I went to see what was happening I realized the sound was Lou having trouble breathing. I rubbed him, I tried to look to see if he was choking on something, I even made a half hearted attempt at the Heimlich maneuver, nothing. I grabbed his carrier to take him to the vet. He hates his carrier (he hates traveling and he hates going to the vet) so he usually runs for it when the carrier appears. He tried. He couldn't move his back legs. We made it to the vet in record time. Al met us there. They started working on him right away. X-rays, EKGs, heart drugs, sedatives, anesthesia, oxygen . . . he just kept getting worse. An hour after they started talking to us about euthenasia we gave in. I never thought I'd be able to make that decision but no one could give us any hope that he would recover . . . it was just a matter of how long it would take for him to die and they said he probably felt like he was drowning from all the fluid in his lungs. I can't believe it. He was fine this morning! I really can't believe he's gone. I came home, and without thinking about it, I looked for him in his usual favorite day time sleeping spots. I wonder what our other cat and dog feel, they are very subdued, they obviously know that something is wrong, and that Lou is not around.
If anyone is reading this, please make a donation to the people who are rescuing animals from the wreckage of hurricane Katrina (Humane Society of the United States, Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, etc.). I made a donation already to help the people of New Orleans, but now I'm going to make a donation to help the animals. I don't want anyone else to feel what I'm feeling today, if I can help it.