My kitty Guido has spent the past couple of days coming to work with me at the vet hospital. He just hasn’t bounced back from this apparent kidney infection the way he should have. Yesterday, although his kidney enzymes were back down to normal, an ultrasound revealed some fluid in his abdomen. It was enough to warrant having the radiologist/ultrasonographer come take a closer look.
I have a fairly extensive medical vocabulary but honestly all the details of today’s findings from the ultrasound are kind of a blur. There was nothing definitive but it seems it is a choice between one fatal disease or another, most likely some form of cancer. The ultrasonographer said we could do an exploratory to determine the diagnosis for sure but the veterinarian that I have known, worked with and trusted for nearly 25 years said that none of the possible scenarios were good ones and it would be highly likely that we would not wake him up once we found out what was wrong. We could do it; it was up to me but in the end it seemed rather academic to put him through the stress of surgery at 14-1/2 years of age just to decide which really bad disease he had.
Guido has lived a good life. He’s never been to the vet before last Saturday for anything other than routine wellness exams, dental cleanings and the like. He never missed a meal until this past Saturday morning but it’s clear that his quality of life is not good now. He’s better than he was on Saturday but not himself. So, I brought him home to spend one more night and tomorrow I’ll take him to work with me and let him go.
While I am extremely sad I’ve had enough pets and have worked in veterinary medicine long enough to know that one of the kindest things we can do for our beloved animals is to let them go with dignity when it’s time. We are fortunate that we have the ability to relieve suffering. I’m grateful for that just as I’m grateful for the life that Guido lived and the joy that he brought to mine. It is all a part of the cycle of life. Good kitty, Guido…you will be missed.