Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tribute to Simba

Friday morning, I couldn't find my cat, Simba, anywhere. My son had been working in the garage the day before and I worried that Simba had gotten outside. A night out with coyotes in the area could mean the end of him. Last summer I found him scouting around my barn on two different occasions but I didn't find him there this time.


We all looked everywhere and finally he was found hiding under my son's bed. He wouldn't come out and when we did see him going down the hallway he was very weak in his hind legs. He wouldn't eat or drink. Saturday morning, he was no better. He was hiding under my bed. In his sixteen years, he has never hidden away like this before. I called the vet's office and set up an appointment. My son caught him and put him in the traveling box so I wouldn't have to hunt him out later.

I took him to the appointment and right away the doctor said it didn't look good. He was down to 8 pounds and severly dehydrated. The doctor told me that his kidneys had failed. He had mucuous in his mouth and bad breath. He said the only possible treatment would cost over a hundred dollars a month and there was no guarantee at how long he'd last. I agreed to have him put down. I stroked him for about half an hour, admiring his beautiful, soft fur as I watched him slowly breath- he was sedated. Eventually, it was time to let him go.

I really hate taking my pets to the vet's office when they are sick. In 2009, I took Daisy in to be put down. I petted her head as she drew her final breaths, finally done in by the cancer invading her body. I took Gunnar in for surgery that he never woke up from because of the cancerous tumors in his head. Now, I was giving up Simba.
The craziest thing about this final time with Simba is that this was possibly the longest time I have ever stroked him. Since he was a kitten  in Pearly's litter, I've wanted him. I chose him of the six kittens she delivered. He was the beautiful little white one. That's why we named him Simba; because he looked like a lion cub. We had one kitten left besides him and my husband suggested we keep her. So we kept Terra too. They have always been together, in a love-hate relationship. Always, they lay together on my bed. Sometimes, they would fight. But for as long as I can remember, Terra claimed me as her human and wouldn't let Simba near me. He would prowl and yowl at night and wander around restlessly while Terra snuggled up next to me in my bed. My son taught him to head-butt for attention. He loved to be stroked and he would purr loudly and contentedly. He was a restless spirit and never stayed in any one place for long. He'd cry to go to the garage and then cry to come into the house. He loved to go outside and lay under the cars or stalk things in the tall grasses. He had beautiful, light blue eyes that slightly crossed, the softest, thickest fur, and velvety, chocolate pads on his paws.




He will be missed by all of us.

18 comments:

Ed said...

Sorry to hear about this, he sounded like a great cat..

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Val, I'm so sorry. It's always hard to lose a companion pet. We've had five cats over the years and we only had to take one to the vet to be put down. All the others died at home. Of our two dogs, one died at home and one was put down by a vet.

All were hard.

Dan

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Simba. He was a beautiful cat and sounds like he had a wonderful personality.

I know how hard it is to let one of the family go. Just last week my daughter had to put down her dog Molly who was her constant companion for almost 19 years. It's so sad. But at least we had them in our lives to make us happy for the time they were here. I'm sure you'll have wonderful memories of him.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww, that's so sad. I'm sorry, Val :(

~Lisa

KarenTX said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. He was a beautiful cat. He sure had you guys trained to let him in and out at will. May your memories comfort you.

achieve1dream said...

I'm sorry you lost Simba. :( He sounded like such a wonderful and happy cat. I think you made the right decision. There was no reason to prolong his suffering. It isn't even about the money. Even with treatment he probably wouldn't have made it since he was that sick. He's pain free now. *hugs*

cdncowgirl said...

Oh Val I'm so sorry. When I was in my early 20's we lost our beloved family cat Patches due to liver failure.
Simba was a very handsome cat, I often admired his photo on your sidebar. Even if money was no object it wouldn't have been fair to him to put him through that for the rest of his life... I hope that knowing you let him go on in peace eases your heart somewhat.

Kate said...

Very sorry to hear this - he was a lovely cat.

juliette said...

I am so sorry. Simba was absolutely beautiful. I am glad you were with him in the end. Prayers from me.

jane augenstein said...

Val, so sorry about your beautiful kitty. That is always the sad part of pet owner ship, when you have to make the decision to let them go. He is in kitty heaven now, stalking the wild things in the tall grass!
blessings....
jane

Jessie McCandless said...

He's a beautiful cat. I'm so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like he had a very full and happy life. Sixteen years is a long time!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

So sorry for your loss Val. Sounds like Simba had a good long life with you and I am sure he will be missed for a very long time.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Rising Rainbow said...

I can understand why you wouldn't want to take another animal to the vet. I pretty much feel that way myself.

I'm sorry for your loss. Simba sounds like a cool cat. Wish we had it within our power to save them when they get sick like that. It's so painful to let them go and even more painful to watch them linger. There is just no good way to get through such a time.

dibear said...

Val I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is always devastating, I know.

My believed Angus had a stroke at age 10, and I too was with him when the dr. put him down, and I cried for days. Have you read the poen "Rainbow Bridge"? I really helps.

Tammy said...

Val - I am so sorry for the loss of Simba. What a beautiful cat. You were a great guardian thru the end. Hugs.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Thanks everyone, for your condolences. I really am glad that I could be there for the end and at least he wasn't in pain (I hope!) for long. Although it seemed sudden, I appreciate the doctor's candid appraisal and not dragging it out for weeks and months giving me false hopes that he would improve. I know of two instances currently where an older dog went in for surgery/treatment and now is having to go through multiple testing and drugs for secondary conditions or complications with severe incontinence issues (one is peeing, one is pooping, uncontrollably) with high cost and little hope to the owners.

CTG Ponies said...

I'm so sorry. It's so hard to let them go.