Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Catherine & Sox'

About Sox

Sox, my tabby cross - bred Burmese cat.

When did you lose Sox?

I lost him yesterday (25th of June 2011).

At which stage of pet loss grief do you feel you are currently at?

I don't know the name of the actual stage but I am trying to keep busy with things in work etc, but when I am on my own I begin to think of him and break down in tears. I miss him terribly and am trying not to feel guilty for not spotting his illness sooner, aspects of his treatment etc.

Catherine and Sox's Story so far

Sox would have been 7 in September. I got him at 8 weeks old, he was always a confident, playful kitten who grew into a beautiful, big, athletic, energetic cat.

Around the beginning of May he had a couple of episodes of vomiting and after the 2nd time, he seemed in discomfort and lethargic for a while although he then seemed his old - self again the next day. However, I thought it best to get him checked out.

On the 17th of May, I took him to the vet and she noticed a mass in Sox's abdomen. He also had enlarged lymph nodes. He was booked in for blood work, scan and a needle biopsy the next day. The vet told me she suspected some kind of lymphoma. The possibility of chemotherapy was discussed.

The results were inconclusive, but did give suspicion of lymphoma as he had increased white blood cells. I was given the option of him having a laparotomy to take a wedge of tissue for analysis - the needle biopsy could have been tried again, but still could have been inconclusive. I opted for the more invasive procedure to try and find out what it was so treatment could be started straight away if necessary.

The next day, I took him in and discussed the matter with a different vet - she said she could not see the point of just doing a biopsy as this would just leave a cat with a lump inside him - she said that if it could be removed then it should be taken out. Unfortunately, it's position and size meant that this was not possible. I was told that, weighing up the pros and cons, in Sox's case there was not really any justifiable benefit in doing full chemotherapy as the lump was too big. He was prescribed the steroid prednisolone to ease the inflammation, stimulate his appetite and keep him comfortable.

Although he was losing weight and was a shadow of his former self, Sox did so well for a good few weeks, desperate to go out but too weak to go out on his own, he regularly came out into the garden with me for supervised 'trips', where he would usually just settle down and watch the birds and insects.

On the evening of the 24th of June, I could tell he wasn't right - he did not come to greet me, did not cry to go out and wanted to be under the table instead of sprawled out in the living room as had become his habit. He did eat, but not with as much enthusiasm. I could tell by his expression that maybe he knew his time had almost come.

The next morning, when I woke at 6.45, he was extremely weak and hardly had the strength to walk. I had to bring water to him to drink. His breathing seemed more laboured and his pulse a little too high. My partner and I made the decision that I would phone work and say I would be in late and at 9, we would take him to the vet's to say goodbye.

Unfortunately, around half past 8, Sox had a fit - I phoned the emergency number and arranged to take him straight away. It was unbelievably distressing to see him like that and I felt so guilty for not getting him there that half an hour earlier. However, I don't think he was fully aware of his surroundings while in the fit so at least maybe didn't feel the stress of the car journey like he usually did.

It was so quick after the vet put the needle in and he instantly looked peaceful and his body relaxed out of the awful spasms he had been experiencing.

We took him home. I had to go to work and (I don't know how) managed to busy myself with things and hide my sadness to some extent. When I got home, we buried him that evening. I clipped a little of his fur and put it in a small bag to have something to remember him by.

Last night, after my partner had gone to bed, I stayed up for a while and looked at photos of him from just 3 months ago when he looked and had been acting in his prime. I cried and cried.

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Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Catherine & Sox'

Aug 27, 2011

Still miss Sox. It is getting a little easier, but every so often something will remind me of him and I will get a wave of emotion. Sometimes it is …

Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Catherine & Sox'

Nearly Three Weeks On

July 13, 2011

It's nearly three weeks since I lost Sox and while the pain is not so raw, I still miss him terribly. I can talk about him sometimes to family and friends …

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