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post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
That's how long it took for everything to change. Just seconds for Katie to lose her life and for my life to be forever different.

August 26th started like lots of mornings with Katie curled up close to me, my arm around her. She lifted her head, looked at me, purring. I gave her a kiss on the top of her head and said "Hi,my Katie. C'mon honey, we have to go see Dr. H today, can't be late." Why didn't I spend just another minute cuddling her? Just one more minute, one more kiss.

All the normal morning things - Katie getting her drink, sniffing noses with her brother, jumping the gate on the stairs (put there to keep my 19 year old cat from falling down the stairs), bounding down the steps three at a time. Grabbing my hand with her paw to make sure she got her bites of chicken that I always gave her as I got breakfast ready for 3 hungry kitties. Spending about 5 minutes outside on the deck with her brother as they watched the woodpeckers eating suet before she came running in for breakfast. It was a beautiful warm day, sun shining, blue sky. She'd enjoy getting back out on the deck when we got home from the vet.

Breakfast is done - time for treats now. Katie's running down the hall chasing crunchies I throw for her and her brother. I hide a few more for them to search for, a game we play every morning. Time now for her to run down the basement stairs. All part of our ritual. I barely get the door open and Katie's flying down the steps and up onto the perch at the basement window. Any minute she'll be bringing her beloved threadbare stuffed banana upstairs, wailing to announce it - what a sight! It always made me smile seeing her carry that 'nana. She'd bring it to me like a gift. My sweet little girl.

Katie's fine except for one thing. The last couple of days, she p'd a little in her kitty cup. The first time it was only the size of a quarter. But then it happened again and this time there was more. It's completely unlike Katie to do this, and it's never happened before. Katie's due for her 6 month check-up anyway, so we're off to see Dr. H, our long-time vet.

Upstairs, unknowingly, I am sealing Katie's fate. I close the doors to all the bedrooms so she can't hide under beds. The top-loading carrier is in the bathroom, ready to go. I'm kind of surprised she doesn't know what's up yet. Usually she's got "Vet visit radar". I go down to the basement, and Katie's on the perch, in the sun. Now, she senses I'm up to something, and makes a run for it. I catch her. Katie, why did you let me catch you? I hold her and try to calm her, petting her, kissing her, "it's just a check-up, honey, don't worry." She whines a little as I place her in the carrier. Why didn't you struggle more, Katie? I stroke her head, trying to reassure her as I fasten the latches on the doors.

The ride to the vet is only 15 minutes, but as always, it's tough on Katie. She pants, works herself up. Her carrier is seat-belted into the passenger seat so we can see each other. The A/C is on. The carrier's mostly covered with a towel so she'll feel more secure. I talk to her, trying to calm her.

We wait maybe 5 minutes in the waiting area. Thankfully, no dogs barking. Katie's not happy, still open-mouth breathing, but this is usual for her. A tech calls Katie's name, and we get an exam room. I double up her towel and put it on the counter for her to sit on. Katie lets me lift her out of the carrier, and place her on the towel. She's much better now, way more relaxed and sits duck-like on the towel facing away from me as I stroke her back. My pretty white girl with the tabby spots.

Dr. H comes in, a petite, soft-spoken, gentle woman. Dr H has a great attitude, always smiling and cheerful. She greets Katie, we talk about my concerns for a minute or two. Dr. H gets the portable feline scale and puts it next to Katie to make it easier for her. Dr. H pets Katie a little more and starts to lift her a bit to get her on the scale. That moment gets replayed in my mind dozens of times each day now. As she's lifting her, Dr. H says "What's wrong honey, are you ok..." Katie is having what looks like a mild seizure, her body convulsing slightly, her arms straight out. Oh my God, something's wrong with Katie, what's happening?... I see Dr.H lay Katie gently on the scale and time the seizure but it's only a matter of seconds that this is happening and I see Katie go limp. My beautiful baby. I know you're gone. Dr. H doesn't need to listen to your heart. I know it's not beating. Dr. H grabs her off the scale and holding Katie like a baby against her chest runs to the ER unit of the hospital. How can this be real? If only I hadn't brought you here today...

How many minutes go by before she comes back to tell me they're trying everything but they can't get Katie's heart to start again? She asks me if I want them to do heart massage. They have to open her chest... Yes, yes, do everything....everything. A tech comes in several minutes later and says "her heart still isn't beating but we're not giving up." And then a miracle. Dr. H tells me Katie's heart is beating again. A normal heartbeat. Thank you, God, thank you... but the vet brings me back down to earth. Katie's heart may stop again, she may have suffered brain or organ damage... What happened to Katie??? Probably an arrythmia, an interruption in the normal heartbeat. What are her chances of coming through this? 4% survival rate.

I call my husband. I tell him just enough. He's in the city but makes it to the animal hospital in just 25 minutes. Dr. H takes me to see Katie. She's got 1/2 dozen people around her. A little girl on a big table with so many monitors and tubes. Her nose twitches like a bunny - she's trying to breathe on her own, but the ventilator is helping. Her pupils are large, she doesn't have much of a blink response. I kiss her, stroke her head, tell her all the important things I know she needs to hear and I need to say. Please hear me Katie. Later, Katie's moved to the critical care unit. Her heart's still beating normally, but temp is too low even with the heating blanket and circulation isn't great. My husband and I kiss her, talk to her some more. She fights for almost 2 hours. But her precious heart stops again. The cardiologist will tell me later that they believe it was an arrythmia. Katie had very mild HCM - so mild that she wasn't on meds, or diet or exercise restrictions. He doesn't believe the HCM got worse, or that it was congestive heart failure, since there were no clincial signs of either. During his years of practice he estimates he's seen about 20,000 cats. Maybe 6 of them suffered an arrythmia like Katie.

October 23rd was Katie's 14th birthday. We had adopted her from one of my husband's colleagues "Bill" and his wife "Carrie". Carrie was tired of cleaning Katie's medium length hair off the rug. Katie was 4 months old.

What we got:

Katie patting the windows trying to catch snowflakes
Our "white wonder" running down the stairs to greet us when we got home
Katie flopping down on the rug and doing "rock 'n roll" out of sheer happiness
Wrestling matches with her little brother - too funny
11 pounds of love jumping into our laps whenever we sat down
The "spotted girl" lying on my husband's chest staring into his eyes, purring
A purring "teddy bear" I could hold at night
'Nana, carried proudly, all over the house
Eskimo kisses
Almost 14 years of fun, and unlimited true love

What Bill & Carrie got:

a clean rug

One more thing Bill & Carrie didn't get: an aching heart
post #2 of 22
Oh my.... I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Rest in peace sweet angel.
post #3 of 22
So sorry that happened.
That made me cry.
I had one that was fine then dead a few hours later.
She died on the way to Er.
post #4 of 22
You put so much heart and soul into your words for her, it is so obvious how deep your love is for her and how deep you pain is.
I am just so very sorry that this had to happen.
You gave her a wonderful home, more than many get. I hope her memories make your heat smile again someday soon.

Until you see your sweet angel again, may she
Rest In Peace baby girl, you will be forever loved
post #5 of 22
I'm crying like a baby after reading your touching story. You are right though, it only takes seconds for everything to change. Thinking of you and your sweet girl
post #6 of 22
I am so very, very sorry Sue. My heart is aching for you, girlfriend.

Never forget Katie had a wonderful, happy life with you. She was very loved and don't think for a minute she didn't know how much you love her.

Katie wants you to be happy again Sue and so do I.

post #7 of 22
I am so very sorry. I know all too well myself that it does truly only take seconds.

You gave Katie a long, happy, wonderful life, and she filled yours with love. Keep all that love alive in your heart because it will be with you always.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
What Bill & Carrie got:

a clean rug

you forgot to say one more thing Bill & Carrie did not get, Was 14 years of love and fun from a very speical kitty.

sounds like they are the one that lost out.

I am very sorry my friend. you gave her a long and good life. In time, thinking of her will bring a smile to your face, not the pain you are feeling now. /HUG.

Rest in Peace Katie, Play well the bridge. It is never good bye its only until we meet again .
post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
you forgot to say one more thing Bill & Carrie did not get, Was 14 years of love and fun from a very special kitty.
your tribute to her was so beautiful! sending you some in memory of your love for her - & a for your sweet Katie...
post #10 of 22
Beautiful tribute. RIP Katie.
post #11 of 22
That was so beautiful. I hope you aren't blaming yourself. You've given sweet Katie 14 years of love, affection, and a great life

Rest in Peace, Katie girl
post #12 of 22
Oh my goodness, i knew i shouldn't have read this in the office

What a precious little angel you have, but take comfort in knowing that Katie is safe and well again across Rainbow Bridge

post #13 of 22
I read it at work too! I tried to control myself somewhat.

Shocking. Just shocking. I feel for you and your husband. Sounds like beautiful Katie was a special girl.
post #14 of 22
Thankfully I'm at home, and I don't have to hide my tears.

The love you have for Katie just envelopes every word, and the shock at her passing just leaves one reading feeling like we just had the wind knocked out of us.

I can't imagine how you and DH are feeling.

Katie, play happily over the bridge sweetie. Your mom and dad will ache until they can join you again.

post #15 of 22
What a touching story - if you can do it, please send it to CatFancy or some other magazine You have written a real treasure in honor of your special little princess; a blessing to us all. Play happily in Heaven, dear Katie, and yes, you have bragging rights that the wonderful OP is all about you, dear one
post #16 of 22
a beautiful, touching tribute for your beautiful girl.

you describe with such clarity what so many of us have been through and my heart goes out to you at this terribly sad time.

RIP little katie.
post #17 of 22
such a lovely tribute for a cat that has brought you so much happiness

both myself and partner welled up for it.

post #18 of 22
What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful little girl. RIP Katie.
post #19 of 22
I just saw this and I am bawling my eyes out! That is so sad!My heart is breaking for you!I know why I can't come to the bridge often, because it hurts me so badly! Maybe someday soon you will take on another who's fur was everywhere, or whom missed the litterbox.... and you will be blessed with more than 14 yrs of kitty love! Another kitty has always helped my hurting heart! and I hurt very deeply! RIP Katie....hope you make friends with
all of my sweet loves that are over the bridge now! I also hope your heart's
hurting eases! take care of yourself!

post #20 of 22
This breaks my heart. I'm crying so hard I can barely see the screen. Bless you and you husband. You'll be in my prayers.
post #21 of 22
What a beautiful tribute

Rest In Peace Katie
post #22 of 22
What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful girl, her previous owners might not have had an aching out, but they missed out on such a wonderful girl cos they couldnt see past her fur, but you were lucky enough to get that instead of them. Please dont beat yourself up about taking her to the vets, this might have happened regardless, and this way she was in the best place to have a chance, and she had people there who loved her. RIP little one
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