On Friday evening, my husband and I lost our first child. Our hearts are broken, but we know we gave him a great last year and a half of his life and his last few moments, he was doing what he loved best - playing with a feather toy.
On Wednesday, I heard an awful cry come from the hallway and went to check on him. He was panting, having trouble walking, and looking terrified. Once I got him calmed down, he came out into the living room and pooped in the corner. That has never, ever happened before - I knew something was wrong and called the vet. The vet said since he was panting, he was clearly in distress and to bring him in immediately.
After going to the vet, we were told it seemed he was just constipated or had a urinary obstruction. The vet was leaning more towards constipation. The vet said we could do bloodwork, but it probably wouldn't show anything. His heart and everything else sounded fine. We were instructed to watch him for a few days. As I monitored his eating and litter box, his bowel movements and peeing were normal. He was drinking and eating like usual. He loves wet food, so I made him a batch in hopes it would help clean out anything that was going on inside of him.
Thursday and Friday were pretty usual. He slept most of the day, came out when daddy came home, and cuddled with us at night. He even came to smother me during a nap on Friday.
Friday evening, we were playing with him on the bed with his feather toy. Jon and I were about to walk across the street to get some fountain pops. I looked down the hallway and saw him just laying there. I called his name and no response. I made the noise I usually make when I make him wet food (which always gets him meowing and attentive)....still nothing. Jon and I rushed over and noticed he was struggling to breathe. He made a choking noise and his breathing started slowing down. I immediately ran to the computer to find an emergency vet clinic's number. Meanwhile, Jon was performing CPR on him. He had stopped breathing completely. Jon wrapped him up in a blanket and we rushed to the animal hospital. The closest one was about 30 minutes away (it was around 9:30pm, so not many are open) - we couldn't get there fast enough. Traffic wasn't bad, but it was dark and raining...and on top of that, I was crying my eyes out.
We got to the animal hospital and they gave us a room. They were very caring and let us take as much time as we needed with him. As I filled out paper work, Jon was cuddling him. We asked about getting an autopsy done, but that would include us driving his body up to Purdue and back. We just couldn't do that - this was hard enough. We chose to have him cremated privately. We gave him one last kiss, nose rub, and chin rub before letting our baby go. We threw away the blanket that we brought him in. I didn't even want to deal with washing it (he had peed and pooped in it) and using it again.
After we got home and all family had been called, we held each other (and Mia) a little tighter. This weekend has been so hard, but I'm happy we have Mia. She has made us laugh a few times this weekend. She has also been comforting. Last night, I was folding the blanket I washed that hangs on the back of the chair. Ying hair was all over it, so it needed to be washed because it was a very painful reminder. As I placed it on the back of the chair, I lost it. Mia was so concerned for me. We have put most of his things away, but sometimes memories come rushing back.
Losing a baby is never easy - especially when it came so suddenly and we had no idea. He was only 3 years old. After going online and looking around, it looks like it was due to a heart condition or urinary obstruction. Either way, we couldn't have done anything different to help him.
Yes, we will probably be getting another kitty, but I don't think my heart will ever heal completely from losing Ying. I've taken so many anti-depressants throughout the years, and he was the best medicine I could ever ask for. Whenever I was sad, he would often come and curl up on my lap or hug my neck. If I was sad and he wasn't around, I would go find him (usually sleeping under the bed) and hug him. He would hug me back, purr, and rub his face on mine. I never even liked cats until I got Ying. He was such a sweet little boy.
He was famously known for his bow-ties. My husband and I are currently working on several things to remember him by. A shadowbox with his favorite toys (his blue mouse, fishy, straw, and feather toy), his black bowtie + collar, and a picture. The cremation services includes an urn with his ashes as well as a paw print (we should be getting those in about a week). We are also creating a photo/memory album of him. Friends and family - please let me know if you have any pictures of him as we would like to collect as many as we can!
I was planning a thigh tattoo out in April before I lost my job, but my next one will be in honor of Ying. I can't decide if I want his paw print or a portrait...or even where I want it to be. All I know is a black bow-tie will be somewhere in the design.
It's times like this when I want to say - why, God? Why do you let this happen? I lost my job, we lost our house, and now this? I would give anything just to hold him again. Satan needs to back off, because seriously....I'm not sure how much more our family can take. Jon and I have been through more this first year of marriage than most couples go through in their first five...
We miss you, baby boy. I know we will have a hard time finding a kitty that comes close to you. You were such a sweetheart. Have fun up there with all of the birdies and wet food. We'll see you soon. <3