R.I.P. Bas

This was one of the last photos taken of Bas.  Wednesday was Bas’ last day with us.

It was 2.5 years ago that I wrote about the tumor we found in him.  We didn’t expect him to live another 2.5 years with a tumor on his pancreas and taking prednisone every day.  He got slower and more unsure on his feet as the months went on.  Finally he couldn’t be trusted to go up and down stairs (after falling down the stairs 3 times) and had to be kept on the ground floor.  He still enjoyed laying in the sun and sitting on our laps during this last very cold winter.  He had his routines, and the last one he liked was to sit on our laps, but not until we had put the white blanket on our legs to make an even more comfy spot for him.  Every morning when we came downstairs he’d walk over and cry until we put the blanket in place and he could hop up.

As with all old animals that are loved and taken care of, whether people or pets, as they get older we spend more time and money on them.  Bas had special food, vitamin shots that I gave him in his neck every few weeks, and trips to the vet more and more often when he was out of his routines.  This last week DB took him to the vet Tuesday because he wasn’t pooping very much.  The vet didn’t find anything wrong.  Then Wednesday morning we came down to find that he had thrown up in several places.  He walked calmly over to one of his sleeping beds and pissed in it.  Then walked out into the garden, laid down under a small bush, and didn’t move again.  This really was not a good sign.  At the end of the afternoon we tried to get him to walk a little but he would move a few steps and head back under the bush and lay down.  He was clearly not getting better and was laying down to die.  It was time to help him this one last time.

When I picked him up to put him in his crate he peed a little bit on my arm.  Clearly he couldn’t control himself anymore.  He wasn’t even talking and he was a really talkative guy.  We drove to the vet and she very nicely and gently put him to sleep.  We cried a lot. DB said “dooi Bas” and that just broke my heart.  He loves that cat more than anything.  Bas has been his cat for nearly 18 years.  Even when you know this day will come, it’s so hard.

We didn’t come home right away.  We went to the beach.  We ate some dinner.  When we came home we picked up his beds and blankets and litter box and took them to the garbage drop.  It would be just too terrible to see his things.  This morning when I came downstairs I swore I heard him meow.  It’s so different without him in the house.  We will miss him for a long time.

Scaredy Cat

Yesterday I thought that this might be the last photo of Bas.  This was taken Monday morning.

Monday evening Bas seemed kind of restless.  Tuesday morning he was really out of his rhythm and was pacing around with a vacant look in his eyes.  He wouldn’t eat.  Mid-morning he threw up undigested food, and a stick.  A STICK.  Stupid cat.

DB took him to the vet Tuesday afternoon.  The vet said he was just tired from his upset stomach but otherwise he looked ok.  He ate NOTHING all day Tuesday.  Didn’t drink any water.  No pooping.  No peeing.  He laid in his chair and slept.  All day.  We tried to entice him with real chicken.  He normally goes crazy for chicken.  He wouldn’t touch it!  Needless to say, we were very very worried.  Bas is old (18+).  He’s already not very well.

This morning at 5:00 DB got out of bed and went downstairs to see if Bas was still alive or what.  That’s was very nice of him.  He said he didn’t want me to worry about being the first person to go downstairs and find bad news.

But there’s no bad news to tell.  Bas is still with us.  He’s moving slowly, but at least he’s eating and peeing and a little bit of pooping.  He can’t jump very well.  He’s very weak.  But he’s still with us.

It’s touch and go with an old cat!  It’s funny – I was just reading a similar story on Erika’s blog.  Caring for an old pet is very much like caring for an old person.  They can’t talk with words, but they talk with their movements and attitude and routines.  If anything changes from what they do every single day, you know something is wrong.  No different from people really.