Dear all,
I lost my sweet Sylvia cat this afternoon. Despite our best efforts with
daily subcutaneous fluids, appetite stimulants, Interferon, probiotics,
vitamins, steroids, and multiple antibiotics, she was still fading fast and
appeared to be in a significant amount of pain yesterday. So, with a heavy
heart, I took her to the vet one last time this afternoon for a consult.
The vet looked over her chart thoroughly, took a close look at her gums and
listened to her breath, and said that at this point we'd done all we could
do; the anemia was causing her to crash. We agreed, sadly, that it was time
to let her go. This was definitely the hardest choice I've ever made; I'm
only 25 and Sylvia was my first cat as an adult. We bonded immediately and
it has been awful watching her decline over the last month. I'd never been
present when an animal has been euthanized before, and I was extremely
reluctant to see her go this way. I'd hoped she might pass quietly at home,
but she just seemed so uncomfortable that letting her linger struck me as
cruel and selfish. I think I made the right choice. She went peacefully,
wrapped in a clean blanket in my arms, with no pain. While we waited for
the vet, she sat in my lap and purred just like she did as a kitten at her
first vet visit. It broke my heart to let her go, even though I know it was
the kindest thing I could do.

Sylvia was the best cat I've ever had: smart, sweet, devoted, impeccably
well-mannered, pleasantly chatty, cuddly. Up until last month, she was fat,
sassy, and apart from gingivitis, quite healthy, so I am confident she had
a good life. I will miss her terribly. I already do. I'm glad I have my
lively little clownish siamese mix, Beatrice (who, as far as I know, is
FeLV negative and healthy as a horse) to keep me company. It'll just be the
two of us for a little while, so we have time to mourn the loss of a truly
great friend, old soul, and gentle spirit.

I am so, so sad...but also thankful for four years with a wonderful cat.
Some animals make you a better person. I think Sylvia has done that for me,
and I will always remember her.

Thanks to all of you who have given me advice and support over the last few
years. I'm grateful to have had a group of more experienced cat owners to
turn to with questions and concerns; you all have been a great source of
comfort and information. Best of luck to you and yours in fighting this
awful disease.
Anna (and Beatrice)

Anna Elisabeth Waltman
PhD Candidate // Contemporary American Poetics
Department of English and American Literature
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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