Casey's Passing

CaseysMom

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I have struggled with posting this for a couple of days now. Some of you already know our story from my other threads where I introduced us and then about Casey's cancer. But I wanted to share this here. I'm not quite sure if I should focus on her life or on her passing, but since this is the Crossing the Bridge forum, I guess I should tell the story of her passing.

Casey was the most precious, loving, expressive, wonderful ginger female, 15 years old. As you probably know, ginger females are rare, and she knew she was special alright! :winkcat: I adopted her from my next-door neighbor who is elderly and has dementia and could no longer care for her two years ago, right before COVID hit. She has been my best friend and companion every day since then. When we found her outside and confirmed who she was, we noticed she had a small bump on her chest. I thought maybe it was a tick. When we took her to the vet for the first time, the vet said it was a cyst. It stayed small and the same for the first 1 1/2 years she was with us. She always got a clean bill of health at her 6 month checks with perfect bloodwork. Although I noticed that this group of vets never examined her very closely, and seemed to be almost afraid of her. She was grumpy and did not like being examined, but she was old and my neighbor had not taken her to the vet in years due to his condition. I should have listened to my gut and gone with a different veterinarian. But this place had the highest ratings and accolades in my part of town! :angryfire:

This February, I noticed the bump had grown and started bleeding. I took her in to the vet, and he said it wasn't a cyst (um, your colleague said it was) and that it needed to be removed. She did pretty well with this first surgery, or so it seemed. But the lump came back, this time more than one, almost immediately, and broke through the skin and started bleeding/oozing again. The pathology report said it was "either mammary adenocarcinoma or a sweat gland carcinoma". How could they not be more specific? The vet said he thought it was a sweat gland because he thought it was too high up to be a mammary gland. Everything I read online looked like mammary though. I should have gotten a second opinion then, but again, I was trusting this vet and also worrying very much about costs at this point. I took her back to the vet and he recommended another surgery, this time going "wider and deeper". I should never have let him do this, but I was just desperate to save my baby at this point. That was 3 weeks ago. She came home from that surgery and was never the same. She went down every single day. Stopped eating. Stopped sitting next to me on the couch. Just hiding and coming out every now and then to get my attention. She was crying for help then, but I didn't know it. The vet kept throwing stuff at her to try to perk her up: appetite stimulants, steroid shots. Of course, nothing helped. She suffered so, so much, and needlessly. I was out of my mind at this point, and calling the vet almost every day. I felt he and his staff pulling away from me (not that they were very nice or compassionate to start out with), like I was crazy. Finally, he said he couldn't do anything else, so I should think about euthanasia. I panicked, realizing I had waited too late, and brought her in that day. The vet was walking out of the clinic to go home 5 minutes after I talked to him on the phone. I asked the receptionist, "Who is going to do it?" and she said, "I guess Dr. W". I was shocked, but I said, "OK, I guess it doesn't matter". We were put in a cold exam room and the vet who was still there came in and said she was going to give Casey something to sedate her first. Well, guess what. It didn't work. Casey paced the room anxious and never went to sleep. They never came in and checked on us. I finally knocked on the door and said, "My cat is not falling asleep! She is upset!". The vet came in and nonchalantly said, "Oh, that happens sometimes, she just needs a higher dose". I said, "No, I'm taking my cat home". She looked at me like I was insane, and rudely said, "The fact that she didn't go to sleep doesn't say anything about her health". I had a massive panic attack on the way home. I don't know how I drove.

The next day I called around desperately trying to find a feline-friendly clinic. I found one through a link provided here by a member. I called them, and unfortunately, they couldn't get her in that day, but the girl on the phone showed me more compassion in a two-minute phone conversation than the other people had shown me and Casey in 2 years. She gave me 3 other clinics that they refer people to when they can't see urgent cases. I struck out until the 3rd call, and then found someone who could see Casey that day. She was an angel sent by God, I have no doubt. She confirmed the worst- that Casey did have mammary adenocarcinoma, and that I was dangerously close to having waited too long. Casey barely had any breath sounds at this point. :bawling::bawling::bawling: She told me that I could take her home to spend one more night if I wanted, but that I needed to make the decision within the next few days. I took her home because I was still in shock and I wanted to see if my son and daughter wanted to go with me. They didn't. The next morning, Casey's breathing was even worse, so I rushed her into that clinic immediately. They were waiting for me in the parking lot. They ushered me in and helped Casey go quickly and painlessly on Thursday of this week. The vet cried herself and asked if she could hug me. She said she could see how much I loved her and said I did a great thing for her. It is amazing how much showing compassion and giving straight facts and advice makes a difference and allows you to think clearly. I will be thankful to God forever for leading me to this good veterinarian at the end. if I had stuck with the other place, I don't think I could have ever recovered from this. I still don't know if I will. I am so traumatized by the whole thing. Losing a pet is horrific enough, but to be tortured and given the run around like this for weeks, months even, makes it 1000x worse.

Oh, Casey, I miss and love you so much. The pain is unbearable. I am so sorry you suffered so much at the end due to incompetence and because I trusted the wrong people. Please forgive me and know how much you were loved and will always be loved and never, ever forgotten. You were truly my soul-mate cat and I can never even think of replacing you. Please rest at peace, my precious angel. :angel3::rbheart:
 

WMM201

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I am sending you much love, CaseysMom CaseysMom . You showed Casey so much love in 2 years that many cats never receive their whole lives. You did your best for her with the vet that you had, and you must remember that when it was the most important, when Casey needed it the most, you found her a truly compassionate vet to help her over the rainbow. You gave Casey love to the very end. My heart is broken for you that Casey, your soulmate, is not there with you in body. But she will be with you forever in spirit.
 

Furballsmom

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This is part of a post from Margret Margret . I realize it might be a little early yet for you to process this, but in time it might be helpful and know that our hearts here at TCS are with you.

:hugs:
  1. The only way to the other side of grief is straight through the middle. There are no shortcuts, no bypasses. Any attempt to cut the process short, or avoid it altogether, merely ensures that you will never complete it.
Our pets make a place for themselves in our hearts, and when they pass it leaves a hole behind. In many ways, the loss of a pet is an amputation; a part of ourselves has been removed, and we will never get that part back. But we have options about how to deal with the loss. If we acknowledge the wound and take proper care of it then it can heal cleanly, and eventually it gets better. There will always be a cat-shaped hole in our hearts, but the time comes when we can remember the cat who made that hole with more affection than pain, when his or her life is once again more important to us than her or his death. But if we try to pretend that we haven’t been wounded, if we cover it up and avoid grieving, we keep the wound from healing properly. It isn’t grief that’s toxic (though it’s certainly painful) but the attempted denial of grief. That puts a huge strain on both our minds and our bodies and leaves us vulnerable.

RIP sweetheart. You didn't have nearly long enough with your mama, but you were loved and you loved her back, to the utmost.
 
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CaseysMom

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This is part of a post from Margret Margret . I realize it might be a little early yet for you to process this, but in time it might be helpful and know that our hearts here at TCS are with you.

:hugs:
  1. The only way to the other side of grief is straight through the middle. There are no shortcuts, no bypasses. Any attempt to cut the process short, or avoid it altogether, merely ensures that you will never complete it.
Our pets make a place for themselves in our hearts, and when they pass it leaves a hole behind. In many ways, the loss of a pet is an amputation; a part of ourselves has been removed, and we will never get that part back. But we have options about how to deal with the loss. If we acknowledge the wound and take proper care of it then it can heal cleanly, and eventually it gets better. There will always be a cat-shaped hole in our hearts, but the time comes when we can remember the cat who made that hole with more affection than pain, when his or her life is once again more important to us than her or his death. But if we try to pretend that we haven’t been wounded, if we cover it up and avoid grieving, we keep the wound from healing properly. It isn’t grief that’s toxic (though it’s certainly painful) but the attempted denial of grief. That puts a huge strain on both our minds and our bodies and leaves us vulnerable.

RIP sweetheart. You didn't have nearly long enough with your mama, but you were loved and you loved her back, to the utmost.
I read this whole post from Margret! It was VERY good and helpful. I want to find a book on grief to help. Thank you for sharing, furballsmom! :hugs::rbheart:
 

Norachan

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Even though Casey was only with you for a short time you packed a whole life time's worth of love into those two years. She was incredibly lucky to find someone who would give her the care she needed at the end of her life. If it hadn't been for you her final days would have been filled with so much suffering and sadness. You saved her. I know your heart is broken now, but you did a wonderful thing for Casey.

I lost one of my cats a week ago today. It's been a week of tears and sorrow, but also of moments of happiness as I remember all the sweet things she did. I hope you can recover from your grief and take solace in all your happy memories of Casey too.

:hugs:
 

Maria Bayote

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No words of comfort may ease your grief, but we want you to know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, just drop a message or two to any of us.

Sending you all my warmest of hugs.

Hang in there, and I am so sorry for your loss.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Casey, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.

This is what I know, to the depths of my being...that Casey lived, breathed and had her being wrapped in your love for TWO YEARS, and for her, that two years was eternity. Now, from her new home in That Place Where All Things Are Known, she blesses you for fighting for her so hard, and she sends her love, translated and purified into Love, to walk with you down through all of your days.
 

di and bob

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It's so hard right now to let your mind go anywhere else but to the end of Casey's life. Grieving will take its time, there are no shortcuts or ways to avoid it. Coming here, Crossing the bridge, and leaving a permanent tribute to such a precious little one will help in the years to come. To be remembered and loved after death is a great honor, your precious boy is at peace because he carries your love in a secure place in his heart.
Remember, you gave him what he wanted most in life, a wonderful home and someone to love who loved him back, and always will. Try to celebrate knowing him, and having him in your life, it is so much more important than the pain of loss. You will never get over something like this, you learn a new life's order and get through it.
Time is truly the only thing that will help, give yourself a lot of time to process what has happened.
Keep yourself busy to not dwell on the sadness, in time you may want to allow another little love into your life, there is always room right beside Casey's own. You would be saving another little life, and the love that Casey taught you will always be there to guide you and help you through.
My thoughts and prayers are with you both, may his precious soul rest in peace for eternity.......
 

iPappy

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To think first off that you took in an elderly neighbors elderly cat. Not everyone would want a 13 year old senior cat but you took her. And two years isn't enough (neither is 20), but who knows where she may have ended up two years ago if not for you. 🥲. Adopting seniors is heart wrenching because time just moves too fast. If your elderly neighbor is or was of sound mind and knew who her little cat ended up with I'm sure she breathed a sigh of relief.
You helped Casey, and she helped you and your family. You helped your neighbor, you helped an over run shelter staff from taking on another potentially emotional intake as well as the cats there who had one less competitor for a new home. Isn't it amazing how one good deed can work out in so many ways?
Rest easy little Casey. Until we all meet again. 💖😺🌈
 
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CaseysMom

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To think first off that you took in an elderly neighbors elderly cat. Not everyone would want a 13 year old senior cat but you took her. And two years isn't enough (neither is 20), but who knows where she may have ended up two years ago if not for you. 🥲. Adopting seniors is heart wrenching because time just moves too fast. If your elderly neighbor is or was of sound mind and knew who her little cat ended up with I'm sure she breathed a sigh of relief.
You helped Casey, and she helped you and your family. You helped your neighbor, you helped an over run shelter staff from taking on another potentially emotional intake as well as the cats there who had one less competitor for a new home. Isn't it amazing how one good deed can work out in so many ways?
Rest easy little Casey. Until we all meet again. 💖😺🌈
Oh, iPappy, thank you for this. This truth is helping me to cope. It really is so much fate how things happened. At first, I was sort of resentful toward my neighbor for putting me in the position of either having to adopt their cat or watch her suffer being outside (they thought she was okay just being outside and putting food out for her, but she had been an indoor cat for 13 years, and was obviously in distress). When I learned she was 13, my heart sank, and I almost said no. But as I got to know Casey as she came up on our porch every day looking for treats and love, I think I fell in love with her before we even took her in. She would come up and roll over on her back and look cute and meow (she knew what she was doing!) and when we went inside, she would "stalk" us through the windows. Like this:
IMG_20200301_093049922_HDR.JPG
IMG_20200216_141502.JPG
IMG_20200216_140808814.JPG


There was no way I could let that precious thing stay outside and wonder why she wasn't wanted anymore. She captured my heart and our home.

Two months after moving in:
IMG_20200425_113847437_HDR.JPG

She knew she ruled the house with an iron paw. :lovecat4:
 

iPappy

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Those stalking pictures are adorable! I think that's the "You have been chosen, now open the door" look ;) You can see the difference in her overall expression from outside vs. inside with you. In that last picture she doesn't look 13 at all, she looks like a much younger cat. That face says she was so relaxed, and felt so cozy, safe, and happy with you. :redheartpump:
 

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I'm so sorry for you loss, CaseysMom CaseysMom , I can relate when you say that you stuck with the wrong vets for too long.
You gave Casey a short but rich and filled with love life, she couldn't have asked for more. Guess what could have happened if you didn't take care of her. How many people would have done what you did?

The most touching part of your tribute is " The vet cried herself and asked if she could hug me. " and this is enough for me to say that THIS will have to be your vet for the rest of your lif with pets.

RIP Casey, your story touched so many hearts.
 
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CaseysMom

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The most touching part of your tribute is " The vet cried herself and asked if she could hug me. " and this is enough for me to say that THIS will have to be your vet for the rest of your lif with pets.
AMEN!!!! :hugs::angel3::clapcat:
 

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Casey is watching over you and will someday meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.
Bless you for the love and care you showed her and the understanding of the elderly neighbor who was unable to care for themselves and Casey, he will be with her at the Rainbow Bridge to meet and thank you. Take care and try not to blame yourself for the incompetence of the 1st vet clinic❤
 
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CaseysMom

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Thank you dustdiamond.
I am still grieving her almost more than I can bear. I thought I was doing better and even thought I was ready to adopt another fur baby. But I’ve been looking at cats the last couple of days and it is still too raw. All can do is cry. None of them compare to Casey. None ever will, I’m afraid. 💔
 

iPappy

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When you're ready to bring another friend into your life, you will just know.
They may find you instead of the other way around, the same way Casey found you. :redheartpump:
 
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