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I Could Use Some Moral Support

Discussion in 'Crossing the Bridge' started by JohnY, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. JohnY

    JohnY Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Nov 22, 2018
    Hello to all, I am new to this site, actually new to any forum online. My name is John, and my cat's name is Spike, he's my friend, my best lil buddy, and he just threw up with some blood in the vomit. Sadly he's got FIV, which is in it's very late stages. Our vet is unavailable, being Thanksgiving, and the only 24-hour vet is some distance away, and very, very expensive.

    I don't even know if going to the vet will help, he's in the very late stages of FIV, and he's got numerous conditions that have been bad and getting worse. I know what's coming, and that's why I'm here...

    I live alone, except for Spike, and my only two friends are out of town for the holiday. I only have contact with two family members, one of whom doesn't like cats, and the other actually hates them. They won't come visit since they don't want to deal with stuff like the occasional cat hair in their food, or on their clothes.

    Some years ago I suffered an accident, and the resulting injuries cost me almost everything, which resulted in a depression which cost me pretty much the rest. I am self-employed, doing internet-based work, so I rarely have to leave the house, so it's been just me and Spike since, and now I'm about to lose him too...

    The reason I'm here today is because I really don't have anyone to talk to about this. I spend almost every day alone in a house with my only companion, who's about to leave me, and I have no one to tell how sad this makes me, or to offer any moral support, or just say 'I understand'... I've always tried to 'be strong' about things, keep a stiff upper lip, whatever, but this is just too much. I try to be cheerful and normal for his sake, because he picks up on my emotions and I don't want to stress him out, but it's getting harder and harder, and I find myself trying not cry or have an anxiety attack in the other room, meaning I'm not spending that time with him, which is so important to me right now.

    I was going to go to the local Community Center today, to help with the Thanksgiving dinner, but I was afraid to leave him, and now I'm glad I didn't because of what happened. But I had also planned to try to talk to some folks there about what I'm going through, just to have a chance to talk about it, to let some of the sadness out... Not having that chance has just added to my anxiety and sadness, which when combined with this new and more severe symptom was just too much. So, that's why I'm here, today...

    To all the members here, I'm sorry about my long meandering message, and that my first post should be about such an unhappy subject. Regardless of whether this post attracts any readers or comments, I'm thankful for the chance to talk about my little buddy and how much he means to me, and how sad this situation is making me, and how stressed out I am about this new symptom. I know some will say 'rush him to the vet', but at his last blood test about a month ago, his red blood cell count was horrifically low, as was his white blood cell count, and every other number of importance. The vet said the virus was 'raging through his system', and at this point all I could do was make him comfortable, and love him, which is what I'm doing, as best I can. I will of course call her first thing tomorrow morning to let her know, but as far as a panicked Uber ride to a vet's office he doesn't know, and scaring and stressing him out in his final days, I don't think that's the best thing to do, for him. Though any advice would of course be appreciated.

    I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and again, sorry for the long message...

    View attachment 263225 Spike, not long after I found him in an alley...

    View attachment 263224 And about a year ago, in all his glory, about age 8...

  2. catlover73

    catlover73 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 3, 2006
    Chicago area
    Hi John welcome to TCS and I am sorry that you had to join us under these circumstances. I do not have any experience with FIV so I can not offer any advice about this issue. You have no reason to apologize for the length of your post or worry about your thoughts being every where. I just wanted to let you know that someone read your post and cares about what both you and Spike are going through. I am honestly not sure what I would do if I were in your situation personally. The only reason I can think of for why you would need to take Spike to the ER vet is if he is showing obvious signs of pain or distress. You know Spike best and I honestly believe that you would know in your heart if this was happening. All I can do is offer you hugs during this difficult time.

    Sometimes writing things out helps. I am going to encourage you to continue writing about Spike or any other thoughts running through your mind. I really believe that expressing what you are going through can help ease anxiety in a difficult situation. I wish I had words to take away your pain and anxiety but there are no magic words to fix things. You and Spike will be in my thoughts.

  3. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily *Alien* Super Cat

    May 30, 2016
    Orbiting the Earth. . .
    You came to the perfect cat forum. The best, actually. Lots of love and support from caring members. I'm here for you and will be keeping you are your little angel in my thoughts and prayers. :redheartpump::hugs:
    Margret, Antonio65, segelkatt and 1 other person purraised this.

  4. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Top Cat

    Apr 4, 2018
    Littleton, CO
    I’m so sorry to meet you under such sad circumstances. Spike sounds like an amazing kitty that you have such a special bond with. He’s your family, and you are his. And this is so tragic and hard. I just want to say welcome to you and Spike. I’m glad you stayed home for him, you sound caring and loving.
    ashekitty, foxxycat, Margret and 3 others purraised this.

  5. Boris Diamond

    Boris Diamond Cat Valet Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2015
    I'm so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you and your vet have a pretty good handle on what's happening with Spike. I understand your wanting do something for him, but I am not sure that the stress of going a long distance in an unfamiliar vehicle to a vet he has no experience with would be helpful to Spike. I suspect the emergency vet would only confirm what you already know.

    Please come back and talk about Spike often. The people here truly love cats and can understand your situation. Many of us have been through similar situations. And thank-you :worship: for taking in a cat you found in an alley.
    PushPurrCatPaws, Kflowers, foxxycat and 3 others purraised this.

  6. Lari

    Lari TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 18, 2017
    I don't have any advice, but thank you for posting and I'll be keeping you and Spike in my thoughts.
    foxxycat, Margret and Antonio65 purraised this.

  7. NewYork1303

    NewYork1303 TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 9, 2015
    Washington State
    It sounds like you and Spike have a great bond. I hope that Spike's last moments are peaceful and that you can find some comfort talking to us on here. We all understand what its like to leave one of these wonderful animals.
    PushPurrCatPaws, foxxycat, Margret and 3 others purraised this.

  8. segelkatt

    segelkatt TCS Member Top Cat

    The only thing you can really do is stay home with Spike, hug and love him a lot and grieve. Your beautiful boy is about to leave you and you should be prepared for that.:alright: When you see your regular vet be prepared to let him go then if he is in pain or otherwise does not have a good quality of life. That is what I did about a month ago when my beloved elderly Persian Bebe passed. It always hurts when a pet goes to the Big Sleep, it never gets easier no matter how many kitties you have loved and have seen them go. Grieve, you have all the right to do so. I am so sorry to hear such bad news from you.

    Talk to us, tell us about the many things that Spike did and what he meant to you and how much you miss him once he is gone.:grouphug2: While he is still with you talk to us about that also.
    :welcomesign:to our forums, let us see lots of pics of Spike , I could not see yours posted here for some reasons, it said I was not authorized to do so, weird :dunno:we are here for you:grouphug:
    Also check out the "what's on your mind" forum, that's where I posted when Bebe went to the Big Sleep and I got lots of love from there.

  9. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    I am so sorry for you and Spike, and that you have to feel as if you have to go this alone with him. And, even though we are not 'actually' there with you, we are there with you in spirit, heart, and support. Please keep talking to us and sharing with us what you and Spike are going through. It's not the same as someone who could be there with you personally, but we will give our all to you to try to replace that as much as we can.
    artiemom, foxxycat, Margret and 2 others purraised this.

  10. Alicia88

    Alicia88 TCS Member Top Cat

    May 25, 2016
    Kirksville, MO
    I'm so very sorry. Losing a pet is never easy. They bring so much love and joy into our lives, but they never live as long as us. The hardest part of being owned by a pet is saying goodbye.
    foxxycat and Margret purraised this.

  11. JohnY

    JohnY Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Nov 22, 2018
    I'm so overwhelmed right now by what everybody has written, and all the words of caring and kindness and love, I can barely type from crying, both from all of your kind words, and for Spike... Thankfully he's not in distress or pain, and in fact he's sleeping right now, so I thought I'd clean the house a bit. I couldn't sleep no matter what anyway.

    My vet, who runs a feline-only clinic, is wonderful, and has offered to come to my house if need be, rather than having to take him on the 'last ride', which I dreaded doing to him. There's also some folks in town who provide an 'at home' service for pets at the end, so there's that, but he knows my vet and her wonderful assistant, so I'm hoping that works out. I'm cleaning because I've been putting it off, spending as much time with him as I could, and it's difficult for me to do house work since my injury (I was hit on my bicycle), plus I've dealt with a lot of depression of the last few years, and my place tends to get messy. Also, I just don't know what else to do, other than pace, or stare into a corner.

    Since my post earlier, he went to the litter box, and his stool had a lot of blood in it. I was so upset to see that I could barely move. I've thought of giving him some more sub-q fluids, but the needle upsets him, and I just want him to have rest now. I'll call my vet in the morning, and see what she says. My anxiety is so through the roof my hands are shaking, and I can't seem to stop crying. I've spent the last four or five months alone in this house with only him, watching my little buddy waste away, and it's just tearing me apart.

    I also feel bad because every time I start to get emotional and upset, I go in another room, so he doesn't pick up on it, thought I know he does anyway. For a very long time he's slept right next to me, and when I lay down, I put my arm out at my side, and he puts his head in my hand and falls asleep, usually with one paw gently gripping one of my fingers. That moment, of going to sleep with him there in my hand, is one of the most beautiful and happy things I've experienced in a very long time, and it was a wonderful, and to me, wondrous thing to have happen, to see such a visceral expression of love and trust from an animal. He hasn't done that in the last week or two, though he still sleeps on the bed with me. What I fear saddens me most is the loss of that contact with him, that nightly ritual of falling asleep like that.

    I'm sorry, I'm rambling again, and I should go check on him. Thank you again, all of you, so much for your kindness. It means more than I can properly express right now.

  12. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 27, 2017
    Orbassano - Italy
    Your bond is quite special, it is clear from what you write and describe.

    I've been in the same situation as you before, knowing that the end is near and still dreading that moment.
    I had talked to the vets at the clinic many days prior to the end, and asked them to come home when the moment was right, and so they did.
    My house too was a mess, because hospicing a terminal cat drains all the energy and the time, so all the rest is left behind.
    The vet that came home was exceptional, he just focused on what was to be done. He didn't mind the mess.

    I can totally relate with what you are through now, and I understand the fear of the future without him by your side, during the day when he can be of inspiration for your work, and at night when it is cuddling time and you have your rituals to the bed.
    The fear of losing this routine is as painful as the thought of losing a faithful friend.

    We're here to listen to you, feel free to write for as long as you need, if you feel you need to.
    But it is better if you spend this time with your friend, even if it seems he doesn't want to be with you now.
    Just do it, you won't have the same chance in future.
    artiemom, PushPurrCatPaws, ans5181 and 3 others purraised this.

  13. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    Spike needs you right now, and the best thing you can do, the ONLY thing you can do is to be with him and hold him close. Your comforting presence is truly all he needs. I would recommend having an injection of pain medicine if the vet will give you one, on hand. Vets are not always available, they have other emergencies, and I would have sold my soul to have helped my Burt in his last moments. Having the vet come to your home is a true act of love and kindness.
    The bond you have with that beautiful boy will be with you always. He shared your life journey for a little while, and his love will continue on through you when he is gone from this earth.
    This is hard, one of the hardest things you will ever go through. Let your love guide you, look into his eyes and tell him what he has meant to you, how much he is loved. Hold him close, he will comfort you too.
    Please continue to come here, we have all been through this and truly understand. Do not let the emotions build up inside you, share them with us and we will help you carry this unbearable burden. The blessings and joy he had brought to your life far outweighs the pain, hold on to the comforting thoughts of happier times, and just take one day at a time...i'll pray for you both, may the good Lord have mercy and help you through this.
    meelasmom, artiemom, ans5181 and 3 others purraised this.

  14. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    :sigh: I'm so sorry to hear this, though on a forum this size there's almost always someone going through this. It's the worst thing about being owned by a cat - by human standards they die young, and yet we keep adopting cats, because we need them.

    There are some things that you'll likely hear in the future, once Spike has passed, from people you know, things like "It was just a cat, get over it already!" You'll never hear something like that here; we know better. Spike isn't an "it," he's a "he." More importantly, he isn't "just" anything; he's currently your next of kin, your closest family member, and the loss of a family member is supposed to hurt.

    I've been fortunate enough that I haven't had to deal with FIV in any of my cats, so I can't offer you any advice there. I will say that the best euthanasia experience I've ever had was when our cat's vet came to our home to do it. We sat with Pretzel on both our laps, and petted her, and talked about what a wonderful cat she was and how much we loved her, and when she was peaceful and purring in contentment we nodded to the vet, who came over and did what was necessary. I don't believe she even felt the needle.

    To insert pictures that we can actually see, set the message editor to, hmm, I'm not sure what it's called! Rich text editor? WYSIWIG? Something like that anyway. The top of the editor should look like this:
    See the little icon that looks like a landscape?
    If you click on that icon you'll get a dialog box that looks like this:
    To insert a picture from somewhere else on the internet, put its address where it says "Image URL:" but to insert a picture from your computer click on "Choose File" and then navigate to the location on your computer where the picture is stored, click on the file, and select "Open."

    Note: I'm assuming that you're posting from a computer, not your phone; I don't know how to do it from your phone. And I'm using instructions that work in Windows 7, which is what I have experience with, but it really should be pretty much the same on other versions of Windows or on a Mac.

    {And I'm aware that I'm focusing on that at least partly to distract you from the real issue here, which is the impending loss of Spike.}

    In my experience, the grieving you do while you're losing a loved one doesn't make the actual moment of loss any easier, or the amount of grieving you have to do afterwards any less. This is not to say that it's useless; feelings are always important, and should not be denied.

    My personal feeling is that trying to hide your grief from Spike may actually be worse than simply being open about it. Spike has no way to know what is making you sad, but he does know that you're stressed, and expressing your grief may make you feel less stressed, which is good. Also, since Spike is such a supportive cat, crying openly gives him something that he can do - he can offer comfort, which is something that he's good at, and that may help to distract him from whatever physical symptoms he's feeling. Anything that makes the patient feel more powerful, more in control, is useful, no matter what species the patient is.

    You may find this thread helpful: Grieving, and this web page also has some useful tips: COPING WITH DEATH OF PET.

    And you may get some comfort from the myth of the rainbow bridge:


    Finally, I'd like to thank @di and bob for mentioning this thread in What's on your mind? so that several of us would rally round.

    I'll send you a private message in a little bit; Jasmine is telling me that her supper is late.

    solomonar, Boris Diamond, ans5181 and 3 others purraised this.

  15. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 27, 2017
    Orbassano - Italy
    Margret and ans5181 purraised this.

  16. foxxycat

    foxxycat TCS Member Top Cat

    I'm so sorry to read that your Spike may be leaving you soon. Looks like many folks posted some great words! I don't have experience with FIP but there are other members here who do. It sounds like you have a plan to call the vet in the morning. Sending you hugs and prayers for a peaceful journey across the Rainbow Bridge. I hope you continue to post here and talk about your feelings. This is a safe area to open up and talk about those feelings that for years society has told you not to talk about. I hope our generation helps men to open up and no longer be silent. Silence doesn't heal. But words and love do. I hope to read more of your posts.
    Margret, ans5181 and Antonio65 purraised this.

  17. artiemom

    artiemom Artie, my Angel; a part of my heart Top Cat

    Dec 22, 2014
    near Boston
    I am so sorry to hear about what you and Spike are going through.

    While I have no dealings with FIV cats, I did have my soul-cat, who had many many issues..My guy passed in May of this year.

    Yes, I was where you are at, right now; feeling so alone... My Vet was awesome.
    But I still felt so alone and scared. and I had this wonderful forum, where I would vent... and they supported me, implicitly...

    I think this is the hardest thing to deal with.. you have your precious soulmate's life in your hands.. what to do? How can you imagine life without them.. you want to hold on, yet you do not want them to suffer..

    I understand completely..

    The people on this forum are wonderful.. There is always someone on here, 24/7, to help.. to chat with.. Just to write your thoughts down..

    It is comforting... write away..

    I know I did not want to get my Artie upset, so I would cry in my room... then, as I was typing, I would cry.. I felt helpless.. it is natural to feel this way...

    I do not know how to deal with the blood in his stools, but know that is a really bad sign of GI bleeding.. but, you know that..

    I would just hang out with Spike.. if he wants you to cuddle, then cuddle him. If he wants to be alone.. then allow him, to be alone, but be there, physically, near him...

    Do not hide your grief.. He already senses it.. It is something the 2 of you have to share.

    There are many people who just do not 'get it" about our babies and the strong bond we have with them. It is their disadvantage to never have experienced the joy and heartaches associated with having a soul-cat.. or dog or any other...

    Do not allow that negativity come into your mind. Do not do that to yourself.
    Neither you nor Spike deserve that type of treatment..

    There are many uncaring people in this world. Do not allow them to hurt you.. no way... You know, in your heart, what your relationship with Spike is....

    It is now the day after Thanksgiving.. I am hoping your Vet can somehow help you and Spike..

    If it is the end.. then, let Spike know that he was loved.. if he is eating, give him his favorite food.. his favorite toy.. just love him.. as he unconditionally loves you...

    Life stinks.. but there is also joy in it.. try to focus on the good memories you have...
    It will help you....

    I printed up a lot of pictures of Artie, and have them displayed around here, in frames.. and I keep some of his toys out..

    You will know what to do.... just go with your heart.. as a friend of mine, says: "If you go with your heart, You will never go wrong,".....

    OMG.. I am crying...

    Please know that you are not alone...

    Take pictures.. post them here.. post your thoughts.. we are here for you...

    love, and ((hugs))
    wizegrl00782, Margret, foxxycat and 2 others purraised this.

  18. ans5181

    ans5181 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    You are not alone here. Say as much as you need, we all love all the cats and all understand how hard and hurtful this is. Although not in body, you have instantly acquired lots of friends and support here in spirit. So sorry this is happening, be with your baby and love him, and I think it's ok to be sad and cry with him. I don't think Spike will mind. And maybe, eventually, another buddy will need you and you will open your heart and home to them. Of course this will never ever replace Spike, but I totally understand the need for companionship. I lost my 17 year old in October. Just a short while before, two small black cats showed up on my doorstep. Turns out one of them was pregnant. Now I have a 15 year old, the two black cats, and one of her daughters. It doesn't replace Lucy at all, but it feels serendipitous, like they were supposed to show up and find me. Sorry, not trying to take over your thread. Your post truly touches me, I am in tears too, I will pray for a peaceful passage for Spike and comfort and peace for you.
    Antonio65, artiemom, Margret and 2 others purraised this.

  19. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    I am so, SO sorry that you and Spike are going through this. FIP is a nasty, filthy disease. There isn't much you can do for him now that you haven't been doing all along...you are with him, you love him, he feels your hands on him every so gently, and he knows that he is in the arms of Love. We are here for you.
    wizegrl00782, Antonio65, ans5181 and 2 others purraised this.

  20. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    I apologize for mis-reading "FIV" as "FIP." FIV is no less devestating, if somewhat slower. How are you holding up?
    Antonio65, ans5181, artiemom and 1 other person purraised this.

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