- Feb 27, 2013
- Reaction score
- Northeast USA
My sweet, spirited, beautiful Sebastian took his last breath on March 17, 2016. My precious boy is gone.
I knew that losing Sebastian would hit me incredibly hard. He was my world, my everything. The one I looked after day in and day out. The one for whom I would do anything. There's always that one cat. He was it. My "soulcat" as we like to say. He was such a big part of my life and everything reminds me of him. I miss him SO MUCH.
I adopted Sebastian from a shelter in the summer of 2010 when he was estimated to be about 8 years old. I thought for sure the far left bottom cage at floor level was empty. All I saw was shadows and darkness, but I had to double check. I crouched all the way down, and at that moment the beautiful yellow eyes of a striking long-haired black/brown cat were glaring back at me. It was Sebastian. As soon as I reached in, he was super friendly and lovey with that characteristic "candy cane" tail.
Unfortunately, in the summer of 2013, he developed chronic pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. We managed it very well, and he went as long as 6+ months without a flare. There were times when things became difficult, but we pushed through, got Sebastian what he needed to beat it and be comfortable, and he always rallied. In January of 2015, the vet strongly suspected that he may have small cell intestinal lymphoma (cancer). I remember crying then thinking he would be leaving me soon, so I am grateful that we were able to spend an additional 1+ year together. We didn't do a biopsy or chemo but used a combination of conventional and alternative treatments instead. His quality of life was still very good and always my top priority. He enjoyed many things and had many more good days than bad. Onward we went. In January of 2016, 1 year later and just 3 months ago, I started seeing a subtle continual downward trend and the heartbreaking realization that his time was getting short.
In the end, it wasn't the pancreatitis or the IBD or the cancer directly, although all those things took a toll on his little body quite a bit and would have taken his life eventually. Instead, he threw a clot and possibly an arterial thromboembolism (saddle thrombus). My poor boy was suffering. It happens very quickly. I got home from work, immediately noticed something was wrong, and rushed him to the vet. The use of his back legs was compromised; he couldn't walk right, was crying out in pain, had labored, open mouth breathing, hypothermia (body temp was only 93), and some fluid build-up. With all his other complications and now heart failure, losing half his body weight, and the extremely poor prognosis, I made the excruciatingly difficult decision to let him go. It hurts so bad.
We were just a couple months shy of our 3-year goal since all his issues started. He had overcome so many challenges that I was sure he could get through the next hurdle. He loved life and fought hard. I still find myself saying out loud, "I can't believe he's gone." Two weeks prior he was spinning in the kitchen meowing happily for food. Exactly 1 week prior, he was at the vet for a check-up and blood work was virtually perfect (only slightly elevated WBC). Just 2 days prior, he was sleeping contently with me in the bed and showing his belly without a care in the world. On the morning of, he had no appetite, but he was lovey and alert as usual and I had no idea of what was about to come. I was not prepared to lose him that day. I would have given him more attention that morning before rushing off to work. I would have taken the day off to spend time with him if I had known. Or gotten him to the vet sooner that day and maybe we could have done something before it got too bad. Looking back, I did try to treat each day as it if was his last...always giving him special attention and spoiling him rotten.
I thought for sure, with everything I've done for my furbaby over these past few years, I'd have no regrets or questions. The reality is that there is no escaping it. I still go through the what ifs and should haves in my mind and if we could have done something different. Admittedly, being his caretaker had taken a toll on me emotionally and physically. But I'd do all over again if it meant having him back. He was so worth it. I wish he could have died more peacefully. He deserved that much at least. He was always such a good boy and perfect patient. Excellent litter box habits. Never shed. Taking his meds and getting his fluids and B12 injections without a fight. He never ran from me or hid. He just wanted to be loved. As long he had that, he didn't care.
"Bastie" was the furry light of my life. He brightened up any room he walked into, and everyone who met him adored him. We had such a strong bond and a very special relationship. He made me laugh. I called him my "goofy guy" when he was being silly. He was always the first one at the door to greet me, always the first one in the kitchen for his meals, and the first one to follow me up the steps when it was time for bed. Wherever I went, Sebastian was there under my feet. If I sat down, he was there wanting to be with me or on me. I'll miss his signature "spins" in the kitchen for food and his affectionate, talkative personality. The house is so quiet now. I'll miss feeling him on my chest in the mornings. I'll miss our evening brushing sessions (he sure loved to be brushed), his super soft fur and fluffy tail, and how he used to "happy drool" when he was so content. I'll miss his dancing around when I would start singing to him (he liked that so much), watching him play with his favorite ring toy, and seeing him enjoy supervised time outside for some sun and fresh air. I'll miss his daily grooming and picking the litter out of his toes with his teeth, because that's when I knew he was really happy and feeling his best. I don't know anything about the first half of Sebastian's life, but the second half with me was wonderful and I'm so glad we found each other. He brought me so much joy. I know it was reciprocated.
Sebastian, I love you SO much and always will. I think about you every waking minute, and I miss you terribly. My life is not the same without you in it. You are at peace now and free of pain. I will never forget you or stop loving you and I hope we meet again. I made sure to take lots of pictures and videos of you, and I made this tribute video so that everybody can see how special you were and always will be to me.
(The song I chose was one I used to sing to him. There's additional footage at the end of the video if you'd like to keep watching.)
Thank you to everyone here who offered support and help when we needed it during Sebastian's illness. And I apologize for the length of this post. It ended up much longer than I had anticipated.