Sebastian, the feline love of my life

goholistic

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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. 
  After a few more visits, we packed him up and headed home (also adopted Caesar at the same time). Sebastian was so happy with his new family.

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.
 

zed xyzed

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That video was beautiful, what a special beautiful boy he was. I am so sorry that you lost him. 
 

jenny82

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I'm very sorry for your loss. Your video was beautiful. Sebastian was a handsome boy and I can tell he was happy in his videos and very much loved. RIP Sebastian.
 

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your handsome boy.  Sebastian was fortunate that you, you  in particular rescued him.  And you were blessed to have him in your life, making such a difference.  My prayers are with you.
 
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ldg

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Oh Nicole ....

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...I just can't even....



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All I can say is yes, it hurts. Yes, it really sucks. It really, really, really, really, really, REALLY REALLY REALLY really REALLY hurts. And sucks. And I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sorry.


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:sun:
 

lisamarie12

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Nicole, this is such sad news, I'm so very sorry. I can only imagine what you've been through these past few weeks dealing with the loss of your sweet Sebastian, especially to have lost him to something entirely unrelated to the illnesses you were treating.   What happened to him was so far out of your control, out of anyone's control. 

You really went the extra mile and then some - to help Sebastian, your dedication, research and persistence has been an inspiration, really, you must always remember that you did everything possible and not have any regrets.

As I watched this video and saw how genuinely content he seemed, especially with his pals Boo and Caesar, I feel so glad that you've felt inclined to put this creative video together, to take that grief and direct it towards remembering all the joy Sebastian brought you. He was extremely fortunate to have landed in your care, you, the adopter, so graciously willing to bring into your home an older cat when these cats are the most difficult to find homes for.

Although it sounds like Sebastian adopted you that day at the shelter. :)

I will always remember something I read awhile back that helped me get through the pain of losing our Alice in '09 - that our companion animals live such short lives because in their very vast generosity and capacity for love, they want for us to be able to share that love with other furry friends.

Sending lots of good thoughts and healing wishes your way dear.
 
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jcat

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Nicole, I'm very sorry for your loss of Sebastian. Your love for him and dedication to his welfare were always very obvious from your threads and posts. He knew you were 100% there for him.

RIP, Sebastian. :rbheart:
 

sidneykitty

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Oh my goodness. Sebastian was such a beautiful cat and sounds like a beautiful soul! 
 You are so blessed to have shared the years with him that you had. Your video is beautiful and made me weep...everything you said aside from the medical details describes exactly how I felt about my Sidney. I'm so sorry you lost your Sebastian and so suddenly as well. My heart and thoughts are with you. Remember the good times. It is clear how much you loved him you did your very best for him, and he to you. I hope you can find healing and peace in your heart in time. Be kind and gentle to yourself during this time. 
 

Loving Mickey

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I was in tears watching your video of your precious Sebastian. He was such a beauty and obviously loved so very deeply. I am truly sorry for your loss. I know how unbearable the pain can be over losing our special kitty. I lost my Mickey in 2014 and the pain is still unbearable at times. Believe me, I know all the could haves and should haves. I think we all have those thoughts when we lose a beloved kitty. We know we did all that was possible for our kitty, but still feel it just wasn't enough. We should have saved our kitty. I know if love could save them, all our kitties would live forever. I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling . I wish I had some magic words to say to ease your pain. Just know that your Sebastian loved you as much as you loved him. I hope that one day you can remember your sweet Sebastian with more smiles than tears.
RIP Sweet Sebastian!
You were so deeply loved and will never be forgotten!
 

di and bob

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You were meant to find each other, he needed you to be strong for him and to love him no matter what and you fulfilled all his dreams. He was indeed your 'soulmate' and my heart breaks for you losing him, I know the great pain it brings to the heart and soul. Your tribute to that sweet guy was beautiful, you could feel the love that was so evident. You have many wonderful memories to bring you comfort, and the bond you formed with him can never be taken from you as long as you live. He will be always near you, his earthly body may be laid to rest but the 'essence' that was Sebastian will reside forever in that special place you hold for him in your heart. Let that place eventually be sunny and happy again, he deserves to dwell in a warm place, not one filled with coldness and sorrow. He would never want you to grieve forever, no more so then if the situation was reversed. You would only want happiness and love for him, just as he wants now for you because he loved you so very much. We will all mourn the loss of someone so loved and wanted, I'll pray for you and your family. and for Sebastian to have a swift journey to the Rainbow Bridge but forever connected to you by the bond of love. RIP beautiful Sebastian, bring the ones that love you comfort in any way you can. The world lost a ray of sunshine when you left it, but your new star shines bright in the sky on the laps of angels! 
 

peaches08

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Everyone has said it beter than I could, you were both so lu ky to find each other. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

I loved the video. You can see what a sweet boy he was and how much love was there.
 

stephenq

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@GoHolistic

What a beautiful cat, what a great mom you were, and what a wonderful life he had.  A beautiful tribute and i feel your loss.  When i lost my best friend Simon to cancer as a complication to IBD and pancreatitis it was just awful, a painful loss a year ago in Feb.  I still miss him, and he will always have a special place in my heart, just like your Sebastian will have in yours, forever.
 

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I'm so proud of you, not only for fighting alongside him, but letting him go when the time was right. You've taken his pain away at cost to yourself. There s no greater demonstration of love.

He was a handsome boy, and clearly both happy and loved.
 
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goholistic

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Thank you ALL for your kind words and support and for taking the time to read my post and watch the video. One thing I know for sure is that everyone here on TCS will understand! 


@Zed Xyzed: Yes, he was very special to me.

@Jenny82: He was indeed a very happy cat, despite his issues.

@nurseangel: You're right. Sebastian is very lucky that I (in particular) adopted him. I pretty much dedicated these last few years of my life taking care of him!

@LDG: Yes, lots and lots of tears. And the little sunshine emoticon is so fitting. He was my sunshine!

@LisaMarie12: It was definitely quite a shock to come home from work and see him in the state he was in. I was not expecting it at all. I did try very hard and always did what needed to be done, sacrificing a lot of my own time and sleep and money in the process. He meant that much to me! I'm glad that you also saw how content he was in the video. Honestly, most of the clips and pictures in that video were taken during his illness, so that just goes to show we must have been doing something right!

@jcat: Thank you for noticing. I did always seem to talk about this furchild of mine a lot.

@sidneykitty: I'm so sorry you lost Sidney. They do take a part of our hearts with them, don't they?

@Loving Mickey: They say time heals, and I almost wish I could fast forward. Every day gets a little easier, but I have a long way to go. He's on my mind ALL the time.

@Di and Bob: I agree that we were meant to find each other. I mean, who knows, if I had been a day late to visit the shelter, perhaps someone else would have snatched him up. One thing I always used to say to Sebastian was "How could anybody give you up?" He was so beautiful and affectionate and gentle and perfect all around (at least to me).

@peaches08: You've been there for me more than you know!

@StephenQ: I remember when you lost Simon and how devastated you were. I can't believe its been over a year. Seems like just yesterday.

@Gareth: It's not easy letting go. It was a very difficult decision, but I knew it needed to be done. His quality of life was always my top priority and the forefront of his care and treatments. We discussed all our options at the vet. To try to treat him when he had a very, very small chance of surviving would have extended his suffering unnecessarily. I could not let him go through that. Shortly after Sebastian passed, I went back and read your post "When the moment comes..." to help me.

I'm working on a little project...something to keep Sebastian forever close to my heart. I will share with you all when it is ready!
 

angels mommy

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Nicole, That was just so beautiful!  I wish I knew how to make something like that on my computer. I have TONS of videos & pictures of Angel.  That video hit me hard, as you know, today is 2 months ago that I lost Angel, so I am crying right along with you!
  I used to sing him that song too. Sebastian was such a sweet, sweet boy, & just as beautiful!

 It's never easy making that decision we had to make, but not letting them suffer anymore, gives us some peace.

 I too had some of the same thoughts. Had I known the day before I was to decide it was time, then I would have not gone to work that day either. We just don't know, until we know. 

You should never regret anything. You did so much for him, & were a wonderful Meowmy. I hope Caesar & Boo are doing okay, & I'm glad you have them.  
 
 
 
 

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GoHolistic,

This is so incredibly beautiful. I'm afraid my little Madison's day are numbered but your post helps me realize that there are people out there who understands. I feel heartbroken for your loss but Sebastian is in a happy place. You've been such a good parent to him and filled his heart with joy.
 
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goholistic

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@Angels mommy:  Thank you.  
  Didn't you create a scrapbook? That's a great way to use photos of Angel! The videos can be more tricky. To combine both photos and video clips, I used Windows Movie Maker, which was already on my laptop and found it very easy to use, but I'm a techie. I remember that you said you used to sing to Angel. Sebastian absolutely LOVED to be sang to. As soon as I started, he'd start "dancing" under my feet and following me around and "singing" with me. My other two didn't seem to care as much. I haven't been able to sing much since he passed. My s/o says I need to sing to my others and in honor of Sebastian, but I just can't yet. I get too upset that my boy isn't there to hear me. I'm so sorry that your two-month mark has brought on additional sadness. 


The worst day for me so far was the 3rd day after he passed, when reality set in that my boy was really gone and I couldn't bear it. I had another really bad day after two weeks, when the unrelenting feeling of missing him seemed to have reached its peak. Of course, there hasn't been a day that I don't shed a tear for my sweet Bastie. Some days are worse than others. I have the most difficulty during certain times of the day when he was most active - first thing in the morning (because he would lay on my chest and try his darnest to wake me for breakfast), at mealtimes (because he loved to eat, as you all saw in the video), and at night (because he would sit with me in bed EVERY NIGHT to get brushed and loved).

You're right. As much as we try to plan, it doesn't always work out the way we think. I had fully anticipated on having a scheduled euthansia at home when his existing issues that we've been battling for almost three years had progressed far enough. I had already spoken to the vet about it and she said she'd need 24 hours notice.   ::sigh::  Didn't happen that way, unfortunately, but I'm still glad I was with him at the end to help him cross the rainbow bridge. 


Caesar has been struggling since Sebastian passed away. Seems distant and not eating much. We're trying some behavioral aids.

@ealyssa:  I'm so sorry that you may be losing your Madison soon. We DO understand. They are our furbabies and a huge part of our hearts. 
 
 
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angels mommy

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@Angels mommy:  Thank you.  
  Didn't you create a scrapbook? That's a great way to use photos of Angel! The videos can be more tricky. To combine both photos and video clips, I used Windows Movie Maker, which was already on my laptop and found it very easy to use, but I'm a techie. I remember that you said you used to sing to Angel. Sebastian absolutely LOVED to be sang to. As soon as I started, he'd start "dancing" under my feet and following me around and "singing" with me. My other two didn't seem to care as much. I haven't been able to sing much since he passed. My s/o says I need to sing to my others and in honor of Sebastian, but I just can't yet. I get too upset that my boy isn't there to hear me. I'm so sorry that your two-month mark has brought on additional sadness. 


The worst day for me so far was the 3rd day after he passed, when reality set in that my boy was really gone and I couldn't bear it. I had another really bad day after two weeks, when the unrelenting feeling of missing him seemed to have reached its peak. Of course, there hasn't been a day that I don't shed a tear for my sweet Bastie. Some days are worse than others. I have the most difficulty during certain times of the day when he was most active - first thing in the morning (because he would lay on my chest and try his darnest to wake me for breakfast), at mealtimes (because he loved to eat, as you all saw in the video), and at night (because he would sit with me in bed EVERY NIGHT to get brushed and loved).

You're right. As much as we try to plan, it doesn't always work out the way we think. I had fully anticipated on having a scheduled euthansia at home when his existing issues that we've been battling for almost three years had progressed far enough. I had already spoken to the vet about it and she said she'd need 24 hours notice.   ::sigh::  Didn't happen that way, unfortunately, but I'm still glad I was with him at the end to help him cross the rainbow bridge. 


Caesar has been struggling since Sebastian passed away. Seems distant and not eating much. We're trying some behavioral aids.

@ealyssa:  I'm so sorry that you may be losing your Madison soon. We DO understand. They are our furbabies and a huge part of our hearts. 
 
Yes, I did create a scrapbook, but it was something I had started years before as his, because I love photography, & of course he was who I was usually taking pictures of. I had so many!!  

I don't think I have that feature on my laptop, I will have to check. There's probably a lot more I could be doing w/ it, if I knew how. Not a techie here.  

Yes, I think the few days after were worse for me too. I think I was just in shock, or a fog when I got home after. I just started cleaning everything up. I think I cried the hardest the next night. 

I wanted it done at home too, but my vet didn't do that. Now, I feel like maybe it was better, ..in a way, because I would be looking at where we did it & having that memory of it there.

So maybe it was a blessing you couldn't plan it as well.  The important thing is that we were there with them.

 I didn't want to say the word goodbye, so I said that he was going to go be with Jesus now, & that he could go night, night now. 

When you said you miss the weight of him on your chest, I understand. I was thinking that when I was upset the other night.

He didn't come lay on my chest, (well, after the first year anyway), but I would pick him up to come lay on me for as long as her would let me, which usually wasn't too long. "My big independant boy!" 

I hope Caesar feels better soon. 
 You guys will be in my thought & prayers. 
 

NewYork1303

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So sorry for your loss! Sebastian was a very handsome black kitty. I'm so glad he got to have such  wonderful life  with you. 
 

Mamanyt1953

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Oh, Darlin.  What a special boy he was!  I am so, so sorry that you are going through this.  I did ok with the video till the shot of you holding him, and now I'm in tears.

Rest you gentle, Sebastian, dream you deep.
 
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