It’s Time to Say Goodbye to a Furry Family Member

Seventeen years ago, I had to put my cat down due to some medical complications. Three days later I went and bought a kitten and named him Sebastian. He was six weeks old. He was mostly white with bright blue eyes. As he grew, some color started to develop. The vet later told me he was an American Siamese – flame tip. His ears and tail started turning a bit red/orange.

Today he is 17, as of March 2014. For the last few years he’s been sick. He was diagnosed with kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. We, the vet and I, tried many different things. Everything made him feel worse. I eventually stopped all treatment and wanted to let him live out the rest of his life with a better quality than when he was on medications that made him sick and his fur fall out or have him eat foods that he would constantly throw right back up.

The last few days I’ve noticed he isn’t eating much anymore. He eats a little but not much. Last time I weighed him, he was just under 10lbs. Back in the healthy days he was around 22-24lbs. He’s restless, he twitches, he talks a lot, pees a ton, drinks even more, and his eyes are sunken in. I look at him now and can’t believe how he looks. When you go to pet him it’s like petting a skeleton, as he has no muscle or meat on him anymore.

So we cuddled last night and he was purring away. I thought wouldn’t it be so much nicer if I can be with him, getting him to purr, while they put him to sleep? Wouldn’t it be nice for him to be somewhat happy as his last thought? My fear is that I will come home from work one day to find out he died alone. He deserves more, right?

But just the thought of doing this makes me cry…like while I’m writing this, tears are running down my face. How do I bring myself to do this?

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Raw Diet for Pets

Sebastian [15 years old]

Sebastian [15 years old]

I’m a researcher. I research practically anything and everything. When my cat was diagnosed with kidney disease and hypothyroidism a couple of years ago, I did exactly what the vet suggested. I bought prescription diets for the kidney disease and gave Sebastian his meds each day. The meds are a tricky beast – they require frequent blood work until the ideal dosage is determined. It got expensive.

During the last vet visit, I was told that Sebastian now has hyperthyroidism. Great. I had stopped his meds and was trying a more natural remedy. Maybe it wasn’t working but I had to try. I’m not sure if it was the meds or the special dry food but he was either over-grooming or just simply losing his fur. When he ate the wonderfully expensive prescription foods, literally minutes after eating, he would throw it all back up in a nice little pile of food morsels. He had so much going on that I wasn’t sure what was causing what anymore. So I stopped it all. I stopped the prescription food and the thyroid meds.

I have been adding holistic drops in his food ever since and he might throw up once a week now. Recently it’s been a tad more but I think it’s because I changed his drops. Right now I’m only giving him drops for his kidney disease. I’d like to get that under control. He drinks a lot and when he pees, it’s like he is peeing cement. It’s so hard to scoop his litter. I don’t see a difference since using these new drops.

Sebastian always weighed around 20lbs. He is a big-boned cat…LOL. Seriously though, he does have a large frame compared to other cats. So he wore the 20lbs fairly well. He now weighs between 11-12 lbs. When you pet him, you pet a boney cat. He doesn’t look boney until you touch him. I’m sure this is partly the kidney disease and partly the hyperthyroidism. But I can only work on one problem at a time.

Raw_Beef copyIn my research, I have been reading more and more about raw diets. It’s amazing how there is always controversy with everything anymore. Bottom line is that cats and dogs are made to eat raw food. They eat mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, etc. They eat the organs, meat, bones, and whatever else they feel like eating. I reached out to a family friend who has been making a raw diet for her animals for a long time and has had wonderful results because of it. She gave me some tips to try. Honestly, it seems like a ton of work and I’m not sure where to get half of what I needed.

I found a raw food brand, Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct who does the grinding of meat, organs, and bones and prepares them into nice patties, bits, or nuggets – frozen. I found a pet store who sells them and bought a trial bag of the bites. The bites thaw faster. So far I’ve only been giving Sebastian them as a treat. But so far – Sebastian [loves them!], Molly (mom’s cat) [won’t eat them], and Sadie (my dog) [loves them!]

I’m slowly doing this transition only because I am traveling for a week or so in May and don’t want to change his diet just to put him back on dry food while we are away. So for now, I give them as treats until we return from our trip. At that time, I plan on switching Sebastian to a completely raw diet.

Once I get him established, I will look into doing the same for my dog.

DIY: Trick to Feeding Pets Separately

Anyone who has two different kinds of pets knows that trying to keep their food separate is a nightmare. I have a cat and a dog. Dogs love to clean out the cats food bowl.

Sebastian [14 years old]

Sebastian [14 years old]

I feed my cat dry food in the morning, when I get home I feed him a half a little can of wet food, and then at bedtime I put some more dry food in his bowl.

His dry food bowl is in my bedroom on the side near the wall, so there is only about two feet of space on that side. I place the bowl there so I can pile my laundry hamper and my vanity chair in that space so the dog won’t go and finish off his food. That worked about 1 out of 10 days.

Most people might not think it’s that big of a deal and normally I wouldn’t either, however my cat is sick. He has hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. So he keeps losing weight. The last thing I need is for him to keep losing weight because the dog beats him to it.

When I get home from work I feed the cat some canned food. This is very helpful for adding the holistic thyroid and kidney disease drops to it. I tried on the dry food. Didn’t work. For this I wait until he is done eating and then I release the dog from her command to clean his bowl out.

My mom was out with my neighbor one night and I guess they got to talking about the animal things and somehow this came up. My neighbor had the best idea. Put a chain lock on the door of the room you want to keep the dog out but let the cat in.

Brilliant!

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Can you guess the mistake I made?