We just got back from Mexico. Our house is a mess. Everybody is trying to catch up with mail, messages, laundry, etc. Kim left to go and settle up with our house sitter. I heard a strange noise and came out to the stairway. I see our cat Cosmo falling down the stairs. His back legs are not moving. When he sees me and knows that I see him, he starts howling. What the hell is going on? I am thinking that the kids crushed his legs or something. I started examining him and couldn’t determine much. Legs seemed fine but it was like they were asleep. He was in pain.
Kim came home a few minutes later and quickly reacted and rushed Cosmo to the animal hospital. He had been in there a month ago because he wasn’t eating or peeing and was breathing hard. He had always had a heart problem but now it seems like something was happening.
The ER doc meet Kim at the door and they rushed Cosmo back and started working on him. They gave him oxygen and tried to stabilize him while they figured out the deal. The doctor said he had Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). So his heart wasn’t pumping so well and a big clot came through and went straight into his legs blocking the blood to them. He wasn’t breathing well either so his lungs were probably filling up with liquid.
Kim called me from the hospital crying. She was upset. The prognosis wasn’t good. The only positive option was taking Cosmo to the Colorado State Unversity Hospital ER and seeing what they could do. Sounded like a wild chance and pretty expensive. We talked on the phone for a few minutes and tried to figure out any options. Kim then had to go and talk to the doctors again. She called me back maybe 15 minutes later with further confirmation that things were bad. We talked some more. Kim knew what she had to do. I know it was one of the hardest things she has ever done. She loves her cats. Putting any pet to sleep is tough. I haven’t ever had to do it myself. This was so sudden and sort of unexpected that she wasn’t prepared for it. The big worry was did we do enough? I really felt like we did. Maybe through some crazy treatment he could have regained use of his legs in a month but what kind of life of pain is that for a cat.
So Kim held Cosmo while they injected him. His heart beat 2 more times and then he went limp. Fluid came out of his nose because his lungs were so full. Kim held him and then turned him over to the doctors and came home.
Although Cosmo was “only a cat”, he was part of our family. An early part at that. Cat #2 of 6. The first to go. He had lived with us in 3 states and made it through everything in between. He will be missed.
The only moral of the story to share is — take time every day to savor the moments with the ones you love. About an hour before I found Cosmo limping, he was trying to jump up on Kim while she was on the computer. She was trying to finish something up before she had to make dinner and she brushed him off. She says she told him that she would play with him later in the evening since we had been gone for 2 weeks. Some special time with the cats. But that didn’t happen of course. How quickly things can change.
Here are some pictures of Cosmo from his first few weeks with us back almost 10 years ago!