Since Bitsy's dental surgery two weeks ago, she just hadn't been the same.
She wouldn't eat or drink.
She was lethargic (not moving or running away when Jackson grabbed her, randomly jumping into the shower with me one day, not running away when she heard the vacuum, and other things that just weren't like her).
She was obviously in pain.
I tried everything to get her to eat but she just didn't seem interested or hungry--that's when I knew we needed to get her into the vet. I'd originally planned to just take her to a vet here in Denver (versus her regular vet in my hometown--over an hour away) but had a sick feeling that something was really wrong and that I'd need somebody to help me with Jax while Brandon worked.
I'm so glad we went to her regular vet.
My mom stayed with Jackson while I took Bitsy in for her appointment. The tech weighed her (she'd lost two pounds in two weeks), took her temperature (normal), and checked her mouth (which seemed to be healing beautifully)--then the vet came in to discuss what could be causing this and recommended drawing blood and running a few tests. The vet returned a few minutes later with the diagnosis: Bitsy's kidneys were failing and she'd developed pancreatitis.
I couldn't believe it; they had ran tests on her before her surgery and she had a clean bill of health--I couldn't fathom how things had gotten so bad so quickly. After talking in depth with the vet, we decided it was a combination of different things that caused this, including her once diet of Blue Buffalo cat food (more on that in a sec), the anesthesia from her surgery, and possibly getting into our calla lily or cleaning supplies without us realizing it.
Bitsy's vet gave me the options: we could put her on IVs, a feeding tube, and give her medication every day for the rest of her life in hopes of keeping her alive for a couple more years--or we could go down the path that every pet owner dreads..
We chose the latter.
Putting Bitsy to sleep was both the hardest and easiest decision I've ever had to make.. hard in the sense that I wasn't ready to lose my sweet girl, but easy because I didn't want her to suffer anymore. Bitsy's quality of life would never be the same and I knew in my heart that euthanasia was the right decision. I called Brandon and told him in between sobs what was going on and asked what he wanted to do--he said exactly what I was thinking.
Bitsy fought long and hard enough and now it was time for her to rest.
The vet completely supported our decision and proceeded with the anesthesia. My dad came over to sit, talk, and cry with me during Bitsy's last moments--I was so happy to have him there for support. After Bitsy passed, we took her back to my parents and laid her to rest next to other family pets (my parents live in the country and had a really beautiful and peaceful spot for Bits).
I cried harder on Monday than I have in years.. Bitsy was our family and she was gone forever.
Jackson and I headed home shortly after burying Bits--on the drive home, we hit a terrible storm and pulled off the interstate to wait it out (I once hydroplaned on the interstate during a bad thunderstorm and wound up in the median; I've had terrible anxiety about driving in the rain ever since). While Jackson slept and I waited out the storm, I prayed, looked through Bitsy pictures on my phone, and reminisced about all the good times we had with our girl.
After about 10 minutes, the skies began to clear and we got back on the road. At one point, I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed to brightest, most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen in my life. It reminded me of the poem "Rainbow Bridge":
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.
I got teary eyed (and am right now just thinking about it) and took it as a sign.
Bitsy is okay.
She is no longer in pain.
I will see her again one day (and what a wonderful day that will be).
|Photo by Avery Kasper.|
Adopting Bitsy was the start to our family--we will always miss her and will forever cherish the wonderful memories we have with her.
Thank you for completing our family and being the perfect first pet for Jackson.
We love you, Bits.
|I couldn't get a good picture since I was driving (and didn't want to crash..) but you can see the rainbow in the mirror.|
If you're currently feeding your cat or dog Blue Buffalo brand food, I beg to STOP now--our vet literally cursed when I told her Bitsy had eaten Blue Buffalo cat food and said she'd rather animals ate the cheapest of the cheap off brand food than Blue Buffalo. Veterinarians have seen more animals sick and dying because of Blue Buffalo and are now trying to spread the word.
I found a couple articles about Blue Buffalo online that you should read if you get a second.. I am absolutely livid with the company for being neglectful and killing our pets: