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I Let My Baby Down

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On the 26th of April 2017, 5 beautiful kittens were born at my house. I loved them and cared for them like they were my own children.

My husband convinced me not to vaccinate them, since they stay indoors all the time and they have a low chance of getting infected, so there was no point of spending money on vaccinations they wouldn't need. And that was my 1st mistake.

3 weeks ago, I decided to neuter them so I took them to the vet where he highly recommended the vaccinations before the procedure but I refused. And that was my 2nd mistake.

One week after the surgery, one of them started vomiting, not eating and he looked sick. I took him to the vet and he told me he has feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). He advised me to bring him daily to receive antibiotics and antiemetics and that he couldn't hospitalize him because the ward was full. He also advised me to separate him from the other cats since they were not showing symptoms, so I did. 2 days later he found a slot and admitted him and he started to improve.

On Thursday, the rest of the cats started vomiting and looking sick, so I took them to the same vet. He gave them the injections but couldn't admit them. He advised me to bring them on Saturday, because the clinic is closed on Friday.

On Friday, they continued vomiting and were dehydrated so I decided to take them to another clinic and ask for the same treatment. I didn't read or ask about the new clinic, and there was my 3rd mistake.

Since I'm a physician I knew what to ask for from the new vet we went to. She said she couldn't give them the same medications as the 1st vet because it's not her protocol and she offered alternatives. She said she will draw blood for tests and give them fluids and antibiotics and antiemetics injections in a treatment room where I couldn't see. I let her take them out of my sight, and that was my 4th mistake.

She called me an hour later to pick them up and prescribed antibiotics drops (any vet would know they wouldn't be absorbed through the intestines in FPV). And she didn't tell me that she didn't give antibiotics injections and that the antiemetics (metoclopramide) she gave them were not effective on cats. I was planning to take them the next day to our known vet, so I didn't take the prescription.

Few hours after we went home, Snow started to vomit again and then he stared to be weak and flaccid. I was trying to make him stand and support him but he was just falling on his side. And I discovered a shaved area and a puncture wound in his neck. He was rolling from side to side like he was in pain. And at times he threw himself from the couch to fall on his face. He was pale and cold. His temperature was 35°C. And then I knew it was his time. I felt helpless and hopeless. It was midnight and no clinic was open at that time.

So I stayed for the next few hours beside him, sobbing and watching him roll in pain and I couldn't do anything but watch my baby suffer and cry.

He started to moan loudly and gasp for air and he was kicking fighting for his life. Snow took his last breath and died in my arms.

It's been a week and I'm still sad and cry all the time. I cannot forgive myself for the mistakes I have done, and I cannot forget the scene of his suffering. 

How I wish the clinic was open so I could euthanise him and spare him the suffering.

Snow was my favorite. He was well-behaved and he was the sweetest and the most loving. He used to follow me everywhere in the house and comes running whenever I call his name. He used to sit on my lap and look deeply into my eyes like a lover would. He made me laugh and brought a lot of joy into my life. I love him so much and I know he loved me too. I did what I could to provide the best life for them, but I couldn't provide a better end.

I miss him all the time and I feel empty. I swear I could see him out of the corner of my eye entering the room. I feel like at any moment he would jump to his spot beside me on the couch. I cannot believe he's gone. And I'm still not used to be without him.

And the worst thing is I cannot talk to anybody around me about my grief. They wouldn't understand that I lost a child, and they might laugh or think I'm crazy or they might say "he was just a cat".

I wish there was a way to know he's okay.

I love you Snow, and I'm so sorry for letting you down.


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He is just beautiful.  And he is okay now.  When our bodies give out, we are spirit form...we are energy and it doesn't die, it just changes form.  I believe wholeheartedly that we will be together again, and I hope this thought brings you comfort.

He has touched your life in such a way you are forever changed by him.  This is the way with two spirits that love each other.  We grieve, we miss them, we eventually adjust, but we do not remain the same as we were...in a way that is them in us.  

My hope for you is some peace, some comfort.  It's common in grief to feel guilt.  My personal take on this is that is because we are trying to find an alternative ending whereby they wouldn't have died.  In reality, when we have learned from an experience, it does no good to hold onto the guilt aspect, in fact it can do us harm by paralyzing us and holding us there, where we don't want or need to be.  I hope you can move on from the guilt...we never move on from our loved one.  We learn to live with our altered life but the love and memories stay with us, they're part of who we are.



I am sorry for your loss of Snow.


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Oh my goodness what a heartbreaking situation. I am so sorry you went through this... And I am sorry for your loss of Snow. I hope the other kittens are okay? KayC is so right in her post to you. I too lost my cat at a vacation house. We still don't know what he ingested but he died at the emergency vet in a stressful and agonizing end. :( So I know ALL the feelings you have. The guilt and blame. We never know what is going to happen (like the kittens getting sick in the first place) which then had many things transpire afterwards. You do what you can at the time. I am learning to accept what happened to my cat and not take on such guilt that I never forgive myself. I hope you can find peace and get there too. It is almost unbearable when you carry the guilt AND the sadness. 

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Wafa i just read your post, I am so sorry for your beautiful Snow. My heart breaks that you lost him in such a terrible way and you couldn't help him.But please don't blame yourself. You only had his own good in mind and your decisions were based on this. No one knows the future.Like KayC said he is ok now ,healthy and free. And he may have left his body but his spirit is still with you, because the bond you had with him is unbreakable and eternal.He knows you loved him and you still love him.I believe this, that our pets can still feel our love, from where they are.

I know the grief and the missing them is terrible. We never stop missing them but in time the pain becomes less. Just take it one day at a time and try to be kind to yourself, even if you don't feel like it... I know people don't respond well to expressions of grief over a pet.But you can write here, as often as you like, because we all understand. It helps to have a safe place to express your feelings, it sure has helped me.

If you can ,try to give some extra attention to your other kitties.I know your heart is so heavy right now but they may need it, they may be grieving too.I pray that you find some comfort as the days go by.

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