Sunday, June 10, 2012

goodbye, griffin

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It's been a very sad weekend here- on Friday morning, one of our cats, Griffin, passed away. He'd been sick and in and out of the vet's office for about two weeks before he died (at one point I was dropping him off in the morning for care there during the day, then bringing him home at night because he required a late-night dose of medication and our vet didn't have anyone on staff overnight to give it to him), but I'm not sure that anyone knew just how sick he was until our usual vet referred us to a specialty animal hospital about 45 minutes away.

We thought he was going in for a fairly major surgery, but with a good prognosis. Everything changed on Thursday, though, when his pre-op bloodwork came back with levels that were way off. The vet said that he wasn't stable enough for surgery, and they were going to order more labwork and work on getting him healthy enough to be put under anesthesia, hopefully by the next day or possibly early in the week.

The vet called Darren on Friday morning, and then Darren called me with the bad news- Griffin had taken a major turn for the worse overnight, and there was nothing (not even a transfusion) that could save him at that point. It was the vet's recommendation that we euthanize him since he was in pain, not able to move around, not able to eat or drink, and his body was attacking his own red blood cells, either due to advanced stage cancer or an autoimmune issue- basically he wasn't able to take in enough oxygen, either. We're still waiting on some of the labwork back to find out what the actual problem was, but the truth is that we may never know.

I'd always told myself that I could never have an animal put down, but after another conversation with the vet, we all agreed that it was the best thing for Griffin. Darren and I prepared to drive to Decatur to see him one last time. We actually delayed for an hour or so because Darren just wasn't ready to go through that yet, but eventually we did make our way there. When we arrived at the hospital, we were met by a very quiet and shaken receptionist, who paged a nurse to see us.

And then she told us that Griffin had passed away about fifteen minutes prior to our arrival.

He'd suffered a seizure about 30 minutes before that, and just hadn't survived it. If Darren hadn't delayed, we'd have been in the room when that happened, and as terrible as it may sound, I'm relieved that I wasn't- I'm pretty sure that would have messed me up for a while.

It's been a good bit quieter around here without him the last few days. We still have the other two cats, but Griffin was definitely a vocal one. He was originally my Christmas present in 2006- Darren told me I could pick out a kitten (a big deal since we already had the two, and he was happy with that number) as my gift. I actually didn't go to the shelter to choose one until April 2007, and in the end Griffin picked me. I'd actually gone in to see about another cat, but this little guy kept meowing at me and followed me up and down the length of his cage.

This is the day he came home with me.

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And I have so many more photos. I pared down the ones I'm sharing here, but I'm afraid it's still a lot. He had so much personality, and we miss him very much.

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April 9, 2011

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