I went to visit Stanley at the emergency vet clinic last night after we arrived home from the Temple Jazz Festival (great experience for my students, btw) with an open mind and as little expectation of what I’d encounter as possible. This has been a very rough road for him and although I had hope, I didn’t want it to be false hope. They brought him to an exam/consultation room for me to see him. He was very swollen because he’s been on fluids and had very little desire or ability to move. The vet tech (Monica) and vet (Dr. Womack) came to talk to me and she let me know that Stanley wasn’t in any pain but he was critically sick. He liver had failed and they couldn’t find a cause. And without a cause, it was nearly impossible to treat the symptoms. After a lot of detailed discussions on everything they had done for him so far and how he had reacted to treatment, we discussed the next step.
She said that many times, there are several choices and option on a course of treatment. Unfortunately, this was not one of those cases. Either we went with a very aggressive course of action, which could mean weeks of hospital stay, potentially several surgeries and who knows what else, or I let him go. I said to her from the start (The Animal Emergency Clinic in Round Rock has 8 emergency care vets that rotate so someone is always attending) that my main goal and priority was to help him come back to a quality life and state of health. Not because I didn’t want to help him if the results caused years of medically assisted life but what fun is that for a cat or dog or any one to live in? My parents agreed to help me pay whatever it cost or support me through whatever decision I made. The doctor couldn’t honestly give me any percentage of recovery at this point. She didn’t have enough information without doing a surgical biopsy. This was also going to be dangerous because with Stanley in such a critical condition, he could react poorly to the anesthesia and we could lose him in surgery.
After spending several hours with him, talking to him, looking into his eyes, petting him, holding his head in my hand, with so very little reaction of any type, I decided that the best thing for him was to let him go. After really thinking about liver failure and what that means – a major organ has stopped working – I couldn’t see recovery being very easy or pleasant for him. It’s so hard to put into words everything I took into consideration over the time I was there to come to this very difficult decision. My parents came up and Keith was on the phone with me much of the time while I waited for them. My sister and I talked several times and everyone was wonderfully supportive in helping me weigh all the options.
At approximately 1:45 am on the morning of Saturday, March 28, we administered the medication and Stanley took his last breath very peacefully. I brought him home and will bury him in the tall grass the grows beside my house where he loved to hide, playing jungle kitty. Thank you so much for your caring support and kindness to Stanley over time as we came to this very difficult day. Pfema and I will miss him very much.