Losing a Pet

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DSCF0020It’s been nearly a year now since I found my cat, Mori, lying dead next to his beloved cat tree perch. He’d been unusually quiet that day, but I hadn’t taken the time to notice because we were busy with the process of buying a new house, and getting ready to sell the old one. He may have been lying there dead, or dying, for nearly 12 hours before I found him – primarily because of the mournful cries of my other cat Maxi.

I think Maxi didn’t realize that Mori was gone at first, but after such a long time of not stirring, he finally began to think something was wrong and alerted the household to the problem. Unfortunately by then it was far too late. It was already midnight and my husband and I were both very tired.

However, we still managed to pull ourselves together. He helped me place Mori’s already cold body into his carrier and we took him to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Clinic nearest our home. They would perform a necropsy to determine cause of death, and help dispose of the remains for us (I opted not to pay for the ashes, I wouldn’t have known what to do with them).

A few days later we got the results – most likely cause of death was heart failure. There was no way to know this might happen beforehand. He had been to the vet regularly for years and was given a clean bill of health only a month before he died. Nothing seemed amiss with his health – his eating habits and everything else remained unchanged right up until he died.

It’s always sad to lose a pet, but for me it was very sudden, very unexpected. He was still fairly young for a cat too – only 10 years old. Most cats live to be 15 – 20 years old.

His heart may have been weakened when he was young – found abandoned on the side of a road. Shuffled between rescues and shelters for 2 weeks before I found him. By then he was extremely ill and he nearly died on me in the first few weeks I had him. However I tended him and made sure he received the medicine, nutrition and fluids his tiny body needed and he eventually recovered – and grew into a large, strong, robust cat (who unfortunately had a strong distrust of me because of all the forced feedings I had to give him).

Over the years he came to forgive me, but he still preferred cuddles with Maxi over myself, always suspicious I’d force him to eat something again. Even a year later his death is still a shock to me.

I’ll always miss you, Mori.

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