Like a good share of male cats, Floyd had Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder (FLUTD). This means that his body was unable to keep it's internal environment acidic enough, which would result in crystals forming in his bladder and obstructing his urethras, rendering him unable to urinate. If this disorder isn't treated properly, it can be fatal. My boy had gone through some pretty rough flare ups in the year prior when we lived in Bridgetown, but nothing since we returned home. This time was very different.
Since Bridgetown, I would check his bladder at least once a week to be sure that everything was ok. On Sunday evening (the 9th), his bladder felt a bit full and he didn't express any pain or discomfort when I checked him, so I figured he just hasn't gone to the litter box yet. By morning he was screaming. The worst sounds came out of my little guy, it was awful. I went to work and made an appointment with the new vet for that afternoon. I rushed back home to get him ready to go and it's a clear sign that something is terribly wrong when he walks right into his carrier without a fuss or any coaxing. Once we were at the vet, I was told that he was definitely obstructed and his bladder was so full it felt hard. Bad news. Once again, he was sedated and taken away for treatment and they would call me at the end of the day with an update.
Monday, end of day update received: bladder expressed, eating and drinking normally (very good sign!), will remain overnight for observation, should be just fine.
Tuesday: Floyd did not urinate over night, will remain for another day for treatment and observation, doing well otherwise.
Wednesday: doing very well, catheter will be removed with hopes of urinating on his own. If he succeeds by the end of the day he could come home. FINGERS CROSSED!
Wednesday, end of day: no such luck, will watch overnight.
Thursday: still no luck and bigger issue has come to light. After an x-ray, they discovered that he was completely obstructed again and there is no way a catheter could be inserted. His bladder was half full of crystals. Only option to fix it was a surgery. Scary, very scary. Q and I went to the vet in the afternoon (I left work super early) to speak with the doctor to get a full understanding of what was happening and the options presented to us. There were only two options: surgery or euthanized. Neither were good. It took us a good 30 minutes (minimum) to decide. I do not wish any pet parent to be put in this position. It was the worst feeling, some days it still is.
Most (I would hope that all) pet parents would do anything for their pets, regardless of cost and other factors, but there is a line. A line where doing anything to help and save them can be selfish and putting the pet through more than they can bear and a poorer quality of life. Here was our pro/con list so you understand:
Surgery pro: it's a successful procedure that had been performed many times with other cats and Floyd would be alive
Surgery con: can be very risky, potential for future blockages even though urethra passages would be larger, nerve damage, greater risk of infections, incontinence
Euthanized con: pretty obvious one here, I shouldn't have to say it, but for all intensive purposes I do.....Floyd would die
Euthanized pro: Floyd would be pain-free, he would never have to suffer through situations like this again, and he would be at peace
See? Rough. We did not want to lose him but we didn't want to be selfish by putting him through the surgery, go through the recovery process, and then live through the risks associated with the surgery. I just wanted him to be better, no problems, no pain, no discomfort. Free and happy.
I can't bear to type the rest of the story about when he was euthanized, I can't really put it into words. It's just a little video that replays in my mind. My heart aches each time. I am so glad to have a few hours with him at the vet beforehand, they way he rubbed his face on mine, how he gave me kisses on my nose, and snuggled with me, I am so grateful for that time. I am also grateful for Q and Mother being there too. He was their boy too. I wouldn't have been able to go through this without you two.