goodbye my friend

By: Mrs. Swarr

Oliver is gone. I stayed with him last evening, holding him and watching him - hoping for a glimmer of a will to live. I could make his death a long story, but I would rather not just now. Suffice it to say I travelled to the vet this morning and then brought Oliver home to be placed in the grave lovingly dug by Zach and Declan.

I have never been a cat person. Dogs are much better - loyal and true and joyful. But Oliver was all of those things. He loved us from the moment we found him at the shelter. Of course Oliver belonged to all of us, but there is no doubting that he was "my" cat. He curled up next to me in bed at night - he was rarely far away if not sitting on my lap. Even Declan got along well with Oliver. Oliver was fond of laying in the middle of Declan's puzzles and was always happy to give a kiss or rub to him. There aren't many cats that are patient enough to enjoy a 2 year old.

A lot of changes went through Oliver when he got sick, but he never lost his love and kindness. He purred all through his visits to the vet, and snuggled in my arms anytime I wanted to hold him and love him. He truly was a great cat, through and through, and we miss him desperately.

Thank you Oliver, and may you rest in peace.

Oliver: Update #1: The Plan

After a lot of thought and heartache, Maribeth and I have come up with a game plan.

The vet's outlook was bleak. She said she believes he may have 2 days at the most. He hasn't been eating and that is definitely not a good sign. So without food, even if he fights this thing, he's not going to make it. His liver and kidneys could be infected already (from not eating).

So to put Oliver's needs first, we've decided to schedule an appointment with the vet to have him put to sleep. That appointment is set for Thursday evening. So what the plan is is this:

Tonight I'm going to force feed him some wet food. He needs to eat. There's no denying that. If he keeps that down, that's a good start. Then we see how he's doing tomorrow night and force feed him again. If that stays down, the appointment gets canceled and we take it one step at a time.

If I force feed him tonight and he can't keep that down, then we keep the appointment and just make him as comfortable as possible.

Wish us luck and keep the Swarrs (especially the little furry ones) in your prayers.

I'll let you know how it goes...check back for more posts.

Diagnosis: Feline Leukemia...Prognosis: not good

This isn't an easy post. Oliver doesn't have much time.

Just to give you an overview of the events, about 3 weeks ago, we found that his Lymph node was swollen under his chin on the left side. None of the others were, so we kept an eye on it for about a week and a half. No change. So we decided to schedule an appointment with the vet. Better safe than sorry.

So while all of this is going on, I had purchased a different kind of cat food...oops. Arty was doing ok with it, but Oliver didn't seem to like it at all. He wouldn't touch the stuff. A couple days before his Saturday vet appointment, he started throwing up and having diarrhea. He also looked very thin. We called the vet and bumped his appointment up to Friday. And by this time I went and picked up a bag of their usual food (which they both started to eat- however Ollie kept throwing up).

On Friday, Maribeth took Oliver into the vet and they checked him out. Aside from him losing approximately 2 lbs, he was fine. The Lymph node was back to normal size (which the vet didn't think it was his Lymph node anyway. Tard. Obviously it was) and the vet attributed the bowel/stomach issues to his lack of food intake.

However throughout the weekend we noticed that Oliver wasn't eating and he was just overall bad. He had taken to sitting around and sleeping and doing nothing and still pooping all over. We couldn't get him to eat anything substantial and what we could get him to eat was just thrown up within 10 minutes.

So off to the vet again. Maribeth took him in and this time the outcome wasn't so good. I don't know numbers, but he lost more weight, he was running a fever, he was dehydrated and on top of all this, he has fleas (which is odd, b/c he's an indoor cat and neither Arty nor the house show signs of fleas). So they pumped him full of liquids and drew blood to see what was up. They tested some of the blood in house and sent the remaining out to a lab.

The in house testing showed that his white blood cell count is extremely low. That's never a good sign. As far as the lab tests, they found the culprit: Feline Leukemia. From what the vet said, it's just a matter of time. A few days at most and that's the best they could give us. The fact that he's no longer eating is not a good sign. His chances of getting through this are slim to none.

So...I would say that at the rate of things, by week's end we'll be down one Swarr. We also need to get Arty tested. He may have contracted it too.

It's rough. He's good cat and a good friend, especially to Maribeth. He's her boy.

We'll keep you posted.