Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Sebastian

August 1996 - August 15th, 2009
My beloved cat, Sebastian, passed away this past Saturday after 13 years of life. His illness was sudden and hit hard. He had stopped eating the weekend before, so I had scheduled him to see our veterinarian's partner. When we got to his appointment his breathing was labored, so our veterinarian did some x-rays and discovered that his right lung was filled with fluid. We transferred him to the local pet ER where they could drain his lungs and run some tests to find out what caused the fluid to gather and they could monitor him over night. Around 10pm the emergency vet called to tell me that he was resting comfortably and the fluid was drained and sent off to be tested at the pathologist's lab, but that it was clear and the preliminary results pointed to him having dilated cardiomyopathy or the precursor to heart failure.

He assured me that it was nothing we did and the type of myopathy that he had was very common to the Siamese breed (Sebastian was 1/2 Siamese, his mom was a stray black & white). In the meantime, we took Sebastian home and he was prescribed Lasix (a diuretic) to keep the fluid levels down in his lungs while we awaited the formal test results to decide what steps to take next to make him comfortable for the rest of his days (we were told, best case scenario was he'd have 6-24 months to live). He also prescribed a cardiac ultrasound which we opted to forego for the time being. Once home, Sebastian rested on Wednesday and on Thursday seemed more like himself roaming around the house. He would not eat on his own so I was hand feeding him baby food. He wouldn't even lick it off my finger so I had to use my finger and just put it on his tongue and let him swallow it. Our regular vet called us for an update and we scheduled a follow-up appointment for Wednesday of this week and assured me his eating should pick up again in a day or two.
In one of his favorite sunspots in the new house
By Friday evening, Sebastian seemed to be worsening and refused to eat altogether. Alexi and I decided that if he didn't eat or look better in the morning we were going to take him back to the pet ER as that vet was covering for our regular vet who was on maternity leave and our local office was short staffed. Before we had a chance to take him back to the ER, they phoned us with the final results on the biopsy from the fluid that was in his lungs. Unfortunately, the results were not good. The biopsy showed that Sebastian had carcinoma which is a fast spreading and incurable cancer. Most likely the tumors were growing throughout his chest cavity and were just too small still to see on original x-ray but would grow rapidly and were certainly already taking their toll on his heart & lungs. With that diagnosis and the fact that Sebastian was continuing to deteriorate rapidly we took him into the office to be put to sleep. Sebastian died peacefully with A.R. & I by his side. After 13 years with him by my side I was numb. I miss him horribly...especially cuddling with him each night by my side as he purred me to sleep. I miss seeing him in his favorite sunspot on the window sill in our bedroom every morning as I wake up and him attempting to sleep on my laptop as I type out my blogs or surf the net.
"Helping" me do homework when I was in college.
Sebastian was an awesome cat and very handsome. He was dainty and anal retentive about his cleanliness...if you messed his fur up after he bathed himself you'd get an evil glare with pinned ears and he'd start the entire process again. He shredded cardboard boxes because I made him move at least a dozen times with me and he hated it...from my parents home (I got Sebastian when I was 16! He was born in my horse trainer's barn in NC), to my first array of apartments in NC, all the way up to CT and the various apartments I had here before finally moving into our home last November. If he was hungry in the morning & his dish was empty, he would empty the bedside table of everything, pushing it to the side until it crashed to the floor and you woke up to feed him. If that didn't work he'd put his nose to your face and stare so that when you opened your eyes you'd see him up close and personal which never failed to scare the absolute crap out of you early in the morning. He loathed Molly (my little girl kitty that died of kidney failure at the young age of 5 in 2007) when I first brought her home as he also did with Tomas before becoming their father figure and bossing them around. He made Tomas sit still to have his eye buggars (gross, I know!) cleaned each morning...Tomas laid down so Sebastian could reach him better as he grew from a puppy to his full size. Sebastian was a great companion during afternoon naps and gladly curled up in the crook of your leg for a snooze. He loved to "read" and thought the best way to do so was by lying directly on the page you were reading. He loved to go outside and hunt and use the potty, but he always came home before night fall and waiting patiently (well sometimes) by the door to be let back in. He stole hair elastics and hid them under the bed in his secret spot. Sebastian was my best friend and a great companion when dealing with any of the crap life tends to spring on you at times.

I loved Sebastian with all my heart and he loved me back with all of his. I hope he is up in kitty heaven purring me a lullabye each night so I can drift off to sleep as easily as I did with him by my side. He will be missed greatly. I love you my handsome "Purr purr" and I miss you terribly, but I know you are no longer in pain and that gives me comfort. May you rest in peace.


Hayleyjo said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a wonderful tribute to Sebastian!

C said...

I'm so sorry Heather!

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