Kali : Early 2004* – 12 Jan 2009

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Things I’ll miss about Kali:

  • Followed me everywhere, but never a “lap cat”
  • Always there to greet me at the door when I got home
  • Plastic bags
  • Her favorite treats – three times a day
  • Opening the blinds for her when she sat near a window
  • Playing “Catsketball”™
  • Filling the sink so she could drink “really fresh” water
  • Buying her toys she would ignore – watching her play with the damnedest things
  • The plastic ring from a milk bottle (see previous)
  • Arranging the items in the closet where her litter box was, to crowd her to the center of the box (only way I figured out how to keep her from crapping over the side!)
  • That last one was weird, but seriously… it was almost a game
  • Waking up every morning to find her at the foot of the bed
  • Having her follow me out onto the front porch and sit with me while I smoke
  • Watching her squeeze into too-small boxes, and sleep there like it was a bed made for a queen

I’ll revisit this and add more as they occur to me.  Thanks for indulging me.

* Kali’s exact birthdate is not known, she was taken in by a nice lady as a kitten – we adopted her soon after.

The sad part of this post is below the fold – I decided I wanted pleasant memories of Kali to take precedence on the front page.

My cat Kali died this morning. The Vet doesn’t know why, but laying out the events of the last few days may help me figure it out; and may help someone (possibly even me) keep it from happening again.

On Friday, she had her first appointment with the new Veterinatian.  She was as fine as a fickle cat can be, but of course, she didn’t much care for the trip.  She received a normal exam, including labwork to check for parasites – all normal.  She was due for her annual vaccinations, and received a combo shot for Feline Leukemia, Distember, and Calici.  When she got home, she raced to her food bowl, scarfed down all she could hold, and promptly deposited a stomach-stew taco for me to show her disdain for the indignant exam I put her through.  That night, she ate normally, including her bedtime treats, drank at the sink as she so often did, and went to bed normally.

Saturday, she appeared a bit less active than normal, but otherwise fine.  Her litter box contained the normal daily deposits and she was eating and drinking normally.

On Sunday, Hungry and Carpet got their first doses of Advantage (topical flea medicine), so it seemed a good idea to go ahead and give Kali a dose as well.  Kali has had Advantage several times a year over the last five years, so there was no reason to expect anything but more flea-less living.  Hungry had received the same shot on Thursday that Kali got on Friday – Carpet got the kitten version of the normal vaccines.

Last night Kali was even less active, choosing not to sit near me while I was on the computer, nor on the end of the bed where she spent most of her time; instead she was laying on the rug in the bathroom.  I didn’t find this *too* odd, since she loves to play soccer in there with her toys, with the rug usually rolled up in a corner when she’s done sliding around on it.

This morning, my alarm went off at 0500 as usual, but when I got up to hit snooze, I noticed Kali was not sleeping on the foot of the bed where she normally can be found at that hour.  Instead she was laying on the carpet to the side of the bed, and her breathing was fast and raspy.  I knew she was sick, but I had no idea *how* sick.  I sat and held her, trying to calm and comfort her, and quickly decided we’d be going to the vet first thing.  At 0700 I called work and explained I’d need some time off.  At 0830, we headed over to the vet’s office.  At 0900 the office opened, we were let in with very little waiting, and the doctor began her examination of Kali.  Kali’s temperature was 93 degrees – that’s 7 to 10 degrees too cool, hypothermia – and she was very dehydrated.  The doctor took blood, surrounded her with hot water bottles, and started an IV of warm saline.  I was told she needed X-Rays to see what was going on in her lungs, more saline, and observation.  I told the doctor what I knew (listed above), but nothing seemed to draw her attention as a possible cause.  The doctor tested her blood while I was there, and other than some problems with her kidneys, dehydration and low potassium (all seemingly related to her being sick, but not the cause) everything was in range.   I said goodbye and left her in the doctor’s care – having been told I should call at 1100 to check on her progress.  At 1100, I was told the tests were inconclusive; her lungs were heavily congested and they were trying to get her fluids up.  I told them I’d stop by after work to check on her and hung up.

At 1130, the doctor called me back.  Kali had a seizure, expelled blood and fluid from her nose, and died.  The doctor told me she tried to resuscitate Kali but to no avail.

I don’t know, but I suspect:  There was something wrong with her that compromised her systems – not anything noticeable or terribly severe, but bad enough that she could not properly handle the combination vaccine administered on Friday.  The Advantage may have contributed, or that may have been coincidence.  I would guess it was a contributor, but I have no idea how much so.

I do know that for indoor only cats, I’ll never again let the vet give the whole spectrum of vaccinations, especially not in one massive combo shot.  I wasn’t told this was an option until it was too late for Kali – and of course I only have my suspicions as to what really happened.

Today, my heart is broken yet again – Kali has gone to hang out with Pusa, I hope they get along.

I miss them both terribly.

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  1. I’m realy sorry for your cat! I know that it is a hard thing to lose a friend. May be it is not a time – but do you think about a new pet?

  2. Oh, man. We went through this late last summer. We lost our oldest cat, and it’s just amazing what a part of our lives has been missing since.

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