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Author Topic: RIP Lenny  (Read 479 times)

Offline trekriffic

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RIP Lenny
« on: January 15, 2018, 05:43:34 pm »
On Saturday my wife and I made the painful decision to put Lenny, our beloved 13 year old male Tonkinese, to sleep.
Lenny had been in rapid decline for 2 days before we were able to get him into the vet. Tests revealed his kidney's were failing.

We had known in 2015 that his kidney's were borderline impaired so we had him on special low protein catfood and always made sure he had plenty of fresh water. Up until Thursday of last week he was the same loving cat we'd always known, if anything, he was even more affectionate than usual. Monday and Tuesday, as I worked at the desk, he would jump into my lap, looking up at me with his aqua-blue eyes, even climbing up onto my chest and headbutting the underside of my chin very forcefully.
Then on Wednesday  night he was up and down, back and forth off the bed and digging in his litter box.
This went on over and over for a good hour or so at which time I checked and noticed he had only made 2 small round poops in his box.
Urine output looked normal though so I thought perhaps he was just constipated.
Anyway, he slept most of the day on Thursday and then that night the strange behavior continued.
Friday morning I checked and he had not eaten any of his food although he did drink some from his water bowl.
By this time he was extremely lethargic and barely responsive to my efforts to rouse him with efforts at play.

So I called the vet and moved up our appointment from noon to Saturday at 9:15AM which was the earliest opening they had.
Took him in and blood test results were not good.

There was little that could be done the vet said, Lenny's kidney's were in failure.
Efforts at re-hydration thru saline injections under the skin might have some small effect but the prognosis was Lenny would not recover.
And his quality of life would continue to deteriorate as his organs gradually failed him.

Knowing how weak he was, Linda and I made the hardest choice a pet owner can ever make, we told the vet we wanted to end his suffering before he was in any real pain.
We told him that our decision was not based on finances, as we loved Lenny like you would a beloved family member, but that we would not put him thru the treatments the vet offered as options without any guarantee they would be effective.
It would only mean more stress and pain for a cat who had given us so much love and laughter over the past eleven years.

Linda was heartbroken, as was I, tears flowing down her face as she kissed him on the top of his little round head and told him how much she loved him.
It was all he could do to flick the tip of his tail in response.
We had decided only I would remain in the room with him for the injection of anesthetic; as she left, the exam room the door closed behind her, and I could hear her quiet sobs from the clinic's lobby.
A few more minutes went by during which I petted him softly and told Lenny how much we loved him.
Then the door opened and the vet gave Lenny the initial dose of anesthetic. He told me it would take about five minutes for Lenny to fall asleep so I held him in my arms and rocked him gently, stroking his soft coat, and saying, "Sweet dreams Len, we love you sweet little boy."
It only took a few minutes for him to go limp in my arms, his breathing barely noticeable. I felt cheated not to have gotten all five minutes the doctor had said it would take.
Still petting him the doctor came back and gently took Lenny from my hands, placing him gently on a towel before carrying him from the room for the final injection to stop his little heart.

I turned and left the room, utterly devastated.

We had given Lenny the greatest gift a pet owner can give their pet, a peaceful, painless exit from this tired world and it occurred to me that, another reason this was the greatest gift, was because it was the greatest sacrifice we could ever make for him.
How, I thought, would we be able to recover from this?
How can you mend a broken heart?
Now it is I and my wife who are suffering.

Lenny was as cute, cuddly, friendly, smart, and silly as any cat you could ever have the good fortune to know and his loss left us both bereft and adrift on a sea of sorrow.

We returned to the empty house and went about collecting his toys in a box for storage in the attic. I cleaned his litterbox for the last time and placed it high above a cabinet in the garage. His cat beds were removed but not before I collected his fur and placed some in a plastic bag so I could still touch it and remember how soft he was. I removed the flannel shirt I was wearing at the vet's office and hung it on the stationary bike next to our bed. I may never wash it again-it has Lenny's smell and fur on it.

The next day, Sunday, we awoke to a bed with no little friend curled up around our legs or resting beside us under the sheets. The sense of loss was immeasurable. Oh god, how we miss him.
As we lay there I turned on my iPad and brought up the video of that song by Linkin Park, "One more light" and played it for Linda. I had heard it on the radio awhile back and it summed up perfectly how we were feeling...

"Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can't keep
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
The reminders pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh
And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair
Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares... I do.


In the coming days we plan to go thru all the photos and videos we can find of Lanny and create a book for him on Shutterfly. It will include captions from our memories to remind us of how special he is, you see we don't think of him in the past tense, not yet, probably not ever. So many memories...
How he would roll on the bricks and stretch out full length in front of the fireplace when we came home from a trip as if to say, "Welcome home, I sure missed you guys"; or how he would head butt us to say "You are mine and don't you forget it." He would play hide and seek in the linen cabinets, to the point we had to put childproof locks on the cabinets. He loved licking blind cords so, in an effort to get him to stop, we got him plush or foil-ball toys attached to a wand with elastic strings attached; he would draw them tight with his paws and lick them quite earnestly, but, of course, he still licked the blind cords. He was always there to escort me to the bathroom and jump into my pants or shorts, usually head first with his butt in the air. And every night he would lead the way up to the bedroom, dashing up the two flights of stairs ahead of us, pausing only to stick his head between the upper stair balusters and offer us some loving headbutts along the way.
Oh god, so many precious memories, too many to recount here.
The house is so empty now, the hole in our hearts is too new to even contemplate a life without him. Or one with another kitty, maybe someday, maybe not.

Lenny, Lenny you weighed less than seven pounds but you filled our lives with such love and joy.
We shall always remember you.
You can never be replaced.

Rest in peace our precious little boy.

We will always love you.


One More Light:
https://youtu.be/nKOPF6XtEZw


Lennox Crystal Beauty Shot by trekriffic, on Flickr

Lenny at 2 Years Old by trekriffic, on Flickr
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 06:34:38 pm by trekriffic »
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline Tankton

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 06:20:56 pm »
I understand your loss. We had to do the same thing with our beloved Maine Coon.
It is a hard thing to go through. My thoughts are with you during your grieving.
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Offline ImWolf

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 06:21:27 am »
My sympathies Steve.....   Having lost so many animal friends in so many ways now I do know the pain.  :*(
Just think of what my life might be.....   In a world like I have seen!

Offline Shawn McClure

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 10:33:52 am »
So sorry for your loss.   They certainly become a part of you and it hurts so much when they are gone.

Shawn
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Offline starsiegeplayer

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 06:37:29 pm »
He looks like a super sweet cat. 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:26:54 pm by starsiegeplayer »

Offline trekriffic

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 03:42:08 pm »
Thank you all for sharing your stories of loss and for all the kind words.

Here are some more photos of the most special cat I'll ever know.

Lenny Relaxes by trekriffic, on Flickr

Lenny by trekriffic, on Flickr

Lenny Sun Bathing by trekriffic, on Flickr


How can I mend my broken heart?
https://youtu.be/lzdSt_Wllro
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 03:46:00 pm by trekriffic »
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline pakratt840

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 06:22:59 pm »
So sad to hear this Steve. I've had to go through this twice in the past 2 years myself, and it just rips a hole in your heart. Those who say they're just animals and don't have personalities have obviously never owned one. Each one is unique, and they leave an imprint on your life long after their gone. My sympathies to you and your wife. RIP Lenny.
Dan

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Luke: I'm not afraid!
Yoda: Oh...You will be...You...Will...Be!

Offline TK Iain

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 02:28:20 am »
I have been where you are mate and you would sell your soul to help our animal family members.

I miss them all and not even time can repair the hole they all left in my heart.

Rest assured your boy will be dancing across the Rainbow Bridge with all the other beloved pets we have lost.

Iain

Offline trekriffic

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 10:47:01 am »
So sad to hear this Steve. I've had to go through this twice in the past 2 years myself, and it just rips a hole in your heart. Those who say they're just animals and don't have personalities have obviously never owned one. Each one is unique, and they leave an imprint on your life long after their gone. My sympathies to you and your wife. RIP Lenny.

Oh my goodness. Losing two cats in 2 years, I am so sorry. I can't imagine how you dealt with that degree of grief. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Steve

Him: "Chinese voices in his head? That's a little weird."
Her: "But... you hear voices don't you?"
Him: "Not Chinese!"

Offline pakratt840

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 09:20:19 pm »
So sad to hear this Steve. I've had to go through this twice in the past 2 years myself, and it just rips a hole in your heart. Those who say they're just animals and don't have personalities have obviously never owned one. Each one is unique, and they leave an imprint on your life long after their gone. My sympathies to you and your wife. RIP Lenny.

Oh my goodness. Losing two cats in 2 years, I am so sorry. I can't imagine how you dealt with that degree of grief. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Thanks Steve. It helps that I still have one cat in the house. Even if she is the most unsociable of any cat I've ever encountered. I lost Sam, my best bud, back in May 2016. Similar to what happened with Lenny, his kidneys started to shut down. He was almost 17, and I had him since he was 9 weeks old. Josie was a stray that I took in when she decided to have a litter in my garage. She was probably 15 when she developed what the vet believed was cancer. She had a tumor I discovered on her lower chest, and the vet said she was having difficulty breathing, and she had stopped eating. I lost her this past August. Still miss the both of them. Too many funny stories to relate here.

Take care and give yourself some time to process it. It will get easier.
Dan

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Luke: I'm not afraid!
Yoda: Oh...You will be...You...Will...Be!

Offline deewelch

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 07:26:00 pm »
I know how you feel because having pets around makes you feel relax and happy. I'm sorry for your loss but think of it that your pet is in a better place now..

Offline MattA

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 04:08:02 pm »
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.  We've lost many dogs before, but just over a year ago we lost our beloved Golden Retriever, Oliver, at 6 years old due to Hemangiosarcoma (a vascular cancer).  It was so hard to let him go, and we still miss him terribly.  Losing our furry friends is really really awful.  It does get better, but it takes a lot of time.  Once you feel a bit better, perhaps you could rescue another kitty in need.  You sound like great cat-parents.
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Offline scottminium

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 08:34:05 am »
A few years ago I had to do a similar thing for a 17 year old cat.  That left us with two.  A couple years after that the 12 year old died unexpectedly.  It was horrible, and left us with the one cat. 

I often think our pets must see us as timetravelers.  We seem to hardly change while their lives fly by in comparison.  Still, I can't not have cats in the house.

About a month after Noel died, two kittens literally dropped into my yard one afternoon.  I was totally not ready to adopt more cats, but two days later we were once again a three cat household.  I know they'll pass before me, but that's just the way it is.  Doesn't make it hurt any less.
"I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again."

Offline karve

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Re: RIP Lenny
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2018, 04:35:56 pm »
Steve I'm so sorry I didn't see this post sooner. I've been away from the hobby for a while and haven't been checking in too often.
  My deepest condolences too you and your wife for your loss. I know exactly how hard it is and I know it takes a long time for the house to feel 'normal' again without our little loves being there for us all the time.
  There was a time when we had four cats in our house. We had two siamese brothers we got when they were eight weeks old in 1998. Their names were Skooter and Taiko. Skooter was a seal point and Taiko was a blue point just like Lenny. They are beautiful cats! A few years later we ended up adopting two strays...Tiger and Olivia. We had so much kitty love in our house it was fabulous.
  We lost Skooter to cancer in 2003.
  His brother Taiko joined him in 2014.
  Tiger lost her battle with kidney failure a year later.
  Finally, we lost Olivia to that same kidney failure just last November.

I was in the room for three of them when the vet released them from their pain. For Skooter I had to give the OK for him to be put down over the phone after the exploratory surgery and the vet said there was no hope. I cried until I couldn't see .....
  As hard as it is to be in the room and hold them when they go believe me it is harder not to be. We lost Skooter 13 years ago and it still haunts me that I wasn't with him to say goodbye and tell him how much we love him.

I don't want to make this reply about me ... I just want you to know that I know how much it hurts. I also want you to know that in time you will feel better and you will be so glad you were there to say goodbye. I firmly believe that in some form we WILL see our little loves again some day.

RIP Lenny ... you were obviously loved to the end of time.....
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 04:49:32 pm by karve »
Kevin

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