I found out this afternoon that our cat, Boo, is dying.
Back in early 2001 my daughter brought home three tiny kittens. She said they would be homeless if we didn’t adopt them, and promised she would take two of them back to Austin with her in the Fall, when she would be moving out of the dorm and into an apartment. She named the black female Wink, the short-haired male tabby Boo, and the long-haired tabby male with the big feet, Cricket.
Wink and Boo did go to Austin for a year, but her room-mate got a dog, so they came back to our house in Houston.
Five years ago Wink developed diabetes. It’s been my job to give here a daily dose of insulin ever since. Four years ago Cricket sickened and died a few days later from kidney failure. But Boo has remained a steady presence in our lives for the last decade, a big striped cat with a loud purr, with no vices except a tendency to forget about the litter box. He spends the evenings on my wife’s lap, and the nights on my pillow.
Last weekend my daughter noticed he seemed to be losing weight, so yesterday I took him into the vet. He had been fine when he was in for his regular check-up last October, but now he had lost a sixth of his weight, going from 18 pounds to 15 pounds, had developed a heart murmur, had very high blood pressure, and had an abcessed tooth. But he purred loudly while being examined. The vet drew a blood sample and took a urine sample for analysis. Today the results came in, and the diagnosis is clear: he has lost almost all kidney function. The vet has never seen a cat still alive with such bad creatin levels. There is no effective treatment for a cat in this condition. He will have to be put to sleep within the next few days, if he doesn’t die first.
Edit. Boo died on February 2.