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Rainbow Pegasus by Sofia Naznim

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Tribute for Popo - Our Beloved 15 Year Old Cat Last Days Journey




This post is a tribute to our elderly family cat that is truly missed, Popo ♡

Popo – a beautiful white fluffy female cat that has a unique heart shape top of her stomach when you captured from the top and sometimes look like a cute cow. She is the queen of the house, even Lucky obeyed her. Maybe because of her seniority and charms (Lucky tried his chances to play with her though Popo meowed no cuz she’s the queen). Popo was loved by the whole family, used to be the only cat in the house, till Lucky came in. Her one and only owner was my hubby’s brother. Hubby’s brother cared for her since she was young, found her near the drain helpless and he immediately brings her home and cared for her. She then was brought home to the family when she was 8 years old and stayed with everyone till her last breath, at the age of 15 years old.






Sometimes, I played with Popo, cleaned her place and gave her attention when she was around me. I love cats, animals very much. Popo was one of them. She and I had a bond although I’m not her immediate family member. One of her habits is to bite everyone, but not me, which I felt it’s nice of her because that would make me in pain if I played with her. She’s always nice to me, wants me to snuggle and pat her whenever we are together. She loved to tease me whenever I do my photography session near her place, chill with me and just naughtily love to sit top of my stuff while I photographed them. I always feel that it would be great if she can sleep with us just like Lucky does, but she’s a queen and she is more of a hi bye friend relationship with Lucky, so we cared her from far because we do not want both cats to fight and feel depressed if they are not close buddies.







Until one day, when everyone was away, we had the opportunity to care for Popo, but Popo was very much ill at that time. 2 weeks before Popo passed on, she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3. Prior to that, she was unwell because her leg was injured as there was a stray cat that managed to get in the house through a window and apparently the cat fought with Popo and Lucky as our cats tried to protect their territories (cat’s nature). Both of our cats were injured when we got home. Hubby and I immediately brought Lucky to our regular veterinary clinic, Shah Alam Veterinary Clinic and he was properly treated. On the other hand, Popo was brought by my hubby’s sister to another veterinary clinic called iVet PetCare Shah Alam.

When we return home from work that night we understand that Popo was given anaesthetic at iVet PetCare and she was unconscious for the night. We couldn’t’ understand why the vet did that, but at that time we all thought maybe there’s a medical reason why. Days pass by but she was not getting better. She seemed weak and she had a very bad flu. She was not being herself. Hubby and I felt that something is wrong and we quickly brought her to our regular vet at the Shah Alam Veterinary Clinic and the vet did a full blood test check-up to determine her condition before giving her any possible treatment because the vet suspected that she might have kidney disease because of her body weight and her age. His suspicion was right, the blood test result came out positive for Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3. It was ultimately heartbreaking. Understand more about Cats Kidney (Renal) Disease here




Further to that, her condition becomes worsen because of the anaesthetic earlier given by the other vet which triggered her Feline Coronavirus and became active, and make her existing disease becomes worsen. Note for everyone, if you have an elderly cat, please be mindful to ask the vet to run a blood test for the cat first before treating the cat for any injuries, sickness or suspected disease. Elderly cat especially if the cat has an existing disease and has Coronavirus (common in most cats and warning!, the virus is contagious. The difference it’s either active or not), they are not supposed to be given anaesthetic because this will make the cat condition worse. Popo Coronavirus became very active due to the anaesthetic and the reading was nearly given her diagnosed with another often fatal disease, Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which the Coronavirus can mutate into FIP. Read more about FIP here

Unfortunately, nothing can be done for the virus and kidney disease except treatment for dialysis because of Popo’s chronic condition, she was unwell with her high fever, flu, infection and her old age. It was multiple and complicated conditions for her at the time. Her immune system was weakened, which makes her harder to recover. Though her kidney disease was stage 3 where she supposedly might survive for another 2 years, the vet mentioned that her life span may be less than a year or months because of the virus. She was recommended to be treated every day with medication and dialysis every alternate day. Every alternate day, we will bring her for dialysis treatment. It was heartbreaking to see her frail and her body is getting thinner day by day. She used to be a healthy and chubby cat, and at that time her bodyweight starts dropping drastically.






The last meal she had was her first and only Burp (the one Lucky loves to eat). Then we noticed she no longer wants to eat anything, including freshly cooked fish made especially for her. She has lost her appetite. She drinks, but very little because of her bad flu and her eyes become infected due to her terrible flu and made her had breathing difficulty. She had to take several types of medication to help her recover from the flu and we used eye drops for her eyes to recover so she can see and breathe better, hoping that she will eat like normal again. We were also afraid if she’s going to be blind because her eyes were ultimately red especially the right eye. Fortunately, at that time, slowly, her flu and eyes become better after 5 days of constant treatment, but Popo still refuses to eat and even drink. We had to force-feed and give her water a little using a syringe just to ensure that she has the energy to survive and live.

Popo had almost daily checkups whenever we were at the vet to ensure how well she has progressed, however, she’s not becoming better overall except for her flu and eyes was improved. After a week, we had to bring her for dialysis every day because she no longer eats and drinks, and hoping that the dialysis treatment will help her a little bit. She was also injected with multivitamins to help her survived.

4 days before Popo passed on, her condition of not eating becoming worrying and we talked to our vet if there’s something worse than already is. The vet gave a thorough check and noticed that Popo had jaundice by looking at her ears. Her ears became yellow, less blood supply and worse, she had liver problems too. She had systemic failures and unfortunately, her organs were shutting down one by one. Understand jaundice in cats better here and liver failure in cats here

The way the vet described as if Popo lifespan is just around the corner, though he didn’t mention specifically when. Knowing that makes us bleed because we think we might need to make the hard call to probably put her to sleep if she no longer moves (in days) or she might get seizure or nerve problems that make her suffer even more as discussed with the vets. We tried our best to give her the best care, we sleep with her for 2 weeks, we ensure that we’re there when she needs us (she want us close to her every day, maybe because she’s ill and lonely). Even Lucky respected her by not disturbing her when she was ill.

The night before Popo passed on, we did a video call with the whole family except we couldn’t reach the brother (her original owner) at that hour. Everyone talked and watch her and cried. It was very emotional. At that time, she was completely down, she just lay down and her movement was limited. Hubby and I managed to carry her and hold her in our arms and said how much she is loved and cared. When she was in our arms, she felt so light and we no longer feel her used to be chubby flesh. We literally felt her skin and bones. She looked at us like she loved us very much and she’s going soon. It was devastating. I felt that we might have 1-2 days till she decided to leave us from the world or if we all decided to put her to sleep because she was tremendously suffering.

The next morning after Fajr prayer, we managed to get in touch with my hubby’s brother (Popo’s original owner) and quickly video called him with Popo. I was shocked to see Popo at that time because she had breathing difficulty and not even moving, just laying down while her eyes only look at one point. Brother talked to her, hubby and I hold her and talked to her too. We all cried and we think that she might be going soon.

Right after 20 minutes talking, petting and holding her, she gave her last breath and meowed involuntarily (last breathe) to all of us and she’s gone. It seems like she waited to listen to her owner’s voice before she passed on and she wants to go naturally. We all cried and we felt super sad and down. When the lights were out, we had a proper burial for Popo and prayed for her well. We clean her place and things and keep some of her stuff for a memorial.




I can’t explain the feeling exactly, but death, especially our loved ones just makes you don’t want to live too kinda feeling. Not many would understand, even Popo is a cat, but she was our family. The feeling is the same as I lose my brother or father. For me, it’s the same. It’s unexplainable with the right words. You will understand only if you have the same view, feelings and experience.

Popo’s journey, especially during her last 2 weeks in pain and her death somehow teaches me more things about sickness, death, pain, sorrow, unconditional love and more about elderly cat and cat diseases. Everything was not easy and it was painful, but we on this side not experiencing what she’s gone through, can only feel little than what she’s gone through. Same goes to animals or people out there that are going through pain, sickness, incurable diseases and losing their loved ones-it’s hard where no words can describe justly.

I decided to document Popo’s journey because
☼I hope this post might help other owners and family members that have pets out there if you’re going through a rough time battling something that only you and family knows, be strong for them and don’t be hard on both sides
☼Hoping that people will become more aware of keeping their pets checked and gave proper treatment and love till the pet last breathe, not to abandon them when they get sick in many cases worldwide
☼Hoping that vet at any veterinary clinic to give proper checkup and diagnosis, especially for the sick and elder cat so they don’t unnecessarily suffer for the incorrect and irresponsible verdict
☼Hoping that owners and family members love and care for their pets more when they are alive and in no matter what condition
☼Hoping that people don’t simply underestimate any pets, condition or situation and gave immediate attention in every way possible
☼Hoping that the owner will give their very best in caring for their pets because for some people, pets are a family, loved ones or even lifesaver
☼Hoping that people who don’t own pets understand that there are many people out there that love their pets like family and children, hence don’t judge, ridicule and being a heartless individual

Our heartiest gratitude to Shah Alam Veterinary Clinic for their amazing service, dedication, patience, support and love for Popo throughout Popo’s journey living. We like to thank all staff especially, Dr. Hafiz, Dr Jay and Dr Hidayah for your best service, knowledge and understanding for Popo. Thank you Dr. Hafiz for specifically taking care of Popo during her last days of living.

The Shah Alam Veterinary Clinic is the best Veterinary Clinic so far for us because from the staff to the doctors, there are all helpful, friendly, understanding, and importantly animal lover who truly understands their mission to help animals the best they can. They can answer all my questions pertaining to Popo’s situation with patience and calm and they did well throughout the journey till the end. Lucky has been with these vets ever since he was diagnosed with FIV until today. Thank you for giving the best care for our baby boy Lucky too (will share about Lucky’s story in another post). This is not a sponsored post, this is humbly my honest opinion, which is based on our experience of 2 years being with these vets.

Pets are family. That’s what I always believe since I was a child. For me, I loved Popo very much, just like how I love Lucky. Lucky is my baby and Popo is like a cousin’s baby and very much loved, just like how much I loved all my late cats. I wish she’s now happy up there, no more suffering and she’s always forever in our mind and heart. She will always be remembered and if you’re reading this till the end, thank you. You’re one of the animal lovers out there or if not, perhaps, trying to become one. ;)

Much love,
Sophie


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