He was a grumpy old tiger -striped manx kitty that took up residence in our backyard and slowly stole Douglas’ heart ( and mine.) Then one day out of the blue he developed some kind of upper airway obstruction and could no longer breath through his nose.
Despite countless tests and medical procedures , the so called “specialists “were unable to come up with a definitive cause for the obstruction. I don’t think it was asthma, but there was definitely a physical obstruction in his upper airway that made his breathing very labored with even minor exertion. To make things worse, he couldn’t breath very well through his nose. (Not a good thing for a cat) It would always whistle when he would try to breath through it.
The only treatment that they could recommend was continuous antibiotic therapy and steroids, so Douglas faithfully hand fed those drugs to Tiger Lilly three times a day for nearly three years, never missing a single day! It was three years of ups and downs, many times we thought we were going to loose him , but miraculously, (after a whopping injection of steroids) he would snap back and look fine for weeks.
I think the hardest part for me were those times when I would watch him try to eat his cat food while his breathing was so labored. It kinda hit to close to home and I would think to myself….. if I ever get that bad….please , just let me go. Unfortunately, cats cant tell you how they feel. Do they experience shortness of breath and pain the way humans do? I certainly hope not.
The dreaded day finally came yesterday when we knew what had to be done, we had to set his little spirit free. How selfish of us not wanting to let go sooner. Over the years that innocent creature endured more discomfort than humanly imaginable — How dare I complain of own my measly ailments!
To my partner who I cherish…Thank you for your tireless devotion in taking care of Tiger Lilly . I know your heart is broken , but I know you made a difference in his life— just like you’ve made in mine.
Goodbye our little hero. Our hearts will never be the same.