Friday, August 23, 2013

Rest In Peace: Smokey James Hawley

Please read here for my husband's post.

Today was a hard day for our family. We’ve had a difficult decision to make over the past two weeks and last night, we made the decision once and for all.

On August 9th we noticed he had stopped eating, so we took him in on August 10th to the vet. They said he had a bad kidney infection, possibly more, and recommended we try to save him by letting him stay in the ER over the weekend. We decided to go for it. We visited him every day.

He seemed to improve. Sort of. We told ourselves he was improving, but the numbers said he wasn’t. We gave ourselves hope. Much happier, we took him to the vet on Monday, which was my husband Johnny’s birthday. We left him there not knowing what to expect. The vet was amazed, to be honest, that Smokey was still alive, and even though she said his test results indicated he shouldn’t be. There was no way a cat should be able to live with the shape his kidneys were in. In grief, we decided we would go in on Johnny’s birthday to put Smokey down.

But the moment Smokey saw his Daddy, he perked up and became a cat reborn. He purred like crazy in that vet room and was a kitten again. There was no way we could put him down. We took him home with the vet’s approval and began home dialysis.

It’s now August 23rd. We knew Smokey’s chances were slim to none. Yet we did whatever we could to keep him from feeling any pain and to keep the infection away. We got rid of his infection, but the toll was done to his body.

Smokey had fought, he had fought hard. The vet has said he probably lived his entire life with only one kidney. Ten years with one functioning kidney! That’s amazing for a cat! He faced death in the face more times in these past two weeks than I’ve ever seen and he spat in death’s face. He was a brave and strong cat.

I truly believe Smokey lived as long and as happy as he did because of the bond he had with Johnny. The bond they had was beyond any I’ve seen between a cat and a human.

We decided to end Smokey’s fighting. He had fought hard and long enough. He was tired, and it was time to let him rest. I’m bittersweet about it. I’m going to miss the heck out of him. Smokey was my baby boy, always there next to Johnny on the bed, always trotting into the room when chip bags were opened, always showing up where you least expected it. But he’s at peace now. His end was gentle. He was ready.

The vet let us know that we’ve taken very good care of Smokey, some of the best care she’s seen. We gave him everything we could as parents. He’ll always be a part of my heart, and I’ll always be grateful that I got to live with him for these six wonderful years. Rest in peace Smokey. Remember, as my husband told you, “second star to the right - and straight on till morning.”

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