Oliver. The Great Golden Comma of a cat.
The vet, Dr. Laura, carefully outlined the procedures for administering subcutaneous shots of electrolytic fluid. Oliver had to have 100 CC's daily, or thereabouts. And I became his caregiver.
He improved after beginning the shots, but had a couple set-backs. He'd rally, then lose some ground, rally, lose ground. By late Spring I subconsciously noticed that he was slowly losing the war. But I never admitted this to myself.
He was the bravest, most courageous cat I've ever encountered. There were times he did not want his shot. But he took it anyway. He was a hell of a trooper. He'd done very well taking potassium-enriched fluids, as well as a pill every 3 days or so. He was doing so well with building up his potassium levels that they got very high. He didn't have to do potassium any more, after that. He could coast for a while.
He was only slightly declining throughout the Spring months of 1999, but in early June, he had what can best be described as a stroke.
His vet prescribed some by-mouth vitamin fluids for him, as well as some steroids. I was picturing my cat becoming wrestler-sized.
Oliver rallied! He became glossier (though the fluids really enhanced his coat), and he became more himself. But the sweet little playful Oliver I love so much had been slowly disappearing over the few months previous to this.
When he began sleeping in remote, dark areas, I knew the time was coming.
When he would sleep in the corner... a place he never slept before... I knew.
Oliver no longer had the energy to groom himself. He loved to be outside, at the end of his tether, and I mean at the tail END of it, as-far-as-it-would-stretch, and smile up at the sun.
Oliver's condition deteriorated rapidly this past week, picking up considerable steam over Tuesday and Wednesday (June 23 and 24). Thursday morning I knew the time was dawning.Friday, Oliver's last few minutes alive outside were under pine trees, pawing the needles on the ground. Purring softly, and just being.
Friday morning, June 25, 1999, at 11:20, we helped Oliver exit this painful life to something beautiful.
"Whatsoever you do to the least of these - my little ones - you do it also unto me"