Over the weekend he was extremely unresponsive. I put him in bed with me and he just laid there, limp, staring straight ahead, not responding to me even poking him. His breathing seemed really shallow too and I was sure he was about to go. So I thought I would just lay there with him until he passed. But an hour later, he was still with me and I had to pee, so I got up and showered and ate breakfast. When I went back in the room, he was in the same position I had left him in and Kirk and Roo - (who have never paid much interest in Buddy other than to punch him in the face for smelling their butts - not that I blame them on that end) - were both sitting in my bed side by side, just staring at Buddy. That is not a good sign. I always said that for Buddy, I would know it was time when he showed no interest in his favorite things; food, his baby doll and chewing on string. Other than the food, he was showing no interest this weekend. For the first time in 15 years, he didn't react to me giving him his baby doll. I spent all day Sunday preparing myself to put him down the next day.
And then on Sunday night, he suddenly decided it would be a good time to play with his favorite ball. Running all over the room, chasing it. He fell down once because he was running too fast and that back leg gave out, but there he was playing with a favorite toy. And on Monday morning he was screaming at my sister for breakfast, when he hadn't been vocal at all over the weekend. When I got up in the morning, he was totally awake and alert. When we got to the vet, he was walking all over, completely engaged. So then I didn't know what to do. I had been prepared to put him down, when he was just laying there like that all weekend, but I couldn't bear to do it when he was acting like his (mostly) old self again. The doctor said he will have good days and bad days and I just have to weigh the difference and make a decision. I just couldn't do it right then, with him so engaged. I've only had one pet that I ever had to put down - (the rest all passed from natural causes or hit by a car) - and the cat I did put down was gasping for breath, so it was an easy decision, even if it was a hard loss. How do you put down a cat that is climbing on you and nuzzling you? The doctor sent us home with anti-inflammatory meds, a steroid shot and some morphine. She was clear though that there wasn't anything else they could do for him and the next time he was bad enough to come into the vet, it would be to put him down. I doubt he lasts until Halloween.
I am terribly sad about it, but trying to enjoy the time he has left. I was unsure if I had made the right decision, not doing it right then, but the decision is made now, so I will enjoy what I have. I was concerned about disrupting the rest of the household, since the other cats all seem very aware that something is wrong with Buddy. Like the vet said though, animals don't know quantity of life, they only know quality of life, so I just want to smother him with love during these last few weeks I have him and make that quality a good one.