Friday morning, 4th of July 2013, Simon ate his last meal. Then he went and laid down in a corner. He did not purr when petted. Saturday I drove him to the animal hospital and they found he had fever (40.6 Celsius). So he was taken in for care. And given anti inflammatory medicine, intravenous drip, pain killer, antibiotics. After two days, fever was down to 40.1. Monday evening, it was down to an acceptable 39. But that did not help. He was still not eating. Just lying down. Diagnosis concluded he had gotten a small heart problem and water in the lungs, and difficulty breathing. So he was given an oxygen tent, which helped, and water driving medicine, carefully balanced with the intravenous drip.
Simon was fighting to die, not to live
At the hospital they tried to feed him. But if they put food into his mouth, he spat it out. And this was among his favorite foods. So I assured the hospital got his absolute favorites and he was given them instead. But even given his absolute favorites (hand peeled shrimps, and Pollock boiled and mashed in water). Same thing. He did not eat it, he spat it out. I was not allowed to participate but I think it would not have made a difference. Most likely it would have made his decision not to eat harder for him to uphold, so in a way it was good I was not allowed to be there. In fact, the hospital was fighting to keep him alive, and he was fighting to die. He no longer had the strength or the will to live.
On Tuesday I was told that he was not responding to the treatment as he should, although there were no fever left. On Wednesday I was told he was being fed through a tube, as a last resort. On Thursday I was told they did not see any advances, he was only getting weaker.
I drove there on Thursday, and there was no spirit left in him, no life in his eyes, he was just a limp rag doll, lying on his side. I caressed him, and I spoke to him. I got him after a while to react and lift his head. But that was about what he could do. He did not purr when petted, understandable. His tail stayed weak. After a while he made an attempt to rise, but could not muster enough strength. Both hind legs were to weak and he fell back.
Simon finally got his last rest in life in his favorite basket
I had brought his sleeping basket, the favorite basket he discovered after we had been shopping and took for his own. The only inside resting place with walls he did not grow tired of (Simon had a lot of resting places, some lasted days, some a week or two). After I had been with him for about 15 minutes, he managed to rise and step into the basket. Only with difficulty, almost not getting the legs over its corners. Almost missing with the hind legs and almost ending up with his right hind leg outside the basket. But he did make it with some struggle, getting into the basket. He lied down in the basket although not looking as comfortable as normal.
Simon made me realize I had to change my mind
I tried carefully to feel so he did look sort of comfortable, but it is hard to say with a cat, and I did not want to risk moving him too much. I had brought hand peeled cold shrimps, and tried to get him to eat. He did not want them. I tried maybe 5 different times, but only for a couple of seconds each time not to bother him too much, not to pain him. He still stood for his decision not to eat. I could see he was in a very bad shape. I could see he knew he was in a very bad shape. I spoke with the veterinarian. We both had the same picture, he was dying, he was in pain, and he had no intention to be called back to life. With that I took the decision I so many years had feared to have to take. A decision I had thought you could not and should not take. My wife always said that if he hurts, it is better to put him to sleep. My thought is that if humans want their broken leg to hurt rather than die, so does animals. I now realized, I would go against his will if I tried to keep him alive.
He was in his known basket. Hew was with his best human friend in life. He was in an environment as familiar and comforting I ever could make it at that time. He was being loved, and he was being petted by careful loving warm hands. I petted him during the whole time it took until his last breath, and long after that last breath. Then I continued petting him when being alone with his body, feeling it becoming cold in my hands. I cried after he was dead (I tried for his sake to be brave when he was alive, although not fully succeeding). But when he was gone, I cried, and started to cry again and again. The thought of this fantastic cat, the wonder of the world being dead,and the world acting as if had not even passed, I cannot fully understand it. The proportions are wrong, this should be shouted out on every rooftop. It should be known by every man having a pet, or ever having thought of having one. God what I miss him. Even my routines are based on him existing.