Saying a Gradual Goodbye to Our Wolfgang

Wolfgang “Wolfie” McPhee

Our poor kitty is on his last legs, I believe. Only 8, he has chronic renal failure for reasons unknown.

They could be known, I’m told, if we just get an ultrasound. Worse-case scenario, I suppose, would be that the ultrasound shows either a carcinoma or amyloidosis, a condition of protein buildup in the kidneys. Not good either way.

His renal failure is progressive and incurable.

We’ve put him on a special low-protein food, which he hates. We’ve tried clysis, an infusion of fluid in the subcutaneous tissues in his back. He hates it. Hates it.

Who wouldn’t? Clysis is painful, quite painful. Imagine the last time you had a “shot” in your arm. It was probably all of 0.5ml, a teensy amount. Did it hurt? Probably at least stung.

Now imagine someone gives you a shot with 100 times that amount. It hurts.

My wife and I decided that we were not going to put him through the agony of clysis three or four times a week. It seems inhumane.

He is losing weight and drinking water like it’s going out of style. But he remains as loving now as he has been all his life. He’s a great cat, and I will miss him terribly.

This is the part of pet ownership I hate the most. I can clean poop all day, if I have to, and pick up after his spittles. But this.

This is awful.

So we will give him the best life we can for the time he has left, and we will love him as we always have. We will not get an ultrasound or more blood work to tell us what we already know. We will pet him and hug him and give him long, slow pulls on his tail, which he loves, and when it’s time, we will say goodbye.

God, I hope we’re doing the right thing.

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