Pet loss: We all miss Deefa terribly
How do you let a loved pet go?
I first saw Deefa when she was 4 weeks old. Deefa was this tiny ball of grey fluff that climbed up my leg and sat on my shoulder.
The owners of the mother cat were relatives of a friend of mine. I went away from that initial meeting not wanting to get a kitten that would need to be house trained, etc.
My friend called me three weeks later and asked if I was interested in the kitten as her relations had kept only this kitten from the litter of five, knowing that I was taken with her. They knew that she would go to a good home with me.
The next day I took her home. Not knowing what to call her, Fluffy and the like didn't really appeal to me, I decided to leave the naming for a few days. But Deefa got her name the very next day - D for Doofus - she did the normal kitten things and a few not so normal, which was very funny to watch.
That was 14 years ago.
Last August Deefa started to become very vocal and looked like she was losing weight.
After a visit to the vet it was found that she had an over-active thyroid and would need to be on medication for the rest of her life. She also had some arthritis in her hip and a weight loss of 700grams since February.
We decided to go with a more expensive paste to be absorbed through the skin of the inner ear as we didn't want to put any of us through the trauma of putting a tablet down Deefa's throat twice a day.
In September we took Deefa back for a follow up and she had lost more weight, which we tried to manage by giving her extra cat treats when she got her medication.
In mid January this year Deefa went to the vet for her yearly check up and she was down to 4.09kg from 5.24kg last year.
After an increase in medication she went down hill very quickly, not wanting to eat or drink much, not even wanting to have her treats after medication.
I got home from work one afternoon to find her huffing as she was breathing. I rang the vet and took her in. They did their best to get the fluid out of Deefa's lungs and get her breathing well again, but this would also mean ongoing medication in tablet form.
We took Deefa home for a couple of nights and then took her back to the vet to be put down as she had stopped eating and drinking altogether, and was very wonky on her feet.
It was a hard decision to make but neither my husband nor I wanted to see Deefa suffer any more.
We have another cat called Selmak and he out weighed Deefa by 2kg when Deefa was at her top weight. He liked rough-housing, so with Deefa not well and having lost a lot of weight, it wasn't fair on her to have Selmak be rough with her.
We made the decision to have Deefa put down on January 26 and we miss her terribly. Selmak took about three weeks to start eating properly and purring after Deefa was no longer in the house.
Karori Vet Clinic staff were brilliant right throughout the decision making and with their care of Deefa. They arranged to have Deefa cremated and her ashes are sitting on the side board in the dining room with a photo of her that was taken two days after we got her as a 7-week-old kitten.
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