Our cat, Figgy had gotten very sick recently. As a rememberance
of the joy he brought into our lives, if only for eight short months, here's the story of Figgy and some wonderful pictures!
I can't believe we have lost our Figgy.
It's a funny story how Figgy came into our lives. Last
July (2003), my fiance and I were getting ready to leave to go out of town to celebrate his birthday. We had gone to visit
relatives in another town the weekend before and had stopped in at a moving sale at the spur of the moment.
While Jamie walked around looking at everything for sale,
I followed Figgy around petting him, sitting with him, talking to him. When Jamie was done and we were getting ready to leave,
I asked Figgy's owner, "Is the cat for sale? I'll take the cat!" He said, "Actually, I've been trying and trying to find a
home for him. I'm leaving in a week to go traveling for years and I don't have a home for him yet." I said, "We'll take him!"
Jamie said, "No we won't!" (Mind you, we already had plenty of cats) and I said, "Yes we will!"
So the day before we were supposed to leave, Jamie and
I went to pick up Figgy, but he was an indoor / outdoor cat and had disappeared. Jamie returned the next day to get him, and
we had only a very little bit of time to get him accustomed to his new living space before we were leaving to go out of town.
I kept calling my mother to have her check on him to see how he was doing. When we got home, there was Figgy!!
We were told by his previous owner that he was about eight
years old. Our vet said she'd place him at twelve. All I know was we only got eight little months with him! Eight months!
I am a wreck and just keep thinking about how unfair that is!
In December, Figgy came down with a cold. We didn't take
him to the vet. No big deal. He had a cold. But when I realized just how long he had had it and how much worse it was getting
(as he was having a very difficult time breathing), we took him to the vet on March 6th.
He ran Figgy's blood tests and said that kidney failure
was ruled out. Figgy's kidney's were fine. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We took Figgy home and helped him try to get
over his upper respiratory infection. But he wasn't eating or drinking.
On the 9th we took him to a second vet. They ran his blood
test. He had Kidney disease. Huh? How is that possible. They checked the previous tests done by the first vet. They confirmed
that Figgy's kidney's had in fact come back fine just three days prior. They told us that he could very well only have a couple
more months left to live. I refused to believe this.
Jamie and I talked it over and we let them keep him in
the hospital for three days. They hooked him up to IV's and we went to visit him everyday!
On March 12th, we took him home. He was rehydrated and
looking so well!
For the next week we tried desperately to get him to eat.
We tried baby food, cat food, human food, he would not eat. Finally we had to start force feeding him baby food. I then researched
his five medications the vet had put him on. Turns out three of them makes his stomach upset, and apparently cats with kidney
problems should be on Pepcid AC to help with their stomach acid or else they won't feel like eating. We took him off of four
of his medications and started giving him Pepcid. He started eating! He ate like he was starving. Jamie and I were overjoyed!
We had found a food that he liked and he was eating it! I cannot explain the relief we felt! The next couple of days we watched
him eat and shared in the joy that he was going to be okay! He was going to get better! Only a couple months to live, ha!
He'd show them all!
But on March 22nd, Figgy suddenly stopped eating. We didn't
understand what was going on. Pepcid wasn't helping, force feeding him wasn't helping, he refused to eat. Then he got up to
try to walk and instead, he stumbled around and fell over. This came on very suddenly. Seriously within a five minute timeframe,
he went from being able to walk just fine, to not being able to walk at all!
A story that seems to describe what might be going on with Figgy....
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy
colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the
pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the
stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk.
Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight.
Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...
"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where
do you suppose she went?" wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in
the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise
to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."
"We promise", they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself
climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the
water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change
had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse
to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly
found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new
atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to
the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as
he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: "the next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will
come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface
of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...
"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if
I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become
dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.......
|Our very first picture of Figgy. 7-03
|Also taken in 7-03.
|Figgy in the window. August maybe? Looking so healthy.
|lying in a box that's way too small for him. He loved laying on paper and cardboard.
This was Christmas morning. Figgy had been sick with a cold for a little while, so we got him a Christmas sweater
for him to wear so he would stay warm. He wore it too, until one day he found out how to take it off.
Silly cat! At the third vet appointment, they told us to keep him warm, so we put his sweater back on him. He'll
be cremated in this same sweater - it was his.
An Award given to ^Figgy^ by ^Tucker's^ wonderful
mom on the Pet Bereavement Board during the Bridgemom's Summer Camp Party!
I usually am a picture fantatic. I did not take many pictures of Figgy, though I don't
know why. Of course, now I regret it.
|These are lilies that an Ivillage 2004 Weddings board member, Marion planted for Figgy in California
On the 23rd, I called a third vet and set up an appointment
for that night. I called Jamie, who had stayed at home that day. He said he had gotten Figgy to eat a little bit. He did not
tell me how bad he had gotten. When I got home that night, I saw Figgy just lying on the bed completely lifeless and unresponsive.
I literally freaked. I called the vet and they told us to bring him in immediately. When we got there, he was having a hard
time holding his head up, he was shaking badly, and seemed like a limp rag doll. He would look at you, but it was like he
didn't see you at all.
They put him on fluids and ran his kidney values. 130!!
I couldn't believe it. I had been told normal values were around 30. They left us alone and Jamie and I just clung to each
other and cried. How could this be happening?!! How could he go from so bad to so, so, so good, to very, very bad? We took
him home that night and the vet told us to call the next morning with a report. If the fluids helped, we could start giving
him injections at home. I still had hope! Injections at home, I was sure, would be the key! We would do anything to save little
But right before bed, on the 23rd, Jamie checked on Figgy,
who was lying on his own pillow on the floor at the foot of our bed. His pillow was all wet. Seems he had lost control of
his bladder, and him not being able to move, get up, or walk around did not help. We turned his pillow over, covered him up
with new towels and said goodnight.
The 24th comes. I wake up early and check on Figgy. His
head was hanging off of the pillow at an odd angle. I thought he was gone. I was actually thankful that we didn't have to
make the decision and that he had gone in his sleep. But no, he was still alive, just too weak to pick up his head. I went
to pick him up. He was soaked again. Who knows how long he had to lie on a wet pillow waiting for us to wake up and clean
I started crying. I just held him and Jamie and I looked
at each other. We refused to let him deteriorate like this! We made the decision and called the vet. Four hours later, after
much pleading with the vet, "Are you SURE there's nothing else we can do?", Figgy was gone.
A feeling of relief set over me and Jamie. We wouldn't
have to force feed him, we wouldn't have to give him medicine that he hated, we wouldn't have to watch him suffer or stumble
around, or lie down and not be able to move, but wait for us to turn him over, we wouldn't have to find him all wet from where
he had peed, just waiting for us to clean him.
But as the day went on, the feelings of regret settled
in on me. Jamie was 100% positive that we had done the right thing. I knew it. I still do, but I can't get the thoughts out
of my head: maybe we should have waited, maybe we should've given it more thought, maybe there was SOMETHING else we could
When I wrote this it was not even 24 hours since Figgy
was put down. I'm a mess. How does such a special cat come into your life by a turn of fate and then eight months later gets
ripped out of your life? My heart is in pieces and I'm a mess.