Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A Gotcha Day anniversary, a Bridge Day anniversary, and a new angel

The PDX pride mama here.  This post is not one that I wanted to ever write.  I'll start with the good thing.  Today is Freya's & Heimdall's 12th Gotcha Day anniversary!  After Skylar went to the Bridge 12 years ago (that was on the 23rd), I was looking at kittens online at Salem Friends of Felines and saw Heimdall's picture.  I showed it to Scott, then he saw that Heimdall had a sister.  We knew then that they had been sent to us by Skylar & Lydia, because they looked so much like them.  Freya & Heimdall were 3 1/2 months old when we got them.

Now, the sad news.  Only Freya is here to celebrate.  Heimdall went to the Bridge on the 23rd, so he now shares a Bridge Day date with Skylar.  In April, Heimdall came down with a really bad double ear infection.  We took him to a vet we hadn't used before (mistake #1) instead of our regular vet because we couldn't get in to our regular vet in a decent amount of time.  The other vet diagnosed his double ear infection, gave us medication (actually four different ones) and we were told that he had a "mass" in his right ear that would continue to grow and had ruptured his eardrum.  Mistake #2, because the "mass" was actually an ear polyp which ended up shrinking back down without damaging the eardrum.  We were told that he would have chronic ear infections, a head tilt, and awkward gait for the rest of his life.

Because of this (mis)diagnosis, we didn't get him rechecked more than once after that initial visit (mistake #3).  He started going downhill fast the last three weeks.  He was very lethargic, had given up, and wasn't interested in food (although he was still eating, just more because he thought he should rather than because he felt he needed to eat).  He shakily climbed up onto the futon to snuggle with his daddy the last couple days of his life.  He wasn't grooming himself at all, even when he fell down in the litter box, since we took him in to that vet in April, and he started to resent me trying to clean him up.  He had litter caked in-between his toes that he didn't take care of, so his daddy and I had to.  We made the appointment to put him to sleep.

At his appointment (with our regular vet), we were told that his eardrums were intact, his ear canals had a lot of debris in them but that the vet could see the eardrums which didn't look damaged at all.  The vet said there were small polyps (probably what the other vet had called a mass) that were not impeding the ear canal at all.  However, because his sinus infection had blown all out of proportion due to being untreated (because we had thought the symptoms were from ruptured eardrums and the mass), his poor body was so weakened that he would've had a long, uphill battle to regain his health.  I made the decision to not put him through that and to put him to sleep instead.  I held him while the vet gave him his shots.  He growled at the vet and stuck his tongue out when the vet put his paws back onto my lap, but then he put his head down on my hand like he loved to do and was gone.

We brought his body back, opened the box, and let the others say their goodbyes.  Freya curled up in the box lid, so we had one dead tuxie twin in one side of the box and one live tuxie twin in the other.  She's kind of lost without him, since they have never been apart since they were littermates.  I had to lift her out of the lid twice so that I could hand the box with Heimdall's body to his daddy.  He buried him by the roses under the cedar tree in the backyard, near where Carbon and Rori are buried.

I just finished writing an e-mail to the other vet, telling them what happened.  So many mistakes on their part and on our part.  We feel so guilty for letting our boy down by not taking him for a second opinion.  We should've done more for him.  He should be here to celebrate today with his sister.

Heimdall with his favorite toy
Heimdall with his favorite toy, a fishy potato chip clip

Heimdall Skylar

March 24, 2010 to July 23, 2022