RIP Scamp

May 3, 2008

Well I said this wasn’t going to be a cat blog, and it won’t be, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include this. My beloved Scamp, our boy of seventeen-and-a-half years, died this morning. Not exactly in our arms, but with our hands on him, stroking him as he purred himself into oblivion and we tried not to upset him by sobbing on him before he went.

He had chronic renal failure, diagnosed in Sept 2006, which had progressed slowly over the last year-and-a-half, and he had also developed hyperthyroidism. Thanks to this site, and the yahoo CRF support group, as well as Dr Lisa Pierson and our own wonderful vets in Dublin, we had managed his symptoms very well, and kept him pretty happy. He was more or less symptom-free, and content with a regime of meds that didn’t traumatise him or make him unhappy. But last week he developed an upper respiratory infection and it turned out to be too much for him. Not the cold itself, but to get him over the hump of it we had to give him a feeding tube, and he was so frail he didn’t really recover from the GA. We knew it was a risk, but doing nothing wasn’t an option either: he had wanted to eat, and had perked up enough to make his feelings very well known, but couldn’t smell enough for the food to be tempting (‘no smell, no eat’ is a cat’s mantra) so we had to try to make things better for him. We tried syringe feeding but that obviously wasn’t going to be an option for too long, so the tube was the next best thing, and other than the GA would not have presented any problems. However, the GA left him very weak and feeble, and in the end he decided that enough was enough, and to let go, and all we could do was let go too.

Scamp came into our lives with his brother Pucci, as tiny kittens from Cats’ Aid in October 1990, and what a pair of sweeties they were.

Pucci, who became diabetic but went remission (thanks to Dr Elizabeth Hodgkins), died in February this year from cancer. Scamp was such a diminished boy after that: he seemed like just half a cat somehow. And now that Scamp is gone it suddenly feels more real that Pucci was gone too—now he’s really gone—and it’s a double whammy. It really is the end of an era and I just can’t believe that my gorgeous prima-donna, handsome, cantankerous, thunderface, kitten-still-at-heart, playful, loving, beautiful beast is gone. It’s just not right, just as seeing him in an old, frail body wasn’t right for his young, Scampish spirit. Right up until he got this cold he was Scamp by name and Scamp by nature.

We know that we did the best for him, both in his treatment while alive, and for his death, but it doesn’t take away from the pain which is now red raw, as anyone who’s lost a much-loved pet will know. I wish there was a way to fast forward through the grief and just appreciate the long and happy life he had.

But ah, my boy, you are so much missed. RIP, handsome beast.


6 Responses to “RIP Scamp”

  1. Elana sent me the link to your blog, Debbie, since I have just suffered the same loss. Grief is relentless, but we will get past it. I don’t know if I saw you on, but like you I found that a great resource.

    All the best.

  2. debbiemet Says:

    Michael, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Yes the grief is utterly horrible and indeed relentless, isn’t it? They are such an integral part of our lives. I’m glad you found the site good – thanks to them we learned about giving fluids and other meds (which were easy), and without them Scamp would have gone a long time ago. I was in touch with some UK people at the CRF site but didn’t see you there I’m pretty sure. I unsubscribed once Scamp’s treatment was up and running and he was stable.

    It’s a week today since he died, and it’s still so raw, and the house is so empty. I’m thinking of you too at this sad time for you.


  3. Pretty Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Pretty.

  4. debbiemet Says:

    Quick update: On Tuesday 17th June we collected Scamp’s ashes from the vet, and he is now on the mantelpiece beside his brother Pucci. It’s a month-and-a-half ago now since he died, and we still miss him/them like anything, and I keep seeing him out of the corner of my eye; I must stop leaving black jumpers around the place.

    Jessica and Freddie seem lonely too, as they’ve never been the oldest or topcats before, and as Scamp’s presence was ubiquitous (much more so than ours) they must really feel it. They’re acting like it anyway – both are much more clingy. And the house still feels dreadfully empty.

    Such is life.

  5. Terri Says:

    My 19 year old hyperthyroid kitty is down to 3 pounds, so very sad. He was my only baby for a long time and still remains my very favorite creature of all time. I am going to miss him deeply, vet says as long as he isn’t suffering let God take him, probably harder for me than for him. My thoughts are with you as I approach this same fate.

  6. debbiemet Says:

    Terri, I’m so sorry. It will be hard indeed, but please do try to treasure each day while he’s still with you. A friend of mine often said to me that there’s no point in grieving in advance, and it’s so true – it would better for you *and* for him not to. But it’s easy for me to say, I know, and harder to do. When the time comes, the final gift you can give him is a peaceful death, and then you can be happy (eventually) that you did all you could.

    We just had Scamp’s first anniversary, and we still miss our beautiful boy terribly.

    Anyway, my thoughts are with you both for more happy time together, and peace to you both.

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