Maya Died Today

Animal Welfare Issues.
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Maya Died Today

Post by abcrystcats » November 5th, 2005, 12:15 am

Maya was just a little calico cat with big green eyes. She had two brothers, Sivayan and BW. Sivayan still lives with me, and BW found a home with some rich people a long time ago.

They became part of my family when their foster mother could no longer handle the responsibility. She was overwhelmed with both dog and cat fosters, and had been forced to keep the cats in cages for their protection. When we relieved her of her duties with our rescue group, I almost didn't take any. I already had plenty kittens in my home, but I broke down and took this little family, plus one more. They rode patiently in the back of my car in a carrier for over an hour, without making a mess or even a sound, and when I let them out to explore their new room, they acted like they were in Heaven. I guess after weeks in a cage, a carpeted room, with toys and a window to see out was a very big deal.

Maya was the first to come to me to snuggle. She looked up at me with her huge eyes, in a face divided with a complex calico design, and I just loved her. I loved all three of them, and when BW found his home, I thought my heart would break.

We all thought the three kittens had been vaccinated. The books were poorly kept, but one of the rescuers thought that all of this women's kittens had gotten their vaccines. I found out the hard way that we were wrong.

When a foster kitten brought feline herpes virus into my house many months later, all the cats got a bit sick, but Sivayan and Maya suffered terribly. They sneezed and drooled and lost weight rapidly. They acquired a foul odor. I took them to a vet in the area who treated them both with several medicines and some natural supplements as well. Sivayan rebounded, but his sister never quite regained her former health. Her gums developed ulcers and she continued to lose weight. I took her to another vet who had most of her teeth pulled. That helped for a while. She ate the regular cat food with the others and gained a bit. Her symptoms came and went. Cortisone shots helped a lot.

Recently, she just took a turn for the worse. I noticed a week ago that she'd lost an alarming amount of weight. I started buying special food for her and giving her extra meds. It didn't help. Three days ago she stopped eating altogether. I coaxed her to drink some water last night and this morning. I gave her subcutaneous fluids this morning, but frankly I was surprised she lasted the night. I slept on the couch last night to keep her company. This morning she was just barely breathing, and when I came home, I found her body.

What do I feel?

God, I'm so glad she's no longer suffering. She was so miserable this morning before I left. She was so weak she could hardly move. I am not a vet and I didn't do any tests, but I believe her liver was failing, and maybe her kidneys too.

I could have rushed her to the vet. I decided not to. Why? Well, for one thing, I simply don't have the money right now. If I took her to the vet, the money would have had to come out of what little savings I have. When that little bit is gone, I have no more. I was afraid to use it. I haven't added to it in six months, but thank God I haven't needed to take any more out. Last year, I had a cat living with me who began to die in a similar way. I don't know what her past history was, but all of a sudden she stopped eating. She went into liver failure and I spent $5-6,000 on her care. I gave her sub-Q fluids and tube feedings at home for 6-8 weeks, once every 3-4 hours. Constance recovered for a while. She was doing well, and I was almost beginning to think she would begin eating on her own, when I found her lying on her side moaning, in obvious pain. She became comatose and I took her to the vet to be euthanized. It was an expensive and painful way for her to go.

Maya's retrovirus was never going to go away. We were always going to be in that battle. There would always be a part of her little body that wasn't going to be fully normal. She had upper respiratory infections. Sometimes she had open sores on her body. She had ulcers on her gums and times when it was hard for her to eat.

I let her go.

I decided to let nature take its course.

I don't even know why I am writing this, except that I have to put it down some place.

Maya. I will miss my Maya. She was a beautiful cat, and so sweet when she was feeling well and things weren't hurting her anywhere. When she was hurting, she just retreated to her corner and didn't bother anybody. I hated to see her that way. She didn't deserve such a short, miserable life, or that kind of death. She never even had a chance to grow up, because this disease knocked her down before she was fully mature. Her brother has outgrown most of his kittenish tendencies, but when Maya was well, she was still joyfully chasing imaginary butterflies and play-biting my fingers.

Now she is just a still rigid bundle in the corner of this room, covered with a towel.

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Zlatko Waterman
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Post by Zlatko Waterman » November 5th, 2005, 12:44 am

You may have written this for me, Kat:

And the little tears I irrationally gather for you and Maya.

A hug-- from the madman for you.

God, I hate it when they die.

Your ailurophile friend,


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Post by whimsicaldeb » November 5th, 2005, 12:11 pm

I think you made all the best decisions considering Maya's situation. And thanks to you, and your care, and your opening of your home & heart for her ... at the end Maya had the best that she could for her short time in this world. Different from other kitties, yes ... none the less, you gave her the best that she could have/receive considering her special situation/needs.

Goodbyes are always hard, and we never forget them, especially the ones that touch our hearts the deepest.

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Post by abcrystcats » November 5th, 2005, 10:42 pm

Thanks, Deb and Z.

I took her body to the Humane Society today for disposal. I miss her so much.

When I first met her, I had such high hopes for her. I could already see what a gorgeous cat she would become. She was just so smart and sensitive and affectionate. All three of those cats, but particularly Maya and BW, had a sort of intuitive understanding of me. Three days before her death, she was on my lap and rubbing her little head against me, like she always did. She went downhill so quickly.

How is your Yellow Jacket cat, Z? Still there, I hope. Same for Borris and Sophia.

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Doreen Peri
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Post by Doreen Peri » November 5th, 2005, 11:48 pm

I'm so sorry, Laurie.
:( :( :(

Maybe Maya has a new friend in Wink.

Our companions and friends leave.....
We miss them and grieve.

They know better than we when it is their time.

I suppose.

:( sympathies

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