Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Opal

It is with such a heavy heart that I write this post.  Yesterday, our sweet little kitten, Opal, passed away.  You'll probably remember our little announcement and how quickly we fell in love with her.  I mean, how could we not.  She was just precious.
It took us a long time to feel ready to bring a kitten into our world but we knew she was the one when we saw her.  It didn't take long before I starting noticing some odd things with her movements and disposition.  She would sometimes walk with a peg-leg gait and was often much more chill then a kitten her age should be.  Regardless, she was ridiculously sweet, continued to grow, played at her own pace, and ate like a champ.  It wasn't until her first episode that we knew something was really wrong.


Just a week after losing Sammie, Opal's back legs quit working.  Her tail swished about normally and she acted normally but just couldn't get her legs to cooperate.  It was incredibly sad to watch.  Our vet was stumped because things didn't add up and we just couldn't pinpoint exactly what was going on.  We tried a steroid shot and it seemed to do the trick because just 48 hours later, she was the kitten we never had.  It was wonderful and an absolute delight to see her moving about so well and being so active (and so damn entertaining!). 

Things continued looking golden until a few weeks later when she had another episode.  We went with another steroid shot, because it worked so well the time before, and it didn't fail us.  She bounced back within a day and again, seemed to be doing incredibly well.  At that point, we had deduced that something was happening neurologically but weren't sure what exactly was going on. 


I knew it could be a matter of time with her.  She'd been through hell and back.  Coming from a horribly maintained feral colony, being underweight despite our attempts to fatten her up, to random hair loss issues, and then with something happening within her brain, I knew each day was to be cherished with her.  Even though I knew it could happen soon, I just didn't think it would really happen.

This past Sunday, it was obvious she was having another episode.  She seemed to be handling it ok and was eating when presented with food.  I was optimistic because I'd seen her come out of them successfully before.  She did seem different though.  First thing Monday morning, Rio and I rushed her to the vet, hoping we'd leave with a steroid shot and she'd be back to normal on Tuesday.  Minutes after arriving, she started seizing and minutes after that, she passed on the vet's table. 

I am absolutely heartbroken.  Honestly, the end of her life was traumatizing for me.  I've been with many animals through their transitions and nothing was quite like this.  I just wasn't expecting it.  Not then.  Not that way.  After what we witnessed yesterday, we feel that she likely had a brain aneurysm that resulted in a stroke on Sunday.  We don't know if she had a previous injury before coming to us, if this was something she was born with (perhaps due to colony inbreeding), or if it was a fluke happening. 

I was so attached to her, right from the get go.  She slept under the covers with me from day one, was always one step behind me, and helped me through the loss of Sammie.  I'm so grateful for the time we spent together and for the good days that we shared.  I just wish there could have been more. 
 Good night, Opal Bebe.

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