Pets

Remembering DeeDee

I know many of you have followed DeeDee’s story. DeeDee had leukemia and was under vet care for the past few weeks. Early one recent morning, she lost her battle with leukemia. 

Dee Dee had lost her appetite. She had lost weight and the quality of her fur was not good. She was admitted to the vet clinic on Wednesday, where she would spend the night to see if they could figure out a way to help her. I had told them to do whatever she needed.

They set her up in a room with a smorgasbord of different foods, a litter box and multiple cozy beds.  At around 7 that night the vet contacted me. She had consulted with another vet on staff and run multiple tests, and the results were not good. DeeDee’s kidneys had shut down and her liver was now affected. Her breathing was starting to labor. They took x-rays and her stomach was empty because she had not been eating other than a few treats. I asked if they could make her comfortable for the night and they said yes and agreed to meet me there at 7 a.m.

DeeDee, a resident at the Ark Animal Sanctuary, lost her battle with leukemia. (Courtesy of Lorraine Monfils)

I arrived at the clinic early yesterday and went into her room. She hadn’t eaten one single morsel from the dishes. The litter box was empty, DeeDee was struggling to breathe. She came over and lay beside me and started to purr. Sometimes when cats purr it is not a good thing; they are doing what is called self-soothing. It was clear that DeeDee was in distress and nothing we were going to do was going to help her. She needed help on the final length of her journey here on earth. I made that decision and it was not an easy one, but at some point you have to love them enough to let them go. DeeDee couldn’t tell me what she needed but I knew, and so that morning at 7:30 I let DeeDee go. 

It was peaceful and very emotional for everyone involved. DeeDee will be cremated and her ashes will come back to the sanctuary.

DeeDee came to the sanctuary almost three years ago. She was found living under a porch in below-zero temps. Once at the vet, she was diagnosed with leukemia, which is a fatal disease. We have had DeeDee for almost three years. There was no expectation of how long she would live. We just made a promise to her that we would love and take care of her for the rest of her life, no matter how long that would be.

To us, DeeDee was a family member, not just another cat in a shelter.

The ride home was a somber one. My brain was on overload. I struggled with the fact that I waited too long to release DeeDee. I can’t change that now, but I do know that I made the right decision in letting her go.

Further down the road I looked off to the right and there I saw the most amazing sight. A huge eagle was standing there. I had never seen one before. I pulled over a distance up the road and watched this magnificent creature stare at me and then he spread his wings and took flight. 

That gave me peace and I knew that DeeDee had spread her wings and was now free. I like to think that maybe the eagle was her escort to the rainbow bridge.

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