Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Losing my best friend: Tammy

This Tuesday i lost something that was very precious to me, Tammy would have been with me 12 years this June and i never knew her true age which was estimated when i adopted her at that time to be around 2 years old. At that time before adopting her i really had wanted a dog but living in an apartment which didn't allow any pets helped me go in a different direction, and am i ever grateful that i did because i loved her like she was my child.       
Let me go back to the year 2000 when i was thinking about adopting, and i hate calling them pets so for this post I'm calling them little family members. My mom had this cat who used to stop by her home and somehow get in the back yard, and she would feed him and in time would name him Jessie. Since my folks already had 3 cats at the time she asked me "why not take in Jessie", as my mom was a huge lover of cats and dogs and would have take-in Jesse except she had a pretty full home already. But i knew that my mom was getting really attached to him and really wanted me to take him so he could be part of our family, so i decided to bring him in to the veterinarians office for a check-up and to get all of his shots.
After bring in Jessie for his check-up i was told that he had Feline Immunodeficiency Virus which is very similar to the aids virus in people, i was floored when i first heard this as the doctor explained what it was and how it would effect his health. So i asked him how long could he live and was told that Jessie could live for years, or he could die from a severe cold that his compromised immune system may not be able to handle, i was floored and sick to my stomach. 
He could never come in contact with any other healthy cat because they would get FIV as well, and this decease is spread through saliva so its very different than aids in that respect. So i had to stand there in the doctors office and think about what i wanted to do, so i told him that "ill set him free". And the doctor said if you do that more cats will get infected, So here i am a grown man crying in the vets office trying to figure out what to do. And since i knew if i adopted Jessie i could lose him because of this, i made the very tough decision to put  him to sleep.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Well i knew that my mom would fall in love with both of them and after accepting taking both of them i took his mom (Tammy) and my folks taking her son (Chance). I've made many mistakes in my life and so many wrong decision's, but in spite of myself one of the best choices that I've made in my entire life was to take her home with me. She understood me and i knew and understood her personality so very well, and when she became sick i knew something was very wrong.

Tammy suffered from asthma and was first diagnosed with this  disease in 2010, and since cats are able to hide their illnesses' very well she may have had it even earlier. This January i noticed Tammy was having a little more trouble breathing than she normally would have and brought her in to her vets office, and i was told that she had what most likely was a chest infection. And in this time Tammy was seen and was on antibiotics for the most part of 4 months and me driving to another vet in Lancaster for another opinion, and then i finally placed her in a animal hospital located in Allentown with specialists.  

Tammy was named by my mother from the movie Tammy and the Bachelor staring Debbie Reynolds that was made in 1957. When my mom had her very first look at her she said "she's a Tammy", and so her name was born from one of my mothers favorite movies and songs.

                                                                                                Tammy was in Allentown and was placed on oxygen (Saturday) and was at least breathing better which is what i had wanted, i also wanted answers and hoped her life would be saved. After Tammy receiving many drugs those few days x-rays were taken and i went over them with her doctor on Monday, since her oxygen level was too low they were not able to do a  tracheal wash and send a scope down in her lungs to really see what and how much damage was done. But her last x-ray taken on that day (Mon) did show some improvement in her lungs, and the doctor brought her in the room and i had her in my arms and she never wanted me to let her go. Since she seemed to be improving the doctor wanted 1 more day to monitor her and make sure that she was stable, and that i was all set to pick her up on Tuesday morning.                                                             
The doctor did say that she felt Tammy's lungs were damaged and that in the very near future this would be ending her life in some way, so my goal was to get her home and spend quality time and to try and help her live as long as possible. Tuesday morning at 7:30 i recieved a call from the hospital that Tammy had trouble breathing and became very agitated and was sedated and placed on 100% oxygen, x-rays were also taken and i was told on the phone that her condition (x-rays) showed that over the night to have become worse from the ones i had looked at on Monday.  
                                                                                                                                I made the extremely hard decision on Tuesday to put Tammy to rest, i was there with her and she  was lying on one of her favorite blankets when it happened. She was sedated but her eyes were open and i only hope that she knew i was with her, i had my private time with her and told her i loved her and held her hand as the end came. Along with a great loss i feel angry that i was cheated her spending her last moments on earth at home with me, and i know some of that anger will pass as my wonderful memories' of her will take its place, and there were so very many of those. This post is for Tammy and my love for her, and i thank you so much for being one of the best things that  had come into my life, and now your in my mother arms. Richard 

If I had known that on that day our time was near the end
I would have done things differently, my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you deep into the night
but I thought I'd see you in the early morning light.

And so I said "Good night" to you as I walked in through the door
never thinking of the time when I'd see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day our time was at the end
I would have done things so differently, my forever friend.

For Tammy   

www.fritzthebrave.com   A  web site  to learn about feline asthma and treatments.


I've created this website out of my own interest in the Amish/Mennonite culture and of living in the country. Its a place for people who are interested in the Amish like myself, and its also a place to share Images of the beautiful country side that is all around me. my name is Richard, and I live very close to an Amish settlement here in Pennsylvania. This site is dedicated to my mother, who had started all of this by taking me as a child to Lancaster,pa from our apartment in the Bronx projects..........THANK YOU MOM............... Richard