It was a shock to us losing our beloved Kai. We loved him intensely and pampered him with everything we had. He loved snacks and cuddles and we made sure he had all he could want.
As he entered his senior years he had become more dependent on us for care, as he was unable to climb stairs or get around very well. Over the course of the past two weeks his back legs had begun to fail him altogether, something we had faced with confidence that we could rehabilitate, and that we knew we would accommodate as much as possible to keep him comfortable.
At his check up to see our options and make sure everything was alright, his bloodwork came back with urgent and heartbreaking news: he was currently in the first stages of total kidney failure.
That night we rushed him to the ER for diuresis, certain that whatever the cost and whatever the care required, we would face it and do whatever it took to save him. We waited until 3 am to be seen.
It turned out that he was facing not one but two life-threatening and unrelated conditions, both of which required extensive medical treatment including 72 hour diuresis, x-rays, multiple tests, and invasive surgery. It would cost thousands of dollars with no guaranteed outcome, especially if his spinal problem wasn’t surgically correctable but in fact a tumor. Even if both treatments were successful with the best scenarios possible, we were looking at prolonging his life by 6 months at best.
We faced the reality of the situation that Kai was almost 12 years old, and in loving him as much as we did, we knew we could not put him through these things, as much as we could have given anything to have even just one more day, one more snuggle. It was unbearably painful for us both. He was more than a pet to us. He was a beloved and cherished family member, and we are grieving his loss as a loved one.
I had adopted Kai four years ago after seeing him listed at a rescue organization. He had been found abandoned at 8 years old, tied to the sign outside of a shelter overnight, missing half of his hair and covered in fleas and ticks. I don’t know what kind of life he had before or what might have driven his previous owners to do such a thing, but I made it my mission to give him the best life possible from then on.
Shane and I take comfort in knowing that we did the right thing in filling his final years with love. He left this world into a peaceful sleep, being kissed and caressed, surrounded by his family, hearing over and over again, “I love you.”
As we deal with this loss, we are also faced with the unexpected financial burden of his vet bills. It is a struggle for me to even ask, as I’ve never done something like this before. I’ve reread this a thousand times, unsure if I even should, but in the end I am humbly asking for help because I know there are many of you who also loved and cherished Kai. Even the smallest amount would mean the world to us.
This next week or two I am going to be creating thank you cards with his picture for anyone who donates. I just want to say that I love and appreciate all of you, and am overwhelmed by all the care and support you all have shown. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.