Monday, March 15, 2010

Farewell Bijou

Our dear sweet Bijou died on Saturday morning.

Her diabetes had been uncontrollable, but she had been coping pretty well with it. However, Thursday she seemed extra tired, and I gave her extra snuggles that night thinking her end was near. That evening at about 10:30 she began having seizures, and Michael rushed her to the kitty ER. Her blood sugar had completely crashed and it appeared she was having hypoglycemic seizures. At this point we thought that this might be a good sign that we were closing in on the right dose of insulin for her and that we just needed to give her less.

However, treatment could not bring up her blood sugar, and throughout the night and Friday it became clear that something else was going on. The vets believe it was most likely a brain or pituitary tumor that was interfering with her body's ability to regulate hormones. This would explain why we were never able to regulate her diabetes; the diabetes was a symptom of something else. Friday evening Michael and I and Zane went to spend some time with her.

For a while late Friday night she rallied a bit, and we were thinking it might instead be a pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma, which could be removed once she stabilized. However, by Saturday morning she was having seizure after seizure, and it was clear her brain was involved. We knew it was time to let her go. Michael and Zane and I went, and we spent about 45 minutes with her in a private room, just holding her, helping her through seizures, washing her, and loving her. She died peacefully in my arms. Zane was fantastic through the whole experience, being very quiet and entertaining himself.

We took her home, washed her and dried her, and laid her out in state in the living room. We tried to get JoJo to say goodbye, but she wouldn't come out from behind the couch. It was very therapeutic for us to clean her body and make her ready for burial. We let her be in sunbeams for the last time.

We buried her in the back yard next to the lilac, in a shady spot she often would sleep in during hot summer days. It's comforting to look out there and know she is there.

We are very sad, and many small things around the house continually remind us of her. However, we know she had a wonderful life, and we did everything we could to treat her illness. When it was time to go, we let her. Zane has been a ray of sunshine during this sad time. Saturday night he got extra clowny at night. I think he was bored with the somber mood and ready to be happy again!

Requiescat in Pace, Bijou. We love you.

All of her blog posts are here.


Anonymous said...

Oh Julia, I am so sorry about your losing your sweet Bijou. You know that you did everything you could do to get her healthy, but it was just her time to go. Thank you for sharing the story of her last days - it made me cry. I loved the photo of her as a kitten. Those damn f#*&ing pets steal your heart, and then they wear out way too have my sympathy - Laurie

Stephanie said...

Julia and Michael I'm so sorry to hear about Bijou. It sounds heartbreaking the way things played out. I think it's so wonderful the way you treated her before her burial.