August 31, 2009

Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven



She’s romping about animal heaven

 It looked good for Honey’s recovery when I posted Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate. What happened a few days later was surprising. Honey’s story continues below. 

     Honey lay on the table in the examination room at Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic, Inc. I sat and observed her closely, looking to see if her heart was demonstrating the same rapid and hard rhythm I had seen during the previous evening.

     At about 8:45 a. m. Saturday morning I’d called the vet’s office to share my concerns. Following her visit to the clinic on August 20, when she’d been diagnosed with two fractures on the top of her leg near her hip bone, she’d done fine. She didn’t like being confined, but it was a minor price to pay for her recuperation time. She ate, slept, purred and accepted her medication: prednisolone.

To see pictures of Honey, click on:  &

      On Thursday, the 27th, I cut her medication in half. The morning dose went fine, but she fought the evening dose. Not just fought it. She freaked out. I set the medication aside and comforted her.

     Friday morning, she freaked out again. And again I set it aside. She also seemed lethargic, didn’t purr for me, and I noticed she hadn’t eaten. I offered her treats. She turned away from it.

     I had to be away during the day. When I returned home, she still hadn’t eaten, and still refused treats. And her heart was beating in a manner I defined as being in stress. During the evening, my husband Monte held her and she purred graciously. My son Nolan, who was in from Cleveland,  my daughter Sandy, granddaughter Jordan and her friend Alexis, made Honey the center of attention until it was time for all of us to settle down for the night.

     She still had not eaten by morning. When we arrived at the vet clinic Honey seemed to take interest in the other animals. She also began purring while in her cage. Her purring continued nonstop for the rest of her time.

     Dr. Croft examined her record, and said he wanted to take an X-ray. When it was developed, he took me in to see it, telling me if he were shown  the two X-rays (he had the one from the 20th) he would not have believed they were from the same cat. The new X-ray showed Honey had only a small portion of lung power (hence, the labored breathing), the diaphragm couldn’t be defined, the kidneys were swollen, and there was a white haze over her abdomen. He puzzled over what happened. She would need specialists for further diagnosis, and her rapid deterioration (probably, I surmised, from Thursday morning) put her at high risk. Her quality of life was definitely at a low point.

     I called Monte and Sandy, and they both agreed with what Dr. Croft was leading up to: it was Honey’s time. I also believe Honey was in agreement—demonstrated by her not eating and her contentment at the vet’s office. The three of us agreed on the very difficult decision.

     Honey was given medication to relax her, and she curled up in my arms, no longer purring—but very relaxed. When I laid her back on the table, she produced a hiccup-like reflex action, her body’s attempt to take in oxygen. Dr. Croft assured me she was feeling no pain at this point. When the final shot was given, Honey was released from the pain of her earthly life.

     During the time Dr. Croft and I spent with Honey after her final medication, he told me she was on the same table where Ligonier Township Canine Officer Ando had met his fate on August 18, 2009. Ando’s owner, Officer Eric Eslary, had brought Ando’s canine replacement, Blek, to the clinic for a check-up, then headed home to pick up Ando to bring him in for cancer treatment, chemo. Enroute home, Eslary received a call that Ando had a problem. When the dog arrived at the vet’s, his condition had deteriorated to the point that they had to make the difficult choice of putting him down.

     During Ando’s funeral it was stated that what made Ando special was his personality. That’s also what made Honey special. She was a “people” cat. Her purr lit up the room. Her cuddling was always comforting.

     I left the examination room to take Honey’s carrier to the car. As I approached the outside door, it was teeming rain.

     A staff member sought an umbrella for me. By the time she brought it to me, the rain had let up—not even a light drizzle. As I went to the car, the sun shone, producing the delightful after-rain effect that cheers the heart.

    The need to take Honey to the vet’s clinic, viewing the X-rays, and making the final decision about Honey was the downpour. The light drizzle came as she relaxed from the initial medication. The sunshine came from knowing she was at peace.

     The sun also broke through the clouds during Ando’s funeral on the Ligonier Diamond.

     Perhaps Honey and Ando are romping around animal heaven. The Rev. Dr. James B. Simons (St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Rector PA), who officiated at Ando’s service, said he didn’t know if all dogs go to heaven, but I know this one did.” And be assured, I don’t know if all cats go to heaven. But this one—Honey—did.


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  1. So sorry for the loss of your dear feline friend. I agree. She’s in heaven and she’s still with you, too.

    Comment by Diane Cipa — August 31, 2009 @ 4:23 am | Reply

  2. Sorry for your loss, but I know she’s happier now that she’s where it was time to go! She’ll be waiting for you.

    Comment by Fran — August 31, 2009 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you, Diane and Fran. Remember Joanne today. She has to release her pet dog. Carolyn

    Comment by carolyncholland — August 31, 2009 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  4. Dear Carolyn, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet “Honey”…{{{Hugs}}}

    Comment by Kim-HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs — August 31, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  5. Dear Carolyn–My heart aches for you. What a wonderful life a final few days you gave to your Honey! I have had to make this decision four times in my life with my kitties. Recently, my 13-year old Border collie Fiona developed congestive heart failure. This was the day after I learned that Ando (he and Eric are my neighbors)was so sick. (She is doing wonderfully on meds (x 4). Being the world’s smartest dog 🙂 she is milking the situation for all she can and wants to do nothing but eat cookies and ride in the car. The vet said she can probably be maintained like this for a year. I especially look forward to the summer, fall, winter and whatever seasons I have left with her. We can and should learn important lessons about end-of-life issues from our animals (life lessons, too). I’m going to sign off before I start boohooing.

    Always–Sue Parker

    Comment by Sue Parker — August 31, 2009 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  6. Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

    I wish I could have held Honey too. I could cry then instead of at this computer.
    I have a story to tell about the death of my cat, Norman. “Norman stayed home”.
    My love to all of you, and I hope you will find comfort at Rainbow Bridge.
    Your sister, Jane

    Comment by Jane Driver — September 4, 2009 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  7. Thank you Jane, for the poem and the kind words. I do hope you are feeling better after your surgery. Carolyn

    Comment by carolyncholland — September 4, 2009 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  8. […] from her house. On August 31, 2009, this honey-colored cat was so ill we only had one choice, so Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven […]

    Pingback by Cats Little Dog & King Feline Steal Our Hearts | Carolyn's Online Magazine — April 28, 2015 @ 1:39 am | Reply

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