Friday, August 26, 2011

The King and Princess

Helping Julia wrap some Christmas presents

When I was in high school in June, I think Sophomore year. Gwen decided she HAD to have a cat. Mom caved and said fine. So on some Saturday Gwen, Dad, Jenna, and I went to the fairfax county shelter on West Ox Road. We played with three cats and none of was really "us" then I looked at the very end top cage. This 17 pound cat with a nick in his ear and I looked at each other in the eyes and I told the rest of the group "this is the cat" we took him in the play room and there was an instant connection.

His name was Henry.
Under the Christmas Tree

Dad filled out the adoption papers, we were all so excited. The officer brought him out and said "he is the sweetest cat here. I thought for sure he'd be gone the first day... I guess he was waiting for you" We took him in the car and the poor guy meowed the whole time. We stopped at Petsmart and got some cat things since we had NOTHING. Gwen stayed in the car and Jenna and I went to town. Henry was 7-8 so he was already set in his ways. He would not go in anything with a cover, and would much prefer to sit on your lap than play with some fake mouse.

Henry became apart of the family very quick. Mom would take a lint roller to him so he wouldn't get hair ALL over. Dad played with him. Gwen petted him. And I did everything else. I took him to the vet, etc. He was in the Christmas cards, we let him in and out as he willed and fed him as he willed. Which was a problem since he was a big guy.
Time for Henry to go out!

Henry soon got the middle name Arnold. After the family therapist. Henry Arnold Hills, is what we yelled when he was in trouble. And he knew it! We called him King Henry. He was truly the King of the house, and our hearts.

The first vet visit we found out ALL his teeth were rotten. We took him to a dentist. This was the dentist for the National Zoo. Very nice man. He had what was basically Osteoporosis of the teeth, $3,000 later Henry was toothless and very happy. Funny thing was, after his teeth were pulled. He would only eat dry food. Talk about odd.

Henry lived a happy care free life. The only worry was "when will I get my food?" and "When can I come in or out?"

About 3 months ago it was decided that it was best for all if Henry came to live with Troy and I. We were so thrilled. Here he got to go on the porch and sleep all day with no one to disturb him, then get all the love he wanted at night.

Henry had a sensitive stomach, which got him on prescription diet. But once he moved in with Troy and I vet visits were often since he had what we called "butt problems" every 3-4 weeks the vet prodded and gave him a baboon butt. But he was still as happy as he could be.

About 2 weeks ago we noticed he went form 3/4 a cup of food to 1/4. He should have been eating about 7/8 a cup. I called and left a message with the vet. But wasn't over ally concerned... in the beginning. He started coughing, and not eating a whole bunch but drinking water like it was candy! The vet called a week later when she was in the office. I only take Henry to one vet. She said he needs to come in tonight. She said she couldn't see him but she'd brief her a colleague and stay in touch. We came in and said his physical exam was great. He had gone from 20.3- 16lbs. Which he said was pretty fast for only a month. He wanted to blood tests and if needed an x-ray.

We left Henry for a few hours and went to Costco. At 8:30 when the vet was supposed to call I started calling, there had been several emergencies so he was busy, but promised he'd call within the hour. I was getting anxious at this point.

20 minutes later I got a call. He said "Julia, I have to be blunt, it's not good." He tells me has severe Kindney failure and I have 3 options
1. 3 day hospitalization that had a 50% success rate and cost $1,500.
2. Take him home and do IV fluids twice a day and give him a phosphate binder since his phosphate was high
3. Put him down

I started balling. He said come in, see him and we can discuss it.

We decided to bring him home. Henry's Keratin levels were 9.3. They are supposed to be MAX for a good kidney 2.4. The next day Henry's regular vet called, we decided to test his levels again on Thursday and if they didn't go down then it was time.  We knew this was just a good bye time. I didn't cook or clean at all till today. We both spent all the time we could with him. Crying and laughing.
Thursday came and his numbers had barely improved. She fully supported us in putting him down. Troy, Gwen, and I were in the room. The vet who had been with Henry for 2 years started crying. We said our good byes and left.
The King in his Throne

Troy and I went straight to the temple. We didn't care about traffic, weather, or anything. We were going to the temple. I was so at peace as we started the Endowment session. I payed attention to the animals, and knew he was with Heavenly Father getting all his tummy rubs and salmon flavored food he wanted with no pain. And no weight gain for that matter. Henry will always be in our hearts, no one will be able to replace him.

Today Troy and I took somethings to the Shelter to donate. Next thing I knew we were in the cat room. Looking saying oh and aw. We decided "just play" with this one kitten. Tabitha. Of course it wasn't just play. Next thing I knew we signed adoption papers. Tabitha is a 2 month old Tabby. We prayed after we signed the papers and knew it was right. Henry wanted us to rescue another cat, just like we rescued him.Troy called her a lil Princess. Do not think we didn't grieve Henry, or not respect him. 

We know Henry is happy, and wants us to be happy.
Jenna and Henry having fun

1 comment:

  1. Julia, this was a very touching post. Thank you so much for sharing so much about Henry that I never knew.

    It really did make my day--even though it was very sad.

    I feel like I got to know Henry. Thank you, Julia!