I’m writing this four months later… we lost Pan on July 5th after an attempt to treat a reoccurrence of his heart failure. This was really hard to take. He was my best buddy. Whatever I was doing, he was always nearby. He would follow me from room to room, hang out with me while I was on my computer, be in the midst of whatever project I was working on or in my lap while reading or watching TV. He just had to be on the table with us when we were playing board games. He’d run to join me if I went out to the garage or in the yard and cry and pout in the litter box if I couldn’t take him with me when I was going out.
On road trips, he insisted on being in my lap or on the countertop behind my shoulder in the camper van. He was up on the bathroom counter sink to watch me and wait while I brushed my teeth and then get his drink from the tap. Then he’d immediately leap to the bed to join me on my pillow when I went to sleep. He slept curled up against my face, under my chin or on my head every night – as close as possible. His signature greeting was his head butt to the face and nose-to-nose rubs – the same initial greeting he gave me when I got down on my knees at the animal shelter way back in March of 2009 and he picked me out. He’s been a near constant, joyful presence ever since. Darlene and I miss him terribly.
In June, he started refusing his meds and not eating enough to get his meds that way. Over a few weeks it became clear that his breathing was starting to become more labored again. The last time this happened, a couple of years ago, the vet was able to tap and drain the fluid from his chest, start him on some medications and he bounced right back. He did just fine over the next couple of years despite their warning at the time that he probably only hadn’t limited months left. So when I brought him on the Friday ahead of the 4th of July weekend to request a repeat of the chest tap, I totally expected that it would go like before.
He was happy and active when I brought him in for the procedure on Friday and it seemed to go well but his health deteriorated over the subsequent 48 hours. By Monday morning, it was clear he was in serious trouble and we took him to the emergency hospital in Santa Cruz. On a phone call a few hours later, we were told he was in a terrible state with three opposing conditions – the treatment for any one of them would exacerbate the other two. It would apparently take many days of intensive care with a highly unlikely probability for success. To avoid putting him through all that, we made the decision to go with their recommendation to euthanize.