Heartbroken…

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For those of you who don’t already know, Little Man crossed the bridge on Monday. I knew it was coming, but nothing could have really prepared me. He had gotten to the point where he’d have a good day or 2 and then a couple bad days. This last bad day, he still came to greet me in the kitchen. I could tell he was nauseated. He didn’t want to eat. Overnight, he had trouble with the litter box. I had to clean him up. Then, he gave me a look and I just “knew”. I opened the door to the porch and he went outside one last time to lay in the sun. He came in a short while later to nap. That afternoon, he followed me to the kitchen and I offered him salmon with gravy. He ate a little. We petted and loved on him. I picked him up in a fleece blanket and my husband drove us to the vet. We were the last appointment, so it was quiet and private. I held him the entire time. He meowed weakly a few times in the car, but purred the rest of the time. It was peaceful. We got back home as the sun was setting in a beautiful sky. The next day, I planted 3 climbing vines (clemantis) and 3 climbing roses (in the color “salmon”… his favorite treat in his last days) along the fence in the backyard where he liked to watch the birds.  Before his tripawd days, he was my great cabinet climber.  lol  The new plants honor him purrfectly.

His housemates are extra loving towards me right now. His care took a lot of time in these last days, so there’s a big void. I miss him terribly, but I know he’s not sick anymore and he’s at peace.  

I think the hardest part of all of this has been knowing that vaccine associated sarcoma (VAS) is a cancer that is born from the love of the owners who cared enough about their pet to make sure they had the recommended vaccines in hopes of keeping them healthy. I’ve learned so much.  Little Man was able to help spread awareness and advocate for better vaccine practices.  I’ll definitely be carrying on his message.

Thank you all for everything!

Michelle & Angel Little Man 


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11 thoughts on “Heartbroken…”

  1. Ohhhh Michelle, I am completely heartbroken, we all are. You and Little Man were one of our first feline members and you have truly taught us so much, not only about Tripawd Kitties but about VAS, and coping with end of life care for cats. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your journey with us.

    Please know you are in our hearts and thoughts today and always. Little Man’s story and valiant battle will live on forever.

    {{{{hugs & condolences}}}}}

  2. I appreciate the kind words. I’m so glad that LM and I had time to say goodbye. I never had that with any other furbabies. I was honored to be able to spoil him rotten in those last weeks. I was never going to be “ready”, but I knew he deserved peace. I could almost feel his relief. No regrets…

  3. Michelle ~ I’m so very sorry that Little Man had to leave you. He was such a lucky boy to have you! What an amazing life he had. VAS sucks …I’m pretty sure that’s what our Midnight had a few years back ..back before we knew about amputation, or tripawds, or options…but that’s what I suspected caused the lump by his back leg. So now our cats have had vaccines as kittens, but not since then. It’s hard to find the right balance, isn’t it?
    Hugs to you!
    Donna & Murphy

  4. This is heartbreaking. Little Man sure fought off the VAS monster for a long time. Your plantings of climbers is perfect for your little climber.

    I’m sure he felt your love during these last weeks of spoiling him. I wish you peaceful, happy memories of your sweet fellow.

    Warm hugs,
    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

  5. I was so sad to read your post. It is so hard to have to make this decision, and he was such a fighter. We are all thinking about you and your family.

  6. HI,
    I feel compelled to post tonight….just to let you know (if you didn’t already) that the word is out about VAS – it “officially” reached me yesterday. My Sweet Ted (lab/shar pei wonderful dog mix) lost his battle with Osteosarcoma on November 30 2016. He left behind two pack members….cats – Indee and Jack. I took both of them to the vet yesterday to get their rabies and distemper vaccines. And my vet warned me about VAS! The last time they had their rabies vaccine was three years ago (I gave them the 3 year vaccine). My vet (who was young and new and….honesty, kinda cute) took a great deal of time warning me about VAS. I thought of you and mentioned to him about my ordeal with Ted and also being educated about the vaccine risk for cats due to the Tripaw community (do you think their might be a DOG connection too????).
    Soooo, long post to say THANK YOU for being here and sharing your story and also wanted to let you know that, in my opinion, Little Man’s voice is being heard and there are responsible vets out there warning pet owners about the potential risks of vaccination. I think that’s a good thing and I am more educated because of you and your Little Man – so thank you for that.
    w

    1. Aww, thank you. I’m so glad to hear that more and more vets are changing their practices and educating on this possible reaction. In my research, I did see some canine cases. VAS is sometimes listed as injection site sarcoma because there have been cases in other animals and with other injections (steroid shots, insulin injections, etc). Those cases are more rare. Most cases are in cats and are related to vaccines, unfortunately.

      Michelle

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