Goodbye Pepe

Hello, I hope you wont mind if I (Mum) take over from Ludo today.
Sadly, yesterday we had to have Ludo’s cat bro Pepe PTS. I am just going to pour out what led up to this below and I apologise for any typos.

I am lucky enough to have had a great cat called Pepe in my life for too short a time. At the begining of November, 2007 I and my ex partner adopted Pepe after I learned of him through a friend, trying to help rehome him on a rabbit forum I am on. It took us all of a day to fall in love with him. He was 6 or 7 then. When Ludo and I moved back to my parents I had to leave Pepe behind, I was without him for a few months, but I thought of him nearly everyday, and finally, went and ‘ahem’ got him back. It cost me extra rent at my parents, but he was worth it.

Pepe waltzed into the house, took one look at my Dad and thought ‘hm, you’d make me a good slave.’ and so he did. Pepe had my Dad well and truly wrapped around his little paw. Pepe would bat my Dad with his paw and rub his head and my Dad would get up and feed him, or bounce his wubba, or let him out. Pepe has left a wonderful legacy in that my Dad, a self proclaimed cat hater, had suddenly become owned by a cat. He is reformed!

Ludo and I moved out of my parents a couple of months ago, we only moved a few doors away, so I’m back all the time, and as this lease is only on a month by month basis I decided to let Pepe stay with my parents as I didn’t want to disrupt him. I don’t think he noticed I had gone although he still put up with his daily cuddle.

Over the past two weeks we have been taking Pepe to the vets for seemingly tiny complaints. First, he had a limp, caused, it seemed, by a cat bite. Here in the UK it’s more common practice to let cats out, and although we tried to keep him in, he wanted out in the summer, there is a nasty cat in the area, who Pepe would get into scraps with, despite only having one tooth from a previous car accident before we got him. He had antibiotics for that, a week later the third eyelid in one of his eyes had prolapsed. We took him back, vet could find no infection so attributed it to some nerve damage, we got drops, but it didn’t go away. Come to this week and Pepe went off his food. We took him back to vets and she said he was full of poo and probably constipated. He got an enema, more antibiotics, pain meds and some antacidy stuff. It was tricky, because he didn’t have a temperature.

We started on the meds but he just seemed to go more off his food, hardly touching it. My Dad insisted my Mum buy him all these different brands, thinking he’d gone fussy, or maybe had a sore mouth. We watched him seem to go down hill over two days, till he would not go near his food, nor drink, go to the toilet, he just slept on my Dad’s bed. He still purred if you went to him, so we didn’t think it would be something serious. He’s not a terribly old cat, maybe 9 or 10. We booked him back in before his check up. He still had no temperature so he was admitted the following morning.

Pepe didn’t get to go home. The vet rang while I was out walking Ludo and my Dad ok’d the vets decision to PTS. I was angry when I got in and made my Dad ring them back to try and stop it, but it was too late. I am a bit ashamed by that, my Dad was very upset, with tears in his eyes and it was a very hard decision. I am not saying he was wrong to ok the PTS, especially after I spoke to the vet, but I would have wanted to be there with him. My Dad said he could not have done it and I guess maybe it would have frightened Pepe to see me upset, I don’t know. I would have just liked one last cuddle. The vets has a courtyard where they sprinkle the ashes but I have ok’d them to be able to use him as our vets is also a teaching hospital.

Pepe had dysautonomia. The vet explained that is it caused by a bacteria that attacks the nervous system, shutting everything down. It has a rapid onset and is very hard to treat and normally only occurs in cats under 3. Pepe had a hyper enlarged colon, which meant he could not empty his bowels. His prolapsed eye was also a symptom, he was loosing his sight, his muscle movement capabilities everything was just stopping. I have been reading on the disease on the internet since then and there are lots of theories, some say it comes from soil, some rotting meat etc, all agree it is some kind of toxin and it seems only to occur in rural areas. Survival rate in young cats is 30% but there is no cure and it has a high relapse rate with cats deteriorating very quickly. I think Pepe was just too far gone in our vets opinion and whilst we could have kept him alive, his quality of life would not have been good.

I am glad that we found it when we did. The symptoms were there, but since it is so rare I cannot blame the vet for not picking up on it sooner, and I’m not sure it would have done any good anyway.

Pepe was such an awesome cat, he had so much character. He bossed my Dad around and would rub his head on Ludo, but only deign to go near him on his terms. He only had 2 fang teeth when I got him and that later got reduced to one. He was very handsome and liked to be told so and have his belly rubbed. He LOVED food, of any kind, and he loved cuddles. He was pretty playful for an older guy and loved to roam about just as much as he loved to snuggle up on top of the sofa, or at the bottom of a bed.

Run free at the bridge my handsome man.

30 thoughts on “Goodbye Pepe

  1. We are so very sorry to hear of Pepe's passing. He is at the bridge running and playing with my kitty sister Ming.All our love,Mack and mom

  2. Oh Ludo – so sorry you lost your Pepe. We also send your Mom huge hugs and love. Rest in Peace, Pepe. Huge Hugs and Love xoxoxoxoSammie, Avalon and family

  3. Rest in peace Pepe, it must have been hard for you to write this post but, you can tell you loved him dearly. Please pass on our condolences to your dad he will be hurting to.Jan and George xxx

  4. We are so sorry to read this story about Pepe's passing.We had a cat for 22 years and still miss her.There is something about cats as your Dad has now discovered.They find their way into your heart and they don't leave.We know you will miss Pepe but it sounds like it was his time to go to the bridge – sending you human and basset hugs xxxxxxxxx

  5. We were quite sad to see it on FB -Sorry you weren't there with him – I always try to advocate those that can handle that do it -Thanks for sharing Pepe with us over the years and through these tears -Hugz&Khysses,Khyra's Mom and Khyra

  6. Dee, Ludo and Grandpa,You have my sympathy over the loss of Pepe. I was happy for you when you finally got him back, and now to have to say goodbye so soon.Cats are such unique characters and they enrich our lives so much. Even to convince your Dad, cats are good creatures to have around!All my good wishes,Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  7. Dee,I'm so, so sorry. I remember how excited you were the day you got Pepe back. I'm glad he was with your family for the last few months of his life. That love was a wonderful gift you gave him.~Sara

  8. Oh we hear your pain in your writing…we are so sorry that it all had to happen in the way it did…poor Pepe…we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers…Grief is a journey and while we walk it alone, you have our support walking along side you for a bit…Tons of hugs,Scruffy, Lacie, Stan and their Mumsie in PA

  9. Oh, I'm so, so sorry to hear about Pepe! I always so enjoyed reading about him on the blog and loved his antics – you're right, he was just full of personality!As someone who also lost a cat suddenly and well before we expected, I can really empathise with you. I still have days where I can't quite believe it's happened and think it was all a mistake. I also know what you mean about being upset when someone else OK'd the PTS, even though they did it with good intentions. We had that with Lemon and the pet hotel. I know it wouldn't have changed anything and I would have made the same decision but somehow, it just feels like she was snatched from me before I had a chance to say goodbye properly. Anyway, just wanted to send you hugs and tell you that we're thinking of you from far away – and remembering Pepe for the wonderful cat he was. Love,Hsin-Yi & Honey the Great Dane

  10. Awww…I'm so sorry to hear this. It's such a hard thing to deal with, and he left so quickly it probably is even more difficult.I bet your Dad is missing him a lot too. So sad. I love the photo of him checking out the plate of food while the two dogs have to wait…and him playing with the rabbits..such a handsome boy!

  11. We're so sorry for your loss. But Pepe knew he was loved by you and your family, and you all combined to give him a happy life while he was with you.Love and good memories to you all.Cheri & Trudy

  12. We were so sorry to read about Pepe. Your whole family is suffering from the loss. But we are glad that he had a good life with you and that you have all the wonderful memories of an awesome cat.Your friends,Niamh & Ambrose

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