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.