Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Our Final Blog Post - Saddle Thrombus

Today, I sadly write the final chapter in Zeroichi’s blog. I know it’s been a few years since we made a blog entry, but this entry here will make up for it by content and length as it’s something I need to do as part of the healing process.

For those of you who read our first blog entry know that I was lonely for a furry companion when I purchased my condo in 2010. Although I was more of a dog person at that time, I felt a cat would be happier in my home. So on 1/11/11 I welcomed Zeroichi a wonderful 5 year old ragamuffin into my family. I’ve never had a cat before and was worried if I would even make a good cat mom. He made it too easy. I had just won the kitty lottery.

Everyone who met him loved him, and were amazed at how dog like he was. He would greet me at the door after a long day of work, come trotting over when I whistled, and he understood the “sit” command.  He enjoyed belly rubs and would even let me kiss his belly. He would snap my bra to wake me up, and loved to watch cat videos. He would always beg for food, so eating meals at home will never be the same. He would chase me into the bathroom and keep me company, so even going to the bathroom at home now makes me sad. …. I can go on and on…. I became obsessed with him. 

And now he’s gone. It all happened so quickly.  I’m still in shock and haven’t stopped crying since 8AM Sunday morning, when I found him lying on the living room floor in a short wet trail of urine and anal sac fluid. He likes to sit on a cushion by our sliding glass door to the balcony so he had dragged himself about a foot and half to a more visible location. His long wailing cries of what I later found out were from excruciating pain will forever make my heart hurt. Within minutes my boyfriend and I were out the door with crazy hair and stinky morning breath but we didn’t care. We rushed him to a 24/7 state of the art animal hospital which is located 5 minutes away with him cradled in my arms still meowing loudly in pain.

The staff at the hospital were amazing and quickly rushed us to the back of the hospital where they do surgeries and administered pain medication.  The vet on call told me that he was suffering from saddle thrombus and that he was dying from heart failure even though we brought him in quickly. He was never diagnosed with a heart condition. He’s been to all his checkups and I always got him the best cat food I could find.  After doing an ultrasound she told me that there was a 30% chance that she’ll be able to prolong his life with treatment by a year, but his quality of life will probably not be the same. I wasn't ready to give up yet so I agreed to him being hospitalized for observation and medication that will help manage the pain and break up the blood clots. Yes it would cost thousands of dollars, but financially I was prepared for this when I decided to adopt. He also has health insurance.   

This hospital is wonderful. I got to stay by his side throughout the exam. They allow visitations during business hours in ICU, so I was by his side when they settled him into an oxygen cage and tried to give him some tuna. At this point the pain killers were working and so he was no longer crying.  He even gave me blinks to let me know he loves me. Knowing he was in good hands I went home for a few hours.

At 3PM, my boyfriend dropped me off so that I can sit with Zero while he ran an errand to Target to make a return and pick-up some toilet paper. I was shocked when I saw Zero still in the oxygen cage. He was awake but he looked worse. Sure enough the doctor came to see me to let me know that she’s glad I came in since she was about to call me. The prognosis was not good. He seemed to have had a few more episodes while I was gone, and his blood sugar level was extremely low which was very unusual. His hind legs at this point were completely stiff and cold, but he still lifted his head to greet me when I got there.  I couldn’t really pay attention to what the doctor was saying but she said she was planning on doing some kind of procedure but wanted to wait until the next day after he’s stabilized. I said that was fine. Not long after that a vet tech came and drew some more blood, and tried to take his blood pressure but couldn’t get a reading since it was so weak.  I was crying uncontrollably at this point… again. Then over the speakerphone I heard, “Zeroichi has another visitor, is that okay?” My boyfriend had come back earlier than I had expected since he had forgotten about getting toilet paper. His timing couldn't have been better. That’s when the doctor came back and told me the awful news. The last blood test showed that his glucose level had dropped significantly even though they have been administering glucose which was a sign that his liver was shutting down. That multiple blood clots were traveling through his little body and shutting down his organs. She said this was happening very rapidly and that cases like this was extremely rare. And that at this point there’s no other treatment she can recommend that will save him. She offered to continue to administer pain meds, fluids and sugar if we want but that he probably wouldn't make it through the night. So we had to make the hardest decision any pet owner ever has to make and decided to let him go peacefully with us by his side. 

I got to pet him while they administered the lethal dose of anesthesia through his IV and watch the life fade from his eyes. My boyfriend was also crying and holding me at this point but he couldn't bear to watch. They gave us the option to go to a quiet room afterwards to spend a little bit more time with him. It was really nice to be able to cuddle him one last time since I wasn’t able to earlier with all the tubes connected to him.
Those 8 hours were the worst of my life. It's a nightmare… one that I wish I could wake up from. But it’s not a dream…. I’m never going to see my Zeroichi again.

The Future:

Zeroichi was a one of a kind kitty, and I know that I will never find a cat that can fill his shoes. He’s made many anti-cat people fall in love with him. A friend of mine after his death sent me a long email that she’s in tears. She has never liked cats, but whenever she brought her dog over for a playdate with Zero she considered getting one. He was that special. I don’t plan on getting another cat anytime soon… if ever.

When his cremated remains are returned to me, I will be turning him into a marble to keep him close to me. If there is a glass artist that you have personally worked with that you recommend please let me know.

It’s interesting how things work out. The day Zero died, a close friend and I had planned for weeks an outing to visit a bunch of different shelters with a friend of hers that was finally ready to adopt a cat. We were all looking forward to it. I’m thankful Zero fell ill before I left on that day long adventure so I was able to stay by his side throughout this frightening ordeal. While in the quiet room holding Zero, I texted my friend to let her know that Zero had died. She told me later that night that they were finalizing the adoption paperwork when she received that text.  I am now a godmother to a two year old white kitty named Onigiri. All of Zero’s things including 80 cans of weruva cat food now has a new purpose. We may have lost our dear Zeroichi, but I’m thankful another (adult) kitty has found a wonderful home.


His Last 24 hours: 

4/11/15 @ 4:00PM - Healthy, and curious as usual. 
4/12/15 @ 8:30AM - Hospitalized. medicated but still alert. 
4/12/15 @ 4:00PM - No longer suffering. 

He's been sick before. Mast cell tumors, horners syndrome and allergies... but those are nothing compared to Saddle Thrombus:

Even sick he managed to look adorable. 

He's always preferred dogs over cats, so he had plenty of dog play dates over the years. A year ago we decided to foster a sweet little chihuahua/whippet mix. They got along so well we decided to make him a permanent part of the family. Zero became a big brother!

He wasn't a fan, but he still let me dress him up. 

As you can see he loved to sleep...

his favorite place to nap. 

He hated bathtime, unless i took the bath with him. 

He loved to eat. He would eat anything I handed him, and would always be begging for handouts. 


just kidding. he didn't eat Mashi and Fleep. 

He also loved to play. 

Good bye Zeroichi, the most beautiful, intelligent, loving, caring, cuddliest, nicest, considerate, softest kitty I have ever known. I was the luckiest person in the world to have had you in my life, even though you were taken from me way too soon.

I miss you.... I will always miss you. 


  1. Such a beautiful boy, I am so sorry for your loss. You gave him an amazing life, and I know he's watching over you with love. Fly free sweet Zeroichi.

  2. We are so sorry to read about adorable Zeroichi. He was truly one of a kind. All of us kittehz are sending lots of gentle purrs and headbumpies your way.

  3. We are so very sorry. He sounds like such a special boy.....what a legacy he leaves. Purrs

  4. Oh we are so so sorry about Zeroichi. The kindest thing you did for him is to let him go. That is such a hard thing to do. We sure send you lots of hugs and many many purrs.

  5. I am so so so very sorry for you loss. What a beautiful tribute you gave your sweet Zeroichi. He indeed was a very special boy and you have captured him so lovingly. Be gentle with yourself over the coming weeks and months. Purrs and prayers for you.

  6. I am so very sorry about Zeroichi. Saddle thrombus is one of the worst thing as a pet owner, so my heart aches for you.

    I totally understand the feeling that you will never fill his shoes, but love does come in all shapes and sizes, and personalities.. there will never ever be another Zero, but there are some amazing wonderful cats out there.. when and if you ever become ready.

    as for a glass artist. my friend used this one when her cat died and she loves her piece.. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AzureFire?section_id=5234068&ref=shopsection_leftnav_4

  7. We are so sorry to hear about Zeroichi. It's never easy losing a furbaby especially suddenly like this. We send you comforting purrs and gentle headbutts to help ease the sadness you are feeling.

  8. We read about Zeroichi on the FB Cats With Blogs page and wanted to say how sorry we were. Our neighbour kitty went the same way and so we really understand what you went through. Try to remember all the wonderful times.

    From everyone at The Poupounette

  9. We are so very sorry to hear about Zeroichi. Our thoughts to you

  10. Zeroichi sounds like an incredibly special fur baby. I don't know which is worse, to watch them suffer a lingering illness or to experience the shock of losing them so quickly. Please know that my thoughts are with you and my Truffles is sending you gentle purrs of comfort and love.

  11. I am so deeply sorry for this huge loss in your life/heart; Zeroichi was a gorgeous sweetheart...LOVE never dies...Wishing you comfort at this sad time...hugs...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki, Mommy Cat, Daddy Cat

  12. Thinking of you with deepest sympathy in the loss of your Zero. It is so very hard to lose them suddenly like this. He is at peace, healthy and happy, waiting for you at the Rainbow bridge.

    Grieve not,
    nor speak of me with tears,
    but laugh and talk of me
    as if I were beside you...
    I loved you so --
    'twas Heaven here with you.

    by Isla Paschal Richardson

  13. I’m coming to pay my rspects to Zeroichi. *bows head* I’m sending comforting purrz to those he left behind. We never found out what took our Nicky from us so quickly but it sounds like what Zero had. TW will never forget those wails.

  14. I am so so so very sorry for you loss. What a beautiful tribute you gave your sweet Zeroichi <3

  15. What a lovely tribute to Zeroichi. We send a warm hug, purrs and paw taps of comfort.

  16. What a beautiful and loving tribute. Such a beautiful boy... I'm so very sorry for your deep loss. Sending hugs, prayers and lots of purrs.
    Glogirly, Katie & Waffles

  17. We are so sad and sorry to hear Zeroichi was needed so urgently at the Bridge. He knew he was loved and had the best human ever to love him. Sending hugs and comforting purrs.

  18. My heart breaks for you! So so sorry you have to deal with this pain because I know all too well how much it hurts. Little by achingly little the pain will lessen. All I can say to help you deal with it now is to stay ever present in the moment. Thinking back on anything except the best love and memories is painful and can cause illness for you as well. I am sending you all the love and prayers I can to help you as you start to heal.
    Purrs and many many hugs and love,
    Mom Brenda and Angie

  19. We are so sorry to hear about Zeroichi. It's obvious how much you loved him. The pain is excruciating right now, but little by little, it will get better. My thoughts are with you.

  20. We awe so sorry fur yous loss. Him wuz just gawjus. Weez'll keep y'all in ow purrayers.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  21. So sorry to hear of about Zeroichi! Sending lots of purrs and hugs to you all!
    Your TX Furiends,
    Samantha & Mom

  22. Heart felt purrs and prayers as you grieve for sweet Zeroichi. What a blessing her was in your life... Praying you feel his comforting presence always and all ways. Katie.

  23. We heard of your loss from another blogger. We are so very sorry for your loss. Zeroichi had a great life with you and you gave him the ultimate gift, escape from pain and staying with him till the end. He knew how much you cared and he will be watching over you.

  24. I just read your tribute to Zero and now two years have passed. I too have had one special, incredible, intelligent, loving "cat soul mate" that was taken too soon. You will grieve for a long time and never forget, but I believe you WILL cross paths again. As a naturalist, I perceive that all lives are little sparks joining an infinite current...a current that repeats, renews and refreshes. Physics tells us that energy is never destroyed. Quantum physics tells us that love is energy. Isn't this what the mystics have been saying all these millennia? That you will see the ones you love again and again?

  25. What a lovely cat person Zero was. I can see you really loved him and he had the best of life!

  26. I cried while reading this, I can feel how much you loved him and your pain in losing him as I love my cats dearly as well, like every cat parent out there. I can't imagine going through something like this, he seemed like such a wonderful cat, but I hope that someday when you're ready you'll find a new wonderful kitty, I know there will never be a Zeroichi again, but I know he/she can make you happy and fill the emptiness in your heart