RIP Lenny

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trekriffic
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RIP Lenny

Post by trekriffic » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:42 pm

On Saturday my wife and I made the painful decision to put Lenny, our beloved 13 year old male Tonkinese, to sleep.
Lenny had been in rapid decline for 2 days before we were able to get him into the vet. Tests revealed his kidney's were failing.

We had known in 2015 that his kidney's were borderline impaired so we had him on special low protein catfood and always made sure he had plenty of fresh water. Up until Thursday of last week he was the same loving cat we'd always known, if anything, he was even more affectionate than usual. Monday and Tuesday, as I worked at the desk, he would jump into my lap, looking up at me with his aqua-blue eyes, even climbing up onto my chest and headbutting the underside of my chin very forcefully.
Then on Wednesday night he was up and down, back and forth off the bed and digging in his litter box.
This went on over and over for a good hour or so at which time I checked and noticed he had only made 2 small round poops in his box.
Urine output looked normal though so I thought perhaps he was just constipated.
Anyway, he slept most of the day on Thursday and then that night the strange behavior continued.
Friday morning I checked and he had not eaten any of his food although he did drink some from his water bowl.
By this time he was extremely lethargic and barely responsive to my efforts to rouse him with efforts at play.

So I called the vet and moved up our appointment from noon to Saturday at 9:15AM which was the earliest opening they had.
Took him in and blood test results were not good.

There was little that could be done the vet said, Lenny's kidney's were in failure.
Efforts at re-hydration thru saline injections under the skin might have some small effect but the prognosis was Lenny would not recover.
And his quality of life would continue to deteriorate as his organs gradually failed him.

Knowing how weak he was, Linda and I made the hardest choice a pet owner can ever make, we told the vet we wanted to end his suffering before he was in any real pain.
We told him that our decision was not based on finances, as we loved Lenny like you would a beloved family member, but that we would not put him thru the treatments the vet offered as options without any guarantee they would be effective.
It would only mean more stress and pain for a cat who had given us so much love and laughter over the past eleven years.

Linda was heartbroken, as was I, tears flowing down her face as she kissed him on the top of his little round head and told him how much she loved him.
It was all he could do to flick the tip of his tail in response.
We had decided only I would remain in the room with him for the injection of anesthetic; as she left, the exam room the door closed behind her, and I could hear her quiet sobs from the clinic's lobby.
A few more minutes went by during which I petted him softly and told Lenny how much we loved him.
Then the door opened and the vet gave Lenny the initial dose of anesthetic. He told me it would take about five minutes for Lenny to fall asleep so I held him in my arms and rocked him gently, stroking his soft coat, and saying, "Sweet dreams Len, we love you sweet little boy."
It only took a few minutes for him to go limp in my arms, his breathing barely noticeable. I felt cheated not to have gotten all five minutes the doctor had said it would take.
Still petting him the doctor came back and gently took Lenny from my hands, placing him gently on a towel before carrying him from the room for the final injection to stop his little heart.

I turned and left the room, utterly devastated.

We had given Lenny the greatest gift a pet owner can give their pet, a peaceful, painless exit from this tired world and it occurred to me that, another reason this was the greatest gift, was because it was the greatest sacrifice we could ever make for him.
How, I thought, would we be able to recover from this?
How can you mend a broken heart?
Now it is I and my wife who are suffering.

Lenny was as cute, cuddly, friendly, smart, and silly as any cat you could ever have the good fortune to know and his loss left us both bereft and adrift on a sea of sorrow.

We returned to the empty house and went about collecting his toys in a box for storage in the attic. I cleaned his litterbox for the last time and placed it high above a cabinet in the garage. His cat beds were removed but not before I collected his fur and placed some in a plastic bag so I could still touch it and remember how soft he was. I removed the flannel shirt I was wearing at the vet's office and hung it on the stationary bike next to our bed. I may never wash it again-it has Lenny's smell and fur on it.

The next day, Sunday, we awoke to a bed with no little friend curled up around our legs or resting beside us under the sheets. The sense of loss was immeasurable. Oh god, how we miss him.
As we lay there I turned on my iPad and brought up the video of that song by Linkin Park, "One more light" and played it for Linda. I had heard it on the radio awhile back and it summed up perfectly how we were feeling...

"Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can't keep
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
The reminders pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh
And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair
Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares…"

In the coming days we plan to go thru all the photos and videos we can find of Lanny and create a book for him on Shutterfly. It will include captions from our memories to remind us of how special he is, you see we don't think of him in the past tense, not yet, probably not ever. So many memories...
How he would roll on the bricks and stretch out full length in front of the fireplace when we came home from a trip as if to say, "Welcome home, I sure missed you guys"; or how he would head butt us to say "You are mine and don't you forget it." He would play hide and seek in the linen cabinets, to the point we had to put childproof locks on the cabinets. He loved licking blind cords so, in an effort to get him to stop, we got him plush or foil-ball toys attached to a wand with elastic strings attached; he would draw them tight with his paws and lick them quite earnestly, but, of course, he still licked the blind cords. He was always there to escort me to the bathroom and jump into my pants or shorts, usually head first with his butt in the air. And every night he would lead the way up to the bedroom, dashing up the two flights of stairs ahead of us, pausing only to stick his head between the upper stair balusters and offer us some loving headbutts along the way.
Oh god, so many precious memories, too many to recount here.
The house is so empty now, the hole in our hearts is too new to even contemplate a life without him. Or one with another kitty, maybe someday, maybe not.

Lenny, Lenny you weighed less than seven pounds but you filled our lives with such love and joy.
We shall always remember you.
You can never be replaced.

Rest in peace our precious little boy.

We will always love you.


One More Light:
https://youtu.be/nKOPF6XtEZw


ImageLennox Crystal Beauty Shot by trekriffic, on Flickr

ImageLenny at 2 Years Old by trekriffic, on Flickr
"You broke your little ships."

My albums on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29607470@N08/sets/

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Tesral
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by Tesral » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:08 am

I here you, and i have been there. We lost Zak, our big 16 year old tabby to cancer last march and it still hurts. I still look for him and check the spot on the bed where he slept.

The good ones are the hardest to let go, I don't think I ever will.
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Griffworks
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by Griffworks » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:56 am

My condolences. :(
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by WarpNein » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:53 am

That's terrible, my condolences. I still remember having to put down our old dog Chorney many years ago. You never quite get over experiences like that.

Thankfully the cats are still cruising along, with Pearl closing in on 20. But it could be just a matter of days or hours for her to be taken. I had to round them up for some extra affection after reading this. I wish you all the best.

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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:37 pm

Steve, my deepest and sincerest condolences, to you and Linda, on the loss of your cat. It is a deep and painful loss to lose a beloved pet. I understand and empathize as my wife and I have also lost precious pets recently.

You did give him a great life and even honor him as your avatar on another forum.

Grieve. Heal. And know we support you as you do.

Again, my condolences on your loss.

Steve

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Kremin
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by Kremin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:46 pm

trekriffic sorry for your loss, the fur babies become such a big part of our lives it's terrible when this happens

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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by el gato » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Please accept my condolences. I've been in your shoes, and while it is painful to make the call, it is also best that you minimize their suffering. You did the right thing
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Xen
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by Xen » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:55 pm

I'm, so very sorry for your loss.

So many have already said what I would have wanted to say. All good, kind, thoughtful words and wishes.

I have been there too. There are no words that can really do justice for what a beautiful soul brought to you and what happens afterwards.
Tesral wrote:The good ones are the hardest to let go, I don't think I ever will.
I'll just add to Tesral's comment and say, don't feel the need to let go (this goes for everyone who has lost a feline, canine, avian or other beloved best friend).

In my humble opinion (I'm not trying to sound like I'm preaching here or know what is best). Keep them in your heart. Keep the memories safe. Talk to them via thought or out loud.

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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by mophius » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:16 pm

I am sorry for your loss Trekriffic.
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slawton
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Re: RIP Lenny

Post by slawton » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:51 pm

I'm sorry for your loss! Those furballs have a way of kneeding, head-butting, pouncing, etc. their way into your heart -- it's so hard to let go.
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I'm still reminded/telling stories about feline adventures from 25+ years ago. Maybe you could honor him with a dedication in one of your future "trekriffic" builds.
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