If you've been reading our blog for a while, you know that our tuxedo cat, Sylvester, has been such a big part of this blog ever since he made his way to our homestead several years ago. I have been putting off this post for as long as possible, but I think I am finally ready to share the news.
We had to say goodbye to Sylvester on Saturday. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. He had gone missing for about five days, which is totally unlike him, so I was beginning to think something was wrong. He showed back up one night early last week looking very sick and lethargic. I took him to the vet and he had a high fever as a result of a really bad infection. He was put on strong medication and given fluids through an IV because he was severely dehydrated. I brought him home and kept him in the garage to continue his care, but he refused to eat or drink. After several days I took him back to the vet because I knew he couldn't survive much longer without food or water, and she suggested running some blood work on him. They found that he tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus and as a result, his immune system was so weakened that he couldn't fight off his infection. He had lost so much weight and was refusing to eat or drink and didn't have much strength at all. He was obviously suffering and would not recover, so I made the tough call to have our vet put him to sleep on Saturday.
I spent as much time with him as I could on Friday, and even brought him into our guest room so I could cuddle with him and say my goodbyes. I ended up sleeping with him for a few hours until he got up and went under the bed, almost like he had said his goodbye to me and was ready to go.
Sylvester was such a character, and was the most loving cat I've ever known. It amazed me the first time I saw him cuddle up to our big dog, Duchess. He welcomed our new kitty, Emma, to the homestead and showed her that it was safe here (since she had direct contact with Sylvester, we will be getting Emma tested for FIV sometime in the future).
He was a loyal companion on our walks in the woods and was never far behind. Occasionally he would get distracted by something and fall a little behind, but I'd just call to him and he would run to catch up.
Words can't express how much I will miss him. I'm just so happy that he found his way to our home and I got him to stick around. I feel blessed that I got to know him and be a part of his life, if it was only for a couple years. He will always have a piece of my heart.
As soon as I went out to my car after the vet on Saturday, church bells were ringing. It was almost like he was being welcomed into Heaven and it gave me such peace. I know he is having a blast in Heaven right now with all our other furry and feathered friends we've had to say goodbye to in the past. In his final moments on the Earth, I was petting him and telling him how much he was loved, and he went out purring. I can't think of a better way to say goodbye.