Yesterday afternoon my sweet little kitten Drake died of heart failure.
For the last two weeks he has been having some difficulty breathing. Some days were better than others and he mostly never acted like it bothered him much. He still played and ate and terrorized the house. The vet said he had a heart valve defect and as he grew it was getting harder for his heart to keep up. There was really nothing we could do. Over the last two weeks he started to get thin. I was told this was his body trying to compensate for not being able to pump enough blood for any more mass. He was still active though. Two days ago we got up to find him in some distress. He was breathing through his mouth and he couldn't lay down or he had trouble breathing. I propped him with my hands so he could sleep sitting up and when he woke up he was a lot better. He played and seemed to breath a lot easier. Yesterday morning he was much better still. He was really playful and wrestled with Neeci. He slept on my chest while the kids were at school and at one point he looked into my eyes and I told him that it would be okay for him to go and that he didn't have to fight for us. He just looked weak. The kids came home and he was sitting on the kitchen floor like he usually is when the dishwasher is open. He liked to play there. Suddenly he started crying. My son rushed him to me. Drake would not stop crying. I ran him into the bathroom and turned the shower on hoping the humidity would ease his breathing as it had before. He was fighting me and struggling against me. I told the kids to leave the bathroom as I didn't want them to see what I knew was going to happen. I called my husband and asked him to get home quickly because if this was going to be drawn out I wanted to rush him to the vet's to end his paid. He walked around the bathroom and cried until no sound would come out. It was really quick, less than a minute from the time he started crying. He got weaker and I wrapped him in a towel so he wouldn't fight so much. I held him in my arms as he took his last breath. I kept him wrapped in the towel and held him. I went outside to sit on the deck with him and let the kids say their good byes. They found little toys that belonged to him and we waited for my husband. When he got home we had a little funeral. I took the kids back to the house while my husband rewrapped him in the towel to cover him before he buried him because I didn't want the kids to see his little lifeless body all exposed. I had let them pet him but I didn't want them to see him like a ragdoll.
We are all heartbroken. He would have been three months old next week. He was our little baby and our first kitten. I put his things away and the spot where his litter box was is just too empty. I never got to take pictures of him with Neeci. I will never get to see him outgrow his clumsy kitten stage into a big graceful cat. We know now that this was probably the reason he was so much smaller than his littermates. While we are in pain I wouldn't trade the few weeks we had with Drake for any other healthy kitten. We probably will get another kitten at some point because we really liked the way the cat behavior balanced out the house but I can't say when that will happen. Right now we just all miss our sweet little Fluzz Bubbit as the kids called him.
RIP my sweet litte Drake 3/5/09 - 5/29/09