Our epileptic cat Emmy died a couple of weeks ago, it was very sudden and a horrible shock to all of us. I am only just able to write about it in order to update her story here on my blog.
Our Epileptic Cat Emmy Died
Finding And Living With Emmy
Regular readers of my blog will know that over four years ago we found a young cat that had obviously had a seizure. I grabbed her and took her to the vet and that was the start of a long journey of taking care of Emmy. And boy, does an epileptic cat take some looking after!
I wrote the whole story of finding her, getting her to see and walk straight (!) and finding the right level of medication in a blog a couple of years ago. At that time her seizures were controlled with a drug called Keppra and she would have an episode maybe once every couple of months. These episodes happened when she was asleep so sometimes they happened during the day, but mostly at night. The dogs, Ringo and Spud, would wake me up to tell me she was fitting and I would race upstairs and sort things out!
A Switch In Medication
In an update last year, I wrote about how things had changed. The frequency of seizures changed and she had strange moments at various times during the day, obviously seeing things and trying to climb up high all the time. Eventually she had three episodes in one day and clearly the Keppra wasn’t working.
We researched alternatives, such as CBD oil, to try and control the episodes but in the end the only choice was to give her Phenobarbital. In my update last year, I explained how worried we were about giving her that drug because of the side effects. I said how I cried when I gave her the first dose as I knew it was a horrible drug to have to use.
Emmy’s Quality Of Life Improved
Well the good news was that the drug worked and all seizures stopped. Over the next ten months she had no convulsions, a few odd moments and rapid eye movements but I managed to get to sleep all night for the first time since we found her.
In January this year we got excited because Emmy started to show interest in having a cuddle – something that had never happened. I wrote a blog wondering ‘well will she or won’t she‘ get up on our lap. Well, given that Emmy died, I am delighted to say that she blessed her Daddy with a lovely cuddle. The only one she ever wanted!
At the end of March there was a big change in Emmy over a weekend. We found little piles of poop in the middle of the kitchen floor. She seemed to have returned to wanting to climb upwards a lot of the time. She seemed even more strange than usual. That is important because Emmy was always strange, with a vacant expression and odd behavior. So a slight change in her behavior didn’t really cause the alarm bells it might have done in another cat.
Of course the week before we had just gone into lock down here in Italy owing to Covid-19 and our movements were severely restricted. I wasn’t even sure if the vet was open! Luckily the clinic was open and I was able to talk to the vet. She said that it sounded like Emmy had some brain activity happening from the epilepsy and I should take her down for a check up.
Emmy Was Very Sick
Well to my horror Emmy turned out to be very anemic. A scan showed a problem with a kidney and an enlarged liver and Emmy was very sick indeed. But she didn’t look it! Even the vet was shocked by what they found. It broke my heart to leave her at the vet but given the movement restrictions I was unable to keep going backwards and forwards. The speculation was it was the medication that had caused the problems and her prospects were not good.
The vet fought to save her, in the end they gave her a blood transfusion. And over the course of 12 hours her body destroyed all the new red blood cells she had been given. Her liver had caused an immune reaction such that her own body was destroying her red blood cells. And Emmy died.
Having To Tell Stevie Mouse
I brought her body home and showed it to the dogs and Stevie Mouse. The dogs sniffed and licked Emmy and then walked away. Stevie had been looking for her little friend for three days. It was heartbreaking to watch her searching the house and checking all the places that Emmy would sleep. Stevie took time to sniff and hiss at the body, coming back to it several times. Then she went to a corner and curled up and slept for most of the day. Then she woke up and started a new life without Emmy but no longer looking for her. But she spends a lot more time with us.
Living Without Emmy
And we no longer run our lives by the clock and the two alarms each day that signal the need for Emmy’s tablet. I sleep without interruption or worry. We don’t spend ages looking for her and checking she is okay. And we miss her dreadfully. She was a dear little thing and we were so blessed to have looked after her even if our time together was too short.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!