Camilla

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We put our Camilla to sleep this morning.

We were up with her
last night til the early hours of the morning. She was tired, we took
turns petting her, comforting her. Even though she was sick and
exhausted, she was purring, content with our love and attention.

She
woke up this morning even more tired. We took her to the clinic for her
scheduled surgery. We didn't want to put her in the carrier anymore so
David drove while I held her on my lap, wrapped up in my pale pink
bathrobe. Camilla loved our bathrobes, every time she found one on the
floor or the bed, she would climb into it and sleep. So I've been
wrapping her in my bathrobe to take to the vet. We thought it would
give her some comfort.

Her vet wasn't happy when she saw her.
Even less happy when she found her temperature below normal. I thought
it was good that she didn't have a fever, but the doctor said that it
was a sign that her body had given up the fight. Evidently the second
antibiotic we put her on to prepare for the surgery didn't work. Her
body was failing.

She told us that there was a very slim chance
that Camilla would make it through the surgery. It's a critical surgery
even for otherwise healthy cats, and Camilla's body was failing. Yet
without the surgery she wouldn't survive. We've run out of options to
fix her medically, as she was no longer responding to antibiotics.

We decided not to put her through the trauma of surgery. She's been through enough already in the past week alone.

The
procedure at that clinic is to give her something to go to sleep, and
then after that the doctor will take care of the euthanasia. We stayed
with her after the doctor gave her the first injection, petting her.
She was purring softly, still wrapped up in my bathrobe. She was very
weak, but she was still our Camilla for a time. I scratched her nose,
she liked it. David rubbed her ears, she loved that. Every time we
called her name, even when her eyes were closed, seemingly asleep, her
ears perked up.

We stayed with her until she was completely
asleep, when her ears didn't perk up anymore when we called her name.
We left her in the care of her vet, who would do the surgery anyway to
learn what she could in order to save other cats with the same
problems.

Camilla was sleeping peacefully when we said our goodbyes, embraced in the softness of my pink bathrobe.

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55 Responses to “Camilla

  • Cin said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 3:10am

    Oh Pim, so sorry to hear about Camilla. I’m sure it was comforting for her to have you both there, expressing your love for her.

  • LPC said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 4:01am

    Hey Pim, Hope you and David are doing ok. Thinking of you.

  • raymond said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 5:15am

    HI PIM
    I’am very sorry to hear of your loss,as a chef who works very hard I have two cats who i’ve grown very attached and would be devesated if something happened to them…my thoughts are with you and thank you for all the happiness you bring with your blog …take care and my thoughts are with you and david

  • Charlotte said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 5:23am

    Oh Pim, I’m so sorry to hear this. *hugs*

  • CWCW said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 5:43am

    Rest in peace, Camilla. Hope you and David are okay, Pim.

  • Jeff said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 6:03am

    Sorry to hear about your cat, that is probably the saddest thing I’ve read in a long time

  • thaigirl said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 6:29am

    I’m so sorry for your and David’s loss, Pim. From your story it seemed that Camilla was a lucky girl and well loved. Take care.

  • casey said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 6:39am

    RIP, Camilla. What a pretty girl you were.

  • Kate said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 7:08am

    Oh Pim. You and yours have my deepest sympathies. Be well.

  • Collin C. said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 7:34am

    I am so sorry.
    Putting a pet down is one of the hardest things to do.
    At least she is no longer suffering.
    -collin

  • Rosa said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 7:37am

    I send you all my condolences on this very sad day…
    Camilla was a very brave and pretty cat.

  • Judy said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 7:57am

    I’m so sorry about Camilla. I have 2 babies, Bailey 6 months and Anna 13 months. They are such a big part of my life. My thoughts are with you today

  • Chrysalis said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 8:11am

    I’m so sorry.

  • barbie2be said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 9:09am

    i’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Kudzu said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 9:09am

    Having been through this same experience several times with loved creatures, I empathize. Let me say that it is horribly difficult, but so much better than trying to keep things going once an animal has reached the last stages of its happy life. How fine that your vet’s name is Dr. Good, and that she was honest with you and helped you through a hard time.

  • Jennifer - Eat Drink Talk said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 9:34am

    I’m so sorry Pim – the loss of a beloved pet is always incredibly sad.
    I’m sending through a quick recipe for Vietnamese Pho. I hope that some comfort food will make you feel a little better.
    Vietnamese Pho (serves 2 – for you and David)
    —————
    Ingredients:
    4 cups chicken stock (ideally with a few slices of ginger and lemongrass thrown in while you make the stock)
    1 package rice noodles
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    1 sirloin steak, fat removed, thinly sliced
    1 handful bean sprouts
    a small handful of coriander and mint leaves, chopped
    chili paste
    lime wedges
    Bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the fish sauce. Add the rice noodles and simmer a few minutes or until the rice noodles are cooked. Meanwhile, in 2 large chinese-style bowls, arrange the beef slices in a fan and top with the herbs and bean sprouts.
    When the noodles are cooked, remove them with tongs and place an equal amount in each bowl. Pour the chicken stock over the noodles, beef and other ingredients in the bowls. The hot stock will cook the beef slices.
    Serve with the lime wedges and chili paste.

  • Joy said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 10:00am

    Pim, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m hoping you and David can find comfort in one another during this difficult time.

  • Bea at La Tartine Gourmande said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 10:19am

    So sorry about this loss as well. Losing a pet is tough! Bon courage. These times are never easy.

  • Catherine said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 10:41am

    Pim,
    So sorry for the loss of lovely Camilla.

  • Dianka said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 11:16am

    Awww, I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a family memeber is so tough. Be well.

  • Mondira said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 11:51am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Pim. I’ll say a prayer for Camilla today.

  • jo said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 12:41pm

    So sorry Pim….so so sorry. It’s often harder for me to hear of the loss of pet than the loss of a person. It’s the innocence and trust I guess. You can tell that she was loved.

  • savina said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 1:32pm

    a big hug

  • matt said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 2:00pm

    As a multiple animal owner I cannot imagine what this situation would have been like.
    You, David and Camilia are in our thoughts.

  • Catherine said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 3:50pm

    Poor Camilla. She looks like a sweetheart of a kitty. How lovely to have comforted her until the end; I am sure it meant the world to her.

  • Karen said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 5:27pm

    I read your journal all the time and enjoy it a great deal.
    I’m sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and David.

  • gerald said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 6:15pm

    My condolences to you and David.

  • robin said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 8:10pm

    Having lost my 2 precious old kitties not very long ago, I send you support!
    It’s difficult to lose a pet. Like a friend said to me, I’m sure that
    Camilla floated off on a cloud of love.
    My new kitty just meowed her condolences, too!

  • Jennifer said:
    August 22nd, 2006 at 8:23pm

    As the “mother” of three cats, I send you my heartfelt sympathy. My heart truly breaks for you.

  • Spike said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 12:01am

    Aside from everything else, I’d like to say “bravo” to you for allowing the doctor to continue with the surgery. Your bravery, however painful, will likely pay off many times over in the future for other pet owners and yourself.

  • Pim said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 1:24am

    Thank you so much everyone for your kind thoughts and messages. I cannot tell you how much they meant to David and me.
    She was my very first cat. I didn’t even much like cats before, but she won me over. She used to sit by my computer and stared at me. We’d have a staring match until I gave up the computer to pet her. She would even hit the computer with her nose sometimes to make a point! She followed me everywhere. She sat under my chair in the office. Or she’d sit by me on the couch and wait for me to give her proper attention.
    David had her for ten years, she’s only been my cat for less than two, but she was so wonderful to me.
    I used to bury my face in her soft fur and gave her a kiss and took a deep breath, taking in her scent. It’s really bothering me -I’m horrified, in fact- that I can’t seem to remember what she smelled like anymore…..and it’s not even two days yet….
    Life is a little surreal these two days. I can’t decide if I should just continue to do what I do, live, or I should just shut down for a while. We break down at the slightest things, like finding a little sign that said ‘Attention, chat de garde’ which I brought back from one of my trips to France last year. But at other times we are so normal it’s simply bizarre.

  • aja - Jaffa, Israel said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 1:35am

    So sorry for your loss, I wish you and David long life.

  • umami said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 2:41am

    My condolences to you Pim. I know I will be inconsolable when the time comes up for my pets, it is just something no-one is ever completely prepared for.

  • umami said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 2:41am

    My condolences to you Pim. I know I will be inconsolable when the time comes up for my pets, it is just something no-one is ever completely prepared for.

  • keiko said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 5:10am

    Pim, I wasn’t even a fan of cats until I had my first one and I know exactly how you feel. We are thinking of you, David and Camilla – she is such a beautiful girl.

  • Barbara Fisher said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 10:15am

    Oh, Pim. I am so very sorry, and I know exactly how you feel. Having been through this many times (this is what happens when one adopts shelter cats–they are not always very healthy and some of them do not last long, even with good medical care and food), and it never gets easier.
    My love to you and David, and my condolences. I wish there was something magical I could say that would take away the hurt of losing a beloved little friend, but there isn’t, and I can’t, so I won’t even try.
    Just be comforted to know that you were blessed with the love of an amazing creature for a while, and she was blessed by your love, and that, as hard as the loss is, the love is always worth it.

  • Lucy Vanel said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 2:44pm

    I am so sorry about your loss, Pim.

  • Fatemeh said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 5:43pm

    Pim & David,
    We are SO, SO sorry for your loss. Camilla sounds like a sweetheart, and Pim, she must have known how special you are to David to dote on you the way she did.
    I know it was an unbelievably difficult thing to do, but thank you for letting Camilla go in peace, and with dignity. You guys loved her well.
    xoxo
    F & C

  • Alder said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 6:28pm

    Putting my cat to sleep was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. So sorry you had to go through it.

  • Melissa said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 9:46pm

    Oh, I’m so very sorry. I know that you had a special relationship with her. It is amazing how much these little cats creep into our hearts and lives. She was a beautiful cat, and will be missed. Hugs to you and David.

  • jean said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 11:00pm

    I feel so for your loss as I put my precious latte to sleep last year. the gift of being love unconditionally is precious and profound. I am sending you both my best thoughts as a stranger, but bound by your blog and our love of food and felines….

  • jean said:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 11:02pm

    I feel so for your loss as I put my precious latte to sleep last year. the gift of being love unconditionally is precious and profound. I am sending you both my best thoughts as a stranger, but bound by your blog and our love of food and felines….

  • Kimberly said:
    August 24th, 2006 at 1:04am

    Oh, Pim, I’m so sorry for your loss. I was not a cat person until Samantha showed up on my doorstep. She stayed with me for 19 years. When she became ill, I knew that letting her go quickly and gently was the best choice, but it was heartbreaking.

  • Robyn said:
    August 24th, 2006 at 6:54am

    So, so sorry, Pim. We’ve been there, a couple of times.

  • carla said:
    August 24th, 2006 at 6:09pm

    So So sorry Pim. i am a mum to 3 kittens, and had to put on down 3 years ago. It is not easy. Know that you did the right thing. Your Camilla at least is not suffering anymore, and hopefully, in a cat heaven, rolling over fresh catnip, and having endless supply of yummy turbot!
    Kind thoughts,
    carla

  • slurp! said:
    August 24th, 2006 at 6:26pm

    that’s awfully sad read for me 🙁
    My condolences
    seems like i have been reading too much of cat post of lately, including this one about 150 cats for adoption. Presently, they are cared by singapore cat welfare group
    sorry, i have to apologise for that little advert, but if anyone from singapore who would like to adopt cutie cats/kittens, kindly follow this link would you? thanks!
    http://robin33.blogspot.com/2006/08/cats-for-u.html

  • ken nussbaum said:
    August 25th, 2006 at 12:39am

    sorry to hear about Camilla – i wish there was something other than sending cyber-comfort your way to do. Best wishes!

  • Craig Hatfield said:
    August 25th, 2006 at 11:36am

    I’m very sorry. We just went through this ourselves. My sincere condolences.
    -Craig

  • Lisa said:
    August 26th, 2006 at 1:58pm

    Hi Pim, I am so sorry you lost your dear kitty. I have three cats, including one very thin old girl who’s declining. It’s awful to have to see them go through illness and weakness. It sounds like you comforted her wonderfully at the end and she must’ve been very peaceful. All the best.

  • Molly Newman said:
    August 27th, 2006 at 9:25pm

    I cried. My feline children and I send many hugs. You are a good mom.

  • jennie said:
    August 30th, 2006 at 1:58am

    Dear Pim,
    I lost my Abbey 10 years ago, she had breast cancer, and even though I have two beautiful 4 year old Tonkenese I still miss Abbey terribly.
    You have been incredibly kind to your cat, and my thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Nadia Prigoda said:
    August 31st, 2006 at 4:12pm

    I’m so sorry that you’ve lost your friend. Your entry was a very lovely tribute to her.

  • Katy said:
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:16am

    Je vois ce blog pour la 1ère fois et lis les derniers instants de Camilla… un écho de petites âmes envolées accompagne ma lecture…amouvant… mais ne dit-on pas que le chat a plusieurs vies ?? alors qui sait ?? bien à vous.

  • mary lamb said:
    September 11th, 2006 at 7:20pm

    Dear Pim — your blog is always one of my favorites, even today when you’ve made me cry. Your beautiful Camilla looks just like our beloved Callie, who also has gone gently to sleep. You can be sure that she loves you all the more for helping her through her last days in the best way you could. She surely deserves the beautiful tribute you’ve given her here.

  • Susan said:
    September 15th, 2006 at 6:56am

    We’re going to Paris in a week’s time and I just read your blog. I found this link to Camilla, and I want to add my sympathies. We took our Cleo to the vet for her final visit 3 years ago, and I still think about her. We still have our first cat (18 y/o and still going strong) as well as 2 young ones (now 3 y/o) that we adopted when we lost Cleo. It’s amazing and wonderful how much these little 4 legged friends / children add to our lives.

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