I watched him sit in his sheltered spot one night after everyone had gone to sleep. There was little left of him, just fur and bones. He had stopped eating a couple of days before and hardly even drank. His eyes were focused on a spot fare away and he looked agitated, as if he were earnestly waiting for something. I went over to try and comfort him but he pulled away. He didnít recognize me.
I had watched many patients near their end, and though it was never easy, one had to know when it was time to let them go. It was time to let Astro go.
I was surprised, however, at how difficult it was for me to accept this fact and found myself sitting in front of my computer looking up research papers on kidney pathology and cellular metabolism well past dawn.
On my way to catch a couple of hours sleep I stopped to look in on Astro. He was awake but transfixed. How long could he endure I wondered. I had resolved that we would not take him to the vet to be euthanized. If there was still some fight left in Astro to re-ignite, I had found a weapon that might help him win a few battles.†
I had discovered some very promising research on feline and canine CRF, cellular metabolism and free radical neutralization. The challenge was to combine the results of this diverse research into a formula designed to arrest, and hopefully reverse the progression of his CRF. The formula would be prepared as soon as all the ingredients could procured, however, we first needed to buy some time. For Astro that meant hydration and nutrition.
Unfortunately, Astro steadfastly refused to eat his renal diet cat food and forcing him to do so would not be a solution. We offered him a Whiskas cat treat instead and gently pleaded with him to eat. He seemed† oblivious to our pleas, it was as if he were determined to meet his end.
Eventually, in one of those hard to forget moments, he came out of his trance and focused on us. He considered the treat held before him for a long while. Suddenly, with a decisive movement he gingerly plucked the treat with his teeth and ate it. He was going to try again even though it would have been so much easier for him to give up and end the suffering.
Morsel by morsel we hand feed him and praised him for every courageous bite he accepted. He ate six or seven pieces and a while later, another ten or so. Astro was coxed back to life with love more than food.
Once all the ingredients were procured and the proportions† calculated, I mix the formula. I administered the first dose with a pipette the day after Astro resumed eating and drinking.
After a month of daily 1.5 ml doses of the formula, Astroís condition was stable and he was out of danger. He had regained his appetite and put on some much needed weight. Based on his blood and urine tests and lack of nausea I began weaning him of the subqís.
Astro about three months after starting on the formula. He has gained back a lot of weight and no longer needs to be hydrated. (Note the re-pigmentation on his flank).