2008 - 2009
[Also known as: Kennaner, Keanz, Keannanu, K-Bot]
This is quite a difficult post to write. I've been absent for a little over a week, and now you'll understand why.
On Friday May 1st, I came home from work to feed the cats and as I looked down I noticed that Keanu's right eye was clouded. Keanu had been acting strange all week - he didn't want to play, he was lethargic, and his happy little curiosity seemed to have disappeared. He wasn't purring. And I was confused, but attributed this all to the fact that Jesse had left the previous week, and Keanu hung out with Jesse all day every day for the most part - until he left, and I worked all day. I realized on that Friday afternoon that this wasn't Keanu stricken with a bout of missing Jesse; this was actually something.
I dropped everything and headed out to our vet's office. They took a look at him and couldn't conclude anything, but gave him antibiotics and eyedrops. Jesse returned that Saturday and took him for his followup on Monday, where he hadn't improved, and so Keanu got some bloodwork done. On Wednesday he came back positive for the coronavirus - something many cats have, but in rare cases mutates into something called feline infectious perontitis (FIP). FIP is a fatal, incurable disease. That night, the vet called again to confirm that Keanu had tested positive for FIP.
Of course, Jesse and I were left heartbroken. Jesse was in an airport in Dallas flying back to LA when he got the news. I was, luckily, with friends whose presence comforted me greatly. The vet directed us to a cat internist at another hospital, so I took Keanu there last Friday, where I was told that Keanu's rate of deterioration (he can hardly see anymore, his bones are protuding because of all his lost weight, and his strength is not what it used to be) along with his positive test results confirmed our fears. We had to put Keanu to sleep, because he was dying. Our little Keanu Robot. I called our vet and made an appointment for today, Monday afternoon.
Jesse decided to fly back this past Saturday to be with us, given that I would not be able to do this horrid task on my own. And so we spent the weekend with Keanu. The internist gave us some steroids for Keanu to live out the last few days more comfortably. We spent as much time as possible with him, helping him to his food, his litter box, jump off the couch without falling, etc. He's still a lovely little boy who cuddles with us and nuzzles our noses.
It's obviously been a shock to Jesse, me, and all of our friends and family. I'm sure regular readers here know how much we love Keanu. And there's something so utterly depressing about having to be the one to decide this creature's fate - or, rather, to know what we have to do. One week he's fine, the next week he's been sentenced - and he's only ten months old. Jesse and I both talked about this shock; about how we both imagined moving into a house together in our future with an adult Keanu Robot, ready for an adventure. That's all been dashed, but we're staying positive. Keanu's deterioration and waning quality of life also made it apparent what is necessary - I just want that little guy to be peaceful, and happy.
My friends and family have been so great. My sob-filled phone calls to my parents were met with understanding and comforting words. My friends have all stood by me while Jesse was out of town; particularly Adam and James for helping me get Keanu to the hospital on Friday and supporting me through another round of bad news and crying, and Erica for being a grand roommate as well. Jesse and I love and appreciate them all in their support.
I've stayed away from the internet for the most part, and this blog, but writing it out now has helped me find closure on this sadness. Thank you for letting me impart all this.
Our final trip to the vets was emotional. The doctor and nurses were attentive and sympathetic, and Keanu was sedated and then peacefully went to sleep. Jesse and I had each other there to hold on to, and we whispered sweet things to Keanu as he passed. I don't know what I would have done without Jesse there to comfort me. I'm still a bit of a mess, and he holds me tight and lovingly, though I know he's feeling the same way. This was the hardest thing I've had to do in my short life, and I know I face even harder decisions and times in the future. However, it's good to know that I have Jesse, my family, and my friends to surround me when facing obstacles.
Keanu Robot is somewhere better now. I know we had to let him go, and we are just glad to have loved him so dearly and feel that love reflected back from his tiny, little self. We'll remember his love of sleeping on Jesse's booty and my chest; the way he first jumped up the daunting apartment stairs; the way he would meekly meow for food; and so on. Tonight we're going to celebrate his short life with a drink with friends, and a toast.