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05/18/20 - I say goodbye to my sweet lovable cat Neil

Previous Batch
id: 56182
A silver lining of the COVID lockdown has been the ability to be with Neil so much in the last few months of his life
id: 56183
Neil's kidneys were failing, so he required fluid injections under his skin. First every other day, then every day.
id: 56184
Waiting in the vet's lobby
id: 56185
"Hey I know this table"
id: 56186
Weighing Neil. He's lost a lot of weight
id: 56187
Neil's such a good boy
id: 56188
I set up the racing chair and Neil immediately claimed it again as his own
id: 56189
How am I supposed to race like this?
id: 56190
You know what, I'll take this over racing
id: 56191
A little low-contrast nap
id: 56192
Wait... who's that other cat??
id: 56193
Thanks Neil
id: 56194
COVID precautions at the vet
id: 56195
Cats on cats
id: 56196
Buzz tries to figure out how to break into the "Neil Safe Confinement"
id: 56197
Kitchen configuration
id: 56198
Brothers enjoying the flowers
id: 56199
Neil's a good work buddy
id: 56200
Neil camping out with his special food
id: 56201
He really liked sitting on towels so I just let him claim all that he wanted
id: 56202
He's such a good lap cat
id: 56203
Hey Neil, what's going on outside?
id: 56204
Same lap, same cat, new seat
id: 56205
Wanna smell a beer?
id: 56206
Neil always liked to sit nearby
id: 56207
Yes, you can sleep on that blanket
id: 56208
I would take Neil's collar off when going to the vet.
id: 56209
"This again?"
id: 56210
id: 56211
I waited in the car while the vet checked out Neil
id: 56212
Neil's fluid bags in the bathroom
id: 56213
Each needle came in individual wrappers. There were a lot of wrappers
id: 56214
This was the only way to keep Buzz away from Neil's food. Eventually I had to make a second one for Buzz's food to keep Neil out! They only wanted the food they couldn't have!
id: 56215
The verdict from the vet was that Neil was in his final decline. As such, it was no longer necessary to restrict his diet or give him daily fluids. Just make him happy. I gave him a feast
id: 56216
All the wet food he could eat. And all the crappy old dry food that he had been craving
id: 56217
Enjoy it, buddy
id: 56218
He ate almost the whole thing in one sitting. And just enjoyed licking it for a long time
id: 56219
Neil keeps an eye on sleepy Buzz
id: 56220
Though I think he's getting sleepy too
id: 56221
Nap time at last
id: 56222
But that won't stop me from taking pictures
id: 56223
Neil loves a good sunbeam
id: 56224
Who loves belly rubs?
id: 56225
Neil's pink feet!
id: 56226
Chilling on the couch
id: 56227
Neil stretch
id: 56228
Now that is a pose
id: 56229
Towel blanket?
id: 56230
Hmm.. gotta think about that one
id: 56231
Neil seemingly acquired a taste for watching TV
id: 56232
Hello cat brothers
id: 56233
Don't mind me..
id: 56234
Sleepy kitty
id: 56235
Neil in the dark
id: 56236
Neil on his favorite towel
id: 56237
I always loved when Neil sat behind me on the chair
id: 56238
He got pretty good at balancing as I moved the chair around
id: 56239
My little copilot
id: 56240
Right, Neil?
id: 56241
So soft
id: 56242
Closeup of the stripes and spots pattern on Neil's fur
id: 56243
Neil's not sure why he's getting so much attention
id: 56244
I see you
id: 56245
Back at the vet again. We thought for the final time, but no.
id: 56246
Put those ears away, there's no need for alarm
id: 56247
Since we thought this was it for Neil, I put his missions on my bag. He says "these seem familiar.."
id: 56248
Yep, only two
id: 56249
He liked the window
id: 56250
This is such a great photo of Neil
id: 56251
He was such a little goober
id: 56252
Sun time again
id: 56253
In the last couple weeks, Neil kept getting thirsty but couldn't really quench it. So he kept drinking from weird places
id: 56254
Rather than stop him, I just moved a chair up to make it a little easier
id: 56255
He seemed to prefer this mug so I just kept refilling it and making sure it was accessible
id: 56256
12 cups??
id: 56257
His fur started to feel different near the end
id: 56258
When we thought Neil was leaving us on the 1st, Mom and Becky did a very nice thing and sent some flowers in a Neil-esque holder. They tried to cancel when he got his reprieve but it showed up anyway. I thought it was great. Neil approved
id: 56259
I put the spider plant outside since I figured it'd do better out there
id: 56260
We watched all of From the Earth to the Moon together
id: 56261
Neil's fur started to get a little ragged
id: 56262
But he was still as friendly as ever
id: 56263
The final weekend was very rough. It was on me to make "the call", but with the weekend, I had to decide on Friday or last until Monday. I decided to wait.
id: 56264
Neil was not having a great time. if you look at the timestamps of these photos you'll see that I was basically just sitting with him all night
id: 56265
The vet said he wasn't in pain, he just felt very "blah".
id: 56266
id: 56267
Neil looking for water again
id: 56268
This is the last photo of Neil and Buzz together.
id: 56269
On this, the final night, Neil almost looks normal again
id: 56270
I found him downstairs. He was ready.
id: 56271
On his little tuffet of towels
id: 56272
How're you doing, buddy?
id: 56273
Photos don't capture it, but he was moving strangely. It was clearly costing him a lot of effort. And his fur was tacky and ragged. But he made it through the weekend
id: 56274
Despite everything, he still enjoyed looking out the window
id: 56275
It's a good show out there
id: 56276
Nice and bright
id: 56277
It took some effort but he sat up for a while
id: 56278
Oh Neil
id: 56279
He was very wobbly
id: 56280
Well. It's time.
id: 56281
This is the last photo of Neil. He was everything you would ever want in a cat. Just perfect in every way. Once he got sick he held on so much longer than anyone thought. And it was a privilege to be there with him. This photo was taken after Neil was given a sedative. He slowly fell asleep and I just kept petting him, talking to him, and making eye contact with him. Acting on the vet's advice, I let him take Neil away for the end. Neil did a good job. He was a good cat.
id: 56282
Whenever I gave Neil his fluids, I stored the needles in a taped-off plastic cup, so I could dispose of them safely
id: 56283
Neil's Needles
id: 56284
Each needle roughly represents a day.
id: 56285
A few weeks later, a second flower pot showed up. I named the first one Neil 8 and the second one Neil 9, for Neil's nine lives. Every once in a while I go out and visit with the Neils. Buzz and I miss him very much.
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