Saturday, 21 June 2008

Storm Returns Home



(posted by Meowmie L)


Storm was cremated on June 20th, 12.30pm...almost one week to the hour after I gently cradled Storm in my arms as she peacefully slipped from this world. 

We made our way to the Cambridge Pet Crematorium by train...and on the way we passed through Sawbridgeworth...the village that Storm and Castle were born in and where we collected them from as kittens. We had no idea the train took this route - it was a very poignant moment for us and it triggered a few memories and raised a very teary smile or two.

Jo and I spent some time with Storm beforehand, she looked beautiful, we bathed her in kisses, stroking her, caressing every tiny part of that beautiful little girl that gave us so much love, and that we loved so much.  Her paws were so soft still, her tail so floppy...and when we stroked her head and cheeks it almost felt as if she was gently headbutting us once more...

We took her favourite shoelace toy to her, along with a picture of her and Castle as kittens on one of their first days with us as a family, and another picture of them together which was taken on Storm's last morning with us.  



We then placed a final kiss on her nose 'X' and made our way to the Gardens of Remembrance where we a laid a tiny cat-sized bouquet of flowers at the base of a tree, by a small lake, in Storm's memory...the tiny bouquet was part of a larger, gorgeous bouquet that Ben Vet and his colleagues sent to us in sympathy earlier in the week (pictured below)...it seemed like the right and most fitting thing to do, a gift from us all.  We watched as Stormie, her shoelace and the pictures drifted into the sky in the form of a pure white, clean smoke...




We stayed in the Gardens for almost three hours, sitting on the bench beneath Storm's tree, whilst we waited for Stormie to be returned to us. It was such a beautiful and peaceful place, the Gardens are lovingly cared for, and so are the graves and memorials of all the pets within.





We were then reunited with Stormie..her precious ashes interred in a mango wood pot that Jo and I purchased in Thailand about 6 years ago from Khao Lak beach.  We have another one which is exactly the same, this will be Castle's pot when it is his time to join his sister Stormie.  We travelled back on the train, I cradled Storm and pointed out her birth place, Sawbridgeworth, as we passed through it once again...and then Storm was home again, where she belongs, with her family.



When we were first told that Stormie had lymphoma and that 6-9 months was the average survival time with treatment, our world fell apart, we were sad and we feared what lay ahead of us, how little time we had left. Was Storm going to survive past Christmas? Was it going to be 2, 4 or 6 months or less? Maybe 9 months? Dare we hope for more? From that initial diagnosis in December 2006 every day has been a blessing for us, extra time with our baby girl. When we hit the 9 month mark, the 'top' of the median survival time, we were overjoyed, it seemed such an impossible thing to have hoped for 9 months previously. However, even though Storm seemed normal and well and healthy, we always knew that inside her something wasn't quite right and that one day it would allow the lymphoma to return - for that reason every day really did become a special and cherished day, lived with love, not fear or sadness. When you know you are on borrowed time you make that much more of an effort to enjoy the things that light up your life.

Storm eventually made it to 18 months past diagnosis, beating the lymphoma twice...but sadly her little body just couldn't cope with the second battle, she had become tired. I hope that anyone who stumbles across this blog whilst searching for info on feline lymphoma will draw hope from it...although Storm is no longer here, she fought her fight and won it, she did not suffer and she had a normal quality of life...for twice as long as the best prediction. So, if you too are feeling sad and afraid please think of Stormie and remember how successful her battle with lymphoma was...it's not the end of the world, it's a new beginning...

Thank you to all of you wonderful cats and people on the cat blogosphere for making our blogging so much fun over the past year..and for being such a great source of comfort to us during this very difficult time. We thank our friends on Meezer.com, in particular Jeanie, who has been such a great support throughout and has known Storm online for about 10 years now. We also thank our families too for their love and concern.

Lovely Ben Vet, Caroline Vet, Nurse Ann, Nurse Jo, Nurse Jenna and everyone else at the vet practice - we thank you for giving us this time with Stormie; your care, dedication and love for our little girl was evident (and still is) and we will always be thankful for everything that you have done.

Stormie, we miss you so much, I can't put it into words because no combination of words can do justice to how much we miss you and love you. You are our special girl, always will be and will remain forever in our hearts.

You won in every sense of the word... now sleep tight little lady...love you always and forever, Linda, Jo and Castle xxx


Stormie, February 1st 1996 - June 13th 2008


I was chosen to day
I'm learning to fly
the world took me away,
but please don't you cry.

And I chose you today
to try and be strong
so please don't you cry
and don't say that I'm gone.

When you're feeling alone
just remember our love,
I'm up near the stars
looking down from above.

Remember our love
in a moment you'll see
that I'm still here beide you
When you're thinking of me.



79 comments:

Parker said...

Dear Linda, Jo and Castle,
We think that the Gardens of Remembrance is such a beautiful and peaceful place. We are glad that Stormie is back home with you and that she has such a beautiful resting place in your home.
We have thought of you often and pray that memories of her will make you smile more often than bring tears.
Castle, we love you too and hope that you are finding comfort in your Meowmies love.
Stormie did win. She was and is such an inspriation.
Your friends,
Parker, Puff, Powder, Rudy, Diamond Dog and their parents Helen and Scott

Katie & Da Katz said...

Tanks fur coming by to purr fur us abouts our mooooving!
-Katie Kitty Too

Dear Linda, Jo and Castle,

What a beautiful garden... so loving and cared for... just like Stormie. You can see how Castle and Storm loved each other, even while eating chicken! And Castle letting Storm eat first. What a sweet boy!

I spoke to my Mum... about Kitty - how long it took her to get over Petey, her dog friend. Mum said that Kitty was still living next door with my grandparents at the time. So everytime she came over to see Mum, she expected to see Petey (Petey actually had belonged to the neighbors who used to live there before Mum and Dad moved in.)

After my grandparents went to the nursing home and Kitty moved in with my parents, it took about two weeks for her to check the entire house!

We had two cats that deeply loved each other - not littermates, but Jason, the male about a year old - taught Aone ("AH-Wan"), the female kitten, to use the litterbox versus the bathtub! When Aone died of kidney failure (abt 6 years old?), Jason moped around for weeks. Yet he never forgot her - like he was missing a part of himself.

When Jason died he was quite old and blind. He accidentally got out and was hit by a car. We found him and buried him in the backyard. I was devastated, because I didn't watch out for him.
While laying on my bed, I heard a small joyful voice, "I see Aone!"
Then I saw Jason's spirit leap thru a diamond shaped window. I know that God has a special place for our babies...

Even if Castle mopes fur a long time... God will re-unite them on the other side...

Katie
=^..^=

ML said...

What a beautiful final chapter in Storm's brave and inspiring story. She was a remarkable cat, as you, her family and her team (the vets and nurses) are remarkable.
I will hope that anyone with the heart-breaking diagnosis of lymphoma will come across Storm's blog, read it, feel the love and inspiration, and take Storm's triumph a step further.
Thank you for sharing Storm's story with all of us. I know it was heart-breaking at times, but those of us touched by her will never be the same.
Love, ML and the Sherwood Bunch

ZOOLATRY said...

Dear Stormie and Castle and family... everything here is overwhelmingly beautiful and moving. There is little more to say, except we wish heaven's blessings for all of you and we know the memories of these times will be with you always. Stormie's story was without questions the most inspirational ever to be followed, with joy and with tears. Tho... in honor of her, we shed no more tears.

Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

Dear Linda, Jo and Castle,
Thank you so much for sharing Stormie's homecoming with us. A day doesn't go by without us thinking about her and you, and hoping and praying that with your rejoicing in all of the wonderful, loving years you had with your beautiful girl, and with realizing that she won, that it will bring you peace. We still think about our tuxie boy Max who has been at the bridge for a long time, and we are so happy knowing that he is in wonderful company there. You are and will remain in our thoughts and prayers ...
Love,
Jan, Sabrina, Sam and Simon

felinesopher said...

Dear Linda, Jo & Castle...

we're so sorry to find out very late about Stormie, our mommy just got back from another town & had no access to internet there for the past few days,

we can never forget how Stormie had fought over this illness & yes she did win over the battle, her life would always remain in our heart to keep surviving no matter how worst the conditions we're facing...

our eyes are leaking & mommy is too, we love all the pictures, the video clip with Castle (ohh, they are so sweet eating together) and the poem,

thanks for sharing Stormie stories with us,

lots of love,

-Meaouwy Troops-
(Bunjie, Pinyi, Fatum, Brutum, Fati, Zoju, TwinCo, Brota, Myorie, Dixie & Mishie)

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

what a beautiful place the Gardens of Remembrance is. and the Rainbow Bridge is even more lovely. this is a beautiful tribute to a brave and loving kitty. Storm will be missed.

Thank you for sharing her with us. The video is so sweet.

Artsy Catsy said...

Linda Jo, your profound love for Storm shines through your every post and it's a joy and inspiration to read them. You have blessed all our lives by sharing yours with us - it helps us so much to focus on on the goodness and beauty of every moment rather than on the negative.

We're so happy Stormie is at home with you. All our kitties who came before are here with us, too, in special heart-shaped containers. And for Millard, my precious sealpoint Siamese who looked so much like Stormie, I have a tiny urn pendant with a few of her ashes on a necklace so I can keep her close to my heart.

Peace and Love,
Sharolyn, Suzanne, Rocky and all the Artsy Catsy kitties

The Meezers said...

Welcome home sweet Stormie. - Sammy, Miles and Billy

Linda and Jo, what a beautiful post. I have my Trixie, Norton and Ralphie home with me too in a special spot. Trixie and Norton also have matching boxes as they were twins. I am so glad that I made the decision to have each of them cremeated and given back to me. I don't think my heart could have healed without knowing that they would always be with me. Each day is a precious gift after you get the cancer diagnosis for one of your precious furbabies. Ralphie was given maybe 6 weeks after his diagnosis and he stayed with me for 7 more months,l before he passed away in my arms in bed. He was also 12 years old. It's been 5 1/2 years and I miss him every day. - Meezer Mom Mary

Castle, we hope that you will take up blogging and that we learn more about you and how you are coping.

ML said...

I came back to say what Meezer Mom Mary just said (above). Please keep this blog so that we might remember Storm and others can see her inspirational story of triumph.
And also that Castle may blog, because we will be missing him otherwise. If he doesn't blog, it will be a double loss for all of us.
Love, ML

Karl & Ruis said...

What a beautiful last journey with Stormie! The pure beauty of the gardens when she flies away... and her spirit returns to you.

Storm chose you in her life to care for her, to love her. Storm will now do that for you, until you meet again...

Dear Castle, Linda and Jo, you are in our thoughts and purrs.

Love,
Karl & Ruis, the Kattenpraat family and Marlene & Henny

michico*Adan said...

Dear Linda, Jo & Castle,

I am so glad that Storm is back with you now. She must be really happy. I am sure.
And I am leaking while I see the garden for Stormie...

In our culture, after our family members went to the bridge after 7 days, they will back home say hello to us, in any way...I believe Storm's spirit is coming back in a form and inform you she is doing ok~~

We are all here still praying and purring. Storm is our precious baby.

Purr,
Adan * Michico

Cheysuli and gemini said...

What an amazingly beautiful garden and how wonderful that you got to be part of this part of the journey as well--in our part of the world there is no one who does that--you can get the ashes, but you certainly can't "go visit".

Though we did not meet storm for real we will always remember her. She has made a great impression.

We hope that Castle will take part in the blogosphere --or at least visit from time to time.

PB & J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PB & J said...

Dear Linda, Jo & Castle,

This was a beautiful last tribute to Storm, an amazing and inspirational girl. The gardens are enchanting (as they should be), but it is wonderful to know that Storm is back home where she belongs. We hope that you all take good care of each other and we hope to see you again!

And dear Storm,
You were an inspiration and beacon of hope for us, as we lost our two sweet ones to lymphoma - thank you for fighting, thank you for winning. I hope that you will be the same to any others battling this horrid disease.

Purrs,
Pearl, Bert, Jake and Mommy

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

What a beyootiful place...we're so glad Storm is home where she belongs now. It's been 7 years and Zippy still snuggles up to Punkin's baby blanket, sleeps on Punkins favorite spot and looks under their favorite bush. We hope Castle can post and keep us updated on how he's doing.

Daisy said...

What a beautiful ending to Stormie's courageous and inspiring story. I think a little bit of Storm lives on in the heart of everyone who read and was touched by her story.

I also wanted to say that my Mommie named one of the new cats at the shelter Storm, in honor of the Furry Fighter. She is an adult dilute tortie who just had babies and was brought in by a rescue organization.

Mickey said...

Thank you for sharing Storm's homecoming with us. We still miss her too.
Now,she will always be close to all of you. Purrs & Headbutts

Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

Gizmo said...

That was a very sweet post. Mommy was crying after just a few lines. My sister, Jewels, was also cremated. Just 5 days after Sept 11 2001. That was a very rough week for my mommy. You are all in my prayers as you continue to deal with your loss. Love, Gizmo

Chairman Mao said...

Alla us Ballicai are sending love and comfort to yur preshus fambly. We are so glad to hear that sweet Stormie is back home where she belongs. And what a wunnerful post, so filled with yur love for yur purreshus gurl. We loved seein the video of her and Castle eatin togethur. Where there's love there's nefur a last goodbye and Stormie and the love she gave you and the love you gave her will live fureffur.

You are in our purrs and in our hearts at this difficult time.

And Castle, we'd love fur you to blog! You've got lots and lots of furriends onna Kitty Bloggiesphere.

Kittyhugs and purrs and lots of love frum MaoMao and alla the Ballicai and the Ballicus Beans.

Aoise said...

Dear Linda,Jo and Castle

This final tribute was so beautiful and full of love, just as all your posts have been. Stormie had such a fitting farewell and she is now back at home, forever. In time, all the wonderful memories you have of her will begin to ease the sadness and sense of loss. We will never forget our darling Stormie. She was one of a kind. Special.
Kittypurrs and love to you all.

Forty Paws said...

What a wonderful tribute to dear, sweet, Storm. We shall indeed miss her but will remember that she is at The Bridge.

Luf, Us

Poppy Q said...

Dear Linda, Jo and Castle,
thank you for sharing Storms journey with us. We know that she was a lucky to girl to be surrounded by so much love.

I am glad that she is resting at home with you now, and that she will be waiting at the bridge for you all.

Poppy and Julie Q

Lorianna said...

I came by to see how you are doing... There are no words are there? Just Love.
I remember when I got Tookie's ashes last June. I sat out back in the sun holding the box, numb.
You and Precious Storm are an inspiration and Hope that Pure Love is real. Your lives and hers were blessed for having each other.
I will keep you, Castle and Stormie in my heart, thoughts and prayers always. Thank you for sharing a beautiful life.
Love and Gentle Hugs Dear Ones,
Lorianna

Tiger Lily said...

Dear Linda, Jo and Castle: It is amazing how so-called coincidences (such as your trip to the Garden of Remembrance) happen that can send our thoughts to things that give us so much comfort. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

prrrrrrrrrrs, tail wags and {{{HUGS}}},
Jemima, Zeke, Sushi, Tiger Lily and Ruckus
Rebecca and Charles

The Lee County Clowder said...

Castle, Meowmies, you are in our thoughts.

Purrrrrrrss & {{huggss}} to you all.

MISS PEACH >(^.^) said...

dear Castle mommy Linda and Jo! Miss Peach and I are so honored to have known the beautiful furry fighter Stormie. You are wonderful mommies and your love story is so touching. We are hopeful for the future and that is Stormies legacy!
Please send me an email because mommy has made something for you to remember Stormie and would like to send it to you. kjacks2 AT charter DOT net
God Bless your lives...Miss Peach

Karen Jo said...

Castle, Jo and Linda, this is such a beautiful post. I am glad you could share Storm's last journey with us. I will always remember her. I do hope that Castle will take up blogging some day.

Ariel said...

This is such a lovely post.Storm was a very sweet and beautiful kitty.I am very honored to be her friend.Thank you for sharing her story. She is very special and I will always remember her with a smile.

Princess said...

Dear Castle, Linda and Jo,
I feel so honored to know all of you that were the greatest part of Stormie's perfectly lovely life.
I enjoyed these pictures ad the little video you shared. It made me cry all over again, for all of you. Mom really understands your emptiness. Of course this brings back all of the sadness we went through, so it is hard to comment. *sniff* we are overwhelmed with sadness

This was a lovely poem, the Gardens of Remembrance are beautiful.

never forget, you are not alone, and we love you very much.

<3 Princess, Blizzie and Rosemary

Derby said...

What a lovely place to remember all those who share our lives.

purrs.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Linda, Jo and Castle,

We left a message yesterday but Blogger seems to have eaten another one.

You wrote so beautifully about Storm's life - keeping us informed of Storm's progress and setbacks, explaining Storm's and Castle's devotion to each other, telling us through the written word and photos of your great love and passion for Storm's well-being ... Thank you so much for sharing her with us.

We are glad she is home again. Like some of the other bloggers who commented above, we hope you and Castle will continue to keep in touch and let us all know how you are doing.

We know it is hard for humans as well as animals to lose a beloved friend.We wish you rainbows after the storm and peace in the midst of loss.

Purrs, prayers and tail wags

Lux said...

We were so touched by this post, and by all the ones that came before. The Gardens of Remembrance are so very beautiful. Storm touched so many lives and still continues to.

Such a beautiful girl.

Anita said...

Love

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrayers

(((((((Hugs)))))))))

mum of critters said...

what a lovely tribute post - thank you for sharing your heart - Storm is frolicking at the bridge with my Archi Ann and all our other furry critters that we loved.

hugs

Tara said...

Welcome home Storm...

Tyler said...

Dear Stormie's Family,
Here I am all leaky again. I'm still so sorry for your loss. I couldn't stop thinking about my girl Kali and how much I miss her too. I'd like to pretend that I'm just fine knowing that she's no longer in pain. But I really wish I could come home again and see her loving face. I can't wait until it does get easier.

Thank you for sharing your experience with picking up Storm's ashes and bringing her home. I loved the kitten pictures of her and Castle. How is Castle doing?

Ramses said...

Dear Linda, Jo & Castle,

We are all glad that you had that extra time with lovely Storm, that peaceful place to say goodbye to what was the sweetest, most courageous and loving little meezer girl you had the luck and pleasure of knowing. We too have drawn great pleasure from knowing her even in the small way we have. You have two of the best Mummies possible Castle, so make sure you show them all the love you can over this next little while as you all adjust to your new life...

If there is anything we can ever do, just let me or My Mummy know...

Thinking of you often,
Ramses

DEBRA said...

We have been so moved by your journey with Stormie and you her story has touched so many with great inspiration. WE rejoice in her life and take great encouragement from knowing the sojourn her life took her on.

Purrs and hugs
Abby
Boo
Ping
Jinx
Gracie
and Mom Debra

Kaze, Latte, & Chase said...

We didn't know you were on SICC. We were on there for a long time!! In fact the moderator Sheri is Kaze's breeder. Jeannie is a wonderful lady and when I saw her Tutti I fell in love with seal lynx points.

Thanks again for sharing Storm's amazing fight.

Latte

Riley & Tiki said...

What a wonderful tribute to your sweet girl Stormie. Purrs for both Meowmies and for Castle.

Tybalt said...

What a beautiful memorial you have to precious Stormie. I am purring for you all. Storm was a wonderful ladycat and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Cat Street Boyz said...

Beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing this beautiful soul with us, STORMIE The Furry Fighter, goodbye sweetheart...for now, Ty, Tinker, Toy, Tang, Setzer & Cherokee..(The Cat Street Boyz)

HotMBC said...

That's a beautiful tribute to Stormie. We're glad she's home now. Fanks for sharing her sweetness with us. Castle, we hope you continue to be our furriend and blog when you can and visit when you can.
Purrrrrrrs,
your bud Pepi
and the rest of the Hotties

Diamond said...

It was moving to read of your ceremony and your love for Stormie.

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

We had to wait for Momma's eyes to stop leaking. What a beautiful garden and what a beautiful journey to bring Storm home to be with you.

We will miss Stormie a lot as she was an inspiration to kitties and people alike.

Castle, we hope that you know you're not alone - lots of us are sending purrs to help keep you company.

Linda and Jo - thank you so very much for sharing your story and the love that you have for both Castle and Storm is wonderful.

We hope to see you in the blogosphere, Castle.

Purrs,
Charlemagne and Tamar
(and Momma Colleen)

Nina said...

I am so sorry you lost your beloved kitty. Thank you for sharing such a lovely video and stories from her life. I know by reading this blog that she was well-loved and happy when she passed.

Many warm, good thoughts to you,
Nina.

Sunny's Mommy said...

I'm glad you had that day with Stormie again, and that she's now home with all of you.

Junior said...

What a wonderful final tribute. Those gardens certainly are gorgeous.

We are just out of things to say...everyone else has said them so well.

We do hope Castle keeps blogging...we want to know how all of you are doing.

Princess said...

loving all of you very much.
<3 <3 Prinnie

Midori said...

Sending our love and hugs as we think of you, Meowie J, Castle and Storm. Love, Midori, Elf, Kipling, Tsarina, Winslow, Kyoto, Vortex, Sumo, Pip, Sylvester and Eddie

HRH Yao-Lin said...

*sniff*

Goodbye Storm. I'll always remember you. years from now, the human and I will remember you and how brave you were. x

Chairman Mao said...

We Ballicai are thinkin of you today -- love and hugs to Castle and you two Meowmies. We are rememberin purreshus Stormie. She will nefur be forgotten.

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

we're just thinking of you today. we just wanted you to know. hugs to you all

Eric and Flynn said...

The Garden of Remembrance looks such a beautiful place. We are glad that Storm is back home with you again. We would like to give her an award which you can collect from our blog.We hope you will accept it in her memory.
Purrrrs and (((((hugs)))))

Princess said...

((((hugs)))) and love always from us on this last day of June.
We have been thinking of all of you
purrrrs forever
Princess

Gandalf & Grayson said...

Such a lovely story, a story of love. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Black Cat said...

Just popped in to see how you are all doing. I don't know what happened to my previous comment (Blogger probably ate it) but I think about you a lot. Perhaps one day Castle will feel like writing his own blog:) xxx

Christine and FAZ said...

Love us

Jimmy Joe said...

That is a beautiful story of Stormie's final journey. She will always be remembered by us as a valiant kitty fighter.
Your buddy, Jimmy Joe

Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

We wanted to come by to enjoy remembering our furriend Stormie ... we know she is watching out for all of her furriends today and every day.
Purrs and headbutts,
Sabrina, Sam and Simon

feefifoto said...

Came here by accident and just wanted to say again how sorry I am for your loss. Non-pet people often have difficulty understanding how attached pet people become to our loved ones.

Keisha said...

Lots of love, sweet baby. See you at the Rane-bo Brij.

Moki said...

Gardens of Remembrance is such a lovely and peaceful place...it was the perfect stop for Storm's final resting place. Thank you so much for sharing all the lovely photo's...you brought tears to our eyes...

whatloknows said...

Hello.
I just came across your site this day and I wanted to say how beautiful kitty was....I have no other words, and words really do nothing in such a time.

Such a kitty will brighten any day at the Rainbow Bridge.

-wlk

Poppy said...

Thank you for this blog. My friend Jasper was just diagnosed with feline lymphoma, and his parents are very worried. I think this might help them.

Poppy

Rascal said...

I just wanted to stop by on our day of thankfulness to say thanks for being my friend when I was diagnosed with feline lymphoma. My latest tests came back this week and I remain cancer free at this time. More to be thankful for

Purrs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful page. I had to help my beloved sealpoint Benjamin over the bridge on Monday, and my heart is aching. Like you, I also have a gorgeous bluepoint to help me through my sadness. But our lives feel very empty right now.
Love to Castle Pants and his meowmies.

Craig Hind said...

Hi Linda, Jo & Castle (& Timmy)

My wife and I spent the whole of last night reading the whole of your blog. We went through the whole gamut of emotions.

We came to the blog, unfortunately only after losing our own beloved blue-point Balinese boy to intestinal lymphoma last week. It has been a bad week.

Unlike Stormie we were not to have an extended time with our cat Panther. Reading your blog at times was like reliving the past few months. Panther also went through stages of eating and not eating. We put it down to age (he was 14), and with it being an extreme summer here in South Africa we also thought that he was being listless because of the heat. Eventually when he dropped in weight from 5.4kg to 4.9kg we took him to see our vet. We were told that this happens to old cats and so we took him home expecting his weight to settle. It didn't. When he was down to about 4.4kg we took him back to the vet who then did the whole range of tests. We though he had kidney failure but the tests said not. Eventually he was referred to a specialist 40km away. By the time specialist saw him he was 3.9kg. We took him there and within a day he was confirmed as having intestinal lymphoma. The tumor was blocking his intestines completely and he was unable to pass anything plus the tumor had taken away his appetite almost completely.

That same day he started on chemo. We were told that we should see a reduction of 15-20% of the tumor in 24 hours. Hopefully this would unblock his intestines and get him eating again. He was too weak for surgery. 24 hours later he was scanned again and the tumor had not shrunk at all. We continued the chemo for a week. He had to stay at the vet the whole time and became very depressed despite us visiting every day. Multiple scans later it was determined that the tumor was not shrinking and that in all likelihood it would not shrink. He may have something called Multi-drug resistance.

We were faced with the choice of continuing the chemo, performing surgery anyway, all were described as extremely dangerous due to his fragile state. Even if we were successful with the surgery, he would still have had to have more chemo, and we reluctantly decided to end his suffering before he did have to endure any pain. It was the hardest decision we have had to make in our lives and certainly the worst day and week of our lives so far.

He is survived by Timtam, our lilac-point Siamese boy and Mumble, or white and tortoise-shell domestic girl.

My one piece of advice to people with cats older than 10, is that if they start to lose weight of more than a few hundred grams, and continue to lose, get them scanned immediately. I believe that Panther was mostly untreatable because we waited so long and we paid the price. Please don't let that happen to you.

Best, but teary regards
Craig & Caroline Hind
Durban, South Africa

Linda & Family said...

Dear Craig & Caroline

Thank you for visiting us and leaving us a message. We are very sorry you lost your Panther to this illness too...please don't feel bad that you may have left it too long. Some cancers are incredibly fast growing and others are slow. Stormie first showed signs of something not being right in September 06, but she was diagnosed with constipation. Between Sept 06 and Dec 06 she was being sick more than normal, but we figured this was the constipation....and then she lost weight very rapidly, literally within a week...that's when we found the lymphoma.

Having spent 2 years reading stories on the Yahoo Feline Lymphoma group, it is evident that some cats do not just take to chemo and only last a few weeks beyond diagnosis...but other cats go on for 3 or 4 years. Intestinal lymphoma - especially large cell - is one of the more difficult ones to treat.

The outcome can be so random...that is why the vets give people such huge prediction windows of survival. Please don't feel that you failed...you didn't. I know the pain you are feeling right now and I can assure you that the pain does subside and turns into warmer feelings. I think of Stormie everyday, but it is mostly with a smile now, not so many tears...Panther will live on in your memories and smiles too x

Craig Hind said...

Thanks Linda,

I know it is hard not to blame yourself in some way, especially when decisions have to be made. But I do believe it was the right choice in the long run.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post all this information (on Storm's behalf of course!). It is invaluable to people who are going through the same thing, and is inspiring at the same time. I do believe that I'll be starting a few blogs for my own cats in the coming months. :-)

Best Regards
Craig

Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

We love you and still think about you Sweet Stormie, and until we meet at the Bridge we send you many hugs, purrs and headbutts ...
Sabrina, Sam and Simon

Craig Hind said...

Ok so this is a shameless plug but I just started some blogs for my cats. Not a heck of a lot there at the moment, just some introductions, but we'll get there!

I was inspired to create these after reading Stormie's blog after my own cat succumbed to intestinal lymphoma, and after reading Castle's blog I'm rearing to go!

So if you're interested you can see our kitties at:

http://www.cconline.org.za/our-cats

Cheers
Craig

Junior and Orion said...

We miss you still Stormie!!!!!!!

Princess said...

I miss you Stormiekins.
Looking over your blog and seeing your face. I miss you.

I really hope that our Caesar is with you. He was a sweetheart and we miss him too.


purrrs

Craig & Caroline Hind said...

Oh no. I should never have subscribed to these comments. My eyes leak once more! :-)

We also miss Storm and we hope that Castle, Timmy and the Meowmies are all well.

Noll's Nip said...

A loving and beautiful tribute to your beloved Stormie. I am very moved.

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences here on your blog.

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