Mr. Coco Puff
5/01/2000 - 12/26/2016I know 2016 has been widely considered an awful year. I have some more bad news. Mr. Coco Puff died last Monday, December 26 at about 7pm, joining the pantheon of great souls we lost in 2016. He was put-to-rest for an eternal nap by a doctor from Lap of Love, an in-home veterinary hospice and euthanasia service. He was 16.5 years old. He passed away very peacefully and gently with lots of loving attention in the presence of Dr. Beth, Manavie, and me. Our doctor patiently spent a long time with us before we put him to sleep (2.5 hours) much of it just petting him and getting to know us. I am very grateful that the process went as well as it possibly could have given the circumstances.

Here's what happened:
This all came about very suddenly and unexpectedly. I had only noticed anything unusual since around the Monday before Christmas when Mr. Puff began being difficult about eating, which progressed to not eating at all. I took him to Friendship Animal Hospital that Friday. They did blood work, urine analysis, and an ultrasound and found a large mass of cancer in his upper intestines blocking his stomach, causing him to stop eating. They think the cancer had already spread to his liver, lymph nodes, and spleen. They also saw disease processes in his kidneys and bowels. His little body was shutting down. The doctor said that GI cancers tend to sneak up on owners like this, not presenting any clinical symptoms until it's already very advanced, and that cats are notoriously good at hiding their pain. I was extremely fortunate to be able to take him home that evening and cancel plans in order to spend all of Christmas Eve and Day with him. I doted on and hovered over him; I could only get him to take water and chicken broth. We used the time to do some of our favorite activities together -- stroking, brushing, and talking to him, photographing him sleeping in the sun, watching his favorite cat dvd, and one brief trip outside in his pet stroller to sit on my lap on the bench for fresh air, bird watching, and sunshine on Christmas Day. I was so lucky that I was able to use the quiet time afforded by the holiday to just be with him uninterrupted and to have a lot of patient support and empathy from the Lap of Lap person who was answering my phone calls during this time. Having these days with him and using the in-home euthanasia service turned out to be best choices for us. My other cat, Manavie, was also present for the whole process. He really watched and sniffed everything that was happening. He seemed to understand in his own way, though he currently seems a bit disoriented and low energy as Coco Puff was such an integral part of our daily routine. I had brought Coco home from the hospital on Friday at 7:30pm, and coincidentally, the doctor left with his body on Monday at 7:30pm for his remains to be cremated. As keepsakes, she left us with a paw print, a lock of fur, and a death certificate/booklet on pet bereavement. I'm very thankful and take solace in that I don't have any regrets about any of the difficult decisions that I had to make in that short period of time.
Amanda MosherWashington, District of Columbia (DC)January 2, 2017
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What a most special kitty and special bond between Mr. Coco Puff and his human companion. Mr. Coco Puff was a beautiful soul and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Unfortunately his life was abruptly cut short, but I know his last days were among his happiest and he was grateful for all the love and care his person gave him. May he forever rest in peace, surrounded by the light so beautifully captured during his last moments on Earth. Much love, little man. <3Beth Meadow - January 3, 2017

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