This is Gretsky's Page

A Tribute To A Special Cat
This is a picture of a contented cat.

Gretzky (or Grets as we usually called him )was a beautiful and intelligent black cat. A domestic shorthair of unknown parentage! He was found in a ditch near Okotoks, Alberta ( a growing community just south of Calgary ) by the son of a very dear friend, and brought to me by my friend Michelle. She asked me if I wanted him and well, how could I say no to that tiny little 'mew' that came out of such a vulnerable little black body so I took him in and he thrived.   These days he is certainly neither undernourished nor unloved!!   

January 7, 2004.
We said goodbye to Gretsky today. We didn't want to , but the only choice was to keep him with us and let him suffer. Somehow, that didn't appear to be an option. Neither David nor myself could be so cruel.

What led up to this sad day was that I had been noticing an incredible amount of urine in his litter box. I do mean incredible. Using the crystal litter it was easy to see the liquid. My first thought was that the litter wasn't working, that somehow it wasn't absorbing properly. I also noticed that his bowel movements were getting fewer, and fewer. As to the litter, I was able to get some regular litter from my daughter and added it to Grets' litter box. The problem was still there, and just got worse, the clumps were huge; so it wasn't the fault of the crystal - litter at all. He was suffering extreme amounts of urine. Noticeable too was the fact that we actually saw him drinking from the water bow. This was odd only because , being a neurotic personality, Grets usually drank when no-one was around and would take off to his hiding spot (in the closet) when anyone walked by. He was drinking long and lots. We couldn't keep enough food in his bowl either. Here was a very 'finicky' animal that was , literally, demanding food. So, we fed him as often as he wanted. Still, the urination, drinking and eating just got to be more, and more.

Understanding a little about symptoms such as these I began to research sites about feline illnesses. Specifically looking to see if Grets really had diabetes, which I suspected. Since his symptoms matched, we made an appointment with the Vet.
Casey, our Vet, confirmed that Grets' symptoms were most likely diabetes, and took a urine sample to double check. His urine was also pale and very sticky by the way, indicative of diabetes. Then blood was taken,for testing, to see if the diabetes was all Grets was suffering from. As the fur was shaved from Gretsky's neck, and the blood taken, he stared directly into my eyes. Unflinching and unblinking. Those eyes were full of trust and love. He trusted that I would do the best thing for him, of that I am sure.
Once the blood was removed Casey patiently explained that we could treat the diabetes with insulin and Grets' system should balance out, and,with proper care, he could live on.
Of course he would have to figure out the right amount of insulin first. This would mean testing Grets' blood for glucose levels, over several hours, to get a read on the levels. The, he would teach us how to give Grets two needles a day. Both, David and I were perfectly willing to do all this, as long as Gretsky was happy.
If, on the other hand, there was more going on in that little black body such as kidney failure, or blocked thyroid, it might not be fair to put him through a lot of discomfort when his body was already dying.
So, we took Grets home and awaited the phone call from Casey with the blood test results.
When Casey called he told us that the news was not good for Grets. Our funny little feline had failing kidneys and wouldn't last very long. He was already wasting away, and losing a lot of weight on a daily basis. Although he was, seemingly, eating alot the food could not be processed properly and was just going right through him.
Casey was willing to help us treat the diabetes, but warned us that it might not truly help as poor Gretsky was not getting the nutrition from his food anyway, and it may be very difficult to balance his insulin levels. This was not the news we had hoped for. We were hoping for a fairytale ending where Grets could live out his days in peace, and pass over that way too. This was not to be.
So, we talked it over , David and I. After weighing all Grets' options we chose to let him go. It just didn't seem right to put him through the testing required for the insulin level information. Then having to put him through the discomfort of two injections each day, just to have him waste away (quickly, Casey said) to skin and bone before he left us. No, he had given us too many wonderful years of fun , love and devotion. We could not put him through,what we thought of as , torture before he died. He deserved to go with dignity, and in peace.
We called the Vet's office , and made the appointment for this afternoon. Casey was so gentle with Gretsky , he is a very compassionate man. Grets made no fuss, no struggle. He went to 'sleep' very quickly , so quickly that we didn't really believe it at first.
A stethoscope to his chest proved to us that he was 'gone'. Such a peaceful end to a long life. He was around 16 years old and it had enjoyed a good life.
Yes , already we miss his presence. I know, when I am in bed tonight there won't be a black shape at the end of my side of the bed, waiting patiently for me to 'assume the position' that he prefers, so that he can snuggle in and purr us to sleep.
What we pictured , as Grets left us, was Dolly, his best friend for many, many years, bounding over to him with her Pyrenees smile, and her huge wagging tail, to tell her how happy she was that they were together again. Then they run together in a beautiful meadow under perpetually sunny skies, forever.
Goodbye our special friend we are glad you are at peace, and suffering no longer.